Category Archives: Frugal Innovators

Exploring Frugal Innovation: Notes from the field.
Students at LUANAR University and Michigan State University report here about the Frugal Innovations Program at the Global Center for Food Systems Innovation. The MSU students visited Malawi in August 2015 to work with LUANAR students and learn how to cheaply and quickly innovate food system improvements.

Innovation program helps vendors interact with government

Winston J. Gondwe
Emily Hale and Winston J. Gondwe.

By Emily Hale

Editor’s note: Students from Michigan State University and the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources are exploring frugal market innovations in Malawi. This is one of their reports.

For a week we had walked past a man squatting in the fruit section of Area 25-A market.

It wasn’t until our last day in the market that we finally stopped and talked to Mr. Winston J. Gondwe. He provided us with his perspective on what was happening in the markets, and the challenges the market vendors are facing. Continue reading Innovation program helps vendors interact with government

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Supermarket versus food market

By Malcolm Oglesby

Editor’s note: Students from Michigan State University and the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources are exploring frugal market innovations in Malawi. This is one of their reports.

While living in Malawi for two weeks to study their food markets, it was a good experience. It was amazing to firsthand observe the livelihoods of many families, and the factors that hinder them. As a consumer that purchases goods at supermarkets, I easily deciphered the differences and the similarities they share with food markets.

Continue reading Supermarket versus food market

An African-American in Africa

By Malcolm Oglesby

Editor’s note: Students from Michigan State University and the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources are exploring frugal market innovations in Malawi. This is one of their reports.

During my 21 years of living I was always directly and indirectly identified as African-American. What I mean by these terms is that although I self-identify as African-American, I wouldn’t have a choice since society would identify me as such. As the practicum got closer and closer, I wondered how the people in Malawi would view me. Continue reading An African-American in Africa

Frugal market investments come with interest

By Chad Binder

Editor’s note: Students from Michigan State University and the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources are exploring frugal market innovations in Malawi. This is one of their reports.

Applying for the Frugal Innovation Program, I knew I would be investing myself as an entity in efforts to open a space for change in the informal markets of Malawi. After spending my time with the

Malawian people, with the vendors, with the land and what it bears, now, it is apparent that I was to become more invested in more than purely the markets. Continue reading Frugal market investments come with interest

Traders push for security lighting as a key market innovation

By Rachel Linnemann

Editor’s note: Students from Michigan State University and the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources are exploring frugal market innovations in Malawi. This is one of their reports.

It was the second design charrette with representatives from the markets.

Many traders were there to advocate for changes to happen at Tsoka Market. The room was full of a sense of hope but also what felt like an expectation of failure. Continue reading Traders push for security lighting as a key market innovation