Technology is empowering neglected and impoverished communities worldwide giving them a voice and access to a higher standard of living. Innovations ranging from digital communications and payments to remote identification, data management and sensor technologies are connecting people and systems in previously unimaginable ways. But despite a burgeoning market with billions of people coming online, very few technology innovations have realized any commercial sustainability in the developing world - this revolution which promises to improve billions of lives is fraught with all sorts of challenges - technical, cultural, political, economic and institutional.
The MF proven approach overcomes these challenges both from both i) ground level - understanding customer needs, designing pilots and scale-up plans and crafting the teams to set the systems in motion; and ii) system level - framing eco-systems and designing and implementing advocacy to align key stakeholders. To do this, MF leverages an extensive network of trusted experts and partner organizations building on decades of experience with international development implementers, governments and the technology industry.
Frontier Market Entry
Understanding frontier market end consumer demand to drive marketing plans and product design for technology adoption .
Services: opportunity analysis, user experience, business climate advisory, market introduction.
- Market-entry strategies. Country-level strategies generally drive technology expansion focused on mobile services market assessments, payment mapping and segmentation.
- Consumer insights. Ultimately, MF’s heart is in the field. Often technology innovations focus on a narrow segment of urban consumers in developing countries, but few reach agricultural communities, where the vast majority of impoverished populations live.
Sustainable Agricultural Economies
80-90 percent of the world’s poor earn their livelihoods from agriculture, which is why we focus on improving the dynamics of these markets.
Services: value chain assessment, direct advisory to businesses.
- Value chain assessments/interventions. At the grassroots level, working with farmer groups, agri-businesses, logistics provides and others; focus on direct impact.
- Data-driven analysis. Currently, agricultural programs (e.g. USAID, UN, DFID) are largely based on rapid, interview-based qualitative ‘assessments’; new data collection tools leverage data to design more effective interventions.
Advising Governments on Digital Inclusion
Regional, national and local governments in frontier markets are opening to new opportunities as technology empowers individuals to access finance.
Services: Mapping country payment networks, creating priority action plans.
- National digital inclusion strategies. Advising central banks on financial inclusion strategies, financial education programs, consumer protection, monitoring, regulatory reform and other issues. Facilitating donor and government dialogue and workshops.
- Shifting cash to e-payments. Lower cost and transparency when payments go digital such as bulk social welfare payments and health worker and government salaries.