Practical Action, Hystra and BoP Innovation Center are this week launching the Global Distributors Collective (GDC), which aims to help make life-changing products affordable and available to all. The initiative is being launched in partnership with funders including DFID and P4G.
Billions of people around the world do not have access to everyday products like solar lights, water filters and clean cookstoves, because reaching low income or vulnerable communities, often in remote, sparsely populated areas, is difficult and expensive.
Distribution businesses who serve these communities face a range of challenges: they operate in isolation within high-risk/low-infrastructure markets, with little capacity and no collective voice, and instead of learning from and leveraging one another they are continuously reinventing the wheel.
Through the GDC, Practical Action and its partners work to support these last mile distributors, and the underserved customers that they reach. This is done using collaborative, bottom-up and innovative approaches that support the sector as a whole.
The GDC’s focus will be on two pillars of activity:
- Testing collective ways to save distribution companies time and money, to accelerate the adoption of new business practices and to facilitate new business partnerships; and
- Building a collective voice for the last mile distribution sector and increasing transparency around what is currently an ‘invisible’ sector.
The GDC is developing and testing specific collective activities in East Africa, with the aim of expanding into other regions in future.
Last mile distribution companies are invited to sign up as members to access GDC’s support services and funding opportunities. To learn more about member benefits and sign up, visit the website at http://globaldistributorscollective.org/.