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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.

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.

Reforming Regulatory Restrictions for Cargo Drones

August 10, 2021
About the author: Eleanor Thornton is a Senior International Trade Specialist at the Center for Economics and Market Development in the Bureau for Development, Democracy and Innovation at USAID.

How to ensure that emerging digital regulations enable developing countries’ trade and ecommerce?

August 2, 2021
By Kati Suominen, Founder and CEO, Nextrade Group and Techical Director, eTrade Alliance Ecommerce – the sale and purchase of goods and services online – is booming in developing countries and their export markets, opening new opportunities for developing country micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to grow their sales, export, diversify their markets, and create new jobs.

This July, Marketlinks Explores International Trade

July 1, 2021
This July, Marketlinks explores current trends and key issues in international trade and offers examples of how to harness USAID’s tools and resources towards achieving economic development goals. Each week will feature a different case study within the international trade context, giving the Marketlinks community an in-depth look at the solutions used to solve current issues.

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.