Practical Action, alongside partners Hystra and BoP Innovation Center, launched on November 21st the Global Distributors Collective (GDC), which aims to help make life-changing products affordable and available to all, with the support of funders including DFID and P4G.
Billions of people around the world do not have access to everyday products like solar lights, water filters, and clean cookstoves, because reaching low income or vulnerable communities, often in remote, sparsely populated areas, is difficult and expensive.
Distribution businesses who serve these communities face a range of challenges: they operate in isolation within high-risk and low-infrastructure markets, with little capacity and no collective voice. Further, as they rarely get a chance to connect, they are unable to take advantage of potential synergies and end up continuously reinventing the wheel.
The GDC will support last-mile distributors as a sector, using collaborative, bottom-up and innovative approaches, thus helping underserved customers get access to life-changing products.
The GDC’s initial focus will be twofold:
- Testing collective ways to save distribution companies time and money, to accelerate the adoption of new business practices and to facilitate new business partnerships; and
- Building a collective voice for the last mile distribution sector and increasing transparency around what is currently an ‘invisible’ sector.
Last mile distribution companies are invited to sign up as members to access GDC’s support services and funding opportunities. To learn more about member benefits and sign up, visit the website at http://globaldistributorscollective.org/.