The GDC team

The Global Distributors Collective is hosted by Practical Action. Activities are delivered by a consortium of implementing partners with complementary skillsets and deep expertise in last mile distribution - Practical Action, Hystra and BoP Innovation Center. Meet our team below.

 

Emma Colenbrander

Emma Colenbrander

Emma Colenbrander is Head of the Global Distributors Collective, and manages the last mile distribution portfolio at Practical Action. She is a Trustee at Ashden and a co-founder of Pollinate Energy, a multi-award winning social enterprise in India that brings clean energy products to urban slum communities. Emma has also worked with the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), focusing on development finance and innovation. 

 

Luice Klarsfeld

Lucie Klarsfeld

Lucie Klarsfeld McGrath is the GDC’s marketing and finance specialist. She is a partner at Hystra, which she joined in 2009. She is Hystra’s expert on marketing beneficial products for low-income consumers and last mile-distribution, having directly supported over 50 companies on the topics. Other areas of expertise include access to energy, nutrition and smallholder agriculture.

 

Emile Schmitz

Emile Schmitz

Emile Schmitz is the GDC's innovation and training lead. He is the Marketing & Distribution Director at BoP Innovation Center. Emile has over a decade of marketing and branding experience in both developed and developing countries. Emile works intensively with various multinationals to realise scalable inclusive business models, marketing strategies, and solving last mile distribution challenges through innovative approaches.

 

Jessica Utichi

Jessica Utichi

Jessica Utichi is the Global Distributors Collective Project Manager. She is passionate about social entrepreneurship and innovation. She is a qualified accountant with over 10 years of experience in project management and finance, having worked in a range for profit and not-for-profit organisations. 

 

Francois Lepicard

Francois Lepicard

François Lepicard is a Senior Advisor to the GDC. He is a senior partner at Hystra, and has over 25 years of experience carrying out market assessments, due diligence and strategies in the energy sector in Africa and the rest of the world. Currently based out of Ouagadougou, he has worked in 5 countries in Africa and now leads Hystra’s Access to Energy practice. 

 

 

Charlie Miller

Charlie Miller

Charlie Miller is a Senior Advisor to the GDC. He is an energy access policy specialist, with deep experience of supporting government, private sector, civil society and finance stakeholders in Africa to work together more effectively in pursuit of energy access goals. He was previously Senior Policy Adviser at the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association and Director of National Programmes at Power for All. 

 

Simon Brossard

Simon Brossard

Simon Brossard is the GDC's procurement and research specialist. He is a project manager at Hystra and managed the 2017 report ‘Reaching Scale in Access to Energy’. He launched the distribution of solar equipment for off-grid rural households with Baobab+ and so has first-hand experience of the operational challenges and key success factors of setting up rural distribution systems for beneficial goods.  

 

Gerwin Jansen

Gerwin Jansen

Gerwin Jansen is the GDC's innovation specialist. He has more than 10 years experience supporting social entrepreneurs in their innovation journey, going from idea to impact. Gerwin is an innovator himself and has the design thinking skills necessary to prototype and pilot new ideas in immature markets and sectors including the last-mile. His most remarkable achievement is the co-creation of a virtual reality marketing tool for sales of latrines. 

 

Marine Buisson

Marine Buisson

Marine Buisson is the GDC’s training specialist. She is a Project Manager at BoP Innovation Center with a focus on projects aiming to empower women in last-mile distribution of life changing goods. Marine has worked as a distribution expert at the Clinton Foundation and implemented various social business projects since then.  
 

Gladys Kivati

Gladys Kivati

Gladys Kivati provides support to the innovation workstream at the GDC. She is a hands-on project coordinator, working from BoP Innovation Center's office in Nairobi. With over 5 years of experience, Gladys has conducted many consumer insight studies and engaging co-creation sessions. Recently, she managed the launch of a GoToMarket strategy for a new solar lighting product in Kenya. 

 

Amy Bendel

Amy Bendel

Amy Bendel is a consultant at Hystra, where she has helped to develop an innovative procurement model for last-mile distributors of beneficial products in Africa. Her previous experiences include founding and leading a social enterprise in Tanzania, consulting for a million-dollar social enterprise backed by the Gates Foundation and leading research on the start-up ecosystem of Dar es Salaam. 

 

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