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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Promoting Equity and Inclusion in The Unequal Marketplace

March 25, 2021
Disasters adversely affect local economies, making it hard for microenterprises to remain open and damaging critical assets and infrastructure.  USAID’s humanitarian economic recovery assistance seeks to help people recover their livelihoods and be able to provide for their own needs. The market systems these people work in, though, are often deeply inequitable.

West Africa: An Ecosystem Approach to Catalyzing Female Entrepreneurship

March 19, 2021
In the Sahel region of West Africa, small and growing businesses account for nearly 50 percent of new job creation. When these businesses are women-led, the potential to drive growth is even higher: a USAID study found that, globally, these businesses grow revenues 1.5 times faster and jobs twice as fast compared to male-owned businesses.

Digitizing the Agricultural Value Chain: Six Lessons from the Development of the Agronavti App

March 11, 2021
Over the past few decades, we’ve all heard variations of the same refrain: the future is digital. However, digital’s promise is hard to realize in many contexts given the technology infrastructure required for success. This goes beyond broadband internet availability and access to include cultural norms and other factors that affect individual access and use, particularly for vulnerable populations.

ILO launches the new guide on Value Chain Development for Decent Work

January 16, 2021
Find the new guide from January 20, 2021 In the midst of a global pandemic - the effects of which are likely to be felt for years to come - many millions are at risk of losing their livelihoods and unable to access opportunities to work themselves and their families out of, or away from, poverty.

Reflections on Private Sector Engagement (PSE) Relationship Qualities by the USAID/Honduras Transforming Market Systems (TMS) Activity

January 15, 2021
The Private Sector Engagement Relationship Qualities in a Market Systems Development Activity learning brief provides evidence and learning from the team of the USAID/Honduras Transforming Market Systems (TMS) Activity on how to most effectively engage the private sector and the relationship qualities that influence the achievement of partnership results.

The Role of Small-Group and Large-Group Dynamics in Market Systems

January 13, 2021
Market systems are inherently social networks, and thus there is an understandable tendency for market actors to do business with those that they know and trust. But neither businesses, nor broader market systems, can perform to their potential by relying only on personal exchange.

This January, We're Exploring Marketlinks in 2021

January 5, 2021
This month, our theme is Marketlinks 2021! Throughout January, we will be highlighting relevant policies, projects, initiatives, tools, and other innovations in the sector that have either recently launched or will be launching in 2021. 

No Real Estate? No Problem. A Look at the Potential of Asset-Based Lending to Empower Women in Colombia

November 18, 2020
In many countries, social norms and laws restrict women’s ability to control property, so female entrepreneurs are often unable to obtain the real estate needed to satisfy traditional collateral requirements for loans. Asset-based lending (ABL) allows businesses to use their company’s moveable assets — such as equipment, vehicles, livestock, and inventory — as pledged collateral. Recently, INVEST and USAID have been exploring the intersection of ABL and women’s access to finance in Colombia.

A Practical Framework for Assessing Informal Norms in a Market System

October 21, 2020
The term “enabling environment” often conjures a singular focus on policies, laws, and regulations. These formal rules are important and necessary, but they alone are an incomplete picture of the market system. The Feed the Future Enabling Environment for Food Security (EEFS) project recognizes this, and takes a broader view of the enabling environment which holistically considers the incentives and barriers for market actors operating in complex systems.

A Well-Timed Investment: How Investing in Tech-Driven Healthcare SMEs Is Boosting Africa’s COVID-19 Response

October 15, 2020
Companies across Africa are using digital technologies to solve health care challenges. American investment can help them improve their products and reach larger customer bases. With USAID assistance in support of Prosper Africa, Field Intelligence — a U.S.-led, Nigerian-based healthcare technology enterprise focused on strengthening the pharmacy supply chain in Nigeria and Kenya —closed its first round of fundraising. This financing will support the scaling-up of company’s Shelf Life service, which helps local pharmacies manage their inventory and avoid stockouts.