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Browse recent blogs of interest to the Marketlinks community. Use the search box or the filters on the left-hand side to refine the listing of blogs by keyword, topic, and/or region/country.

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Why Would a Poverty Reduction Program Do Something That’s Not Pro-poor? Digital Development in Ethiopia

December 1, 2022
This blog was authored by Jody Delichte, Ben Taylor, Solyana Amsalu. For any new technology, the early adopters are unlikely to be those at the bottom of the pyramid. This is even less likely where adopting that technology requires infrastructure, asset ownership, skills, and other preconditions. For programs that explicitly aim to benefit the poor, there is often a question of whether to support business models that do not immediately appear to benefit them.

Glorifying Multi-Tasking by Women Entrepreneurs Must Stop

November 30, 2022
How many times this week have you heard someone rave about an amazing mother who is simultaneously juggling her business with childcare, while running a household? This is constantly happening. Everywhere across the globe. We all do it – men and women. Glorifying multi-tasking by women entrepreneurs must stop.

Women Entrepreneurs Weather COVID -19 Years after the Project Closed

November 29, 2022
This blog was authored by Tess Bayomobong, Caitlin Shannon, Emily Janoch, and Tzusuan Peng. Women entrepreneurs who talk about success in their businesses in the Philippines have fascinating contributions to what success means. Cecile Corio describes an arc of resilience and equality: “I think of ways to recover (my business). Don’t lose trust in yourself. I started from nothing; I can prove that I can lead a better life. … My husband and I have a good give-and-take relationship.”

Does International Trade Mitigate or Exacerbate Climate Change?

November 23, 2022
The relationship between international trade and the climate is complex. In the same way that trade liberalization can create “winners” and “losers,” international trade can mitigate or exacerbate climate change and its impacts. To reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and achieve the commitments of the Paris Agreement, countries need to minimize the negative and maximize the positive effects of trade on the environment.

Opening Doors to Private Equity in the Western Balkans

November 21, 2022
USAID CATALYZE Partners with Private Equity Fund to Ready SMEs for Private Investors Increasingly, global private investors are eyeing the Western Balkans as the potential for diversifying their portfolios. While private equity financing can raise working capital for a company through restructuring ownership and/or management, few small- and medium-sized business owners in the region are aware of, understand, or desire such a private equity model. In fact, many SME owners resist giving up power and ownership to outsiders.

Strengthening Financial Autonomy for Women in Brazilian Fishing Villages

November 10, 2022
USAID’s Amazon Vision is focused on fostering an environmentally friendly economy so that forest-dependent communities can develop their local economies in a sustainable way. Fishing is an important livelihood for Indigenous and other communities living along the Juruá River in Brazil. Both women and men in these riverine fishing communities play essential roles in the fishing industry: while men fish for pirarucu—the world’s largest-scaled freshwater fish—women process, clean, and sanitize the fish. 

Boost the Performance of Your Investments: Listen to Consumers Early and Continually

October 24, 2022
An important element of effective markets is strong consumer demand that is recognized in the consumer behavior of purchasing and using products. To utilize latent demand and improve demand that produces significant shifts in consumer behavior will require that market activities continuously cater to evolving consumer needs and values. Failure to do so results in missed opportunities to maximize latent demand, activities, and products that fall short of expected goals because of low consumer acceptance.

Four Pillars for Sustainable Change in Cocoa Growing Supply Chains

October 20, 2022
CARE and MARS’s Women for Change program works with women and their families in cocoa-growing communities to improve livelihoods so communities can thrive. The program started in Côte d’Ivoire in 2016, founded on CARE’s Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) approach. Between 2016 and 2022, more than 77,000 VSLA members (58,000 women) were supported through CARE’s partnership with Mars.

Lessons Learned from Private Sector Engagement Across Sectors

October 13, 2022
For two decades, Abt has spearheaded private sector engagement for better development outcomes, including the recent USAID Sustaining Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) Plus project. Lessons from this—captured in several briefs on private sector engagement—continue to guide our work across sectors, including in agriculture and energy.

Financially Including Migrants, a Familiar but Unique Challenge

October 12, 2022
Since 2014, hyperinflation, corruption, supply shortages, and violence in Venezuela forced over 6 million people to leave their homes in search of safety and opportunity. Migrants face barriers to finance, have limited collateral and have informal businesses and jobs. This blog summarizes four key lessons learned through the USAID Colombia Rural Finance Initiative.

Improving Meat Safety in Rwanda

October 6, 2022
Demand for meat has been growing in Rwanda and is likely to rise further as the country becomes increasingly urbanized and more affluent. However, meat safety remains a challenge. A 2021 quality inspection of 44 slaughterhouses and 152 meat retail shops by the Rwandan government revealed that only 27 percent of medium and large businesses met the “gold” standard, whereas none of the smaller operators were able to meet this standard.

Sowing Commercial Interest in Homestead Gardening

October 6, 2022
This post is authored by Ramakrishnan Ganesan and Md. Ashraful Islam of the Feed the Future Bangladesh Nutrition Activity and is part of the Marketlinks and Agrilinks co-hosted month of October exploring the role that private sector engagement can play in advancing nutrition outcomes. It is also published on Agrilinks.