Category Archives: Scarcity

A Unique Path to Development Seen for the Informal Economy

Just recently I stumbled over this slim book < 60 pages that analyzed existing data sources in order to frame an answer to the research question they posed: How did the informal economy―markets and the private sector―develop in the absence of legal and administrative frameworks to support it? Some of the most intriguing insights extracted […]

Also posted in Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, China, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frugality, global, Income, Informal & Flexible, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Report Review, Research, rural, Rural Economy, Savings, Strategy, Systems, UCSD, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Household energy consumption behaviour in East Africa: Lighting & Conclusion (3 of 3 Parts)

  The following is extracted from a six month study during 2012 on household energy consumption behaviour in rural Kenya and Rwanda among the lower income demographic, that led to an understanding of some of barriers hampering the sales of client’s solar products in this market. This 3rd and final part will focus on fuel […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Economy, Ecosystem, Frugality, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, jua kali, Kenya, Marchés africains, Marketing, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Retail in Africa, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Household energy consumption behavioural study in East Africa: Cooking (Part 2 of 3)

The following is extracted from a six month study during 2012 on household energy consumption behaviour in rural Kenya and Rwanda among the lower income demographic, that led to an understanding of some of barriers hampering the sales of client’s solar products in this market. This 2nd part will focus on fuel usage and consumption […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Design, Expenses, Frugality, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, jua kali, Kenya, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), rural, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Introduction to rural household energy consumption behaviour in East Africa (1 of 3 parts)

The following is extracted from a six month study during 2012 on household energy consumption behaviour in rural Kenya and Rwanda among the lower income demographic, that led to an understanding of some of barriers hampering the sales of client’s solar products in this market. This first part is an overview of household financial management […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Analysis, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Design, East African Community, Frugality, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, jua kali, Kenya, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Projects and Reports, Research, Retail in Africa, rural, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, UCSD, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Financial Behaviour Patterns Observed Among Households in Rural Informal Economy in Asia

This is the original working paper of the research conducted on rural household financial management, in developing country conditions, pioneering the use of methods from human centered design for discovery, during Nov 2008 to March 2009, aka the Prepaid Economy Project. It was peer reviewed by Brett Hudson Matthews, and I have incorporated his comments into […]

Also posted in African Consumer Market, Airtime, Alternative currency, Analysis, ASEAN, Assumption filter, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Cattle, Consumer Behaviour, Design, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frameworks, global, Income, India, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Livestock, Marchés africains, Marketing, Migrant worker, Mobile platform, Philipines, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Process, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Projects and Reports, Research, Retail in Africa, Risk, rural, Rural Economy, Savings, South Asia, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How the African movable assets bill can unleash innovation opportunities for the rural economy

As Kenya joins Zambia and Zimbabwe in ratifying a Movable Property Security Rights Act, there’s a sense that the floodgates to innovation in access to finance might be taking place in rural Africa, south of the Sahara and north of South Africa. Kenya’s law also goes beyond the cows and goats and allows a borrower […]

Also posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Alternative currency, Biashara Economics, Business, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Cattle, Consumer Behaviour, Design, East African Community, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Income, Innovation Planning, Kenya, Livestock, Loans, Mama Biashara, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Produits de grande consommation (FMCG), Research, Risk, Rural Economy, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Tanzania, Technology, UCSD, Uganda, User research, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Innovation, Ingenuity and Opportunity under Conditions of Scarcity (Download PDF)

In July 2009, I was inspired by working in the Research wing of the Aalto University’s Design Factory in Espoo, Finland, to launch a group blog called REculture: Exploring the post-consumption economy of repair, reuse, repurpose and recycle by informal businesses at the Base of the Pyramid*. Within a year, this research interest evolved into […]

Also posted in Africa, Design, Innovation Planning, jua kali, Kenya, Perspective, Photography, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Projects and Reports, Research, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, Technology, UCSD, User research | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Analysis of the mobile phone’s impact on cash flows and transactions in the informal sector

As we saw, Mrs Chimphamba needs to juggle time and money as part of her household financial management in order to ensure that expenses can be met by income. We also saw that the mobile phone was made viable and feasible by the availability of the prepaid business model that gave her full control over […]

Also posted in About, Airtime, Analysis, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Collection, Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Expenses, Flexibility, Frameworks, global, Income, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Mobile platform, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, Savings, Value | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Innovation, under conditions of resource scarcity

When Mkulima Young, a social media community for young farmers in Kenya tweeted this photograph of a motorcycle modified to pump water, I was delighted. It had been a long time since I’d seen such an excellent example of innovative product development under conditions of resource scarcity. REculture, the group blog hosted by the now […]

Also posted in Africa, Design, Frugality, Innovation Planning, jua kali, Kenya, Perspective, rural, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Global consumer data shows demographics have changed completely

The past half decade‘s worth of financial crises and increasing scarcity of resources have led to an increasing equalization in the global water level. Instead of the high tide that would lift all boats, the leveling off of growth is leading to an entirely different equation of purchasing power parity. Tomorrow’s equilibrium seems to imply […]

Also posted in Assumption filter, Consumer Behaviour, Economy, Emerging Markets, Frugality, global, Marketing, Perspective, Research, Strategy | Tagged , | Leave a comment