Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Practitioner interviews: Private sector engagement at the bottom of the pyramid

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Panelists Jay Banjade (Independent Consultant), Radha Rajkotia (International Rescue Committee), and Margie Brand (EcoVentures International) share cases from the field on expanding livelihood opportunities for the extreme poor through private sector engagement. This follows a session entitled, "PSE at the Bottom of the Pyramid" at the recent USAID/E3 "Engaging the Power of the Private Sector for Development" training course. The panelists discuss their models and ways that the private sector can be engaged to help create pathways out of poverty for the extreme poor.

Bio: Jay Banjade

Jay Banjade has over 20 years of experience in food security, enterprise development, youth employment, microfinance and value chain development, and economic revitalization of communities. He has managed several programs as Chief of Party, Country Representative, Program Director, and/or part of senior management teams. He has worked in over 30 countries and has considerable experience in cross-cultural relationships. Banjade has served on the board of a number of organizations including the SEEP Network, based in Washington, DC. Banjade holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from University of Bath, United Kingdom, another Master’s degree in Business and Commerce from Tribhuvan University, and has presented at several international conferences. Until recently, he worked as the Chief of Party of PSNP Plus and Graduation with Resilience to Achieve Sustainable Development (GRAD).

Bio: Radha Rajkotia

Dr. Radha Rajkotia is the Director for Economic Programs at the International Rescue Committee (IRC). At IRC, she sets the vision for the organization’s global strategy for economic programming and supervises a team of technical experts who support this strategy. Previously, Rajkotia was the Senior Technical Advisor for Youth & Livelihoods at IRC. In this role, Rajkotia led a team of technical advisors to support IRC’s global youth and livelihood programming, with a special focus on youth employment and entrepreneurship. Rajkotia has 15 years of experience in economic and youth-focused programming and joined the IRC after completing her PhD in Refugee Studies at the University of Sussex. She also has degrees in Social Research Methods, Migration Studies, and Political Science.

Bio: Margie Brand

Margie Brand is Executive Director at EcoVentures International (EVI), a small firm specializing in sustainable market systems development strategies. Brand is currently supporting DFID’s Market Assistance Programme in Kenya, where she leads a team exploring behavior change strategies with market actors impacted by private sector engagement strategies. Brand has co-authored publications related to value chain development strategies for the very poor and economic strengthening strategies for youth development. In addition, she acts as Senior Advisor to the SEEP Network on enterprise and market development. Brand and the EVI team have supported multiple USAID workforce development projects, conducting innovative market opportunity assessments and private sector-driven acceleration funds to support market-driven youth development and training strategies. She has trained over 4,000 trainers and master trainers and developed value chain, enterprise, microfinance, sustainable development, and entrepreneurship curricula, available in over 15 languages and used in over 45 countries.