Watch WDI Talk About Supply Chain Challenges in Low-Income Countries

Monday, November 16, 2015

The leader of two ventures in Kenya that serve those living at the base of the pyramid spoke Nov. 18 as part of the WDI Global Impact Speaker Series.

Madison Ayer

Madison Ayer, executive chairman of Honey Care Africa and co-founder and chairman of Farm Shop, talked about the unique challenges – including poor infrastructure, security concerns, informal regulations, and high costs – of integrating low-income producers and consumers into the supply chain. But, Ayer says, overcoming these barriers can lead to long-term competitive advantage and positive economic impact on communities across the supply chain.

Watch Ayer’s presentation here. Watch Ayer be interviewed by WDI Senior Research Fellow Ted London here.

“Madison is a successful entrepreneur who has turned his focus to base of the pyramid (BoP) markets,” London said. “He launched and subsequently exited two successful IT ventures in the U.S. In BoP markets, he helped turn around Honey Care, and then founded and led the development and growth of Farm Shop.”

Honey Care Africa supplies smallholder farmers with beehives and harvest management services. In addition, it guarantees a market for the beekeeper’s honey at fair trade prices, providing a steady, consistent source of income.

Farm Shop is a social enterprise that serves smallholder farmers across Africa. Farm Shop recruits and trains franchisees that then independently operate community-level agro-dealer shops that supply farmers with all they need to improve production, including seeds, fertilizers, tools and veterinary medicines.

WDI researchers have studied the two ventures in the past. As part of a project, funded by the German development agency GIZ, WDI studied the current landscape of BoP facilitators in the sub-Saharan Africa region. As part of this research, WDI’s Scaling Impact initiative conducted field visits to Ethiopia and Kenya – including the two ventures run by Ayer.

WDI’s Performance Measurement team also conducted a qualitative impact assessment in 2012 to identify the impact of Honey Care Africa on alleviating poverty on children age eight years and younger and developed a case study as part of the series entitled Focusing on the Next Generation: An Exploration of Enterprise Poverty Impacts on Children. The goal of the series, funded by the Bernard Van Leer Foundation, is to gain a greater understanding of the ways in which businesses in emerging markets impact young children’s lives and the potential to optimize impact on children. WDI also wrote and published a popular teaching case study on Honey Care Africa that examined the business’s transition from obligating farmers to maintain their own hives to providing hive management services. The case also explored ways to enhance this new model, including strategies to reduce side selling.

To watch a one-on-one video discussion with Ayer and London, click here.


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