BIF Pilot Resources

Collaborating for smallholder finance: How is Stanbic closing the loop?

Can agricultural credit unlock productivity in Nigerian smallholder agriculture, sufficient to generate returns for farmers, input-providers, harvesters, and the bank that drives the scheme? Read about the ambitious scope and fine detail of Stanbic Bank ‘s smallholder finance scheme, which seeks to catalyse a whole new approach to smallholder farming and rural banking.

iSchool: Transformative learning in the Zambian classroom

The Zambian start-up iSchool is a true pioneer in the e-learning space in Zambia and potentially beyond. Read about iSchool’s journey leading up to its commercial launch in late 2013 that required continuous innovation to slash cost per pupil per term and purse the twin goals of a sustainable business and educational transformation.

Evolution of mKRISHI®: A technology platform for Indian farmers

The case for technology in agriculture enabling farmers to improve both yields and margins is compelling and at the heart of mKRISHI®, an inclusive business led by Tata Consulting Services (TCS), part of one of India’s largest companies. Read how a technology in search of a route to market seems to have found a new business model, and is now trying to take off.

MEGA: A commercial approach to off-grid power in rural Malawi

The first light bulb was lit at Lower Bondo on Mulanje Mountain in mid-2013, generated by a micro-hydro power scheme operated by MEGA, Malawi’s first operational private energy company. Read about MEGA’s journey to find a commercial yet affordable energy solution for rural households, with ambition to scale across other off-grid communities.

Commercialising cassava: New opportunities for Universal Industries and Malawian smallholders

The crop is low-value, farmers lack links to formal markets, processing needs to happen 48 hours post-harvest, partnerships need improvement, and a viable production line depends on high consistent volumes. Read how and why Universal Industries, a Malawian snacks manufacturer, is tackling such challenges and has operationalised a new factory and smallholder sourcing model for cassava.

The JITA sales network: An inclusive business on the rise

The transition from an NGO-run programme to a profitable company took JITA less than 2 years. Read how Jita has maintained its core social focus - recruiting marginalised rural Bangladeshi women as rural distributors of consumer goods – while building in commercial growth, diversification, and achievement of break-even ahead of schedule in 2013.

Inclusive business in practice

Summaries of seven case studies from the Business Innovation Facility Portfolio

ACI Agribusiness: Designing and testing an integrated contract farming model in Bangladesh

The difficulties of setting up a contract farming model engaging smallholder farmers, have not deferred ACI, a Bangladeshi agribusiness conglomerate. Read about the companies ambitious pilot in 2013 and learnings for the future.