Business essentials are market system components vital to creating and sustaining differentiation or competitive capability for businesses in a market system. If access to these essential components is limited, businesses can operate, but are severely disadvantaged, they miss numerous financial opportunities and will perform sub-optimally.
Small holder farmers in rural areas and retailers in semi-formal and informal retail markets lack access to market information required to negotiate product pricing competitively with suppliers and consumers, and competitively approach markets. This increases their transaction costs, reduces their profit margins, and reduces their competitiveness.
GEMS4 is implementing initiatives that facilitate access to market information and access to commodity exchange platforms for small farmers and retailers in rural and traditional retail markets thereby improving market positioning and incomes.
Small holder producers and retailers in the wholesale and retail sector have limited access to modern technology, equipment for production, inventory management and supply chain technology. This results in inefficiency in production, sluggish cash flow, inability to meet demand, loss of income from reduced trading operations, inability to effectively manage stock, high transaction costs, sub-optimisation of turnover and reduced net incomes.
GEMS4 is working in several markets to provide technology based solutions that facilitate access to: technology based banking solutions, inventory management technology, and low cost supply chain management technology for small producers, wholesalers, and retailers.
Micro and small retailers in traditional retail markets are largely underserved by the financial sector due to high risk perceptions of lending to the sector. This is predicated on the lack of financial records, lack of collateral, lack of reliable data on potential borrowers, and lack of risk management products and solutions that could support credit assessments and reduce the risks of lending to this sector.
To address this, GEMS4 provides finance for private sector development as a matching grant fund. The fund will support Nigerian firms to implement innovative and commercially viable business models with potential for job creation, income improvements, women's economic empowerment and pro-poor growth within the Wholesale and Retail sector in Nigeria.