The Business Innovation Facility (BIF) is a five-year DFID-funded market systems development programme that aims to improve the lives of the poor in three countries - Malawi, Myanmar and Nigeria – as well as through two global funding windows.
BIF works to identify and address constraints in selected markets, providing technical assistance and some grant funding to businesses and other market players. They provide support to develop and replicate business models that make markets more inclusive, resulting in greater opportunities, better access and improved growth for the poor and disadvantaged people who engage in them, whether as producers, consumers or employees.
Market systems and interventions
Pico solar products
- Improve ways for importers to market and distribute affordable solar products.
- Novel finance mechanisms to increase sales to low-income consumers.
- Influence the enabling environment and facilitate the provision of market intelligence on the consumption and sale of pico solar products.
- Design business solutions to encourage use of correct inputs, appropriate technology, good agronomy, investment in processing, and development of markets.
- Increase availability of improved pigeon pea seed varieties and appropriate pest and disease management inputs for smallholder farmers.
- Support the development of a mechanism that stimulates coordination between stakeholders and improved aggregator-related interventions.
- Work with maize input providers (mainly seed) and produce off-takers, to address issues of quality and supply/demand connections.
- Work with aggregators to improve the provision of aggregation services to maize farmers.
- Work with large hatchers to improve the distribution of fingerlings and juveniles in the aquaculture market, and enhance the technical proficiency of poor market participants through informative schemes.
- Match quality cassava supply with the regularity of industrial demand and competitive prices.
- Work with industry associations to stimulate the uptake of high quality cassava flour.
- Establish sufficient and regular supplies of milk to processors from nomadic dairy farming groups.
- Improve the productivity of farmers through the provision of improved feed and extension services.
Agricultural information services
- Setup co-sponsorship partnerships between market players to run successful, informative agricultural radio programmes.
- Established a tourism Product and Package Innovation Competition (PPIC) to stimulate innovation in the development of inclusive tourism products.
- Facilitated the drafting of a reform framework for the provision of tour guide training.
- Delivered training to garment factories in HR and productivity to establish the link between working conditions and productivity through the use of an RCT, in order to stimulate further industry change.
- Working with service providers across the garment industry to deliver affordable training and advisory services to garment factories to implement change.
- Facilitated dialogue between international buyers and local industry players.
By the end of its first two years of operations, BIF has engaged with 83 service recipients, of which 14 have adopted and two have adapted.