Business fundamentals are a group of core and inextricable market system components required to operate any business in a market system. Without access to these, a business cannot engage in the profitable exchange or goods and services.
As a result of high post-harvest losses, wastage, and underdeveloped product distribution chains, smallholder farmers and retailers of perishable produce and fast moving consumer goods often encounter barriers to accessing markets competitively. This reduces their income and ability to rise above poverty.
GEMS4 intervenes in the sector by working with market actors to implement innovative business models, services, and solutions that integrate the poor into traditional distribution networks of medium and large FMCG firms (fast moving consumer goods); create alternative markets for perishable produce and utilise low cost preservation or storage solutions, in order to create jobs, prevent financial losses and increase incomes.
The business growth of small wholesalers and retailers in the semi-formal and informal segment of the wholesale and retail sector is constrained by limited business management capacity and technical skills such as poor financial management processes, substandard product packaging, ineffective branding and inadequate product promotion. This negatively impacts their ability to maximise sales and grow their businesses.
GEMS4 is implementing several initiatives that provide solutions to these capacity weaknesses by facilitating access to business management and technical skills for low income producers and retailers of agricultural produce and FMCG (fast moving consumer goods).
With access to adequate business support services, small business owners are able to effectively negotiate trade and payment terms, create the appropriate business linkages, access markets competitively, and utilise effective payment solutions. Small wholesalers and retailers in the semi-formal and informal wholesale and retail sector are currently constrained by the lack of these services required to accelerate business growth.
GEMS4 works with market actors in order to support small local firms take on new roles in order to provide adequate support services within identified markets on a commercially viable basis.