The administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development says he will step down in mid-February. Rajiv Shah, who has led USAID for five years, said in a statement that the agency is answering President Obama's call to end extreme poverty across the globe.
Impact investing reached and surpassed the tipping point in 2014, ceasing to be an insiders' game.
When something “just works”, there’s usually a mini-universe of people, technology and ideas behind it that the rest of us take for granted. Take bar codes for example; they’re ubiquitous, and serve multiple uses for every stage of a product’s manufacture and eventual sale. The tale behind them is an astounding story of vision, foresight, technological progress and, perhaps most importantly, the appropriate wrangling of partners that started with grocers and eventually cut across every industry.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Janssen Therapeutics December 11 that aims to accelerate progress in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, specifically multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).
The global community cannot withstand another Ebola outbreak: The World Bank estimates the two-year financial burden price tag of the current epidemic at $32.6 billion. Unfortunately, the virus has revealed gaping holes in our preparedness for major infectious disease epidemics. Because of these, plus the urbanization of rural communities and globalization of travel and trade, more of these epidemics are expected.
Amdocs, a provider of customer experience products, today announced the selection of its mobile financial services product in association with Triotech's product, which will enable State Bank of India to offer mobile financial services to India's unbanked and underbanked population, using the mobile network of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited. The solution will be delivered under a five-year services contract, according to a press release.
Response workers battling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa will receive “hazard pay” for the first time in Sierra Leone using mobile money because “unless there is a certain element of incentives, or danger pay, it’s very difficult to attract and retain people,” the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced today.
Madeira Global, a premier New York-based investment and advisory firm servicing qualified investors and institutions in the area of Impact Investing, today released its 2015 Impact Outlook for the marketplace. The firm asserts that corporate commitment to impact investing is set to reach record heights in 2015 due to the combination of heightened corporate social responsibility programs and a return to the laws of fundamental investing into companies with strong environmental, social and governance practices. The milestones seen in 2014, such as Prudential committing to build a $1 billion impact investment portfolio by 2020, will serve as precursors to the 2015 impact investment landscape.
Leaders are migrating from figureheads to action figures. From bureaucrats to disrupters. From managing the established to creating and sponsoring more social impact.
Grand Challenges Canada, which is funded by the federal government, is providing $1 million toward the development of a smartphone device that will test for diabetes and other conditions.
The Cameroonian government has launched a new tax service called Mobile Tax, in association with mobile operators MTN and Orange.
Underserved populations and market niches are ripe with potential for insurance innovators who are willing to take on the challenge of creating opportunities in areas that may seem unprofitable at first glance, says the chief executive of the Americas unit for one of the world’s largest reinsurance companies. And the ability to reach those markets digitally is key.
Indonesian telco company Indosat, in collaboration with Qatar National Bank (QNB), launched a mobile money ATM card this week, CNN Indonesia reports. The card is integrated with Indosat’s ewallet feature Dompetku, which now claims to be the first mobile money provider in Indonesia with a parallel ATM service feature.
The Global Banking Alliance for Women (GBA) is proud to announce a partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Data2X to expand the collection and use of financial data on women in economies around the world. The commitment was announced this morning at an event in New York headlined by speakers Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and Michael R. Bloomberg, during a panel moderated by Chelsea Clinton. The initiative aims to close the gender data gap in the banking sector, leading to greater financial inclusion and empowerment of women.
Checking into a hospital can boost your chances of infection. That's a disturbing paradox of modern medical care. And it doesn't matter where in the world you're hospitalized. From the finest to the most rudimentary medical facilities, patients are vulnerable to new infections that have nothing to do with their original medical problem. These are referred to as healthcare-acquired infections, healthcare-associated infections or hospital-acquired infections. Many of them, like pneumonia or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), can be deadly.
SunEdison Inc. (Belmont, CA, US) on December 15th, 2014 announced the closing of an approximately USD 146 million non-recourse debt financing arrangement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).
G-cabs, one of the taxi companies operating in Gurgaon lists the following as a perk of availing their services: "A Panic button, at both the passenger's and chauffeur's end- assuring a safe journey." In the aftermath of the Uber rape case, this seems like an extremely helpful feature for a taxi service to have. However, what it also points out is that some of the solutions women are looking for in terms of safe travel are already available - at least on paper. There are at least four cab operators in the NCR region which offer women-only services - Vira, Priyadarshini, G-cabs, Sakha - however, people still tend to resort to services like Ola and Uber. A report on The Times of India today points out that Ola cabs now plan to make their services more women-friendly by launching a line of 'by women, for women' cabs. The move comes after threats of banning cab aggregating services like those of Uber and Ola.
Bangalore-based startup incubator Khosla Labs has partnered with seed-stage impact investor Unitus Seed Fund to incubate and fund four-six startups working on the Unique Identification Authority of India (Aadhaar) project.
It is easy to be discouraged about the state of international cooperation today, but global health remains an area in which the world has come together to do significant good. Over the last dozen years, international initiatives have delivered HIV/AIDS treatment to millions, expanded childhood immunization, and spurred a dramatic increase in global support for addressing other health challenges, from malaria to maternal health.
Findings from the EFInA access to financial services in Nigeria 2014 survey has revealed that 36.9 million adults, representing 39.5 per cent of the population are financially excluded.
A survey carried out by Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) Access to Financial Services in Nigeria in 2014 revealed that 2.6 million Nigerian adults representing 2.8 percent, currently have a microfinance bank account.
The real drivers of employment and growth in India are not the exalted corporates, but MSMEs, its time to stop giving them a raw deal
For health-care workers taking care of Ebola patients in West Africa, one of the biggest logistical problems has been the "moon suits" they must wear to protect against being infected by the deadly virus. The suits are hot. Taking them off is a meticulous, multistep process that can leave no room for error.
Rwanda's Henri Nyakarundi founded African Renewable Energy Distributor (ARED) to give renewable energy solutions to the public and private sectors in his home country Rwanda after failing to find a place to charge his phone from. However, he never imagined that his idea would ever cross the border.
There’s a lot of untapped potential in the Nigerian commerce market — which is growing — and MasterCard has discovered a marketing niche with the country’s national high-tech e-ID card pilot project.
American Express AXP, -0.91% today announced that it is kicking off a research pilot to study consumer savings behaviors using the Serve software platform. This research pilot can help identify new ways to promote saving and explore whether certain behavioral interventions are effective in increasing consumer savings. This program will also help inform research at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the U.S. government agency charged with making financial markets work for American consumers, to better understand how to promote saving among consumers.
The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is putting into place a new agreement for purchasing HIV medication that will save close to US$100 million over two years, money that can be reinvested in lifesaving drugs and programs all over the world.
Early-stage investments in off-grid solar companies operating in developing countries reached $63.9 million in 2014, according to a tally from Greentech Media.
Vodacom aims to push the envelope with its revamped M-Pesa in 2015, a year in which it hopes it will emerge as the most disruptive player in the local mobile money space.
Think about what life would be like if you needed glasses and you didn't have them. You would struggle to study in school, you would be hampered in your work, and much else besides.
Angolan Investment Bank (BAI) has launched e-Kwanza a mobile money service that allows users to make transfers and payments for goods and services across the country.
The Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) today held a quarterly meeting considering new projects for approval.
“Technology for the sake of technology is a waste of precious resources. Social entrepreneurs need to understand the deep value that ICT can bring to social change when it is offered in context, with appropriate training, and with the intent of empowering the user. We hope this report inspires many others to take up this challenge in ways we haven’t even begun to imagine.” Justin Rattner, President, Intel INTC -1.2% Foundation.
It's traditional for newborns in northern India to wear a black thread necklace as a symbol of good health and good fortune, but Vikram's got a high-tech version. The round pendant on the string is a wearable device called Khushi Baby that carries his vaccination history inside a computerized chip about the size of a dime.
An overwhelming majority of "impact investments" met or exceeded financial and social-benefit goals, according to a survey released Thursday.
It’s no longer called EcoLife, but Econet is back in the insurance game.
Poverty is still one of the driving forces behind ill health, a lack of access to healthcare and medicines and consistent underdevelopment.
Telecom services provider Orange announced its mobile health (mHealth) development initiative with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) – targeting Africa.
People might take selfies someday to detect a deadly yet treatable medical condition, according to an award-winning team of medical inventors.
MTN Chief Sales and Distribution Officer Amos Jere told journalists at the Zambia Agriculture Show that MTN Zambia plans to work with 120,000 farmers in the next farming season through the Ericsson Wallet Platform. Quoted by the Lusaka Times, he said that the company is in the process of rolling out our mobile money platform to integrate MTN Mobile Money with all banks in the country and added that some 4,000 subsistence farmers in the country have already been successfully paid through the platform for their cotton sales in Eastern Province.
Financial inclusion is now one of the most talked about agendas towards holistic development of the country. With the thrust towards financial inclusion by the Narendra Modi government to achieve all round growth of society, micro insurance is poised to play an important role in it.
The first “Inclusive Finance India Global Summit” in Delhi, organized by ACCESS, a national think tank, was inaugurated on Monday (December 8) by Shri HR Khan, deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The two days of deliberations at the Summit covered issues related to Financial Inclusion, Financial Education and Financial Stability, and built a Financial Inclusion Vision 2020. MetLife Foundation is proud to be one of the two principal partners in the Inclusive Finance Summit.
Acumen Founder, Jacqueline Novogratz, discusses the need for 'Patient Capital' and 'leaders who reject the status quo' at UnconventioniL Chennai, organised by Villgro and Tie Chennai.
MBA students prove that entrepreneurs can create a great social impact and develop profitable business models at the same time.
Telemedicine Africa has collaborated with Dimension Data and the IDC to set up private telehealth centres in South Africa.
One of the issues discussed at the just concluded Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) three-day workshop for business editors and members of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) in Katsina State is extension of deposit insurance to mobile money subscribers via Pass-Through Insurance (PTI).
To many Americans, whose multi-trillion dollar government has just executed a hostile takeover of the healthcare industry, the future of care looks like lawyer-laden socialized medicine in General Motors GM -1.68%-style hospital factories.
Banking, Financial Services & Insurance (BFSI) is a high-priority vertical for Xerox in India. Vishal Awal, Executive Director, Xerox South Asia spoke about how Xerox India is addressing technology requirements of the banking sector.
There is no shortage of efforts to bring financial inclusion to those in developing economies who lack access to basic financial services. Most have failed for one very important reason – they’ve been unable to scale. The announcement last week of MasterCard’s partnership with The Gates Foundation will address that problem, starting with the launch of an Innovation Lab in the birthplace of the region’s most successful mobile money scheme – Kenya.
Smallholder farmers in Mozambique are growing nutritious and lucrative varieties of orange-fleshed sweet potato.
Hundreds of millions of the world’s citizens today lack opportunities to join the financial services mainstream. Meanwhile, global financial institutions are missing out on a corresponding number of opportunities to refresh and grow their customer base, create prolific new markets, and develop sustainable demand for a new generation of products and services.
2.5 billion in the world have inadequate sanitation. For businesses, that’s 2.5 billion opportunities to increase sales of infrastructure, plumbing, hygiene and cleaning products. Unilever has recognized the magnitude of the global sanitation crisis, the potential for solving it and helped lead the formation of the Toilet Board Coalition (TBC) to do their part.
Merck & Co. is paying $8.4 billion in cash and assume $1.1 billion in net debt to acquire Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. and join the fight against drug-resistant bacteria — a growing global threat that's slowly fueling a lucrative pharma business.
TriLinc Global Impact Fund announced today that it has approved a total of $11.9 million in trade finance facilities to two companies in South Africa and one company in Argentina, bringing total financing commitments as of November 30, 2014 to $57.9 million for business expansion and socioeconomic development through its holdings in Africa and Latin America.
Electronic and in-app wallets have emerged as another payment option. Many companies, especially those in e-commerce and telecom services, offer wallets where consumers can preload money and use to pay for services. Here’s a look at the treatment of money stored in various kinds of wallets.
The Business Call to Action and Private Sector Innovation Programme for Health (PSP4H) on December 4, 2014 co- hosted an event focused on innovative private sector approaches to delivering better healthcare to low income Kenyans. The event brought together chief executives, senior representatives from governments, bilateral donors, civil society and the United Nations.
Once she gets her MBA degree from UC Berkeley in May, Leigh Madeira's dream is to help find funding for young companies devoted to improving the lives of the world's poor.
Can an open protocol-based network technology transform a cartelized, oligopolistic and highly regulated industry by transferring power from large corporations to individuals?
As low application of innovation and technology in the healthcare sector remains the biggest drawback in transforming delivery in Nigeria, the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN), a private sector-led coalition, has unveiled $1 million Health Innovation Challenge (HIC) to address suboptimal health care.
This September, A Mary, 47, got something she never thought she ever could — not a car or a home but a pension. A house help and a mother of two whose husband is a driver, Delhi-based Mary always viewed a pension as something only the affluent could afford — until her employer Kurt Strasser, a senior sector specialist at German development bank KfW, brought it within her reach.
Sustainable and responsible investing assets have grown 76 percent in the last two years, from $3.74 trillion in 2012 to $6.57 trillion at the start of this year.
As though it heard the Christmas wishes of policy nerds everywhere, the World Bank Group made behavioral economics the theme of its 2015 World Development report.
Nomadic livestock herders in Ethiopia have received their first payout from an insurance scheme that tracks poor pasture conditions with satellite technology.
The Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic/WAVE non-governmental organization is introducing a floating health clinic on Lake Tanganyika.
Apparently to find scientific answers to why Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are rising on the African continent, GlaxoSmitheKline (GSK) has opened a £4m grant initiative to researchers in the region.
There's loud chatter in Mandarin, Hindi and English - all thrown in a heady mix of business, big numbers, and of course money converted in at least two currencies.
An electrically charged fabric makes for a quick-dissolving delivery vessel for drugs that kill HIV.
Social Finance announced today, at a White House Pay for Success Summit in Chicago, grant awards totaling $4.0 million from Omidyar Network and The Pershing Square Foundation to support its operations over the next three years. The flexible funds will be used to expand Social Finance's transaction and advisory teams, as well as accelerate the flow of Pay-for-Success (PFS) financing (or Social Impact Bond) transactions in the United States. The grants represent funding renewals from Omidyar Network and The Pershing Square Foundation, which were founding supporters of Social Finance.
BNU, in partnership with Timor Telecom, and with support from the Inclusive Finance for the Under-Served Economy (INFUSE) Programme and MicroSave, launched Timor-Leste's first mobile wallet product called BNU Mobile.
The primary health centre (PHC) in Dholmara village in Kokrajhar is run by Dr Atawor Rehman, who doesn't have an MBBS degree, yet is known for being among the best in the district on the scale of management and service delivery.
The High Court will determine in January whether a mobile operator associated with Equity Bank should roll out the thin SIM technology. Judge Isaac Lenaola on Thursday said he will deliver his verdict next year after parties in the case made their final submissions.
Drones have been trialled by Medecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to combat a centuries-old disease that has crippled communities in one of the most untamed wildernesses on earth.
Around the world, shifting demographics are putting more pressure on health systems that are struggling to catch up to changing expectations.
United Bank for Africa (UBA) is partnering with telecoms firm, Bharti Airtel to provide mobile-based financial services across Africa through Airtel Money.
Ron Cordes used to get patronizing pats on the head from the traditional financial advisors he once worked with. Now, many of his former colleagues are asking him to help them get smarter about impact investing.
Housewife Jenny Orquiza, whose home was damaged by super typhoon Haiyan, did not imagine that the Philippines' biggest natural disaster would lead to her getting something she never had - a bank account.
Trymore Chikwiriro is 29 years old, and his wife gave birth to their first child just this past October. Just like they expected, all of their nights were focused on their new baby– so the time seemed right for Trymore to undergo voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC).
MasterCard has unveiled the launch of MasterCard Labs for Financial Inclusion, a new initiative seeking to impact more than 100 million people globally by developing practical and cost-effective financial tools that expand access and help build stable futures over the long term.
The World Economic Forum has a message for wealthy families thinking about impact investing: don’t just buy on the buzz, do your homework.
Over 40 leaders from across Latin America, including the banking, microfinance, academic, and aging advocacy sectors, joined together in Bogota, Colombia for a roundtable on the topic of Aging and Financial Inclusion. This meeting focused specifically on aging demographics in Latin America and the increasing need for access to quality financial services—including pensions, savings, insurance, loans, and payments.
Today Citi announced the top innovations from the Citi Mobile Challenge U.S., a groundbreaking global initiative that invites technology developers to reimagine digital banking and fuel innovation in the financial industry.
Smartphones may not be the smartest solution to fighting Ebola in West Africa. Technology giants including Google, Amazon and Ericsson, and techie charities such as the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation have donated thousands of smartphones for use across the region, where better communication is key to stopping the epidemic.
Mobile payments system, also known as mobile banking in the country has recorded a total of 15 million transactions since the inception of the scheme in 2012 with 58 million subscribers while the total value of the transactions till date is N430 billion.
Christine Nabbanja is a 22-year-old, fourth year, biomedical engineering student at Makerere University. She is also part of a group of five innovative students, teamed up to offer global health solutions to the world. Their innovation is an automatic switch for an electrical suction pump. Suctions are used to clear the airway of blood, saliva, vomit or other secretions so that a patient can breathe during respiratory failure or surgery.
Eulysis UK Limited's mission is to revolutionise pharmaceutical delivery globally. The Single Vial System (SVS), their unique storage and reconstitution technology for lyophilized (freeze-dried) pharmaceuticals is just 9 months away from becoming commercially viable.
Famed heart surgeon Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, Mother Teresa's personal physician and founder of Narayana Health — an Indian hospital network that is internationally regarded as one of the world's lowest-cost, highest-quality healthcare providers — is bringing his mission of providing affordable, accessible healthcare to America.
Only 48 per cent of Indian adults have bank accounts and nearly half of them lie dormant, says a report. According to a nation-wide survey on financial behaviour, India has the highest account dormancy rate even more than countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
The government’s ambitious financial inclusion programme is about to get bigger. Last week, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that the target for new bank accounts under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana had been revised from 7.5 crore to 10 crore by January 26, 2015.
An Indian state has halted mass sterilisations at health camps after a doctor was found using a bicycle pump to inflate women's abdomens.
By Erik Simanis: Impact assessments are a powerful – and necessary – part of a non-profit’s tool kit. Rigorously measuring how and how much a program solves a social ill and betters the lives of the poor ensures continual improvement. Impact assessments also serve as a report card back to the funders of non-profits. They assure donors that grant funds are being maximised and used for the purpose intended.
JD.com, Inc. ("JD.com" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: JD), China's largest online direct sales company, and Grameen China, the China-based entity of Grameen Trust ("GT"), a non-profit and non-government organization committed to the cause of poverty alleviation, today announced that they have reached an agreement on a strategic partnership in China.
Telecoms company MTN today launched mobile money cross-border remittance service between Ivory Coast and Benin. It said the service will further enable cheaper and easy movement of money in the West Africa region.
When it comes to lending to the poor, it is not just the micro finance institutions that charge high interest rates, but even bulgebracket banks such as Axis Bank to YES Bank charge as much as 22% to 26% a year.
"It only takes one virus to get through for a person to be infected," explained Dr. John Mascola. This is true of any viral infection, but in this instance, Mascola is referring to HIV and his ongoing efforts to develop a vaccine against the virus. "It's been so difficult to make an HIV/AIDS vaccine."
Honduran Mercario partners up with American Mimetic Markets to launch the first Bitcoin exchange in Honduras. Hosted by Mimetic Markets, freshly announced trading platform Mercario will allow users to trade Honduran lempiras, Brazilian reals and bitcoins on a robust and scalable system. In a company's announcement, Mimetic Markets CEO Sameer Parekh Brenn stated:
Bima, the leading global microinsurance provider, announced a 5 million USD investment from Digicel Group, the leading total communications and entertainment provider in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific regions. This investment and the resulting partnership will help Bima to deliver access to affordable insurance on a scale never seen before in those regions.
Taxi hailing service Uber sharply criticized Indian rules that require two-step authentication of credit card transactions and sought 45 more days to comply with the central bank's directive on the issue.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands – On 4-5 December 2014 the Third Child and Youth Finance Regional Meeting for Africa will be held at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Meeting will bring together Africa’s finest policy makers, educators, research and academic institutions, financial service providers, as well as representatives from various government ministries to develop a common African position on the advancement of a unified financial education and inclusion plan of action for children and youth across the continent.
Nigeria’s healthcare space is set to witness a landmark investment as the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria, a public-private coalition aimed at mobilising Nigeria ‘s private sector to improve health outcomes, unveils a $1 million Health Innovation Challenge (HIC).
When you buy milk in America, it generally comes from farmers with hundreds of cows. They do their own milking with mechanized equipment, and, generally, their own pasteurization and bottling. In Kenya, it's different. About 80% of the country's milk comes from small-scale farmers with a few cows, who milk by-hand. They don't do bottling and, instead of trucks to get to market, they go by bike or foot.
Globally, there are an estimated 19 million people who do not know they are living with HIV. Without knowledge of their status, individuals cannot access life-saving HIV care and treatment. To close this gap, UNITAID is investing $23 million to accelerate access to HIV testing through simple HIV self-tests in three high-burden African countries over the next two years. PSI and its partners will lead this initiative to dramatically shift the paradigm of HIV testing in Africa.
The Government of Ghana today took steps towards enhancing fiscal transparency and promoting the financial inclusion of its citizens by committing to a United Nations-backed initiative that supports countries’ transitions to electronic payments.
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) can learn from the difficulties faced by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in curtailing the spread of Ebola.
Bangladesh is going digital. Not in smart watches, sensor-based clothing or electronic health records, but in money. Mobile money. Money, that according to BRAC and the Gates Foundation could improve the economic and health outcomes of the country, especially of women and children. With a healthy appreciation of the complexities in scaling digitally, faith in innovation at the grassroots level and years of planning, these organizations just might make mobile money the future of finance.
The World Bank said on Saturday it will loan East African nations $1.2 billion (S$1.56 billion) to improve inland waterways and ports in Kenya and Tanzania, as part of efforts to boost integration in the region.
The idea of doing good while making a healthy profit is rapidly gaining ground, particularly among wealthy Silicon Valley entrepreneurs but also among foundations and pension funds. Social impact investing — for-profit investing for social good — has crossed into the mainstream and is driving investment decisions.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday released the final guidelines for licensing of payments and small banks. These banks are intended to cover the unbanked and underbanked areas and increase banking penetration in the country, stated the circular. Let’s take a look at the changes that these banks are likely to bring in financial services.
Vodacom is in talks with small and big companies with the aim of getting them to use its mobile payment platform, m-pesa, to pay salaries to employees and allow customers to pay for goods using the system.
Nigeria's health care sector is to get a major push courtesy of a $1million public-private coalition investment to save one million lives of women and children from preventable diseases such as malaria, malnutrition, lack of access to life-saving commodities and suboptimal supply chain systems, among others.
At a time when news about Africa has been dominated by Ebola, it’s worth observing that a highly encouraging change has been quietly spreading across the continent. Over the past five years, the number of Africans — mainly women — who have joined village-based savings and loan associations has soared to more than nine million. These groups are now operating in 40 countries in Africa. Globally, it’s estimated that 10.5 million people are members of formally trained savings groups in about 65 countries. (PDF) The big story about these groups, including their surprising success and emerging importance in development, comes from Africa.
The Reserve Bank of India's final rules on payments banks prohibit telecom operators from leveraging their nationwide retailer networks and channels if they enter the new business, but analysts say this is a good opportunity for mobile phone companies to add another revenue stream given their existing consumer connect.
In a recent agreement, the China-Africa Development Fund and Wuhan-based Humanwell Healthcare (Group) Co. inked a deal to open a pharmaceutical factory in Bamako, Mali, as part of a series of healthcare sector investments in Africa.
Some multinational companies (MNCs) have been delaying the launch of life-saving drugs in India years after getting monopoly rights, while cheaper generic versions of exorbitantly-priced medicines are going off the shelves under the product patenting law.
The newly launched branchless banking regulation will enable banks to expand their financial services to disadvantaged and low-income segments at affordable costs, a senior official of the Financial Services Authority (OJK) has said.
On a typical day, Rohit Bokhare makes about Rs 800 taking passengers in his Mahindra Xylo between Saki Naka in Andheri and Adlabs Imagica on the Mumbai-Pune expressway in Raigad district. The 51-year-old defaulted on repayment of the loan he took to purchase the utility vehicle for four months, which led his financier to come inquiring. Shriram Transport Finance, the non-bank finance company that financed the vehicle, last week found his Xylo lying in a garage for repair for 20-25 days, blocking his regular cash flow. To top it up, Bokhare had a repair bill of Rs 20,000-25,000. He couldn't pay the EMIs in the previous months because of family exigencies.
Perhaps this is the reason why Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN) Chairman Nadeem Hussain believes that an impressive growth of 20-25% per annum for the past many years has still not made the country’s microfinance industry ‘relevant’ in the fight against poverty.
As I sit down to write this, a letter comes to my desk. Handwritten by a 90-year-old man, the letter seeks help from Mint’s insurance expert in resolving a fraud carried out by an insurance company agent who sold a policy for his grand-daughter, changing her status from a US citizen to a non-resident Indian and promising returns in dollars.
As if it were a sacred ritual, every week Gloria Sánchez meets to talk business with four other Hispanic women who are on their way to entrepreneurship thanks to the system of microloans.
EQUITY Bank plans to officially launch its mobile money platform Equitel - the trading brand of its telecoms subsidiary Finserve Africa - next quarter, chief executive James Mwangi said yesterday.
A new law permitting non-bank for-profit lending institutions may unleash a revolution in microfinance by allowing more actors and innovators to get involved.
The infant mobile wallet market in India is estimated to grow over threefold to Rs 1,210 crore in the next five years, buoyed by rising smartphone users and entry of newer players into the sector.
A United Arab Emirates state investment fund announced on Monday it would provide $200 million in loans for microfinance projects in Egypt, a move it said would create more than 120,000 jobs by 2020.
Mobile phone technology can help to bring financial services to the 80 percent of African women who do not have a bank account and bolster the growth of the world's poorest continent, Nigeria's finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said on Monday.
It's now Goliath versus Goliath in the quest for an Ebola vaccine. Until now, the two leading candidates for a vaccine to protect against the Ebola virus were being led by global pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline on the one hand, and a tiny company in Ames, Iowa, that was virtually unknown, on the other.
One of the biggest private foundations in the world just took a step toward becoming more open with the research it funds.
Artepharm, a Cantonese medical drugs laboratory, has been engaged for the past few years in a remarkable venture against malaria, a health scourge that has long plagued humanity and has been responsible for every second human death since the Middle Ages.
Brazil is the largest country in South America and the fifth most populous in the world, but it provides only a minor fraction of the technological innovation that drives economic growth in other countries. A new social enterprise called Tunnel Lab is trying to change this dynamic by introducing a love for technology in many of the country’s poorest favelas.
On a recent Friday, several inventors gathered in downtown Washington with suitcases and coolers full of prototypes designed to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus.
Bank of America’s Global Wealth and Investment Management (GWIM) division today announced that it has signed the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) on behalf of its discretionary asset management businesses. The unit (GWIM) is comprised primarily of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and U.S. Trust.
It started with a plea to help 60,000 orphans in the company’s care. The children, who were being looked after in Zimbabwean orphanages set up by the telecoms operator Econet Wireless, could not study at night because there was no power and lighting, and many were getting sick from breathing in the chemicals emitted from candles.
Banking will have a new look with some of the jigsaw pieces slowly falling into place. Almost all dealings between a customer and her bank will be possible with a basic handset and without accessing the Internet.
Joshua Wrenn needed money to make the January payment for his Jeep Cherokee. The truck driver and aspiring country singer in Madison, North Carolina, got $800 within minutes from a website he found on his phone. When he called to check his balance a few weeks later, he was told he had electronically signed a contract to pay back $3,920 to a company owned by an American Indian tribe.
The trend of impact investing — into companies, organizations and funds with the aim of investing for social and environmental good, as well as a financial gain — is becoming more specific.
Entrepreneurship is about solving a problem, not starting a company. While this isn't a new idea, today's young entrepreneurs have the advantage of the Internet, which has collapsed time and distance barriers. This means problems solved locally can have immediate impacts globally—and that's good for both people and business. A new generation of entrepreneurs is creating a new generation of technologies that are, quite literally, changing the world overnight.
The Global Health Corps co-founder argues that the nonprofit health care world needs workers with expertise in business, engineering, and communications.
Financial and insurance activities are expanding at roughly twice the pace of the overall economy and just 30 per cent of the population are formally banked, so industry leaders have good reason to be optimistic about the country’s financial services future.
Bank of America today announced a partnership with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC) to raise $100 million to help provide clean cooking solutions to millions of households in the developing world.
Investment in Nigeria’s pharmaceutical sector has hit N70 billion in the last four years, the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN) revealed to BusinessDay.
As mobile penetration and smartphone proliferation continues its unprecedented surge in Africa, its beneficiaries are spreading beyond the confines of social interactions and brand development. The number of health solutions, exploiting this growth, are also on the rise.
While insurance penetration in general remains low, micro-insurance has seen significant growth as more banks partner with insurance firms to offer micro-insurance products to low-income earners.
Nigeria’s fourth largest bank, Access Bank Plc, has signed a deal with Airtel Nigeria that will see its mobile money service run on the network of the mobile operator. The collaboration is aimed at boosting financial inclusion in the country.
There appears to be a disconnect between the global burden of pneumonia and how much money is spent on attempting to reduce this burden, which Humanosphere recently summed up as: Pneumonia leads in killing children, but not in global health financing.
LeapFrog Investments and Resolution Insurance announced today, that LeapFrog intends to invest $18.7 million for a majority stake in Resolution Insurance,through its holding company, Resolution Health East Africa Limited.
Innovative new social enterprise will work with donors and nonprofits to apply the rigor, transparency and ease of a for-profit investment platform to the world of charitable giving.
Snapchat may be the latest application with a new mobile payment feature launched this week, but the idea that made Snapcash possible was spawned more than seven years ago in Africa.
Royal Philips and the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation (http://www.snvworld.org), will be working together to improve access to clean cooking solutions in Africa by introducing clean and efficient household cook stoves to rural communities across the continent. The partnership aims to improve the health and well-being and income of rural populations while having a direct positive impact on the environment and will include research, community education and access to financing for adopting clean cooking technologies.
The loan portfolio in south comprise a third of total.
The share of U.S. managed assets invested with environmental, social or similar criteria rose 50 percent over the past two years, a foundation that tracks the field said, because of new disclosure standards and client concern about areas like climate change.
A $10 million micro fund that will make investments in early and growth stage mobile startups, including mobile health, got started this week.
Foundation seeks to reach 10 mn under-served people, ties up with Rajasthan govt to offer 11 low-cost health innovations
The BRICS Development Bank, the AIIB and the Silk Road Fund – recent initiatives spearheaded by China that symbolize its growing influence in development funding and potential new sources of financing, says Rajiv Biswas.
Responsible investing has undergone a radical shift, investors are demanding more of their financial advisors, and regulators are struggling to keep up, say experts.
Ericsson has announced that MTN Uganda has deployed the Ericsson Converged Wallet platform, enabling the operator to quickly introduce relevant, new and differentiated mobile financial services offerings for seven million MTN Uganda mobile wallet users and 50,000 agents
TANZANIA is the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa and ninth globally for demonstrating most conducive environments for financial inclusion, according to the new Global Microscope 2014 by The Economist Intelligence Unit.
How much is a fast track for the Food and Drug Administration review of a new drug worth? Try $125 million.
This year, the Foreign Operations Bill proposed by the House of Representatives includes the restoration of $300 million in funding for the successful President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which has been chronically underfunded in recent years.
Sizwe Nzima was sitting in a clinic waiting for his grandparents' HIV medicine four years ago when he had an idea: Why not start an HIV medicine delivery service?
Frustrated at the lack of interest by the medical establishment in reducing the costs of diagnostic testing, Kanav Kahol returned home to New Delhi in 2011 and built a prototype of a device called the Swasthya Slate (which translates to “Health Tablet”) in less than three months, for a cost of $11,000.
A joint telemedicine initiative between Apollo Hospitals and African telecoms company Airtel will expand access to health services for many Nigerian mobile subscribers.
Pakistan’s central bank has revealed it will implement biometric technology for identity verification developed by the country’s National Database and Registration Authority.
The Financial Solutions Lab at the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) today announced that household liquidity, the management and alignment of income and expenses, will be the focus of its first innovation challenge.
Upaya Social Ventures and the Artha Initiative are proud to announce that they have formalized a collaboration through which they will work together to develop a pipeline of and co-invest in India’s Small and Growing Business (SGB) sector.
Business and civil interests representing the mobile payments markets are developing global principles, standards and codes of conduct for digital finance, as cashless payments move to the fore in the developing world.
South Africa’s largest Bitcoin exchange, BitX, has launched a Bitcoin mobile wallet that makes storing and using the cryptocurrency easier and safer for consumers in emerging markets.
While the Securities and Exchange Commission dawdles, states are rushing to adopt their own crowdfunding rules. Ironically, it may just be the thing that rescues crowdfunding from a regulatory death grip.
Gone are the heady headlines proclaiming the birth of a trillion dollar asset class. Instead, we are seeing substantive attempts to overcome challenges to sector growth.