Who we are

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 like solar lights, clean cookstoves, water filters and nutrition products. Our purpose is to make last-mile distribution the first priority so that life-changing products can be made affordable and available to all.

Photo credit: Practical Action and Francis Muchiri

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 reaching low income or vulnerable communities, often in remote, sparsely populated areas, is difficult and expensive. Distribution businesses face a range of challenges: they operate in isolation within high-risk/low-infrastructure markets, with little capacity and no collective voice, and instead of learning from and leveraging one another they are continuously reinventing the wheel.

The GDC works to support these last mile distributors and the underserved customers that they seek to reach. We believe that collaborative, bottom-up and innovative approaches will enable last mile distributors to make life-changing products affordable and available to all.

We also support 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 represents companies that are primarily focused on distributing life-changing products to underserved households. These companies 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 their core business is distribution. The GDC is not for companies that are focused on manufacturing, or for companies focused on selling to businesses, NGOs, communities or government agencies. If you are not a distributor but would like to stay informed about the GDC or partner with us we would love to hear from you - please contact us at  GDC@practicalaction.org.uk.

Photo credit: BoP Innovation Center

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