What is GEMS4?

Growth and Employment in States – Wholesale and Retail Sector (GEMS4) is a market development project in Nigeria funded by DFID/UKaid and the World Bank.

The GEMS4 mandate is to stimulate market system changes that encourage growth and access; resulting in the creation of 10,000 new jobs and increased incomes for 500,000 people, especially for the poor, rural dwellers, and for women.

GEMS4 has been in implementation since 2012 and will be in operation until July 2017. The project is implemented in Lagos, Kano, Kaduna and Cross River states, though initiatives are extended to other states where impact can be maximised.

GEMS4 employs a "Making Markets Work for the Poor" (M4P) approach to implement initiatives that provide solutions to underlying market constraints.

GEMS4 initiatives facilitate entry into markets; provide technical support for the adoption of innovations and new business models and leverage investments for the development of key market facilities to support optimal business performance.

GEMS4 has conducted market systems analysis and identified nine underlying systemic constraints that negatively impact financial profitability and effectiveness in the wholesale and retail sector. They are poor access to: markets, skills, support services, information, technology, finance, energy, logistics and infrastructure.

The project is structured on three intervention groups: Business Fundamentals, Business essentials and Business enablers. Each Intervention Group consists of three intervention areas, and the nine intervention areas each have several initiatives. The project currently has 17 initiatives in implementation.

GEMS4 Structure

Access To Markets



  • Micro retailing
  • Nigerian Rice Initiative
  • Linking Tomato farmers to Processing plants
  • Animal Feedlots and Feed finishing

Access To Skills

  • Good Handling Practices
  • Retail ready produce for formal markets
  • Waste Management
  • Skin Quality


  • Banking services provision for traders in wet and traditional markets
  • Banking services provision for traders in retail clusters

Access To Technology

  • Access to Finance

Access To Finance








GEMS4 Footprints