A business approach to Market System Development - the Élan RDC story

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BEAM Grab the Mic webinar

Date: 11th November 2021

Speakers from Élan RDC: 
Gregoire Poisson, Team Leader
Edwige Takassi, Access to Finance sector lead
Raouf Saidi, Renewable Energy sector lead

Élan RDC, one of UKAID's flagship MSD programmes, came to an end in July 2021 after over seven years of operation.

DRC is one of the most difficult countries to do business in the world. This webinar focused on lessons learnt executing a market systems programme in a challenging environment, which tested the limits of the MSD methodology and approach.  

“Doing fast and failing fast”, managing the programme as a business, responding to opportunities and learning when to pivot were all key to an approach that, at times, differed from more traditional market systems development - but focused on achieving tangible results. 

Using examples from Élan RDC's renewable energy and access to finance sectors, the team from Élan discussed how they applied the MSD methodology. 
Two case studies were presented:

  • Altech and the development of the renewable energy sector in DRC.
    Raouf Saidi described how a small solar lamps distributor became a major player and changed the way business is done the DRC.
  • Developing digital finance in the DRC.
    Edwige Takassi discussed how Élan substantially changed the digital ecosystem in DRC, despite not achieving the breakthrough it was hoping for.

The presentations were followed by contributions from the following major programme stakeholders, and by audience questions to the speakers.

Amy Stenoien, Deputy Director, Economic Growth Office, USAID
Laura Norris, Economic Adviser, FCDO 
Alex Elphinstone, Africa Project Director, ASI

Watch the webinar