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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Showing 214 results

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.

Investing with a “Refugee Lens”: Private Capital Creates New Opportunities for Refugees

June 2, 2022
As private foundations and investors take more interest in refugee services, we are seeing more innovative solutions and approaches for delivering services to refugee communities. The Smart Communities Coalition (SCC) brings the humanitarian and private sectors together to foster innovation in refugee settings, and at the SCC’s 5th Annual Meeting, one theme resonated: there is a strong economic case for refugees, who present a large untapped market as productive members of their host communities and would benefit from tailored services, not just humanitarian aid. 

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.

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.

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.