Blog

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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Unlocking Capital for Women Entrepreneurs Can Improve Livelihoods In Developing Countries: A Look at Kenya

September 1, 2021
Jane Wangige is a rice farmer in Kirinyaga County who has made money and improved her family’s livelihood from her rice farm. Her business prospered due to her membership in Mwea Rice Growers Multipurpose Co-operative Society (MRGM). MRGM is a farmer’s cooperative society that has accessed financing from USAID’s Kenya Investment Mechanism (KIM)—or specifically, a KIM partner financial institution, Co-operative Bank of Kenya.

Removing the Tampon Tax in Ethiopia

June 22, 2021
This post was originally published on the Global Waters website and written by Lisa Schechtman, Senior Policy and Partnerships Advisor, USAID Center for Water Security, Sanitation and Hygiene; and Kathrin Tegenfeldt, Climate and WASH Advisor, Economic Growth and Transformation Office, USAID/Ethiopia.

Kenyan Coconut Enterprise Tries Out New Recipe: Gender Equity

June 10, 2021
By Carolanne Chanik, INVEST Communications Coordinator About an hour drive outside of the port city of Mombasa lies the coastal town of Ukunda, a modest road stop on the way to Kenya’s Diani Beach. On the outskirts of Ukunda are a smattering of general stores and auto repair shops to serve motorists and day travelers, and a coconut processing plant owned by Kentaste Products Limited.

Market Mappings: The Key to Entering Emerging Markets

June 1, 2021
Whether you are a business looking to expand or an investor sourcing new ventures, emerging markets provide unique opportunities for growth and diversification. However, hidden players, rules & regulations, and the general lack of data in these ecosystems can make the foray into these markets time-consuming and risky. In addition, investors & corporations oftentimes lean on anecdotal evidence and personal experience to make haphazard decisions on which frontier market to enter.

Systems Theory through a Gender Lens

June 1, 2021
While the gender gap represents $28 trillion that could be added to global GDP by 2025, the pipeline of potential investments remains elusive for many funds. This is due to a range of factors including unconscious bias, a rigged system, lack of access to female networks, and lack of women in decision-making roles. These existing systemic issues are further exacerbated by COVID-19 and the uneven burden placed on women during the pandemic.

Cash Transfers and Economic Resilience

June 1, 2021
With pandemic lockdowns crippling labor demand and supply around the world, government interest in social protection and labor market programs in general, and cash transfers in particular, has increased dramatically.

This June, Marketlinks Explores Data-driven Partnerships to Maximize Market Impact

June 1, 2021
This June, Marketlinks explores data-driven partnerships to Maximize Market Impact. Increasingly, the development community is emphasizing partnerships between public and private sector actors in order to advance our goals in a sustainable manner. But how do we know that we are on the right track? What metrics should we use to help us gauge the progress we’ve made?

Supporting an Environmentally Friendly Economy For a Healthy Amazon Basin

May 28, 2021
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) recently released the Amazon Vision 2020 Report describing its achievements in biodiversity and sustainable landscape initiatives across Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Guyana, and Suriname. As part of this progress update, the report focuses on the Agency’s work to promote a more sustainable and innovative development model that supports Amazonian entrepreneurs with a vision for a sustainable local economy.

Mangoes and More – Building a Better Business Enabling Environment for Investment in Kenya’s Makueni County

May 25, 2021
The Opportunity – Massive Mango Production and Processing Potential Makueni County is Kenya’s top mango-growing region, producing more mangoes (38,000 metric tons per year) than any other county. With a short harvest season from November to March, more than 40% of production goes to waste due to processing and demand constraints. Further, mango farmers struggle with dramatic price fluctuations, including an annual collapse in mango prices during the peak production season in January.

The ENGIE Acquisition: With USAID Support, an Off-Grid Solar Fenix Rises

May 13, 2021
FROM SILICON VALLEY STARTUP TO LANDMARK ACQUISITION Access to technology is an essential component to development, especially in Africa. Africans use cheap mobile phones to pay their bills, conduct small business, and make calls anywhere and everywhere. However, even a small mobile phone is not useful if power is not available to charge it. Eighty percent of African households lack electric power, which limits opportunities to access information and mobile money, as well as business and educational opportunities. 

Do You Want to Expand Foreign Investment and Trade? Build Inter-Ministerial Advisory Mechanisms

April 26, 2021
The United States has entered into bilateral and regional free trade agreements (FTAs) with just 20 of the other 163 members (or 12 percent) of the World Trade Organization. Most U.S. FTA partners represent either developed markets, such as Canada and Australia, or emerging markets, such as Chile and Colombia. However, in the case of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), our missions partner mostly with “frontier markets,” like Ghana and Paraguay.