Doing Good By Selling Well: How Social Enterprises Can Transform Their Sales Strategies by Boosting Customers’ ‘Decision Intelligence’
A social enterprise may have a brilliant product, local production and an affordable price point – but unless it has an effective and ethical sales strategy, it will struggle to fulfill its mission, says Roy Whitten of Whitten & Roy Partnership. He explains how traditional, pressure-filled sales methods can create distrust among customers and encourage bad behavior among salespeople, and explores the advantages of a more ethical approach based on boosting customers' "decision intelligence."
Creativity, Culture and Capital: Why Impact Investors Should Recognize the Untapped Potential of the Global Creative Economy
Impact investors have been overlooking a large and rapidly growing sector, one driven by women, youth and other overlooked workers and entrepreneurs and aligned with many key impact priorities: the creative economy. Laura Callanan at Upstart Co-Lab, Fran Sanderson at Nesta and Carolina Biquard at Fundación Compromiso explain why the industry is a powerful force for social and economic development, and share insights from a recent report from Creativity, Culture & Capital, a new initiative that seeks to develop the global creative economy through impact investing.
The Resilience of Indian Microfinance: Why the Sector Has Successfully Navigated the COVID-19 Pandemic
When a crisis hits a financial system or economy at large, the microfinance sector is usually among the worst impacted, since it caters to the most economically vulnerable segments of the population. As Sudip Bandyopadhyay at Inditrade explains, that's what happened to Indian microfinance when COVID-19 struck — yet the sector has shown remarkable resilience in weathering the pandemic. He explores some effective measures Indian microfinance institutions and policymakers have taken to address these historic challenges.
Below the Tip of the Iceberg: Why Systems Change is the Key to Scaling Innovations and Solving Development Challenges
In recent years there has been an increased focus on systems change in the development sector, in response to growing awareness of how underlying systemic causes are perpetuating many global challenges. María Boa-Alvarado at CIMMYT, Lennart Woltering at One CGIAR and Marcos Sanjuán at CRS-El Salvador discuss the benefits of this approach, as applied to the issue of land degradation in Central America. They explore how their organizations are using a systems thinking tool, the iceberg model, to better understand the root causes of this problem – and to provide lasting solutions.
The COVID-19 crisis has had serious impacts on the microfinance industry and the micro and small enterprises it typically serves, leading to a decrease in both the quality and volume of microfinance institution (MFI) portfolios. Mathilde Bauwin of ADA explains how the organization designed and implemented a response program to help its partner MFIs overcome the pandemic's challenges. She shares lessons learned during the process, which could be useful in helping MFIs navigate future crises.
Opportunity or Threat: Are Healthy Partnerships Possible Between Digital Financial Services and Microfinance Institutions in Bangladesh?
Microfinance institutions in Bangladesh reach over 32 million customers with a loan portfolio of around US $9 billion. According to Jakirul Islam at Bank Asia, partnerships with digital financial services (DFS) could benefit both microfinance and DFS providers and their customers – but these partnerships are not functioning at their full potential. He shares four key benefits that are driving interest in these collaborations, and explores their inherent challenges – and some partnership models that could address them.
Addressing Predatory Lending Apps: Lessons From the Regulatory Response in Indonesia, India and the Philippines
Digital lending apps have provided financial inclusion to many in emerging markets, but complaints about predatory practices have been surging over the last two years. Financial inclusion and consumer protection consultant Hema Bansal explains how misleading marketing, inadequate disclosure of pricing, terms and conditions, and inappropriate collections practices have led to new regulatory responses in Indonesia, India and the Philippines. She shares which of these steps have proven effective — and where there is still room for improvement.
Learning From India: How Low- and Middle-Income Countries Can Scale up Access to Oxygen During a COVID-19 Surge
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the crucial importance of medical oxygen. And as India has shown, it has also revealed health systems’ limitations in supplying it – and the global supply chain’s inability to respond to the massive need that can arise during a crisis. PATH has worked for the past five years to sustainably improve access to oxygen in low- and middle-income countries. Analysts at the organization explore the current oxygen crisis in India, and share lessons that can help other countries avoid similar shortfalls if they experience their own COVID-19 surges.