Rural Catalyst



Last Mile Distribution is a global term used by socio economic development practitioners and refers to how you get goods and services out to the last rural mile. There are many social innovation products which aim to offer quality of life improvements for people in these areas for example solar lights, cleaning burning stoves for indoor cooking, fortified nutrition, water carriers, affordable health and hygiene products, to name but a few. The biggest challenges to working with this market are: how do you distribute products to this given that there are no conventional logistics channels; how do they afford products which are expensive upfront but will save them money in the longer term and lastly; how do you educate people about the benefits. People with very limited income are reluctant to change from something familiar which they trust to something new for example, moving from paraffin to solar.


Mr Lefipha

“I am speechless. SaveAct’s savings and enterprise programme has helped me with everything. Now I live the life of an employed person, whereas before I was unemployed. I came home from the mines as I was retrenched. Through savings groups and enterprise training I have been able to become self-employed. I can provide for my family. My children can go to school. It’s like I am a working person, while I don’t need to move from home.” Mr Lefipha, a smallholding farmer from a rural village outside Matatiele.