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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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Are We Too Focused on Access to Credit? Agent Banks Boost Resiliency During COVID-19 Pandemic

November 16, 2021
In early 2020, the Feed the Future Bangladesh Rice and Diversified Crops Activity, funded by USAID and implemented by ACDI/VOCA, began an assessment to understand how the Activity could increase financial access for agricultural small- and medium-sized enterprises (agri-SMEs) in Bangladesh during COVID-19. The assessment originally focused on opportunities for the Activity to increase financial access through agent banks during the pandemic.

This November, Marketlinks Explores the Potential of the Private Sector in Expanding the Reach of and Access to National Immunization Programs

November 1, 2021
This post is authored by Susan Rae Ross, Sr. Private Sector Engagement Advisor, Office of Maternal/Child Health and Nutrition, USAID Global Health Bureau; Dr. Gaurav Sharma, Sr. Maternal, Newborn, Child Health Technical Advisor and Dr. Christopher Morgan, Sr Immunization Technical Advisor for the MOMENTUM Private Healthcare Delivery Project.

Private Sector Engagement in the Bajo Cauca Region of Colombia

October 29, 2021
By Erin Magee, Regional Advisor, Latin America & the Caribbean, USAID/Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance For Diana Arismendy Schroeder, establishing a community-centered approach is critical when working in fragile and conflict-affected settings.

Pension Funds Could Close the SDG Gap. What’s Holding Them Back?

October 11, 2021
Pension funds and other institutional investors hold more than $100 trillion in assets, and their stakeholders are increasingly interested in utilizing those funds to make socially responsible investments. At the same time, countries in Africa are growing fast — but risk falling behind if they can’t finance the necessary infrastructure to support their growth. On the surface, it would seem like a perfect union of returns and social responsibility. Yet only a fraction of institutional investors hold assets in developing countries. What is holding them back?

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.

Tanzania Looks to Blended Finance Solution for Hospital Network Modernization

June 9, 2021
By Desmond Dodd, INVEST Communications When Tanzania’s government recently began reducing funding, medical supplies, and staff available to faith-based hospitals, Peter Maduki quickly understood the stakes involved for his members. “Some of our hospitals will be at a high risk of closing,” said Maduki, the Executive Director of the Christian Social Services Commission (CSSC), a national ecumenical organization that facilitates health services through member churches.

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.