Tag Archives: informal sector

Dynamic vs Static Metrics: Attributes for an African Measure of Competitiveness

For analysts everywhere, the challenge of considering each economy in its own right seems to be far too much trouble, and so they tend towards sweeping generalizations which lump all metrics under one label – “Africa”. Some find even that far too exhausting and aggregate Africa along with Europe and the Middle East. These regional […]

Posted in Africa, Analysis, Business, Emerging Markets, Flexibility, Frameworks, Informal & Flexible, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Strategy, Sub Saharan Africa | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Response

Branding the Unbranded: The story of Cookswell Jikos, Kenya

  These are jikos – metal stoves that use charcoal – displayed for sale in the jua kali market in the town of Nakuru, Kenya. Made from scrap metal, using the most rudimentary tools, under conditions of resource scarcity, they are one of the everyday products churned out by the informal manufacturing sector. These are […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Business, Business Models, Design, Emerging Markets, Indigenous & Traditional, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, jua kali, Kenya, Marketing, Mobile platform, Perspective, Strategy | Also tagged , , , , | 2 Responses

Beer as a symbol of aspirational consumption and upward mobility

I came across SABMiller’s recent presentation on their consumer market strategy and some of their infographics caught my attention. This one, for instance, not only shows the relative proportion of formal to informal alcoholic beverages prevalent in the market but also informs us that it costs 4 hours to buy a beer in Africa, compared […]

Posted in African Consumer Market, Base of the Pyramid, Consumer Behaviour, Innovation Planning, Marketing, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, User research | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The true size of opportunity in Africa

The Africapitalist Foundation’s most recent issue of their Africapitalist Magazine has a cover story on the true size of opportunity in Africa. Readers familiar with my exploratory user research and insights from the prepaid economy and the informal sector will recognize the key point being made – that we must look beyond the obvious when […]

Posted in Africa, African Consumer Market, Assumption filter, Business, Consumer Behaviour, Emerging Markets, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Marketing, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector | Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is The Prepaid Economy anyway?

Young Kenyan digital currency blogger Michael Kimani has been asking questions on the future of the “Prepaid” economy, given the rapidly evolving financial landscape of his home country. While Twitter might be good enough for a rapid give and take, it’s constrained as a platform for any meaningful dialogue requiring more than 140 characters at […]

Posted in Africa, Airtime, Alternative currency, Banking, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Cashless transactions, Ecosystem, Emerging Markets, Informal & Flexible, Mobile platform, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Research, Rural Economy, User research | Also tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Nigeria pursuing deeper understanding of informal sector; now estimated at 57% of rebased GDP

From the BusinessDay article dated June 25th 2014 Nigeria’s informal sector accounts for as much as an estimated 57.9 percent of the nation’s rebased Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Daouda Toure, United Nations resident coordinator/representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Nigeria, disclosed on Tuesday. This, perhaps, makes the country the largest destination for […]

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The mechanization of donkey water, a symbol of economic progress

There’s a snippet of interesting insight in this news article from Hargeisa City in Somaliland. Traditional donkey carts supplying water are being replaced by motorcycles and this has been framed as a sign of increasing development and economic activity by the journalist. Its a local invention, this “Bajaj Water Tanker” as its called, a prime […]

Posted in Africa, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Economy, Indigenous & Traditional, Research, urban, User research | Also tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Great Informalisation: About 50% of Indian GDP from unorganized sector

From a special report on India’s economy It might surprise some to know that most of the debates on labour issues in India, including the provision of social security & workplace challenges, actually revolve only around 7% of the total workforce. And yet, as India integrates with the global economy, its the 93% majority that […]

Posted in Base of the Pyramid, Economy, Flexibility, global, India, Informal & Flexible, Migrant worker, Research, South Asia, User research | Also tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Exploring the market forces acting on the cyber cafe industry in Kenya

This post continues on the challenges of estimating size and value of an untapped market in the developing world – in our current case, it is the cyber cafe industry in Kenya.  A critical aspect of this exercise will include assessing the impact of a variety of market forces acting on the industry in the […]

Posted in Africa, Analysis, Base of the Pyramid, Business Models, Cyber cafe series, Ecosystem, Kenya, Mobile platform, Perspective, Projects and Reports, Technology, User research | Also tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your margin is my opportunity: entrepreneurship in the informal economy

Each of the persons in the photograph is an entrepreneur whose mission is to increase the amount and sources of income streams for her needs. But this spirit of the informal economy’s engine has been best captured in these words by Bart Doorneweert, my colleague in the ongoing project here in Holland. Your margins are […]

Posted in Africa, Assumption filter, Base of the Pyramid, Ecosystem, Informal & Flexible, Innovation Planning, Perspective, Prepaid Economy & Informal Sector, Sub Saharan Africa | Also tagged | Leave a comment