2.5.2 Address urban poverty through a value chain approach.

By the year 2030, it is predicted that 81 percent of the world’s population will live in urban centers 1. This has prompted many to consider new ways to support the development of economic opportunities within cities and especially marginalized slums. While value chains have history in rural areas, the YEO field is still identifying how to target value chains to youth, especially urban youth. Urban markets present unique opportunities for youth to participate in value chains. In many cities, young people have greater access to transportation, export markets, specialized support, and supplies that facilitate their participation in value chains. They may also contend with issues such as violence, social marginalization, HIV, and other challenges that inhibit value chain development.

The SEEP Network, a global network of over 130 international practitioner organizations dedicated to combating poverty through promoting inclusive markets and financial systems, is driving a learning agenda on urban value chain development through an urban value chain consortium.

Noteworthy Results: The SEEP Network Shares Practitioner Learning on Urban Value Chain Development

The SEEP Network, with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, promotes practitioner learning in urban value chain development through the Value Initiative Program. Several consortia supporting urban value chains are represented in the program: an ornamental fish value chain in Jamaica, a passion fruit chain in Kenya, a jewelry value chain in India, and a tofu and tempeh value chain in Indonesia. The practitioner learning methodology includes mechanisms to bring members together to identify learning options and share practices. Any practitioner interested in learning more about urban value chain development can access resources on the following topics:

  • Market-driven strategies for improving the conditions for informal sector workers
  • Models for financing economic growth in value chains
  • How to leverage the role of government in value chain development projects
  • Results measurement in complex market development projects
  • Reaching vulnerable populations in urban areas
  • Leveraging social networks in value chain development
  • Giving a systemic perspective to skill development
  • The role of social enterprise in value chain development

For more information, see www.seepnetwork.org/value


  • 1. SEEP Network Presentation GYEOC 2012