From People to Packages: How a Nigerian Ride-Hailing Business Weathered the Pandemic by Shifting to Last-Mile Delivery
The effects of COVID-19 have impacted business around the world, and consumer-focused sectors in Africa have faced particular challenges. As Nikhil Goel at Gokada explains, the crisis has exposed the urgent need for digital-first approaches to work, shopping and other aspects of daily life – and opened new opportunities for nimble enterprises that can tap into this growing demand. He explores how Gokada has successfully navigated the pandemic by shifting its business model from ride-sharing to last-mile delivery.
As an open forum for emerging markets business, NextBillion publishes around 150 original, guest-written articles per year, covering enterprises, innovations, challenges and opportunities across multiple sectors and geographies. Each December we select the 12 most-read articles of the past year to include in our "Most Influential Article of the Year" contest. We invite you to vote for the article that impacted you the most in 2021. You can vote up to one time per hour during the two-week voting period, which runs from Dec. 20 to Jan. 2.
- Agriculture, Coronavirus, Energy, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Impact Assessment, Investing, NextBillion Originals, Technology
The Digital Revolution in Healthcare: How COVID-19 Has Accelerated Efforts to Close the Health Data Gap in Emerging Markets
In many emerging markets, there is a lack of accountable, accurate, real-time health information. With most medical information stored either on paper or on unconnected, often incompatible digital platforms, health statistics are largely disjointed, incomplete and inaccurate – a data gap that impacts every stakeholder in the healthcare ecosystem. However, according to Mark Wien at PocketPatientMD, this situation is changing. He explores how COVID-19 has accelerated the transition to digital data solutions, and highlights some key challenges to these efforts.
Avoiding the Great Divergence: How Community Investment Trusts Could Help Developing Countries Recover from COVID-19 and Achieve the SDGs
As the global economy gradually recovers from COVID-19, some fear the world is heading towards a “Great Divergence,” in which the recovery gathers momentum in richer countries while leaving developing countries behind. To avoid this outcome, emerging economies will need a surge of investment. To that end, Norman A. Bailey at The City University of New York and Alfred Watkins at the Global Solutions Summit explore why Community Investment Trusts provide an innovative model to finance pandemic recovery while building a foundation for sustainable growth.
Sustainable Finance, Before and After COVID-19: What the New Focus on Public Sector Investment Means for Blended Finance
Before COVID-19 hit, sustainable finance was on a clear pathway towards success, with private sector capital leading the way. Then the pandemic started, necessitating a massive mobilization of government resources and putting the public sector’s role in the spotlight. Massimiliano Riva at the U.N.'s Joint SDG Fund explores this shift, comparing the pre- and post-COVID prospects for sustainable finance in developing countries, and discussing how blended finance can bring the public and private sectors together to maximize their combined impact.
Finding Opportunity in a Crisis: How Hatch Technologies Started a New Medical Device Venture During a Global Pandemic
In July 2020, the global COVID-19 pandemic was spreading aggressively across Africa. That's the same month Hatch Technologies, a nonprofit supporting newborn medical device distribution and services in sub-Saharan Africa, launched its operations. Dick Oranja, Hatch's executive director, discusses the challenges of starting a new venture during one of the most financially and logistically demanding times the world has experienced – and explores why the pandemic proved to be a surprisingly opportune time to launch.
From Local Manufacturing to Digital Tech: How African Organizations are Pivoting to Support Maternal and Child Health During COVID-19
There have been substantial improvements in maternal and child health in sub-Saharan Africa over the last two decades, but the COVID-19 pandemic has put these gains at risk, as both maternal and perinatal outcomes are worsening in countries across the continent. Shraddha Kothari of Intellecap details how some organizations have adapted to respond to these challenges, exploring how they're using technology-based solutions, local manufacturing and innovative partnerships to prevent further deterioration of maternal and child health outcomes in the region.
The Pandemic is Not Over for Social Enterprises: Here’s How Impact Investors and Other Funders Can Help Them Survive COVID-19
Social enterprises are developing innovative, sustainable and scalable solutions to the world's deepest economic and social issues, but many of these businesses are at risk of disappearing due to COVID-19. According to Alethia Kang at Acceso and Luke Seidle at Kiva, impact investors and other funders must step up to keep the social enterprise field afloat. They share five steps funders can take to bolster these businesses, and discuss how the partnership between their two organizations illustrates the value of flexible funding support during a crisis.