2020 MOST INFLUENTIAL ARTICLE CANDIDATE: Facing Up to Failure: An Open Letter to Entrepreneurs During COVID-19
Leading a startup is hard. Leading a purpose-driven startup is harder. And as Mike Quinn, co-founder of Zoona writes, leading a purpose-driven startup while a deadly global pandemic has shut down the entire economy is almost impossible. In this heartfelt letter, he offers some straight talk – and a surprising silver lining – to help entrepreneurs through this unprecedented time.
2020 MOST INFLUENTIAL ARTICLE CANDIDATE: Insurance in the Age of COVID-19: The Pandemic Highlights the Need for a New Approach
With much of the world on lockdown due to COVID-19, many businesses are closing down – either temporarily or permanently – with devastating effects on individual welfare and entire economies. This has amplified the importance of insurance, says Kate Rinehart-Smit at Cenfri. She explores how the sector can make a greater impact – not only on the resilience of businesses and individuals, but on broader economic development.
2020 MOST INFLUENTIAL ARTICLE CANDIDATE: Milling on Mini-Grids: How Africa’s Largest Crop Could Go Diesel-Free
Milling is a key use of energy for people living off-grid in rural Africa, allowing them to turn grains like maize – the region's most commonly produced cereal – into flour to make staple foods. Using solar mini-grid electricity to power these mills would save money, reduce air pollution and boost electricity sales for mini-grid companies. But as analysts at CrossBoundary point out, diesel mills still dominate the market. They explore the challenge of competing with diesel, and how innovations in solar mills are changing the landscape.
2020 MOST INFLUENTIAL ARTICLE CANDIDATE: Liquidity Before Solvency: A Guide for Microfinance Investors in the Time of COVID-19
Among microfinance investors, there's growing concern that the COVID-19 pandemic will push providers toward insolvency, with fewer loans and shrinking portfolios leading MFIs to default on their debt. But Daniel Rozas at e-MFP argues that in a crisis, preserving MFIs’ liquidity must take precedence over maintaining their solvency. To that end, he urges investors to commit to a six-month moratorium on debt repayments from MFIs.
The COVID-19 pandemic is causing falling demand, mandatory store closings, labor shortages and other challenges for businesses around the world – and micro and small businesses are especially vulnerable. How can development organizations help these critical drivers of local economies? Juan Carlos Thomas and Andrea Bettosini at Technoserve provide answers to this question, based on past experience helping businesses weather socio-political upheaval in developing countries.
2020 MOST INFLUENTIAL ARTICLE CANDIDATE: When Inclusion is Not Inclusive: What Needs to Change to Achieve Meaningful Financial Inclusion for Women
India has achieved impressive growth in women's financial inclusion — recent statistics show that 79% of the country's women are financially included. But according to analysts at MSC, there are troubling questions about whether these women are truly benefiting from their newfound financial access. They discuss why financial inclusion often fails to impact female customers, and how viewing financial services for women through the lens of gender centrality could help.
Post-Harvest Food Loss Is a Key Driver of Malnutrition: These Innovations Are Tackling the Problem in Indonesia’s Fish Value Chain
Food loss is a major challenge in Indonesia, and loss of fresh fish is a particular problem. An estimated 20 – 29% of fish is lost annually in the domestic supply chain, contributing to high rates of malnutrition and harming livelihoods in the country. As Rahmi Kasri at I-PLAN, GAIN Indonesia explains, inadequate cold chain infrastructure and poor handling practices lie at the heart of this issue. She discusses some promising cold chain, processing and product innovations that are addressing the challenge.
A Sector in Transition: How Data and Evidence Can Set India’s Agricultural Markets on the Path Toward a Successful Future
Farmer protests in New Delhi have dominated headlines in India in recent weeks. They come in response to a series of farm bills that were passed into law in September, with the goal of shifting the agriculture sector away from traditional state-regulated markets and toward a more open system. Rupika Singh, Praachi Khera and Tony Senanayake at IDinsight discuss the pros and cons of these new laws, the underlying challenges facing India’s agricultural systems, and the ways that data and evidence can help leaders set these markets up for success.