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Tough choices: the top five issues providers of advisory support need to crack

May 29, 2017 in Hub-Blog

“So, the landscape is messy… there are no guiding rules on what works best”…this was one of the first reactions when discussing our initial findings that emerged from reviewing the landscape of non-financial support  to inclusive businesses, with team members of USAID’s ... (more...)

What taxi services in Nairobi tell us about scale and replication

October 6, 2016 in Hub-Blog

On my way to this year’s SEED Symposium in Nairobi I caught myself thinking back to last year’s event when my move to Nairobi was still in the planning process. I had pre-ordered a taxi to get to the event with a driver I knew at an agreed price of $20 each way, and had no real idea where ... (more...)

A review of ‘unusual’ SME support services

September 7, 2016 in Hub-Blog

When thinking about the most pressing business development support required by business at the BoP, a prevalent view seems to be that support services for inclusive businesses must first and foremost focus on getting the business model right.  IBA, for instance, have developed a range of tools to work ... (more...)

Market-led sanitation for rural communities: an innovative approach struggling to reach scale?

April 11, 2016 in Hub-Blog

The sanitation market in a rural context offers very different challenges to the urban setting. The blog by Simon Brossard of Hystra, outlines the next generation of sanitation businesses, and provides a good overview of both urban and rural models with practical examples. Having reviewed a range of ... (more...)

Is soft money hindering enterprise growth in Africa?

February 25, 2016 in Uncategorized

Sankalp Africa 2016 kicked off with an inspiring debate bringing forward divergent opinions on the use of soft money in encouraging sustainable entrepreneurship in Africa. Andia Chakava from Alpha Africa Asset Management and Suleiman Kiggundu from CDC were introduced arguing against soft money. Hugh ... (more...)

How do enterprises themselves feel about donor support for inclusive business?

October 13, 2015 in Hub-Blog

It feels like a long time since I finished my role as monitoring & evaluation manager for the DFID Business Innovation Facility pilot (BIF) in December 2013 and my last blog post on assessing and demonstrating additionality of private sector development programmes. Since then, I have wondered many ... (more...)

What has ‘FOMO’ got to do with impact investing?

September 15, 2015 in Hub-Blog

The growing nature of the impact investment market is well documented in an increasing number of reports and research publications. Investors are optimistic about the range of opportunities that investments in businesses seeking both social or environmental as well as financial returns can provide. But ... (more...)

NEW REPORT: The M&E System of the BIF Pilot

March 10, 2014 in Hub-Blog

“Good M&E should be integrated into performance management” – after 3.5 years as Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Manager of the BIF pilot it may well be that this and a dozen related sentences have become part of my sleep talk. Recognising that this most certainly does not reach a relevant ... (more...)

‘Success’ in IB: Journeys of a decade that take unexpected zig-zags

February 4, 2014 in Hub-Blog

This blog is the second in a mini-series called ‘Success’ in inclusive business published in partnership with Business Fights Poverty. An established Nigerian bank seeking to catalyse a whole new approach to smallholder farming and rural banking, a start-up developing a commercial approach ... (more...)

What everybody is interested in but does not want to talk about

January 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

Whenever typed into a word document, the spell check picks up on it. People not directly involved in ‘donor interventions’ or ‘monitoring & evaluation” activities are unlikely to be aware of it and even within the group of people that are – nobody really wants to talk about it. At a public ... (more...)