Working in development for more than a decade has convinced me that one of the biggest obstacles for low-income countries on the path to prosperity is lack of access to international markets and buyers.
I spent seven years in Afghanistan working for the United Nations and a number of NGOs. The country has an increasing number of talented craftspeople that create very high quality products like handcrafted jewelry, woodwork and ceramics. However, beyond the local bazaar, access to buyers is limited.
But now there is a golden opportunity. Demand for the authentic, handmade accessories, home decor and fashion items these artisans produce is on an upward trend. The challenge is to create a reliable supply chain linking artisans to this growing market.
To read more go to: http://www.localfirst.org.uk/2013/06/the-power-of-market-access/
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