Tag Archives: informal sector

Mobile Money and the Informal Economy: A Paradigm Change

One of the most powerful pieces of data analysis I have come across recently has been the Banque de France’s working paper on the role of financial innovation in the informal economy. In my opinion, the importance of their conclusions are no less than the famous “price of fish” paper of a decade ago – […]

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Zambia’s inclusive approach to various sectors in the informal economy is worth noting

The Zambian government most recently announced that they would provide certificates to illegal (artisanal) miners in order to recognize and formalize their activities. In addition, they were being encouraged to form cooperatives – a legally recognized organizational structure – that would permit further benefits to this informal sector. Compared to the challenges Ghana is facing […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Biashara Economics, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frameworks, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Migrant worker, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Retail in Africa, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, urban | Also tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Deconstructing “Formalization” as Panacea for the Informal Economy

IGO definitions of the informal economy are crafted from a top down perspective (Global North*) of the operating environment prevalent in the economies of the developing world (Global South*). Further, they do not distinguish between the operating environment of the shadow economies of OECD nations, and those which encompass the unorganized sectors of trade and […]

Posted in Africa, Analysis, Assumption filter, Biashara Economics, Business Models, Culture, Design, Economy, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Mama Biashara, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems | Also tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Launching Our Digital Documentation Project: Ibadan’s Tailors, Traders, and Textiles by Nigerian/British artist Folake Shoga

After months of hard work, I am very honoured and proud to announced our new digital documentation project by my friend Folake Shoga, a Nigerian/British multidisciplinary artist with more than three decades of experience. She went on a journey of discovery through the twists and turns of the informal value web that holds together West […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Biashara Economics, Business, Consommateurs, Consumer Behaviour, Culture, Design, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Fashionomics, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Mama Biashara, Marchés africains, Marketing, Nigeria, Perspective, Photography, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Projects and Reports, Research, Retail in Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, Systems, User research, Value | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Permanently seasonal

Now Dinesh, the chick (bamboo or rattan blinds and awnings) maker offers a seasonal service in the warmer months, yet his signage and product display seems to imply a permanent storefront. More likely, it’s permanent during the spring and summer, when the chicks are replaced and installed to protect and cool against the heat of […]

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African Youth find Opportunities in Informal Sector Biashara

Biashara in Africa’s emerging economies – Nigeria, Kenya, Zimbabwe- are at loggerheads with the state.  An ever bulging young demographic  and a failure to absorb them into the formal economy has resulted in increased biashara.  The informal sector’s low barrier to entry, appeals to the young Africans’ aspirations, like Simon Danda from Zimbabwe. Rather than […]

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Uber’s app lowers barriers to formalization for unorganized taxi industry in Kenya

This interesting article in the Kenyan news made me think about the role that an app like Uber could play in markets where there’s a high proportion of informal & unregulated business activity. As with much technological advancement, resistance comes with change. Mpesa and the internet were once thought to be passing fads and have […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Alternative currency, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Ecosystem, Flexibility, Innovation Planning, Mobile platform, Perspective, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology, urban, User research | Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mobile Money’s next challenge: Enabling the development of a cashless ecosystem

The latest GSMA State of the Industry report on Mobile Money is out this month and the numbers look great in the developing world. The report frames the industry’s next challenge as the need to grow the platform beyond the basics of airtime purchase and person to person transfer. Here are my concerns, starting with […]

Posted in Africa, Airtime, Alternative currency, Analysis, Cashless transactions, Consumer Behaviour, Emerging Markets, global, Informal & Flexible, Mobile platform, Platforms, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Report Review, Research, Sub Saharan Africa, Technology | Also tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The formal sector and economic development: A lesson from marketing

Pursuing the thoughts introduced in the previous post further, I looked up the original reference on “formalization of the informal sector”1. Alan Gelb, et al. 2009. “To Formalize or Not to Formalize? Comparisons of Microenterprise Data from Southern and East Africa.” CGD Working Paper 175 “…in East Africa, weak enforcement of tax payment and no […]

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Old and New: Changing Perspectives on the Informal Economy

Martha Alter Chen’s table summarizing the still prevalent yet now considered obsolete view of the informal economy, against the revised perspective currently held is worth showcasing in its own right. Further food for thought comes from this little snippet from Sparks and Barnett: Gelb et al (2009) found that the “…productivity of informal firms is […]

Posted in Analysis, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Economy, Informal & Flexible, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Sub Saharan Africa | Also tagged , | Leave a comment