End of Program Evaluation of Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund (BICF)

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a part of the World Bank Group, commissioned an end-of program evaluation of the Bangladesh Investment Climate Fund (BICF), an 8 year fund with two halves of operation. The first which took place prior to … Read More

Mastercard’s Fund for Rural Prosperity

Facilitating inclusive finance in Africa
The Fund for Rural Prosperity aims to improve agricultural productivity by enabling farmers and others in rural Africa to access and use the banking system: farmers need to be able to open savings accounts in order to create a reserve, buy affordable insurance to protect against unforeseen harm, and borrow at the right time in order to invest in agricultural improvement.
So far financial service providers have largely ignored smallholder farmers and others living in rural Africa, either because of distances involved, low population densities or the perception that poor people have little disposable income. However when smallholder farmers and others living in rural areas are able to access financial products or services specifically designed for their needs, they embrace and use them, giving financial service providers new clients who may remain with them for life, and who ultimately can have a positive impact on the bottom line. Meanwhile obstacles of distance and low population density can be addressed with the smart use of emerging technologies.
To accelerate the process, in 2014 The MasterCard Foundation launched a $50m challenge fund, The MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity, running two competitions per year over three years, in 24 countries. One competition seeks innovative ideas for bringing affordable and appropriate financial products and services to rural Africa. The second supports the scaling up of these ideas once proven.
Nathan is supporting KPMG in the implementation of this programme, which aims to enable approximately one million financially excluded people access to financial services in rural and agricultural areas.… Read More

TMEA Logistics Innovation for Trade Fund (LIFT)

Incentivising innovations in the logistics sector to foster pro-poor trade in the East African Community
Informal business in the retail sector in East Africa is estimated to represent between 70% and 80% of sales in the region. As a result, “small-scale farmers have found themselves marginalised by the distribution sector and its new practices, and very poor households (for example, slum dwellers) are often paying more per unit for basic products than wealthier households” (World Bank). Moreover, supply chain issues remain a massive challenge – transporting products to market can involve road and railway difficulties and governance issues that can prevent goods crossing international boundaries.
Nevertheless, the EAC has huge potential: it has fast-evolving dynamics including rapid population growth, increasing urbanisation, macroeconomic stability and growth potential. It is increasing foreign and regional investment across sectors. Furthermore, the EAC’s regulatory advances and strong trade blocs make importing easier and enhance supply chains.
Supporting TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) in maximising this potential, Nathan is managing the Logistics Innovations for Trade Challenge Fund (LIFT, 2014 – 2016). LIFT is a $12m challenge fund designed to challenge businesses, private sector organisations and civil society organisations from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda to develop ideas aimed at promoting innovation in the transport and logistics sector in order to foster trade across East Africa.
LIFT aims to reduce the risk of investing in disruptive innovative technologies or improved practice; improve the efficiency of transport and logistics by catalysing innovation in the transport and logistics industry, particularly through ICT use, to boost efficiency; empower private sector and civil society organisations to advocate for the removal of regulatory barriers that restrict competition; and increase competition by enabling SMEs to compete against the cartels of large firms that currently dominate the industry.… Read More

Land Investment for Transformation – Ethiopia LIFT

LIFT aims to improve the incomes of the rural poor in Ethiopia through improved land tenure security and addressing the constraints faced by the rural poor to access markets. The programme aims to achieve this through three components: 1 Land … Read More

Market Development for Northern Ghana (MADE)

Ghana has experienced robust growth thanks to increased oil and gas production, private sector investment, and political stability. Northern Ghana, however, has remained underdeveloped, despite the rapid growth of the country’s economy and there is an increasing need to integrate … Read More

Advancing Philippine Competitiveness (COMPETE)

The Advancing Philippine Competitiveness (COMPETE) project is a cornerstone of USAID’s Partnership for Growth with the Philippine government. The partnership supported policy and regulatory reform of the business-enabling environment. COMPETE provided technical assistance to Promote trade and investment through the … Read More

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