2.5.4 Promote access to diverse financing schemes for urban value chain development
The Value Chain Initiative of the SEEP Network is investigating models and strategies for value chain finance, including SME loans, MFIs, and government subsidies. In Indonesia, consortia partners link equipment providers directly to producers through a cooperative, which acts as guarantor. In Kenya, partners tested integrating savings groups for supply and equipment upgrades. In India, partners also found it useful to expand safety nets through government micro-insurance schemes. It is important to work with government to make these schemes more available. It is also important to engage private sector players to help them develop products that are relevant to the urban poor.
The value chain approach looks to increase benefits to producers or processers while considering every link in the chain—including consumers. In developed countries, more consumers respond to certifications (e.g., organic, fair trade), believing that they can use their purchasing power for a greater social good. YouthTrade is an innovative project of the Youth Employment Summit (YES), an international non-profit dedicated to fighting poverty through large-scale job creation and youth entrepreneurship, that enables socially-aware consumers to explicitly support young entrepreneurs.
YouthTrade certifies young entrepreneurs under the age of 35 and places their products in premium retailers such as the U.S.-baased Whole Foods Market and Nordstrom. Over 40 U.S. entrepreneurs have been certified with products ranging from chocolates and shoes to hammocks and sustainable party products. YouthTrade also operates in Nigeria. In addition to placement, the demand side is being built through a social media campaign. YouthTrade Clubs are being set up and a corporate buying program is underway.