“More than Micro” Milestone 9: Launch of the Market Systems Blog and Financing Growth Blog

March 28, 2016

The Milestone  

Today we’re highlighting an important moment in Marketlinks’ history – the launch of our blogs. The blogs are a great example of how Marketlinks is “More than Micro” – focused on advances in the field beyond microfinance and microenterprise development.

In November 2014, we launched two blogs, focused on Financing Growth and Market Systems. They provided a space for experts to share their experiences, tackle important questions, and highlight resources that could help their peers make their day-to-day work more effective.

A Space to Discuss Market Systems and Facilitation 

With the Market Systems Blog, we moved beyond isolated value chains to consider broader market systems approaches. Our talented guest authors shared the latest and greatest news from the field, in an easy-to-digest format.

Ruth Campbell, Senior VP at ACDI/VOCA, shared some of her thoughts with us about the blog, saying, “According to a Microsoft study, the average human’s attention span is 8 seconds (less than a goldfish, at 9 seconds!). There is just so much information out there, we don’t have time to read long reports unless we are confident they will actually be helpful to our day-to-day work. Blogs are short and personable. They let the reader know if the linked report is worth the time, and provide the headlines for documents that are of less relevance.…If you made it as far as this concluding sentence – congratulations, you are way above average!”

Mobilizing Private Capital For Development

With the Financing Growth Blog, we created a space to discuss emerging and established approaches to financial inclusion. And, we began to explore how we can leverage private capital – an important new approach to sustainable development.

Lawrence Camp, a Senior Advisor at USAID, began a wonderful blog series on the topic. We know that the level of investment needed to make a dent in poverty is massive, and far beyond what official development assistance can provide.

As Camp describes it, “The goal for the Financing Growth Blog series was to provide a friendly venue to introduce a new audience to the topic of how critical mobilizing financing is to accomplishing our development objectives, and to explore the topic from a where, what, why, when and how perspective.  We want it to be a forum where members of the community can showcase innovative ways in which the have mobilized private (non-government or donor) funds to finance development objectives.”

Looking Forward

We want to hear from you! Drop us a line if you would like to write a blog post sharing what you’re learning out there. We want to hear about upcoming conferences and research you’ve been working on for months, great new approaches and spectacular failures. Our goal is to keep the blogs short, informative, and easy enough to read over a morning cup of coffee. Don’t be shy!