Insights 2009
Insights 2009

Insights emerge from the lessons we learn through local experiences in supporting pro-poor business development.

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Market transaction security services This briefing note answers some frequently-asked questions about market transaction security services. We start by explaining what transaction security is all about and why it is a business opportunity. We close with a few words on the challenges to setting up such businesses and why modern ICTsí make the provision of transaction security services in rural areas possible now.

Pro-Poor Business Development RAVI's experiences suggest that developing pro-poor businesses requires a defined set of activities and milestones of achievement. Public investments have taken us from service idea up to commercial proof of concept. Getting from a viable commercial concept to a successful investment offer is the ‘investment gap’ that needs to be filled. We believe this to be the reason why publically funded project fail to produce commercially sustained services. Three ideas on how to bridge this gap are provided.

Facilitating Market Access: Potential Pitfalls for Public Programmes Over the last five years in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania we have been implementing a number of IFAD supported efforts in the commercialisation of market access services for small farmers. A key operational feature of these efforts was Linking Local Learners (LLL) peer-to-peer learning Internet platform. As with most ‘hard’ learning the experiences we share here emerged from failures and mistakes. Despite the failure, or maybe because of it, these experiences provided us with valuable insights into how we might better facilitate market access for small farmer.

Market Access Services: Steps Towards Commercialisation. Improving small farmers’ access to markets attracts much public interest these days. Sadly, projects are limited in scale and duration. They only benefit farmers inside the project area and the benefits stop when the project ends. In response, renewed efforts to improve small farmer access to markets include ‘commercialization’ of these services.

Developing New Services Needs an Effective Knowledge Management System. The Linking Local Learners (LLL) online platform www.linkinglearners.net has emerged as an indispensable tool for sustaining the critically important business-to-business learning between rural entrepreneurs developing new market access services through their local networks. The LLL platform has provided network members with a tool to generate and manage knowledge about their developing business operations.