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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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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.

Making a Measure: Capturing Vendor Business Health in Local Markets

September 1, 2021
By Clare Clingain and Emily Sloane, International Rescue Committee (IRC) If you want to understand something, you probably need to measure it – and measure it well. Chances are, someone has already tried to measure what you want to examine, but if that’s not the case, it’s important to design a tool that’s fit for the intended purpose and to test it out in multiple contexts.

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.

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.

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.

Systems Theory through a Gender Lens

June 1, 2021
While the gender gap represents $28 trillion that could be added to global GDP by 2025, the pipeline of potential investments remains elusive for many funds. This is due to a range of factors including unconscious bias, a rigged system, lack of access to female networks, and lack of women in decision-making roles. These existing systemic issues are further exacerbated by COVID-19 and the uneven burden placed on women during the pandemic.

Cash Transfers and Economic Resilience

June 1, 2021
With pandemic lockdowns crippling labor demand and supply around the world, government interest in social protection and labor market programs in general, and cash transfers in particular, has increased dramatically.

Supporting an Environmentally Friendly Economy For a Healthy Amazon Basin

May 28, 2021
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) recently released the Amazon Vision 2020 Report describing its achievements in biodiversity and sustainable landscape initiatives across Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Guyana, and Suriname. As part of this progress update, the report focuses on the Agency’s work to promote a more sustainable and innovative development model that supports Amazonian entrepreneurs with a vision for a sustainable local economy.

ECommerce Accelerates Opportunities for Women-led MSMES

March 29, 2021
Engagement in international trade provides many benefits for MSMEs including diversifying and expanding their market base, driving revenue growth and job creation, and increasing competitiveness. For these reasons intentional trade has been recognized as a powerful tool for creating economic opportunity and reducing poverty in developing economies.

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.