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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Training Business Advisory Service Providers to Improve Financing Prospects for SMEs

June 16, 2022
In vibrant financial ecosystems, Business Advisory Service Providers (BASPs) play a vital role in unlocking financing for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). BASPs are business consultants, lawyers, incubation hubs, accountants, and other intermediaries who support actors on the demand or supply side of capital during the transaction process. With the right capacity and experience to support SMEs and investors, they can accelerate and direct large volumes of investment.

Bolstering Economic Dynamism in the Western Balkans

June 16, 2022
In early 2022, the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia) started to emerge from the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic, boasting rising industrial production, exports to the European Union (EU), increases in wages, and credit growth. The region is ripe for investment, but Russia’s war against Ukraine threatens this recovery, through higher energy and food costs, disruption in supply chains, and interruptions in trade.

Savings, Loans and Empowerment: 20-Plus Years of Learning from Pact’s Worth Model

June 16, 2022
Pact’s longstanding livelihoods model, WORTH, is a critical tool for building financial access and incomes around the world. Since its inception in Nepal in 1998, WORTH has reached 1.14 million individuals, primarily women and girls, through 48,342 groups across 16 countries. To recognize and learn from this milestone, we recently conducted a formal review of 28 WORTH programs, 17 of which were funded by USAID.

The Market Corner: The Role of Cooperatives in Advancing Locally Led Development

June 13, 2022
This month, the Market Corner sits down with Kristin Wilcox, Chief of Party for the USAID Cooperative Development Program - Cooperative Leadership Engagement Advocacy and Research (CLEAR) Activity and advocate for the global cooperative movement, to explore the role of cooperatives in advancing locally led development and the barriers they face. This post was authored by Holly Lard Krueger.

Feed the Future Business Drivers for Food Safety Celebrates World Food Safety Day

June 7, 2022
Food Enterprise Solutions recognizes that food safety is everyone’s business. And – that food safety is good for business!  Today, June 7, 2022, we are celebrating Food Safety Day 2022 to highlight the exciting work that the Feed the Future Business Drivers for Safety (BD4FS) project is doing with growing food businesses in Senegal to promote safer food handling and ultimately more successful businesses.

Localization of the Cooperative Development Program in Guatemala: Bringing Young Voices to the Table to Find Alternatives to Migration in Coffee Communities

June 7, 2022
Since 1986, Equal Exchange has been partnering with cooperatives around the world through inclusive supply chains, offering better trade conditions and improved pricing all while building long-term relationships. It is through these relationships that the opportunity arose to dig deeper into the challenges these communities face to facilitate solutions that are designed and led by cooperatives in each unique context through the Cooperative Development Program, funded by USAID. 

Cooperative Mentors: Serving Beef Farmers in South Africa by Unlocking Markets

June 3, 2022
During the height of the COVID lockdown, beef farmers in South Africa working with the GENEX Cooperative Development Program (CDP) were faced with the complete shutdown of cattle auction sites due to COVID travel restrictions Which meant farmers were not able to sell their product on time. They were losing revenue and they were incurring extra expenses to feed cattle they earmarked for sale. At that moment, CDP mentors saw an opportunity.

Cooperative Policy Engagement in Kenya: Including Local Voices in Legal Reform

June 1, 2022
In Kenya, the law governing cooperative businesses predates the 2010 Constitution. As a newly decentralized nation with 47 ‘distinct but interdependent’ counties, the 1997 national cooperative law needs to change to reflect the new government structure. What is harder to agree on is how. It is important to get it right because cooperatives are key contributors to Kenya’s economy.

Join Marketlinks in June as We Explore the Relevance, Versatility and Role of Co-ops in Localization

June 1, 2022
Agriculture and food security, democracy, human rights and governance, economic growth and trade, environment and global climate change, gender, and women’s empowerment. What sectors do you work in? Whatever they may be, in the quest to increase local efforts for a more resilient, prosperous, democratic, and inclusive world, there has never been a better time to focus on cooperatives! What is a Cooperative?

Addressing Gender Norms: A Gender Transformative Approach Towards Inclusive Growth and Representation Among Men and Women in Rwandan Cooperatives

May 31, 2022
Like many countries around the world, gender inequality remains prevalent throughout social and economic systems in Rwanda. Discriminatory gender norms have hindered the opportunity for sustained equality among men and women in many facets of life, including within the cooperative sector. The Rwandan government has shown their commitment to advancing gender equality through numerous laws and policies at the national level; however, generations of subconscious gender biases and mindsets are not so easily changed, continuing the cycle of restrictive gender norms and inequity.

Farmer Cooperatives in the Philippines Boast Key Advantage: Knowing the Local Context

May 25, 2022
In the way that cooperatives form when people with common interests come together, apex organizations form when several of those cooperatives organize to achieve common goals. Farming cooperatives have the unique advantage of being engrained in the local context and knowledgeable about their sector. Their value is providing farmers with advantages that make them more profitable than they would be outside of the group. Apex organizations take that farmer support a step further by strengthening the cooperative groups on a larger scale. 

Turning the Lights on Is Just the Beginning

May 24, 2022
The story doesn’t end when the lights come on for the first time in rural communities – electric service is a powerful foundation for strengthening communities. It’s critical to also provide enough knowledge to help them generate more income, improve healthcare services, and access better education. With electricity, farmers can mechanize their mills, coffee growers can process their own harvest, and dairy farmers can chill their milk.

Let Women Work: What She Knows Matters

May 24, 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic set women back in labor force participation for (now) well-known reasons: women typically shoulder more care burdens and disproportionately work in less remote-compatible occupations.