The New Face of Emerging Market Outsourcing: Why African Talent is Primed to Reshape Global Business Processes
The global labor market has been transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic’s normalization of remote work and the resulting “great resignation,” in which high-skilled employees in developed markets have left stagnant positions in favor of more flexible, engaging jobs. As Orinola Gbadebo-Smith at Hugo Technologies explains, this has resulted in a talent shortage in sectors like business services and information technology, leading corporations to outsource increasingly more complex tasks to developing countries where workers have acquired the skills to perform them. He explores why young workers in Africa are particularly well-placed to capitalize on this shift.
A Blueprint for Closing the SDG Financing Gap: How to Raise $290 Billion in 12 Months to Tackle the World’s Biggest Problems
As of 2020, the annual SDG financing gap for developing countries stood at $4.2 trillion — up from $2.5 trillion pre-pandemic. And according to Chris Clubb at Convergence Blended Finance, though private capital is crucial to closing this gap, the $240 billion in annual public development finance only mobilizes around $44 billion in private investment, which covers just 1% of these countries' climate and SDG investment needs. He explores the core elements of Convergence's Action Plan for Climate and SDG Investment Mobilization, which shows how a small amount of public and philanthropic funding can catalyze private investment to more than double total climate and SDG financing in developing economies.
Forget about Mobile Money, Invest in Insurtech Instead: The Untapped Triple Bottom Line Opportunity in Nigeria
Nigeria has one of the lowest insurance penetration rates in the world, at just 0.5%. But as Brian Yu at Shecluded explains, this low uptake means the industry is poised for disruption and growth. He explores how insurtech innovators are addressing the key problems plaguing the sector — namely, a lack of accessibility, affordability and customer trust — and calls for funders to look past their traditional focus on mobile money and invest in the insurtech businesses that are transforming the way the industry serves low-income customers.
Since 2015, the global focus on clean cooking has grown substantially, bringing more funding, research and attention from policymakers to the sector. But according to Tash Perros at the University of Liverpool, Iwona Bisaga at Loughborough University and Julia Tomei at the UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources, progress remains slow, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. They examine some of the reasons behind the inertia that is plaguing clean cooking access, and explore whether pay-as-you-go business models could catalyze progress.
How U.S. Businesses Can Compete with China in Emerging Markets: Transitioning from a ‘Death Economy’ to a ‘Life Economy’
For decades, American businesses working in emerging markets have prioritized profit maximization regardless of the social and environmental costs — an approach that economist and author John Perkins describes as the "death economy." But as China has supplanted America as the top investor and trading partner in many of these markets, Perkins attributes its success to its embrace of the ideals — if not always the practices — of sustainable development. He explores how China's promotion of a regenerative "life economy" has resonated in developing countries, and how U.S. businesses can respond.
Outgrowing the Flower Pot: Why Just Selling Productive Equipment to Smallholder Farmers is Not Enough
A new wave of companies are bringing equipment powered by renewable, decentralized energy to smallholders, and these devices can significantly boost farmers' yields and product quality. But as Daniel Waldron, Christopher Emmott, Priyanka Dudeja, Paraag Sabhlok and Chris Wayne at Acumen explain, just like a tree growing in a flower pot, this new growth can become a burden if it has nowhere to go. They argue that productive equipment must be combined with market access interventions to truly benefit smallholders, and highlight two innovative companies that are demonstrating the impact of this approach.
How Inclusive Finance Can Address the World’s Most Fundamental Challenge: Food Security, Nutrition and the European Microfinance Award 2023
According to the World Food Programme, the world is facing “a food crisis of unprecedented proportions.” Joana Afonso, Sam Mendelson, Fernando Naranjo Galindo and Daniel Rozas at the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) explore the multiple drivers and dimensions of food insecurity, and explain why the financial inclusion sector is uniquely placed to address it. They share how the e-MFP's European Microfinance Award 2023 is promoting innovative solutions to the crisis through its focus on “Inclusive Finance for Food Security & Nutrition.”
Bringing Agricultural Insurance to Climate-Vulnerable Farmers: A Unique Pilot Program in Nepal Shows How to Unlock the Benefits of Index-Based Insurance for Smallholders
Nepal's topography and climatic conditions make it uniquely prone to natural disasters. As Maria Perdomo at UNCDF explains, these disasters threaten the country's economic development, and smallholder farmers and rural women are disproportionately affected. She discusses a UNCDF pilot program that brought agricultural insurance coverage to Nepali smallholders, and shares learnings from the program that could inform efforts to deliver insurance to farmers in other climate-vulnerable countries in Asia and beyond.