Tayo Akinyemi

Critical Skills at the BoP Reloaded

Team workWhen I decided to write about BoP skills, I planned to center the discussion on a conversation I’d had with Yasmina Zaidman of the Acumen Fund. She was kind enough to chat with me a few months ago during an informational interview and gave me a great overview of critical BoP competencies. My plan hit a snag when I failed to locate the notes from our conversation. What else is new?

However, as often happens in life, I found them while looking for something else. To celebrate my good fortune, I am sharing that information via a mini-update. Some of the points have been addressed, but bear repeating. Others are new. Off we go?At the BoP one must be able to build new markets, utilize operational skills, and design marketing strategies for areas lacking traditional distribution channels. Not surprisingly, this means that the ?must have? skills are product design, distribution/supply chain management, marketing, pricing, and product financing. If you want to work for an outfit like the Acumen Fund, you?ll not only need consulting skills or investing experience and an understanding of development issues, but also a demonstrated commitment to the sector and changing the way development is done.

Let’s recap. Question: ?What does the BoP need?? Answer: ?Everything.?