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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.

5 Myths about Youth and Employment

August 6, 2021
Over 67 million youth are unemployed globally and the majority live in rural areas with limited economic opportunities. The fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic has overwhelmingly impacted youth whose employment fell by more than twice that of adults in 2020.

Using a Systems Approach to Adapt to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Uganda

August 4, 2021
In March 2020, the Government of Uganda introduced a series of preventative measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country. These measures, including the closure of businesses and restriction of movement, were anticipated to have an impact on the economy and on agricultural production. USAID/Uganda was interested in understanding the impact of COVID-19 and these government measures on the agricultural market system, to anticipate how resilient the system would be and to identify opportunities to adapt existing programming or introduce new emergency measures.

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. 

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.

Pandemic Challenges Reveal Cambodian Adaptability: A Case Study in the Vegetable Sector

January 13, 2021
As COVID-19 circumvented the globe impacting every nation, sector, business, and family, it brought numerous challenges in its wake.  In developing countries – where market systems are often fragmented, connections between market actors weak, and businesses’ reserves limited – perishable products like vegetables were particularly hard hit. Both the supply and demand were affected by the shock. As the crisis deepened, some market actors lost considerable revenue and some went out of business.

Mobilizing Private Capital to Close the Financing Gap in Education

December 1, 2020
The global call for access to quality education for all by 2030 comes with a hefty price tag. To meet this target, we need $40 billion in additional funding every year for primary and secondary education alone. To begin closing this gap, new approaches to mobilizing more resources will be imperative, since development agencies and philanthropic organizations do not have the funds to fill the gap on their own.

Time to Invest in Africa’s Green Growth Potential

October 22, 2020
As investors search out bankable opportunities within green growth sectors, they would do well to look to Sub-Saharan Africa, where renewable natural capital assets account for a higher share of total wealth than in any other region.

Youth Inclusion in Market Systems

September 28, 2020
Youth — who make up a large portion of the potential workforce in developing countries — are often left out of markets systems, representing a significant lost opportunity to deliver social and economic benefits. 

Can Rural Development Programs Build Resilience to the COVID-19 Pandemic?

September 18, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic and the measures national governments around the world are taking to contain it have created new challenges for families who were already vulnerable to a number of climate-related disaster risks. New research supported by USAID is learning whether investments in broadly based resilience helps families to withstand even this completely unexpected and global shock.