Tag Archives: opportunity

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 »

Some Highlights from Reviewing the African Consumer Market 2014-2017

By | January 26, 2018

Recently I was reminded of the cover story in the Africapitalist magazine published back in 2014 on the theme of the true size of the African Consumer market, that is, the hidden and untapped purchasing power embedded in the continent’s vast informal and unrecorded sector. Today I’ll start by reviewing some of the consumer trends,… Read More »

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

By | May 13, 2017

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… Read More »

Can too much formalization be bad for poverty alleviation?

By | December 10, 2015

Earlier this year, there was an interesting article which pointed out the important role the informal sector plays in developing countries, particularly on the African continent. Apart from being over-financialised, which reduces the incentives to create “real jobs” the other structural problem facing the South African economy is its over-formalisation. The informal sector accounts for… Read More »

The Rise of the African KINGs

By | April 13, 2015

The Abraaj group announces yet another African investment fund, one which emphasizes the following: The sectors include consumer goods and services, consumer finance, and resource and infrastructure services in the core countries of Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa and Kenya.  While South Africa tends to be de facto in most continental investments, note the… Read More »

The true size of opportunity in Africa

By | March 9, 2015

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… 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 »

Observations on emerging opportunities in upcountry Kenya

By | December 28, 2011

Louis Majanja is a photographer who maintains the wonderful ‘Daily Struggle‘ photoblog capturing life in and around Nairobi and Kenya and his latest post captured not only my imagination but also the changes he’s observed upcountry in his rural home region when he went back for the holidays.  Here, I want to share that insight… Read More »

Internet penetration by population in African countries: mapping opportunity

By | September 25, 2011

Since we’re currently working on a market entry exploration study for Village Telco in Kenya, I’ve been taking a deeper look at the spread and adoption of internet use.  It struck me that the landscape is actually far more fragmented than it used to be – things have been changing so fast that gone are… Read More »