Tag Archives: business model

@Prepaid Africa Connecting Dots – October 2015

By | November 3, 2015

October was a busy month for us – The African Development Bank hosted their first Innovation Weekend in Abidjan from the 9th to the 11th of October. Our contribution was thinking about the problems we face as the starting point for new venture design. Savvy young people from across Francophone West Africa gathered to conceptualize… Read More »

First world trends: Financial inclusion, the unbanked, and the prepaid business model

By | September 15, 2015

The Economist explains just how expensive banking can be for the lower income population, even in the United States. Financial inclusion for the unbanked and underbanked must include cost/benefit analysis based on the limitations of income streams of those whom they hope to serve. The cost of ownership is often overlooked in current day literature,… Read More »

Introducing The Global Prepaid Economy

By | August 10, 2015

This week, that venerable newspaper The Financial Times, published an original piece of writing on the World Economic Forum’s Agenda blog. Its not a reprint from their own publication. It proposes the end of “Emerging Markets” (EM) as we know them: Now, commentators say, it is the world’s mental map that is in dire need… Read More »

A design challenge for agric service innovation in rural Africa

By | November 22, 2013

Find a way to embed principles of sustainable good agriculture for the smallscale farmer in a socio-economically beneficial way. How would we do this? Where do we begin? The answers to these questions and more will be forthcoming on this blog. I reach out and encourage you all to consider submitting your thoughts and opinions… Read More »

Part 3: Synthesis and Insights from original research on rural economic behaviour

By | October 31, 2013

One can conclude from synthesizing the data collected across the geographies and the range of “BoP” income levels that rural households demonstrated similar patterns of behaviour in their management of household expenses on irregular income streams. These are: the rapid conversion of cash into tangible assets such as goods or livestock, the  subsequent storage of… Read More »

Why prepaid business models work so well for the rural and informal economy

By | May 2, 2013

We broke down the basic concept of the ‘pay as you go’ or prepaid mobile plan – in general, discounting the details of the various different strategies and pricing/time plans of different countries as a way to begin understanding what is it about this model that makes it work at the BoP. Could we somehow… Read More »

In sum

By | December 16, 2012

Irregular income streams from a variety of sources pose their own challenges to both buyers and sellers but offer an opportunity through the flexibility designed into business models for the informal economies where this pattern of cash flow tends to be much more prevalent. Flexibility is key, as well as the ability to negotiate on… Read More »

Cashpower: prepaid electricity in Rwanda

By | November 19, 2012

Maarja Motus, an Estonian designer and my recent intern spent 3 weeks in Rwanda recently conducting some research on my behalf. Here’s an extract from her report on Cashpower, the Rwandese term for prepaid electricity. An electricity agent (Cashpower agent) next to Kigali market has 300 customers, only 10 of them buy for whole month… Read More »

Innovations in transport business models across Europe

By | November 4, 2012

Spotted outside the Zuid Park Business Center in Amsterdam, this is a taxi stand cum charging station for electric vehicles. And its not the only one, as I saw the same taxis waiting at Schiphol airport. They were asking half the price of a regular taxi for the trip to the center of town. In… Read More »

Bridging the gap: boundary spanners in the informal economy

By | September 14, 2012

My recent diversion into exploring the increasing visibility of the informal economy in the developed world has been providing much food for thought on the perceived boundary between the formal and the informal. More so, than in Europe, does the need exist among the most economically challenged across the still developing world for ways and… Read More »