Tag Archives: women

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 »

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

By | February 8, 2018

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… Read More »

Women’s Entrepreneurship Driving Emerging Future in Africa

By | January 25, 2018

We’ve been silent of late on this blog due to work deadlines and end of the year paperwork, however this will change. I’ve promised to write one blog post every day – even if its a few lines – for the next 30 days. I realized it was habit and discipline that was missing, not… Read More »

Emerging African women entrepreneurs #informaleconomy

By | February 6, 2016

At the other end of the high tech geeky startup spectrum increasingly providing a platform for African women is the informal retail and wholesale trade sector. Like their West African sisters, the women traders I met in the border market of Busia, Kenya (next door to Busia, Uganda) and its nearby environs (~ 5km radius),… Read More »

Economic ecosystems tie the fortunes of informal sector to health of formal business

By | December 16, 2015

The story of Ghana’s “pillow city”, Juapong – a small town in the North Tongu District in the Volta region, offers us insight on the inter-relationship between formal industries and the ecosystem of informal businesses that spring up around them. Juapong is said to be losing its identity as the pillow capital of Ghana. A… Read More »

Uber’s problems with women’s safety in India – my 2 rupees worth

By | May 23, 2015

In its mindless rush for scale, Uber leapt into the Indian market with their “hassle-free” service of hailing a car with a push of a button on your smartphone. I call this mindless because “will it scale” is an unquestioned imperative for a startup, not something that is thought through. Nobody asks should it scale,… Read More »

Introducing Mama Biashara

By | April 29, 2015

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) released a women’s report with some eye opening figures. Simply put, African women lead the world in being their own boss. Mama Biashara’s business activities may perhaps be more driven by livelihood need and few alternatives but she’s not sitting around looking for a handout either. Pillar of the informal… Read More »

Book Review: An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions by Jean Dreze & Amartya Sen

By | August 21, 2013

Photo Credit: India Habitat Centre, New Delhi Just over a month ago, in Kinokuniya bookstore located in Singapore’s Orchard Road, I picked up the hardcover release of Amartya Sen’s latest book – An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions – coauthored with Jean Dreze. Today, I’ve reached the point in my daily few pages of… Read More »

Vignettes from Singapore’s past: Independent Women

By | March 17, 2013

Look up more on Samsui women , pioneering globe trotting. independent employment for women. The Samsui women were a proud and independent lot. Prostitution, opium peddling and various vices were common with other women mired in poverty. However, Samsui women chose to be engaged in hard labour with little pay instead of being lured into… Read More »

The ingenuity economy: grassroots social enterprises abound

By | December 2, 2011

Since I’d recently completed my review of Robert Neuwirth’s book, Stealth of Nations – The rise of the global informal economy, it struck me that what best characterizes this economic activity is captured by him here: The French have a word that they often use to describe particularly effective and motivated people. They call them… Read More »