During my recent visit to a developing country, I observed significant number of people who were selling and buying (daily street vendors) in what seemed as highly disorganized transactions. I asked one of the locals about my observation and he explained that it was considered as the informal sector of the economy. He further explained that it is a way for the poor to get some income.

I found it interesting and have been wondering if tools of BMC can be used to develop a model that may be useful for participants of this sector.  I will greatly appreciate any suggestions from the hub members

I am planning another visit soon and hope to be able to introduce the tools to business schools or NGOs that work with the poor.   

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Hello Robert,

I think, this is quite interesting for I am working in Germany with some similar groups: People who are very poor, getting governmental financial help and startiing some cheep entrepreneurships but without greater reflecting or planning.

So I think, the main thaughts (little strategy, little planning etc.) are quite the same.

What I realize is, that showing these people professional strategies, the revenue rises etc.

Thus I would be very interested in learning more about your work and methods etc.

I simply beliefe, that one could help these people to become more professional and earn their income to live their life in more prosperity...

So please keep on telling us about your work!

Dear Stefan,

Thank you for your response. I completely agree with you that these individuals have some form of entreprenuership tendencies. However, they pursue them without adequate strategies and planning.


Having said that, I think the wonderful thing about BMG concept is its simplicity and flexibility. This makes it possible to use the tools to adapt to almost any business sectors (formal). The challenge is whether these tools can be adapted for use in the informal sectors where majority of enterprising poor belong.


With your experience in working with similar groups in Germany, I am wondering if you can share how you were able to present the strategies to the groups. For example, did you use tools from BMG to identify who their KPs, how to develop CRs, Value proposition and even to map out their Customer Segments and Cost structure, etc,etc.. given my observations of disorganized transactions during my visit.


Finally, I intend to present a model appropriate for this sector to non-government organizations (NGOs) who are adept in dealing with and helping the poor who participate in this sector of the economy.

I therefore call on you Stefan, and all members of the our Hub to help me with suggestions to come up with a workable model.   

I look forward to sharing my experiences in this work.  

Dear Robert,

well... personally I found the BMC a few months ago, thaught it was quite interesting but didn´t manage yet, to integrate it in my consulting.

..which has to do with the specifics of my consulting-hours I have with these people: each client for 1 hour every 2 weeks.... That means, there´s no place for a workshop with a few hours... it´s a pitty....

Lst week I prepared a Marketing Plan Canvas for another workshop I held, but it was for a complete different kind of clients.... So I have to admit: at the moment I have no examples how I managed to work with the BMC with this informal Sectors...

But I will kepp you updated...!



Hi Robert,

I was really interested in your post and seeing how you will develop this for the "informal sector".

I am setting up my own business (in arts and fashion) having worked previously in Finance and I am using BMC. Although I have no direct experience in your field, perhaps I can make this general observation, if it is of use.

Have you considered working as a collective, and apply the BMC to that?

The VP could be taking advantage of buying in bulk, and reducing their costs and therefore maximizing their income stream? Alternatively, you could organize them to ensure that they are not competing against one another so they do no reduce their own income streams. 

The reason I suggest this is across the art and fashion world the use of hubs / collectives has taken a series of disorganized activities generated by a multitude of individuals and effectively organized across common market places. I myself have used collectives (print making, art gallery platform and website design, creative promotion agency).

I hope this has been useful to you in some part.

Best wishes


Hello Midula,

Thanks for your input on this topic. Your suggestion about working as a collective is a great idea and is something worth trying. I however think the challenge is getting participants to see how being part of a collective group will benefit them.

Based on my observation during my trip, it is fair to note that majority of people that participate in the informal sector are poor and do this for daily survival. They are usually individuals with no fixed address. This is why my goal is to develop a model that can be used by groups such as non-government organization (NGOs)whose mission is poverty alleviation particularly in
developing countries.

Please note that I really appreciate your input, starting with VP, and will add it as part of the tools I am collecting to develop a workable model. I look forward to your continuous suggestions, and good luck with your project.


Hello Robert.

I am currently using the BMC methodology to establish 2 non profit organisations in South Africa. One is a food production entity and the other is a investment management entity to assist with a small town's development. I think some adaptions of the methodology are needed as soon as you move outside of the core business types but the canvas is a good platform to start with that - working within a framework help with the arrangement and evaluation of ideas. Please keep us up to date and maybe we can collaborate in future.


Johan Olivier

Hi Johan,

Thanks for your response and I wish you the best for your non profit initiatives.

I agree with you that some adaptations are needed as you move outside businesses in the formal sector. This is the challenge I am confronted with and hope that you and other hub members can help with adaptation ideas for the informal sector.

It is interesting to note that during my research, I read a book titled "The $100 Start Up" by Chris Guillebeau in which he described participants in the informal sector (tuk tuk drivers)in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in which people generally earned $2 to $5 per day. However, he found an individual who may have inadvertently developed a strategy to earn over $50 per day. This inspiring story caught my attention and I am currently using the mental models of this individual to craft a model using the tools of BMC.

Will certainly share it once completed and look forward to a collaboration in the future.



I am from Kenya where those informal sector players make up over 40% of the working population, those you met on the street are actually startups that have gone out of the building to find the market and in a way they are using the BMG canvas without knowing it.

Many of them will pivot many times before setting on what they really want to offer after which they are likely to move to another town or to an established physical market place and beyond.

My recommendation to you is to spend a week with the informal sector operatives to get a thorough understanding of how they work and who they work with, the insight will be mind boggling.


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