This article written by Jessica Alderman – Envirofit International Director of Communications – for Stanford Social Innovation Review.
Within the past decade, greater alignment between international development solutions and consumer earning and spending habits has revolutionized access to essential goods and services in emerging markets. Most families living at the base of the economic pyramid (those earning less than $2.50 a day) remain dependent on day labor, and both earn and spend their wages daily. However, some corporations and social enterprises have adapted their solutions to match these spending patterns and thus overcome affordability barriers that previously prevented the scale of new technologies with higher price points, such as clean cookstoves and solar lighting products.
This is most evident in the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar lighting sector. PAYG business models enable “nanofinancing”—products and services in exchange for small, daily sums of money—in cases where traditional financing and even microfinancing is too expensive or difficult to implement. Customers can repay loans in amounts as small as 50 cents from their mobile phone when they have the cash to do so. Solar lighting companies using PAYG—including M-KOPA, Greenlight Planet, Angaza, Fenix, and BBOXX—have provided new products or services to more than 8 million people who otherwise wouldn’t have access. Yet the biggest opportunity for PAYG is yet to come. Its adoption is expanding rapidly to other industries, and now is the time to jump on the band wagon….
Find out how nanofinance and affordable household energy can impact your market – firstname.lastname@example.org