More than ever, African governments need to make the region attractive to investors to shore up the growth path the continent has embarked upon.
The r(Evolve) Centrifuge, developed by CentriCycle, is a manual hand-crank blood centrifuge that can operate without electricity in rural areas, separating blood for quick and accurate diagnostic testing.
Cleaner stoves have saved Sudan over 36,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and earned the country its first carbon credits.
Tuberculosis and malaria are two of the world’s most pervasive yet neglected diseases. Together, both affect one-third of the world’s population: three out of seven people globally are infected or at risk for malaria or TB, and one in seven are actually infected.
Tying Canada's overseas development assistance to private-sector partnerships has been a controversial proposition for the Harper government, and one that Development Minister Christian Paradis makes no apologies for.
One of the interesting and important recent developments in wealth management has been the emergence of a group of clients committed to investing with impact across their entire portfolios, meaning they seek to deliver measurable positive social or environmental benefits with every dollar they put to work.
There is always hope that scientific innovations will help solve global problems. So can scientists help solve the globe’s ultimate problem: eliminate extreme poverty?
DataWind, a leading developer of wireless web access and products, and the manufacturer of the world’s lowest cost android tablet PC, announced that it has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA).
DesignMedix, Inc., a biotech startup with ties to Portland State University, received a grant for almost $3 million from the National Institutes of Health to continue development and manufacture of a new anti-malarial drug.
Gangs selling counterfeit high yield seeds are trapping farmers in a cycle of poverty as crops fail.
A start-up Indian social enterprise has come up with an innovative solution to one of the country's biggest development challenges - helping the rural poor easily access basics such as clean drinking water and electricity.
Africa's rising middle class may see a rise in Private Equity and Venture Capital investments in the continent's healthcare industry
Private equity company Musa Capital is the partner in an investment fund that plans to develop small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) providing health services to the poor in various African countries.
With aggressively scaled-up health investments, 10 million lives could be saved annually, beginning in 2035.
According to a report, the number of foreign investors looking to invest in the social sector has increased.
According to MFIs operating in rural areas, private banks have been charging interest rates of 24-26 per cent on a reducing balance.
I have written about the misconception by some members of the general public that equity crowdfunding and rewards-based crowdfunding are the same thing. Many people are misinformed and do not understand that Title III of the JOBS Act has nothing to do with rewards-based crowdfunding. If you don’t believe me, read some of the comments to the SEC where comment writers were unnecessarily worried that equity crowdfunding would kill Kickstarter and its ilk.
A new insurance scheme in which pre-determined flood thresholds trigger speedy compensation offers hope for poor people in flood-prone Bangladesh, experts say.
A new report from Juniper Research has found that the value of global payments via mobile devices will reach around $507 billion this year, a rise of nearly 40% year-on-year.
There is no one way to do business in Africa. But through exploring both the opportunities and the challenges experienced by companies operating successfully in Africa, a number of key lessons can be unearthed.
Google has acquired Titan Aerospace, the drone startup that makes high-flying robots which was previously scoped by Facebook as a potential acquisition target (as first reported by TechCrunch), the WSJ reports. The details of the purchase weren’t disclosed, but the deal comes after Facebook disclosed its own purchase of a Titan Aerospace competitor in U.K.-based Ascenta for its globe-spanning Internet plans.
A ‘national roaming’ regulation is in the pipeline to make it mandatory for the existing four mobile network operators to allow cross-network usage of their facilities countrywide, the regulator said on Friday.
Initiatives such as a healing centre in the Amazon forest are helping indigenous groups protect and manage their own land.
A couple of years ago, the head of a management company specializing in high-performance processes and materials met the founder of a nonprofit organization that supports spiritual and medical programs among the Mayan communities of Chiapas in southern Mexico. Ohki S. Forest of Canadian Mohawk descent, who visits Santa Fe periodically, was giving a talk at a conference hosted by the Bioneers, a Santa Fe nonprofit that often serves as a catalyst among social, technological and visionary entrepreneurs.
As the CEO of a company that markets portable, power-free medical instrument sterilizers to hospitals and health centers in East Africa, Dr. Bernstein has seen first hand the degree to which people are ready to pay for safe and effective medical care. But at the same time there is a conscious effort to avoid the creation of a completely segmented health system where the quality of care is much higher for those who can afford it from the private sector, and huge portions of the population are unable to participate in the market.
A healthcare system for rural India, dubbed Sughavazhvu, which stands for 'happy life' in Tamil, is gaining popularity thanks to it's use of innovative techniques for providing accessible and appropriate primary healthcare.
By the end of the decade, impact investment has the potential to reach $1 trillion (£600 billion) and deliver significant social benefits, according to Jennifer Kenning, director of wealth management and spearhead of impact investing at US wealth management firm Aspiriant.
Kenya’s number of mobile money players could jump from four to seven after the country has officially awarded three mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licences this week.
In 1950, the number of starving individuals on Earth was estimated to be around 700 million. At the time, obesity affected approximately 100 million people around the globe, primarily in rich countries. These statistics have changed dramatically over the past six decades.
TIGO has partnered with 17 major banks in Tanzania to enable its clients send and receive money through transactions between the banks and Tigo Pesa.
Tara Thiagarajan, chairman & MD of non-banking finance company-micro finance institution (NBFC-MFI) Madura Microfinance, is trying out a unique experiment.
Health technology is advancing so rapidly that within a decade the small handheld medical reader used by Dr. Leonard McCoy in Star Trek — the tricorder — will look primitive.
Since 1993, when I was at the Yale School of Management, to my work with the Calvert Funds and Foundation and now with my company Honest Tea, I’ve been a part of hundreds of discussions and debates about how to evaluate the return on an impact investment.
This morning the World Bank hosted a panel on mobile money, the set of phone-based technologies that could bring basic financial services to the world’s poorest people. The surprise panelist was Hortensia Contreras Torres, who runs electronic services for Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo, one of the largest baking companies in the world.
Aline Wachner is a PhD candidate at the International Research Network on Social and Economic Empowerment (IRENE/SEE) at Zeppelin University, Germany. Her research has investigated health care social enterprises in Columbia, Mexico, Kenya, and South Africa. She previously worked at the Grameen Creative Lab, a think tank initiated by Prof. Muhammad Yunus.
It is shocking, but perhaps not surprising, to read of the impact of the public-private partnership between the Lesotho government and Netcare on healthcare across Lesotho (Finance deal threatens Lesotho's hospitals, says Oxfam, 7 April). However, public-private partnership can work in an African healthcare setting, and this has been demonstrated over the last six years by the success of the Health Improvement Project Zanzibar (HIPZ) in transforming services on the island.
The alliance of social lending institutions, also referred to as impact-first agricultural lenders, was formally launched today at the 11th Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship.
India is in the midst of the world's largest experiment in democratic elections, with more than 800 million people eligible to vote in its current parliamentary elections.
Of the USD 1.6 billion invested in the country since 2000, USD 435 million was made by dedicated impact investors like Aavishkar, Omidyar Network among others, the report by social advisory firm Intellecap said.
Social entrepreneurship in India has seen exponential growth over the last decade, with an increasing number of skilled men and women starting up businesses which provide out-of-the-box ways of improving the lives of the country's 400 million poor.
Vivo Energy, a Shell licensee in 15 African markets, and Airtel Money today announced a collaborative Pan-African agreement to strengthen both companies’ footprints in providing services to their growing customer base.
Tanzania had envisioned through the National Financial Inclusion Framework of 2011 to have 50 per cent of the adult population having access to financial services by 2016, but it has so far managed to surpass the target, according to a recently released FinScope Tanzania 2013 report.
Microfinance institutions in Uganda have over time increased especially after the liberalisation of the economy in the 1990s. Since independence, the government has initiated credit funding, anticipating a significant reduction in household poverty. However, recent studies indicate that poverty is more of a socio-cultural problem that manifests itself economically to its victims.
TANZANIA is currently working on the best approach to increase the micro insurance coverage so that low income earners can easily access it as well as other financial services.
Close to 70% of the world’s active mobile money customers are in sub-Saharan Africa, according to Aaron Oliver, head of emerging payments for Middle East and Africa at MasterCard.
eKutir’s new project VeggieLite is a recipient of Grand Challenges India 2014, supported by the Gates Foundation, USAID and DBT, the Indian government’s anti-poverty scheme.
Using digital finance to tackle development problems can improves lives, and offer innovative companies handsome rewards.
Through innovation, it is possible for the sector to financially reach the unbanked population and drive home the EDPRS II objectives, especially in the rural areas.
Bitcoin is independent, and it is designed to be anti-inflationary. There will only ever be 21 million Bitcoins in existence, and users obtain Bitcoins by ‘mining’ them through running algorithmsto unlock the coins – or by exchanging conventional money for Bitcoins.
The impact investment market is extremely diverse and the DFID Impact Fund is distinctive
FIELCO expects to use Incofin IM’s expertise in international microfinance to “strengthen its governance, focus on social performance and overall structure”
The partnership will allow MTN customers in Ivory Coast and Airtel customers in Burkina Faso to transfer money between the neighboring countries.
Attention needs to be paid to the security of mobile money systems in Kenya especially with the licensing of three virtual network operators in the country, say experts.
A new initiative that discovers business solutions to social issues by linking entrepreneurs with investment capital and mentoring was announced today by The Hitachi Foundation, Village Capital, and Investors' Circle.
The two products designed and developed at the Phillips Innovation Centre (PIC) in Bengaluru which is one among its key R&D locations of the 59 research centres globally.
This year’s World Health Day is focused on vector-borne diseases.
Eggers says if a firm uses CSR activities to also promote its business, it should be applauded and not frowned upon
The IPCC report focuses on climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability.
Leaders from three continents join fellowship to bring local perspectives on international development to global dialogue
Having started commercial micro-finance operations in 2005, Bandhan Financial Services Pvt Ltd is now set to become a full fledged commercial bank, headquartered in Kolkata. In an interview to Business Line, Chairman and Managing Director Chandra Shekhar Ghosh explains why Bandhan bank will bring a common man’s perspective into banking.
Activists in Uganda report that plain-clothes police raided a U.S. military-affiliated AIDS services clinic in Kampala today, accused it of promoting homosexuality, and ordered it to close.
At a time when microfinance institutions (MFIs) are getting into the banking business, commercial banks too have developed a liking for lending directly to the poor -- an area until now dominated by traditional MFIs and informal lenders.
World Health Day is a chance to reflect on the progress we’ve made since the occasion was first marked in 1950. But it’s also a moment to reflect on the huge challenges that remain. One child dying from preventable causes is one too many — but in reality, 6.6 million die in this way each year.
Swarms of mosquitoes buzzing around people after dusk is a familiar scene on almost every city street. So World Health Organisation's (WHO) theme for World Health Day on Monday will clearly strike a chord in Chennai. WHO has identified vector diseases as biggest threat to health and have started a campaign with the tagline 'Small bite, big threat'.
Electronic-payments revenue in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) could reach up to $16 billion annually in the next few years if the growth of mobile payments in Kenya is repeated across the continent, according to a recent study by McKinsey and the Gates Foundation.
A flagship hospital built in Lesotho using public/private financing with advice from an arm of the World Bank threatens to bankrupt the impoverished African country's health budget.
North India-based microfinance institution (MFI) Satin Creditcare Network Limited has raised Rs 28.44 crore ($4.7 million) in a fresh round of funding from Norwegian impact investor NMI Fund III KS (NMI), as per a company statement.
The former head of Avon is now leading Grameen America, a group that provides small loans to poor women entrepreneurs in the U.S. Andrea Jung was CEO of the beauty products company from 1999 through April 2012 and served as chairman through the end of that year. Considered one of the most powerful women in business, she came under fire for failing to stem Avon's sales declines and left amid an overseas bribery investigation.
Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) hold tremendous potential for government to increase effective support for struggling entrepreneurs in South Africa, according to a new report presented to the National Treasury, the Jobs Fund, and the dti.
A recent survey that showed that 37 per cent of Nigerians are not aware of mobile money and as such, do not use the payment platform, is worrisome. According to the report by Philip Consulting, out of the remaining 63 per cent respondents that knew about mobile money, 31 per cent were between the ages of 26 and 35 and constituted the majority.
JPMorgan Chase and the UK Department for International Development will kick start promising businesses in East Africa through a new joint investment in Novastar Ventures. The new $5 million investment by JPMorgan Chase will be matched by an additional $15 million from DFID as part of its first ever Impact Investment Fund. Launched in 2013, the fund is managed by the CDC, the UK's own Development Finance Institution.
The Aspen Institute announced today the second class of the New Voices Fellowship, a groundbreaking program designed to amplify the voices of experts from the developing world and bring their experiences to discussions of global development. The 2014-2015 fellows come from 12 countries and three continents: Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Indonesia, India, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The RBI’s decision on Wednesday to “consider” the application of Department of Posts for a banking license “separately in consultation with the Government of India” is literally a slap in the face for the finance ministry.
A Japanese small-lot fund operator said Thursday it will launch a new fund with a credit cooperative in Peru to assist Peruvian small farmers, who lack access to financial services, to meet their daily farming needs.
To outsiders, Vindhya e-Infomedia Pvt. Ltd appears to be just another business process outsourcing (BPO) company. What sets the Bangalore-based company apart is the fact that 80% of its 500 employees comprise women below the poverty line and those with physical disabilities; some are blind, hearing-impaired or autistic.
In 2010, J.P. Morgan estimated the potential capital need for impact investments (targeting the part of the global population earning less than $3,000 a year), which drive not just social impact but also financial returns, to be $400 billion to $1,000 billion over the next 10 years. Fortunately, over the last 20 years, the number of specialised commercial funds in the impact investing space has risen 10 times. Capital committed to impact investing via private equity style active managers alone has risen from $4 billion to $12 billion over the same period.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim stopped by The Washington Post on Thursday to chat about some of the changes under way as the bank moves to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030. Throughout discussions about energy projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, deficits in Indonesia and private sector growth in Burma, one key concern kept coming up: What role should the World Bank play when conflicts arise in member nations?
More than four years after the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced the government's intention to issue more banking licences, this has indeed been done. In 2010, there was much fervour about financial inclusion and, against that backdrop, new banks were seen as an important means of boosting capacity and penetration of financial services.
Confirming our earlier reporting, the peer-to-peer lender Social Finance said it closed on $80 million in fresh funding, as it looks to expand its lending operations to mortgages and personal loans.
Why are different parts of Africa experiencing widely different levels of success with mobile banking, despite years of experience in Kenya? Panellists at the IPS conference in London offered a range of explanations
Chandra Shekhar Ghosh has come a long way - from Tripura to Bangladesh to West Bengal to now the national scene. The microfinance organisation Bandhan, which he founded in 2001 and helped grow, has won the right to become a full-fledged commercial bank that can and will have its branches from Srinagar to Thiruvananthapuram in the not too distant future.
While giving a talk at a conference in Australia in the mid-2000s, IBM Research's lead scientist for the advanced organic materials group, James Hedrick, had an encounter that would make him rethink his career. At one point, Hedrick--who holds more than 100 patents--took a question from a woman in the audience. It wasn't what he was expecting.
For a while now, Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI scanners have typically been a luxury that both government and private hospitals in Ethiopia have struggled to afford to purchase for in-house use.
In collaboration with a mobile health startup, a design firm and local health clinics, Medtronic is orchestrating a program aimed at improving diagnosis and treatment of ear infections and hearing loss in India, meanwhile supporting its ENT business there.
Future research and development targeting diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis and malaria may be at risk because of across-the-board federal cuts implemented last year by the United States, the largest funder of global health R&D, warns a report.
South Africa has some 6.4 million HIV-positive people - more than any other country.
The fundraising platform wants to be a place where projects for good get off the ground.
Oxfam’s office in Vietnam has launched a new impact investing program to support social enterprises in the country.
On Monday, the city's 50,000-odd dabbawallas will tag a health message-'prevent and control vector-borne diseases'-to each of the two lakh tiffin boxes that they carry throughout the day.
Bill Gates, the World Bank and other donors are stepping up efforts to fight neglected tropical diseases in Africa and other low-income regions with a $240 million injection of new funding.
Fixing small business finance is a great place to start improving financial inclusion. This is a reform that is overdue and should not wait.
India on Wednesday announced it was issuing two new bank licenses for the first time in a decade as it accelerates a push to bring more Indians into the formal banking system.
The event will take place in New York, with Hillary Clinton delivering the keynote address, following an internal launch and a USAID town hall discussion earlier this week in Washington, D.C.
Zimbabwean users of the mobile money platform, EcoCash, are now able to access urgent loans of up to $500 using their cellphones.
Bank of America's $10 million investment will support the economic and social advancement of women in developing countries.
In most countries around the world, Bitcoin is neither illegal nor totally unregulated. It's somewhere in between. Bitcoin and similar virtual currencies are computerized money not backed by any official authority. Governments haven't given it their blessing, and they're trying to figure out how to deal with it.
The Mobile Money Transfer Agents Association of Zimbabwe and Econet are heading for a possible clash over the latter's recent directive that each of its agent should register at least five new customers per day as per their contract.
A number of businesses have set up new units to provide mobile payment solutions to an expanding list of financial service institutions and telecommunications operators in Indonesia amid the projected sharp increase in mobile payments.
A Renowned British multinational pharmaceutical, GlaxoSmithKline, has listed Rwanda as one of the places it considers putting up a production plant as part of its move to form innovative partnerships to transform medicines supply in Africa.
For effective take-off and maximisation of microinsurance opportunity in Nigeria following the release of operational guidelines by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), operators must work on claims processing time for the project to succeed.
Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore is facing hard options, following last Friday’s approval of his company’s quest to acquire rival yuMobile’s assets under tough conditions.
A new climate innovation centre which aims to help jumpstart clean technology and climate-smart ventures has been launched in Ethiopia. Called the Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center (ECIC), it is expected to help more than 3.1 million people increase resilience to climate change and create more than 12,000 jobs in the next 10 years.
The informal economy is Africa’s new frontier for growth. Previously forgotten and disregarded the informal economy on the continent is alive and growing into a significant contributor to the bottom line for many businesses. This is where the next surge of expansion is and if you are not playing in this space then you’re missing out.
More than 125 million girls and women have undergone female genital mutilation worldwide, and another 30 million are at risk of being cut over the next decade — yet few interventions have focused on stopping the practice, and previous United Nations targets and pledges to end FGM within a generation have failed.
Smartphone growth has led to the growth of many companies and MobiKwik is one of them. Started in 2009, MobiKwik is a closed wallet company which records around 100,000 transactions every day.
The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) announces the creation of the Global Advisory Panel on the Future of Nursing (GAPFON). The inaugural meeting of GAPFON - a panel of international nurse leaders - convened to establish a global voice and vision for the future of nursing that will advance global health. The panel is chaired by Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing Dean Emerita and Professor Dr. Martha N. Hill.
Crowdfunding platforms raised an estimated $5.1 billion worldwide in 2013, nearly twice the total for 2012. Although most of this booming investment is in private ventures, mission-driven crowdfunding platforms are also emerging on the leading edge of technology, philanthropy, and social entrepreneurship.
On March 30, 2014 BRAC officially launched the BRAC innovation fund for mobile money at the Frugal Innovation Forum: Scaling Digitally in Savar, Bangladesh. BRAC is experimenting with transitioning from cash and exploring new development strategies enabled by mobile money with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Latin Americans, the past dozen years have been remarkable. The region has seen a magical combination of faster economic growth, falling poverty and declining income inequality. Is this unprecedented period of progress over?
The national headlines in September were grimmer than usual, with newspapers blaring “Infant Death Horror” and “West Bengal Health Care in I.C.U.” on their front pages after 41 newborns died in B.C. Roy Memorial Hospital over a span of six days.
There is no cure and no vaccine for the Ebola virus, which has killed about 70 people in Guinea. Vaccine expert Professor Adrian Hill tells DW why some vaccines take time. It's got to do with profit.
GSK will invest up to £130 million ($216 million, 157 million euros), including £100 million to expand existing manufacturing operations in Nigeria and Kenya and build up to five new factories in Africa, it said in a statement.
World Bank President Jim Kim announced on Monday that the appointment of senior directors of the bank’s “global practices” will be finalized later this week ahead of the institution’s spring meetings.
The launch targets 7 M in Romania who mainly use cash and M-Pesa has 16.8 M active customers in emerging markets.
Scaling up innovation is rarely as simple as investing in a company. The best social innovations aren’t companies – rather they are social movements, coalitions co-created by businesses, social sector organisations and governments working together. But how do you fund and scale up a movement?
At least 70 people are reported to have died from Ebola hemorrhagic fever in Guinea, according to a statement from the West African nation's health ministry.
Impact investors want more than a financial return, they want their money to do something good in the world at the same time. This means balancing financial risks and rewards with the complex measures of social and environmental impact.
Mobilium Global has architected and built the first android “Made For Africa” mobile health and wellness, free and free to use smartphone application for specific use by, for, and of Africans.
US-based Leapfrog Investment has bought a minority stake in financial services provider IFMR Capital Finance for $29 million (Rs 174 crore). IFMR helps microfinance firms, small businesses, affordable housing companies and commercial vehicle financiers raise money on the debt markets.
Stewart Craine, cofounder of Barefoot Power and now Village Infrastructure Angels, walks into investor presentations with a pair of well-worn, highly scuffed shoes with the soles falling off. They are his "investor shoes," illustrating the ridiculous distance he has traveled in pursuit of investment for his businesses, which work with world’s poor.
Telemed Medical Services is an Ethiopian startup responsible for the country’s popular mobile health and medical consultancy service, Hello Doctor, and has recently announced it’s raised funds from US-based VC group The Africa Group (TAG). The Ethiopian engineering consultancy that, among other things, specialises in mobile health consulting is giving up a 25% stake of Telemed and plans to further address a crucial demand for health-related service delivery.
Three young entrepreneurs want to leverage the strength of West Michigan’s medical device capabilities to commercialize new products that could help improve care in the developing world.
Newly engineered foods. A TV show satirizing big AG. Farming practices that reduce greenhouse gases. Here are the companies that are cooking up new ideas and changing how we think about our food.
Vodafone India and ICICI Bank are planning to roll out mobile money transfer and payment service in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. With this, Vodafone India will cover almost all states in India, thereby enabling people to send, deposit or receive money through mobile phones.
A couple of years ago, I was working on a strategic planning project for a start-up that got hung up on the idea of “scale.” The founders were thinking globally, but meeting locally – in a windowless conference room, with lousy coffee, a couple of laptops, and no employees. We made of lot of lists, blew through a lot of Powerpoint, did many meetings. The ideas were fantastic, the potential market of those who needed the proposed services were in the tens of millions, and the business plan was sleek. But they couldn’t start small enough to prove the model. It had to be national right away, because the idea was so strong.
US charitable foundation Grameen Foundation has announced new $500,000 match funding backing to aid its Last Mile Initiative, that’s helping lift communities from rural poverty, including farmers in Colombia and Guatemala...
UK-based mobile strategy company Mobilium Global hopes to capitalise on smartphone penetration in Africa by launching the Smart Health application, to promote health and wellness among users on the continent.
Do we really invest to make money? Yes, if you make money the old-fashioned way. You look at the trade-off between risk, return and liquidity and make the investment if it yields a return that you feel happy with, relative to the risk, with the liquidity you want.
Excelsior Group’s Foundation and the Kenya Association of Private Hospitals (KAPH) have reached an agreement to improve healthcare accessibility for 30 percent of Kenya’s population. Private sector networks account for more than 50 percent of Kenya’s healthcare providers serving the needs of Kenyans living on lower incomes.
When Hailey Chalhoub and Eliza Madden, both 22, were sent to Tabora in northeastern Tanzania to help its residents with a nascent food processing business, they had their marching orders: make a profit.
Prime Minister Pierre-Damien Habumuremyi, yesterday, presented to both chambers of Parliament highlights of the performance of the service industry with focus on financial institutions, noting that the country is on course to achieving its targeted financial inclusion.
Facebook plans to bring Internet to the third-world via drones, satellites, lasers, and more. Today Mark Zuckerberg unveiled Facebook’s Connectivity Lab which will work on the Internet.org project. It’s powered by talent acqhired from solar-powered drone maker Ascenta as well as poached from NASA.
If you were waiting, the wait is finally over, former CBZ chief and Economist Dr Mangudya will be the new substantive Governor of The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. This comes at a time when the government is making deliberate efforts to re-position the Reserve Bank as the engine of Zimbabwe’s economic recovery. The Herald reports that Dr Mangudya will assume his reigns at his new no. 80 Samora Machel Ave offices effective 1 May for what could be the first of two five year terms.
A website intended to rewrite the rules of how malaria research is funded failed to exploit the early potential of social media to link the public with researchers — but its one achievement, a new mosquito repellent is due to hit Tanzania’s market early next year.
While a ceasefire in Washington's budget wars has restored funding for a range of programs targeting global health threats like AIDS and tuberculosis (TB), the simultaneous underfunding of the world's biggest sponsor of global health research and development (R&D) puts future progress at risk, warns a new report from a coalition of nonprofit groups focused on advancing innovation to save lives. The Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) released their annual policy report today at a Capitol Hill briefing.
Crowdfunding is hot right now, everybody knows that. You have all heard about Indiegogo and Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platforms that have played an integral part in the launching of a number of different ventures in America. Just yesterday, Facebook acquired Oculus Rift for $2B. Two years ago that same Oculus rift raised money to quickly develop their virtual reality gaming headset on Kickstarter, and now their owners are $2B richer. Hooray for crowdfunding!. A formal definition of crowdfunding would be, the process of raising money for an initiative through a large pool of backers. These backers are usually sourced through the internet.
Three years after a landmark human rights ruling, Brazil offers reparations and public commemoration. But the structural inequalities that led to a 28-year-old’s death remain.
Despite the Obama administration's emphasis on science, technology, and innovation for international development, United States funding for global health research and development is not what it could or should be, according to an advocacy coalition of 30 global health nongovernmental organizations
TriLinc Global Impact Fund approves a $576,000 loan on March 25, 2014 to an agro-business company in Peru, bringing total loans funded in 2014 to $5.741 million for business expansion and socioeconomic development in Latin America and Southeast Asia
As the spotlight on investors seeking social investments continues to brighten, the rise of social stock exchanges—places where people can buy shares in social businesses with missions that align with theirs—shouldn’t be all that surprising.
What has more impact, new technology or behavioural change? Is there such a thing as a scalable solution that is also sensitive to cultural needs? Our panel of experts share their thoughts
The International Finance Corporation IFC), which is the private sector arm of the World Bank, has unfolded plans to commence an annual investment of $1.5 billion in critical sectors of the Nigerian economy.
With the MFIs realigning their fund allocations, South Asia, the traditional microfinance hub, is facing challenge from Africa for the first time
The NFC-based service will work at more than 200,000 payment points in retail outlets when it launches in the first half of this year, according to the project’s vendor Giesecke & Devrient (G&D).
Why do more people live without electricity today than when Edison turned on the first light bulb? For as long as he can remember, Xavier Helgesen has been fascinated with this question. And today, he landed $7 million in financing for his Arusha, Tanzania-based venture, Off Grid Electric, which provides solar energy to people in emerging nations.
Scientists may soon be able to forecast disease outbreaks in sub-Saharan African's "meningitis belt" using weather data. The forecasts could be used to plan early vaccination drives aimed at preventing or limiting casualties.
Etisalat joined Dialog’s eZ Cash mobile money platform on Monday, enabling a combined subscriber base of 12.7 million —over 60% of the country’s population— to enjoy ‘seamless and convenient mobile money services’ that lets them deposit, send or receive money and pay utility bills, insurance premia and engage in other transactions.
Odisha-based Annapurna Microfinance Pvt Ltd (AMPL) has raised Rs 30 crore (around $5 million) in a Series B round of funding led by Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), with participation from the existing investor Incofin Investment Management's Rural Impulse Fund II.
There is an expectation of stronger microfinance banks (MFBs) in the country if the micro institutions that could not meet with their recapitalisation requirements, successfully engage and conclude with mergers and acquisition as they are directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Squatting on their haunches among fruit trees and orange marigolds, barefoot villagers wait in the morning chill to see Dr. Pijus Sarkar, the only full-time physician in this remote part of West Bengal. They come because their local health provider — an alternative healer or one with no training at all — failed to help them, or even made them worse.
Wading into a murky tax question for the digital age, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service said on Tuesday that bitcoins and other virtual currencies are to be treated, for tax purposes, as property and not as currency.
Gib Bulloch, founder and global managing director of Accenture Development Partnerships, is all about putting money into ideas that work.
Fidelity Bank has inaugurated its new banking model, known as Fidelity Agency banking, which allows the bank to use shops and supermarkets as bank agents, called as Fidelity Smart Agents.
The finance ministry has questioned the practicality of some recommendations made by a panel formed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to promote financial inclusion, including a 1 January 2016 deadline it has set for making an Aadhaar-linked bank account available to every adult Indian.
Air pollution - both indoor and outdoor - killed some 7 million people across the globe in 2012, making it the world's largest single environmental health risk, according to new figures released today by the UN World Health Organization (WHO).
B-BOVID, an agribusiness based on social entrepreneurship principles, is introducing a unique profit-sharing concept to its oil palm enterprise which, will greatly benefit local farmers and their communities.
GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Company, on Tuesday announced a partnership with Cancer Treatment Services International (CTSI) to develop a network of 25 cancer care centres in India. Through five years, the two companies will together invest $120 million (Rs 720 crore) to establish these centres, through a hub-and-spoke model.
Opportunity International is a non-profit microfinance organization established in 1971. Over the last 42 years OI has provided $6 billion in microfinance loans and has reached over 5 million clients in 22 countries. In 2009, The MasterCard MA -1.08% Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation partnered with OI and co-funded a $16 million project to expand access to saving accounts and agricultural loans in Sub-Saharan Africa.
An outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus is believed to have killed at least 59 people in Guinea and may already have spread to neighboring Liberia, health officials said Monday.
Israeli start-up Keepod believes it has a low-cost way to bring the billions living in poverty into the digital age.
If countries are healthier and more prosperous, then we all benefit. After all, global health means economic health. This is one reason why many governments in wealthier countries have helped fund disease prevention in developing countries, far outside their borders. It’s the right thing to do, but it’s also smart policy.
A recent paper published by Harvard Business School and EY advocates for taking a more scientific approach to evaluating the impacts of microfinance programs.
The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the U.S. Agency for International Development work together to help strengthen public health systems in South Africa by funding ARV distribution and equipment.
In 2012, almost 220,000 cases were reported, and an estimated 19,000 people died from tuberculosis in the Americas.
Thomson Reuters has released the Islamic Social Finance Report 2014 in collaboration with the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group.
Applications due April 9 for a 12-month program that provides $20,000 to develop sustainable social ventures
The Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low-Income Households (the Nachiket Mor Committee on financial inclusion) has delivered a detailed report in a very short time.
Low-income earners have traditionally been underserved when it comes to being provided with avenues to manage the risks they face every day.
The government of South Africa is squaring off against drug makers over patent reform in the lead-up to national elections on May 7, citing a "massive disease burden" from HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis, cancer and heart diseases.
Nigerian mobile payments provider Teasy Mobile is to equip its mobile money agents with POS terminals that use biometric technology to verify a consumer and NFC to allow them to make a payment.
Health care providers in Kenya will soon have a much better shot at getting a bank loan to buy high-tech medical equipment — as long as the machines are made by General Electric.
Toms, the Los Angeles company known for its comfy, eco-friendly footwear and its shoes-donating ways, is tiptoeing into an unusual product line: coffee.
“There is a seismic shift happening in the global healthcare industry. The overarching trend is to integrate and move information to the right person or system at the right time — whether it's a provider's staff, external service provider, or the consumer (patient or prospect),”said Sudhanshu Bhandari, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research.
The recent approval of the liquidation of 83 micro-finance banks (MFBs) by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is bad news from the banking sector. It is worrisome that as many as 83 of these institutions are going under, barely four years after 224 of them were declared insolvent in 2010, with attendant negative implications for depositors’ funds.
Omidyar Network, the Redwood City, California-based impact investment firm, will allocate $30 million this year across sectors as it looks to pick ventures that cater both to the bottom-of-the-pyramid population as well as the swelling aspirational class in India.
Who would have expected a toilet to one day filter water, charge a cellphone or create charcoal to combat climate change? These are lofty ambitions beyond what most of the world's 2.5 billion people with no access to modern sanitation would expect. Yet, scientists and toilet innovators around the world say these are exactly the sort of goals needed to improve global public health amid challenges such as poverty, water scarcity and urban growth.
Thirty seven Social Entrepreneurs have been recognized by the Schwab Foundation as the Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2014. The winners were selected in recognition of their innovative approaches and potential for global impact. The awardees will be announced during a livecast session at The Huffington Post, featuring Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder and Chairperson, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.
Africa’s wealth of natural resource reserves make it one of the largest producers and exporters of a number of commodities in the world. For example, the continent produces roughly three-quarters of the world’s platinum and over half of the world’s diamonds.
In his 2013 State of the Union Address, U.S. President Barack Obama set forth a vision for achieving what would be one of the greatest contributions to human progress — eliminating extreme poverty. As a global health community, we have the skills and know-how to accomplish these goals, but we must work together and recognize that the ‘secret ingredient’ that binds all of our collective knowledge, skills and interventions is a strong health system.
Last December, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a warning on digital currencies noting that the bank had not yet authorized any organisation in India to use cryptocurrencies as a method of payment.
Mobile money is playing an increasing role in disaster recovery efforts as shown by the initial projects undertaken in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda. This development has caught the interest of relief agencies of the United Nations, as well as other international humanitarian agencies, who are studying the experience of the Philippines in disaster response.
Human rights activists for improved maternal health services have asked the Supreme Court to hear their petition seeking to compel the Government to provide essential adequate kits in referral hospitals for the mothers’ safe deliveries.
The medical aid organization Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has published a briefing paper about the alarming spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis, which they refer to as the "biggest threat to global health you've never heard of."
Malawi is leading the developing world in the Option B+ approach to preventing transmission of HIV from mothers to their children. Option B+ provides lifelong HIV medication to all HIV-positive pregnant and breastfeeding women.
While mobile money is now available in almost every emerging market, active usage remains low. In fact, only about 30 percent of registered mobile money accounts are actively used, according to the most recent GSMA State of the Industry report. Bridging this crucial gap between registration and active usage will require providers to design products and services that are not simply ‘great ideas,’ but that truly meet the needs of end users.
In Latin America, there is clear need to promote entrepreneurship that seeks both economic return as well as social impact.
Equity crowdfunding has become a hot topic on the startup scene in recent years. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which was signed into law in 2012, brought significant changes to certain Securities and ExchangeCommission regulations and made it easier than ever for an emerging business to raise private capital.
Impact investing has become a buzz word in social enterprise circles but, even today, opportunities to invest are hardly accessible to the average American. Barriers include protective federal regulations as well as the inability to reach scale.
What’s good for the fish is good for the fishing communities — and for impact investors. That’s the thesis of three new vehicles for investing in sustainable fisheries that will be tested in the Philippines, Chile, and Brazil over the next two years and then offered to investors more broadly.
Set to take its impact investing model to Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Pakistan
In an increasingly resource-constrained world, the ability to drive more impact investments into the communities and issues we care about is imperative
Financial literacy among Nigerians especially the young people will foster economic growth and development even as the country seeks the attainment of financial inclusion in the economy,
Christopher Flensborg of SEB, a Swedish bank, calls it another tipping-point for “green bonds”, and he should know: he invented them.
The list includes 92 social enterprises creating the most positive overall social and environmental impact of the almost 1,000 certified B Corporations in operation.
A move welcomed by campaigners and industry experts as potentially unlocking millions of pounds for social enterprises.
The bad news is that three Bitcoin thefts made headlines this week.