The Global Distributors Collective (GDC) is a collective of last mile distributors around the world. We are dedicated to supporting and representing last mile distribution companies to help them reach unserved customers with life-changing products, and to developing the last mile distribution sector as a whole. Our purpose is to make last mile distribution the first priority so that life-changing products can be made affordable and available to all.
Why do we exist?
Billions of people around the world do not have access to products like solar lights, water filters, clean cookstoves and nutrition products. This is because distribution of these products is difficult and expensive, and because customers have low incomes and often live in remote, hard-to-reach areas.
Last mile distribution organisations face a range of challenges: they operate in isolation within high-risk/low-infrastructure markets, with little capacity and limited access to finance, and instead of learning from and leveraging one another they are continuously reinventing the wheel.
We believe that last mile distributors, and the products they sell, have a vital role to play in alleviating global poverty and contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals.
The GDC works to support last mile distributors and the underserved customers that they seek to reach. We adopt a systems approach, implementing ‘collective’ interventions that support the growth of the sector as a whole.
We also help the broader ecosystem – including manufacturers, service providers, investors, donors and governments – to work more effectively with last mile distributors to achieve shared goals.
Who do we represent?
The GDC is the world’s only entity dedicated to supporting last mile distributors across sectors and across geographies. The GDC is bottom-up and demand driven, conceived by distributors themselves, with activities designed and implemented in close consultation with members
GDC members fulfil the following criteria:
- Sell household products that contribute to one of more of the Sustainable Development Goals, such as solar lights, improved cookstoves, water filters, nutrition products, agri inputs/machinery and off-grid appliances.
- Target the ‘last mile’, ie people that are underserved by the mainstream private sector, because they are low income or live in remote areas, or both.
- Focus primarily on distribution at the household-level. Organisations may be exclusive distributors of one company’s products, or distributors of products from a range of companies. They may work with white-label manufacturers to produce their own branded products, or be subsidiaries of companies that have a broader mission. But a significant part of their business is distribution. The GDC is not for organisations that are focused on manufacturing, or on selling to businesses, NGOs, communities or government agencies.
- Are willing to share information with others, since peer-to-peer sharing and collective action is at the core of the GDC’s vision and mode of intervention.
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