There's nothing fast or easy about hardware innovation. Hardware is, well, hard. But a growing number of stakeholders in the development space see the importance of hardware-led social ventures and the impact they make in emerging markets, and they'll be especially interested in ASME's upcoming Innovation Showcase, a competition with events in in India, Kenya and the United States.
As we recognize World Water Day, Water.org is launching a $50 million fund, targeting enterprises in India, Indonesia, Cambodia and the Philippines that help the poor meet their water and sanitation needs – with a particular focus on MFIs. This seven-year fund, managed by the nonprofit's WaterEquity initiative, aims to reach at least 4.6 million people at the BoP, while offering pre-tax financial returns of 3 percent.
Social enterprise Wello today announced it will license sales and manufacturing of its main product, the WaterWheel, to Mumbai-based Nilkamal Limited in India and Sri Lanka. The publicly traded Nilkamal is one of Asia's manufacturers and sellers of injection mold plastic furniture and other plastic home goods. We hear from Cynthia Koenig, founder and CEO of Wello, about what the deal means not only for the for-profit company, but also for other social enterprises facing the perennial struggle of scaling their products.
There are vast extremes between the energy rich and poor in South Africa, despite the country's great potential to make energy universally available. A new report by Impact Amplifier examines the reasons behind the discrepancies and describes five energy access business models for low-income communities: biogas, solar home systems, mini/micro grids, solar kiosks and solar appliances.
Social Business Roundup: SOCAP Aims for the Mainstream, Cambodia Caps Microcredit, Quali Health Simplifies Health Care
In announcing its new ownership, SOCAP mentioned the word “mainstream” six times – the popular social business and investing conference is clearly aiming to grow beyond its current niche. In Cambodia, the National Bank capped interest on microcredit to a maximum of 18 percent per year – about half of what some MFIs currently charge. And a visit to India inspired a South African doctor to launch a profitable health care clinic in a local shantytown. These stories and more in our weekly roundup.
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