Who are the Small Merchants Who Make a Real Living Instead of Just Making Some Extra Money?

Certain behaviors can help providers unmask a business’ readiness for financing

Credit: Adam Wiseman

Credit: Adam Wiseman

Financial service providers should focus on a business’s readiness for financing when considering what type of financial services to offer. Michelle Hassan explains why it’s important to distinguish between two business types: side hustles and livelihoods. Learn what FSPs should look out for.  

What if We Offered Business Support to Small Merchants Over WhatsApp?

Micro-consulting to Provide MSMEs with Practical Advice

Photo Credit: John Won

Photo Credit: John Won

At FIBR, we’re interested in the promise of micro-consulting, a new way of offering practical advice and know-how to address the specific challenges and aspirations small merchants face through a digital messaging channel. These micro-consulting services can be used by small merchants when they need in small, discrete blocks of time. Through digital delivery, the service can be availed at lower cost and over a larger scale than traditional consulting services. Read our post on providing business support to small merchants over WhatsApp.

Visiting a Merchant Shop in Kibera in VR


An Immersive Experience with Informal Retailers in Africa

Produced and Developed by: Abi Steinberg, Videographer and Director: Adam Wiseman

FIBR's first #VR video from the field, filmed in 360 degrees, provides a closer look into the lives of two informal retailers from Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya. This video invites you into their world, transporting you thousands of miles away and capturing their existence as lifelines in communities. These businesses provide critical products and services and are representative of thousands of small shops around Africa. Learn more

Three Barriers to Smartphone Readiness in Emerging Markets


The FIBR program seeks to leverage the fact that smartphone ownership is increasing, and that the adoption of these mini computers opens up a world of new data that was previously invisible - locked in paper ledgers or in the minds of small business owners and sales agents.

For this reason, Sokowatch and FIBR jointly developed a smartphone-enabled solution for ordering goods and accessing credit. Read about the key barriers to smartphone adoption by merchants in their businesses.

Watch our video about our partnership with Sokowatch