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The Low-How

Author: Bopinc

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The Low-How is a podcast by Bopinc, where we share our know-how about low-income markets. By harnessing the power of entrepreneurship across the value chain, we aim to improve the quality of life for consumers and entrepreneurs at the base of the economic pyramid.
6 Episodes
Welcome to the Low-How, from Bopinc. Where we share our know-how about low-income markets. In this episode: Women trailblazers making money at the last mile. Development agencies and big companies are investing in networks of sales agents in hard-to-reach corners of Bangladesh and Pakistan. Why? Because even in far-flung “last mile” locations, there’s demand for needed goods and services. And there’s potential for women to earn money by becoming sales agents in these distribution networks. The Low-How hears from women involved in one of these networks directly to understand the positive impacts they can bring and talks to Bopinc experts about the promise and pitfalls of setting them up. What drives the interest of big companies in these networks? What are the essential ingredients of a successful last-mile distribution network? And what’s a realistic benchmark for success in such a tough market anyway? Tune into The Low-How to find out.   Want to learn more? The Pushti Ambassadors Partnership creates opportunities for women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh with the goal of contributing to better nutrition in rural Bangladesh while also advancing women’s economic empowerment. DANIDA supports this project, in partnership with Arla Foods, which sells affordable dairy products. Bopinc brings its expertise on marketing and distribution to the project, which is also implemented by iSocial, which coordinates networks of rural female micro-entrepreneurs. Although changes are coming soon that will shift the project away from engagement with female entrepreneurs in Bangladesh, the lessons-learned from this project are still useful for other last-mile distribution partnerships involving women sales agents. Meanwhile, the Empowering Pakistani Women Partnership (“Guddi Baji”) in Pakistan is implemented by Bopinc, Unilever, Jazzcash and RSPN, with support from DANIDA. The Empowering Pakistani Women Partnership is working to break down these barriers by equipping rural women with entrepreneurship skills, coaching and a basket of health, hygiene and digital financial services that they can sell in their communities. As a result women increase their income and provide much-needed products and financial services to other women in their community.Monisha, the woman who spoke with us in this episode, is a “dyuthi” sales agent in rural Bangladesh. She is involved with another last-mile distribution program involving Bopinc, called Bright Innovations, which shares many similarities to the Pushti Ambassadors Partnership and Guddi Baji programs. Find out more about Bright Innovations here. Last mile distributors (mostly women) distribute all kinds of things, including solar panels! Listen to our episode “Shedding light on selling solar in Africa” for more on that topic. We even recorded the episode partially using solar energy.Explore our approach and our projects on the Bopinc website.
Welcome to the Low-How, from Bopinc. Where we share our know-how about low-income markets. In this episode: Food waste and post-harvest losses in value chains around the world result in tremendous amounts of nutritious food being lost. Fortunately, circular agribusiness entrepreneurs in East Africa are working hard to turn food waste and byproducts into affordable, nutritious foods and organic fertilisers. Through programmes like O-Farms and BeniCaju, Bopinc works with local circular entrepreneurs in countries like Kenya and Benin to create new value from food waste. In this episode, The Low-How talks with Doreen Nyambura Njau, Factory Manager at Big Thunder Nuts, and Valentin Sènou Atchaoue, Regional Business Manager at TechnoServe, about their experience creating new value with waste from macadamia and cashew value chains. Join Bopinc as we go nuts about the circular economy in this episode of The Low-How! Want to learn more? Read “5 Facts About Food Waste” from the World Food Programme. Visit the websites of Safi Organics and Rena Beverage Solutions Limited.Learn more about Big Thunder Nuts and our partner TechnoServe. Find out more about O-Farms and BeniCaju projectsCheck out our O-Farms learning noteGet inspired about the possibilities of circular agribusiness with the Circular Idea Blender web app, try it out today! Explore our approach and our projects on the Bopinc website.
Welcome to the Low-How, from Bopinc. Where we share our know-how about low-income markets. Consumers around the world struggled with rocketing food prices in 2022, and low-income households have been hit the hardest. Why? Because food makes up a larger part of their household expenditure and because they have fewer resources to fall back on in tough times like these. In this episode, The Low-How hears from consumers and food vendors in Kenya about how food price inflation is affecting them, and talks with Bopinc colleagues about three things that we as Bopinc are doing through our work with food producers across Africa to help ease the pain for low-income consumers.  Want to learn more? Learn more about 2SCALE, an African incubator and accelerator program that manages a portfolio of public-private partnerships for inclusive business in agri-food sectors and industries. 2SCALE is implemented by a consortium comprising IFDC, Bopinc, and SNV.Central Bank of Kenya inflation rate statistics are available here. Why does food price inflation hit low-income consumers the hardest? This IADB blog breaks down why it's expensive to be poor. Wageningen University’s NUTRIFOODS project is supportingExplore our approach and our projects on the Bopinc website.
In this episode: The business case for urban sanitation services in growing, low-income cities. Human shit: dealing with it is a fact of life for people living in growing cities in countries like Bangladesh and Kenya. Co-hosts Rose Nduta and Patrick Guyer get into the nitty-gritty of how businesses can provide needed sanitation services, and how business models can remain accessible to low-income consumers.The Low-How visits Dhaka, Bangladesh to speak with Habibur Rahman, Sanitation Lead at Bopinc’s partner Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) as well as Muntasir Saqib Khan, Managing Director for Bopinc Bangladesh, about innovations and challenges in marketing sanitation as a business in cities across Bangladesh. We also hear from Rose about a similar project Bopinc supports in Kenya, and what we’re learning about how business can support universal access to sanitation in the world’s fast-growing cities. Want to learn more? Bopinc worked with WSUP to pilot the SWEEP sanitation service in Bangladesh, with support from TRANSFORM. TRANSFORM is a joint initiative of Unilever, the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and EY. Read more about the project overall and what we learned from the pilot here. Find out more about Malindi Water and Sewerage Company (known as MAWASCO) on their webpage. Bopinc’s work with MAWASCO is also supported by TRANSFORM, with the partnership of Sanivation and WSUP.Explore our approach and our projects on the Bopinc website.
In this episode: what do solar lights, digital payments and pit latrines have in common?Co-hosts Beryl Oyier and Patrick Guyer speak to Emile Schmitz, Managing Director of Bopinc, to get the low-down on how and where Bopinc is contributing to positive changes in the lives of low-income consumers and entrepreneurs in countries like Bangladesh, Kenya and Nigeria. And we’ll get an audio snapshot of what’s coming up in the next few episodes of the Low-How. Want to learn more? Explore our approach and our projects on the Bopinc websiteCheck out milestones in Bopinc’s 10-year history in the Time Capsule
In this episode: Shedding light on selling solar in Africa at the last mile (and what is the “last mile” anyway)?Households and businesses across Africa can now plug into renewable electricity with low-cost solar home systems. In this episode, co-hosts Akoji John and Patrick Guyer talk with a solar entrepreneur and Bopinc experts to find out what we’re learning about how this sector is evolving across Africa and what we’re learning about marketing and distributing solar home systems to low-income consumers. We hear about new developments in the sector, best-practices from Bopinc projects and how off-grid solar can be a part of connecting African households to affordable and reliable electricity from a renewable source. Interested to learn more? Here are more details on the UN statistics on Sustainable Development Goals and Goal 7 on access to sustainable electricity We spoke to Alviol General Trading, an Ethiopian enterprise committed to providing clean and affordable lighting solutions for rural communities, which is an investee of Innovations Against Poverty (IAP). IAP is a partnership, funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), managed by SNV in collaboration with Bopinc and Inclusive Business Sweden.Read more about Bopinc’s D2D Pro project in Nigeria, which focused on increasing the income of door-to-door female sales agents. D2D Pro was a partnership between Bopinc, Greenlight Planet, Angazal, Innovectives and TRANSFORM. TRANSFORM is a joint initiative of Unilever, the UK's Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and EY.And find out more about the Lighting the Last Mile project, supported by USAID and Ranlab (Resilient Africa Network). Here’s an innovative example of non-cash payments for pay-as-you-go renewable electricity.Explore our approach and our projects on the Bopinc website.
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