Tag Archives: flexibility

Characteristics of our currently emerging future

By | September 25, 2019

I am tempted to leave this blogpost unwritten, illustrated only by this photograph of an analysis & synthesis workshop I did with my master’s thesis worker on the data that will drive her master’s thesis and my first journal article. I have checked the flexibility of my doctoral research plan and understood that the opportunity… Read More »

How informal financial services can lower the barriers to formal financial inclusion

By | March 9, 2018

Around 2 and a half years ago, I was on a short visit to Abidjan, the capital of Cote D’Ivoire as a guest of the African Development Bank. They were holding an innovation weekend for young women and men in the Francophone West African region who were interested in becoming entrepreneurs. David O. Capo Chichi,… Read More »

Why does the prepaid model work so well and what are the lessons for business model innovation?

By | March 1, 2018

Increasingly, employment is becoming ad hoc and flexible. The gig economy and the informal sector share a common characteristic of incomes which are irregular and unpredictable, unlike the timely wages characteristic of formal employment. Both budgeting and planning thus become a challenge when there’s no predictable paycheck to rely on. Expenses are managed against cash… Read More »

Fundamental Elements of Informal Sector Commercial Activity

By | July 28, 2017

There are two key elements which underpin the dynamics of any business or commercial enterprise in the informal sector. These are Time and Money. A generalized framework can be diagrammed, as shown above, where the dotted line denotes the degree of uncertainty and volatility of an individual’s cash flow patterns – whether from a variety… Read More »

Poverty is Dynamic and Flexible, Just like the Informal Economy: Evidence from India

By | September 8, 2016

…the concept of poverty today is fundamentally different from that of poverty three decades ago, and that safety nets need to be tailored to meet the needs of a society in transition.~ The Hindu, 2 Aug 2016 When quantitative data provided by the India Human Development Survey (the first large panel survey in India) provokes… Read More »

Analysing shifts in consumer household purchasing patterns – Milk ATMs in Kenya

By | May 20, 2014

“We are selling one litre at Sh65, but a consumer can get as little as 77ml at a cost of Sh5. All one needs to do is key in the amount they require, and the product is dispensed,” Gitonga, who procures his machines from Italy, said. Flexibility is the key to survival, indeed. This quote… Read More »

Affordability is not the same as a lower price point

By | August 4, 2013

Third party informal kerosene sales point deep interior of rural Eastern Kenya. Photo credit: Niti Bhan Absolute price of a product has always been assumed to be the means to successfully reach the BoP customer and the concept of affordable is often a synonym for cheaper. While price bands do matter when targeting this market,… Read More »

More or Less: the flexibility of the informal

By | July 27, 2013

One of the things that stood out for me during the recent household consumer behaviour study was the lack of weights and measurements used to sell foodstuffs and commodities in the market. There were no weighing scales at all, unless they themselves were for sale. Instead, some form of “socially accepted” measure was used to… 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 »