Meet Frank Alexander: Market Researcher
One thing we’re keen to do on Building Markets’ country blogs is help you get to know the people behind each project’s success. We like to talk about success, but we also want to showcase the people who are directly responsible for it. With our newest project in Liberia ramping up, we’re taking the opportunity to do that right from the start. Every Monday and Thursday we will introduce you to a member of the team in Liberia through this blog. Read on for one profile below.
“I was very excited to learn that Liberia would be the very first Sustainable Marketplace Initiative to open in sub-Sahara Africa,” Market Researcher Frank Alexander says. “Building Markets’ engagement in Liberia has already made strides in linking local businesses with the international community. And this is just the beginning!”
Frank has a special love for Liberia. “I had the distinct privilege of receiving the first tourist visa that the Liberian Embassy in Rome had ever disbursed,” Frank explains. “In February of 2011, I was thrilled to have the chance to return to such an exciting, dynamic country.”
In 2011, Frank led a survey team for Innovations for Poverty Action in rural Liberia to track ex-combatant respondents. At Building Markets Frank analyzes data collected by the business verification officers and conducts other surveys and impact analyses.
“In doing so, I am fortunate to help Building Markets connect buyers with suppliers,” Frank says, “and further inform and educate specific groups and the general public on the vast economic opportunities that are taking place in Liberia.”
And Frank believes these opportunities are vast. “The barriers to entry for emerging businesses are low and investment is pouring into the country,” he says. “With a greater eye toward entrepreneurship and appropriate backing for smart business initiatives, the Liberian economy is planting the seeds for a stronger and more vibrant business community.”
But it’s not only the economy that excites Frank. “Liberia is naturally beautiful: lush forests and miles of pristine beach. The view from the window seat of a plane is almost worth the flight itself.” And then there’s Sharky’s freshly made chocolate ice cream. “I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention that Liberians are some of the friendliest, most welcoming people I’ve ever met,” Frank says.