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Economic opportunity

Economic opportunity


Expanding access to economic opportunity is essential for improving lives and livelihoods, generating jobs and creating wealth. The private sector plays a leading role in delivering economic growth and is increasingly expected to do so in a way that is inclusive and sustainable.

There are a number of ways in which businesses, foundations, governments and development organisations work to support private sector development. These include developing inclusive market systems; supporting the creation of quality jobs; developing value chains and access to markets for businesses; development of the financial sector and supporting access to finance; MSME development; capital markets development; and overall business enabling environment.

Areas of Expertise


      Agriculture and agribusiness

      Africa’s agricultural sector is critical to sustainable economic development. It supports economic opportunities in rural communities, the alleviation of poverty and plays an essential role in food security. Genesis works across the public-private interface for governments, donors, philanthropic and private sector clients.

      Unlocking the sector’s potential requires a combination of political will, enabling regulatory frameworks, improved access to finance, skills investment and climate change adaptation. An understanding of these interlocking factors underpins our approach to programme design and implementation.


      MSME development

      MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) are recognised across the world as drivers of socioeconomic growth and development. They make a significant contribution in boosting public revenue collection, employment creation and economic empowerment, as well as provision of goods and services to the public.

      MSMEs face distinct challenges that limit their access to markets and operation capacity. Examples include limited formal documentation, lack of access to quality supplies and modern techniques, lack of networks and connections, limited access to finance, and limited capacity.


      Gender and development

      To reach the full potential of the continent, we have to harness the full capacity and ability of the population by ensuring that women, who make up half of the population, are empowered to contribute in an equitable, productive and safe manner.

      Our work in gender and development spans a variety of contexts, resulting in deep insights and expertise regarding gender dynamics as these pertain to policy and regulation, public and social programmes, NGO and other women’s movement initiatives, and private sector growth.


      Green economy

      Promoting green growth and sustainable development can address socioeconomic disparities by focusing on investment, infrastructure development, employment and skills development.

      Through our work, we support public, private and philanthropic sectors to fuel inclusive growth.



    Unlocking gender barriers faced by Malawian women

    CAMFED commissioned Genesis to conduct research into potential growth sectors for women’s entrepreneurship in Malawi, and to understand the gender barriers facing women entrepreneurs in that country.


    Uplifting private sector development across African markets

    Genesis was commissioned by the African Development Bank to design its private sector development strategy for 2020 to 2025.


    Review of plan to grow skills in energy sector

    Genesis Analytics was contracted by the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) to conduct a programme evaluation of the relevance, effectiveness, expected impact and long-term sustainability of the Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (SEED) programme, which is funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and Virgin Unite.


    Fintech solutions for women and their impact

    Genesis conducted research and prepared a paper that synthesised which financial technology solutions existed for women and their impact on women’s economic empowerment.


    Genesis reviews SA's energy future through to 2050

    Genesis was commissioned by a civil society organisation to review and comment on the South African government’s long-term energy planning documents, which were published in late 2016. 


    Evaluating entrepreneurial tools for SME growth

    Genesis was contracted by the Small Enterprise Assistance Fund (SEAF) to conduct an external evaluation of the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Executive Development (CEED) programme to assess its performance to date.


    Building robust M&E system to measure impact of enterprise programme

    Genesis Analytics was hired to develop the monitoring and evaluation system of Seedstars - an international social enterprise based in Geneva aimed at supporting high-growth entrepreneurs. Seedstars has seven offices in developing markets which act as workspaces and support centres for the entrepreneurs.


    Addressing food security in a global pandemic

    Genesis Analytics, through the support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), advised the Solidarity Fund on if, and how, it could support a sustainable food production intervention that addressed the persistent experience of hunger by the most vulnerable households in South Africa (which has been aggravated by COVID-19).


    A toolkit to support food loss and waste reduction initiatives

    Genesis was contracted by the Rockefeller Foundation to unpack the learnings from the YieldWise programme in Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania and package these in an accessible toolkit, serving as a “how to do guide” for informing investments in food loss and waste reduction.

View all

Related Focus Areas


    Africa's Youth

    Africa is experiencing an unprecedented youth wave. Today, Africa has twice as many 15-year-olds as 35-year-olds. This ratio is likely to increase. From 193 million young people aged 15-24 in 2015, the number will grow to 295 million by 2035, and to 362 million by 2050.


    Centre of Digital Excellence

    Our Centre for Digital Excellence (C0DE) team at Genesis focuses on technology innovation and the opportunities it provides for improving the development potential of African nations. Our work is focused on supporting African governments, their development partners and private firms in forging new tech-enabled pathways to inclusive growth.


    Economic impact assessment

    In economics there are always trade-offs. Changes in policies, laws, and regulations, and every government intervention creates both positive and negative impacts, winners and losers.

    Good government requires that these impacts are mapped and understood, so that responsive policy can be crafted to maximise the positive while minimising the negative.


    Financial services strategy

    Our Financial Services team has completed more than 600 projects across sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East since 2001. We work with leading financial institutions to address their challenges, unlock value for their stakeholders and shape the future of the industry.

    Our team understands the evolving technology and market structures, economics and regulatory trends across all segments of the financial services sector. Our distinct approach is characterised by deep specialisation and rigorous analysis based on a strong economics foundation.


    Monitoring, evaluation and learning

    We work to maximise the social and economic impact of development efforts. As a trusted provider of monitoring, evaluation and learning (MEL) services we combine our deeply rooted understanding of the African context with our extensive experience in qualitative and quantitative monitoring and evaluation (M&E) methods to assess progress, measure value creation, and facilitate internal and external learning.

    Photographer, Johnny Miller

    Shared value and impact

    A revolution is taking place in business. In the Shared Value and Impact practice our purpose is to reshape capitalism to serve the world. We put flourishing societies and ecosystems at the centre of the economy, not as afterthoughts.

    We regard the company as the most powerful economic engine ever invented - and when companies start to think beyond narrow shareholder value to the creation of impact, they can also become potent drivers of development, social progress, inclusion and sustainability.

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