Oxfam has called for a multi-million dollar Marshall Plan-type scheme to help the three West Africa countries worst affected by Ebola to recover.
Despite Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance’s ambitious $7.5 billion target, donors rose up to the challenge and pledged slightly more than the set goal: $7.539 billion. These commitments are a reflection of donors’ continued confidence not only in the alliance’s capability to deliver results but also to provide evidence of value for money.
The Aspen Institute is pleased to announce today that Ida Rademacher has joined the Institute as the new Executive Director of the Initiative on Financial Security, effective immediately. In this role, Rademacher will lead the Initiative into a new phase of engagement with leaders from the financial services, government, and independent sectors to explore how the rapidly evolving financial system and public policies can work together to improve the financial security and financial well-being of all Americans. Rademacher's work will expand the Initiative on Financial Security's efforts to bring to the national forefront a solutions-focused discussion of how America can address growing wealth inequality and household financial insecurity.
Washington-area philanthropy is becoming unabashedly business-minded. Practices such as impact investing and public-private partnerships that were experiments after the recession are now expected to be regular giving habits for many do-gooders. And that’s just for starters. Capital Business caught up with a few local philanthropy thought leaders to see what’s next for local giving in the region:
Ground-up artemisia plants, from which the anti-malaria drug artemisininis derived, appear to work much better than the refined drug does by itself, according to research at the University of Massachusetts.
The James Ashton Interview: The executive director of Oxfam International, was in Davos last week campaigning to close the huge gap between the world’s haves and have-nots.
President Barack Obama announced today in New Delhi a new partnership among the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Calvert Foundation and several private financial institutions in India to develop an Indian Diaspora Investment Initiative.
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday promised to revive the micro-credit sector of the economy if he wins the February 14, 2015 election.
Asia’s biggest vaccine maker is working on a string of new low-priced offerings that threaten to undercut brands from the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies.
Bank of Zambia (BoZ) Governor Michael Gondwe has launched a US$50 million Fund under the MasterCard Foundation’s Fund to support smallholder farmers in the rural areas.
After Natura was certified as the first publicly listed B Corp in December, Unilever CEO Paul Polman says his company is considering pursuing the status.
Two new tools to fight AIDS should be available by 2030 in the form of a vaccine and new intense drug treatments, ending most cases of a disease that has killed millions in the past 30 years, Bill Gates said.
Safaricom has launched an interactive portal dubbed Zindua Café (www.safaricom.co.ke/zindua) through which external innovators and developers countrywide will be able to share their ideas, applications and prototypes with Safaricom.
India is betting that mobile phone vendors, fuel stations and corner stores can help it put basic banking within the grasp of hundreds of millions of its poor people living beyond the reach of traditional bank branches.
The lack of running water killed more people in Nigeria last year than Boko Haram. While the terror campaign claimed more than 4,000 lives, the shortage of potable water and poor sanitation led to about 73,000 deaths, according to WaterAid, a London-based nonprofit.
Period. While the English dictionary gives several meanings for this rather ordinary word, millions of women around the world associate it with discomfort, pain and embarrassing memories. For hundreds of thousands of girls across India, menstruation means five days of solitary confinement; it’s the one reason behind many being forced to drop out of school and also being subjected to discriminatory social practices. Caught between superstition, ignorance and poverty they end up using anything from straw, ash and tree bark to even cow dung and dirty rags to absorb the flow. Consequently, stories about disease and death are legion.
US President Barack Obama Sunday affirmed his commitment to enhancing India's 'voice and vote' in global financial institutions like IMF.
The welcome reception to kick off the pledging conference in Berlin, Germany, for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance will be held later tonight, but already the public-private partnership has gained itself one backer: the United States.
Today, Citi announced that Brandee McHale has been appointed President of the Citi Foundation and Director of Corporate Citizenship for Citi, effective February 1st. Ms. McHale will succeed Pamela Flaherty, who is retiring at the end of January after 46 years with Citi. Ed Skyler will remain Chairman of the Citi Foundation.
Simeon Ogonda’s vision for Kenyan youth is ambitious. He wants to transform young people from job seekers into job creators who build and support sustainable and transparent enterprises. “My vision is to bring up more young people who can develop their own businesses, work hard, and trust that so long as they keep their passion alive, they will not fail in what they’re doing,” he said.
Payments made using plastic cards dipped by a fifth in 11 months to November last year as mobile phone-based payments ate into commercial banks’ business.
The GAVI global vaccines alliance is seeking to raise $7.5 billion at a funding conference in Berlin next week, as its battle to prevent infectious diseases in millions of children reaches an expected peak.
Even though one third of the global population have the microbes that cause tuberculosis (TB), pharmaceutical companies still have little incentive to produce the drugs that can combat the deadly but curable disease.
This year, India’s medical devices industry will be opened up to 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI). The move had been in the works for some time – India’s union cabinet met last year to discuss the reform, while the industry’s regulatory framework has been tweaked several times since it was first introduced in 2005.
Responding to banks’ efforts to reach out to people who do not typically use financial services, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan this week inaugurated the first Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) certified smart card manufacturing plant in sub-Saharan Africa.
A group of global insurance companies and brokers took advantage of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos to announce that they have established a micro insurance consortium and micro insurance venture incubator (MVI).
Numbers don’t lie, especially in business, and when the right sort of numbers are going up it becomes a celebrated truth.
Victor Hugo once said that “nothing can stop an idea whose time has come”. He failed to add that a lousy product launch can delay it. In the first decade of this century it seemed that frugal innovation’s time had indeed arrived: to meet surging demand from new consumers in emerging economies, innovative firms in those countries were stripping products of their fripperies and cutting their cost drastically. The new world had at last produced a big, new management idea.
Gender inequality in work costs women in poor countries US$9 trillion each year – more than the combined GDPs of Britain, France and Germany – according to research released today by the international development agency ActionAid.
The recent innovation, that will definitely put a smile to a lot of people’s faces, literally, is the cleft lip and palate and palate surgical tool.
Microcredit—providing small loans to underserved entrepreneurs—has been both celebrated and vilified as a development tool. Six new studies from four continents bring rigorous evidence to this debate, finding that while microcredit has some benefits, it is not a viable poverty alleviation tool.
Food Tank, in partnership with The George Washington University, is hosting the 1st Annual Food Tank Summit in Washington D.C. on January 21-22, 2015.
Inspired by the ABC reality TV show Shark Tank, PSI’s corporate partnerships team recently conducted its own version of the contest. Teams of PSI staffers presented five ideas to three judges, Sumathi Balasubramanian, senior manager, initiatives for girls and women, PSI; Marcie Cook, senior regional director, Asia and Eastern Europe, PSI; and Adeeb Mahmud, director, FSG. The winner was the Tampax for Toilets campaign, submitted by Dan Lawner and Genevieve Kelly of PSI’s East Africa department and Malaria and Child Survival department, respectively. Watch their winning presentation above or read below for more on their idea:
Bill and Melinda Gates have taken on some of the world’s messiest problems, funding projects to improve the design of toilets and condoms and even create urine-powered fuel cells. Now, in their annual letter published today, they’re outlining ambitions to tackle another messy sector: banking.
GAVI, a public-private global health partnership committed to increasing access to immunisation, has chosen Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices Ltd (HMD) as one of its knowledge and strategic partners to promote injection safety around the world.
The recently launched GSM Association Code of Conduct for Mobile Money Providers is a welcome initiative. There is increasing recognition of the economic benefits that digital financial services can bring, along with an understanding that achieving ambitious financial inclusion targets may well depend on their rapid rollout. Such targets are being proposed by the World Bank, under the Maya Declaration and in other forums.
Wednesday marks the second day of the 2015 World Economic Forum, also known as the Davos Annual Meeting.
After years of refusing vaccine handouts from big pharmaceutical companies, international medical humanitarian group Médecins Sans Frontières is bending its policy to accept donations of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.
On Thursday, January 22 in Davos, Switzerland, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and MasterCard announced a broad collaboration that aims to expand financial inclusion across the African continent. The collaboration seeks to develop solutions that drive inclusive growth in Africa by broadening access and usage of digital financial services.
Today the U.S. National Advisory Board on Impact Investing (NAB) named Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, as the new Chair, joining the leadership team that includes Matt Bannick, Managing Partner at Omidyar Network, and Tracy Palandjian, CEO of Social Finance US.
The value of Canadian investments managed under “responsible investing” criteria climbed dramatically over two years as money managers increasingly added environmental, social or governance factors to their investment decisions.
Coinbase announced a raise today of $75 million, putting the company’s total fundraising just over $106 million. That’s the biggest raise that a Bitcoin company has ever seen, despite the fact that Bitcoin’s value continues to decline. Last week, the coin fell below $200. As of this writing, however, it’s worth roughly $210 per Bitcoin.
From large corporations and foundations to the newest of startups, global health players focused on development are finding that success lies with shared values, aligned purpose and mutually reinforcing efforts. Meanwhile, NGOs are seeking new skills in their global health workforce and field partners, which require workers to think beyond established relationships.
The growth of microfinance solutions to address pressing development challenges has brought many of the world's formerly "unbanked" into formal financial systems. However, one group continually remains outside the system -- the poorest of the poor. Even some microfinance programs and deliberately inclusive financial policies remain unaffordable for segments of the population. Across the Global South, a number of initiatives have emerged with the notion that, although access to financial services has expanded in recent years, the remaining need demands innovative actions. We take a look at examples in Lagos, Bogotá, Cairo, and Bangalore.
Leading digital security company, Gemalto has announced the deployment of prepaid EMV banking cards to complement Vodacom’s m-pesa mobile wallet service in South Africa.
The 302nd meeting of the Board of Executive Directors of the Islamic Development Bank ( IDB ) which started on Sunday, 18 January, 2015, concluded on Tuesday in Jeddah, KSA. Chaired by IDB President Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, the Board reviewed a number of important items amongst them the draft agenda for the upcoming 40th Annual Meeting of the IDB Board of Governors slated for 10-11 June 2015 in Maputo, Mozambique, which is to be attended by Ministers of Finance and Economy of the 56 member countries. The members of the Board also approved US $ 189.4 million worth of new financings for a number of development projects covering important sectors in several member countries as well as a number of Muslim communities in non-member countries.
The battle against the bulge is a global phenomenon that could translate into real opportunity for manufacturers, according to a new study by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy. Nearly half (49%) of the global respondents in Nielsen's Global Health & Wellness Survey consider themselves overweight. Obesity rates around the world are accelerating and not just in developed countries. In fact, 62% of the world's 671 million obese individuals live in developing markets, according to the 2013 Global Burden of Disease Study. The study estimated that 2.1 billion people (nearly 30% of the global population) were overweight or obese. Nielsen's study shows that consumers are attempting to take charge of their health—50% are actively trying to lose weight and 88% are willing to pay more for foods with healthy attributes to some degree.
Most of the top-funded universities for medical science are not doing enough to address the needs of the world’s poorest people in terms of public health research, according to a new ranking.
World Bank today said it will commit USD 1 billion in the government's Swachh Bharat (Clean India) campaign. World Bank's country director in India Onno Ruhl said the World Bank is considering considerable large sums of financing for that.
When a person lives on less than $2 a day — as some 2.7 billion people around the world do — there isn’t room for a product like a solar lantern or a water filter to fail. It’s a challenge development agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and consumers themselves face every day: With so many products on the market, how do you choose the right one?
A low-cost medical device invented by a city-based start-up has emerged the winner of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2014-15, an initiative of the Tata group and Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.
ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank, on Monday announced the launch of banking services on Twitter, the first of its kind service, in India.
Impact investment firm Villgro has announced a Rs 20-crore fund targeted at incubating education startups.
Online money transfer service WorldRemit and telecoms operator MTN have signed a global partnership that will enable WorldRemit customers to send remittances instantly to MTN’s Mobile Money customers.
Litre of Light, a project in partnership with PepsiCo that brings cost effective solar lighting solutions to communities in need while recycling plastic bottles, has been honoured as the winning entry in the Zayed Future Energy Prize Non-Profit Organization category.
As many as 11.5 crore bank accounts have been opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, exceeding the enhanced target of 10 crore and covering 99.74 per cent of households, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today.
A vaccine against meningitis prepared by an Indian company has been approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO), paving the way for its use to eradicate the disease in sub-Saharan Africa.
Mobile money is shaping up to be one of the most exciting areas in mobile communications, and is quickly transforming the way in which consumers and enterprises transact.
Founder and Chair of L.V. Prasad Eye Institute G.N. Rao is universally known for his contribution to the introduction of quality and affordable eye care in India. Apart from his work in ophthalmology, Dr. Rao is well-known for his innovative ideas on healthcare in general and his efforts to make healthcare affordable.
Government leaders today have recognized the need to engage the private sector in development. While in the past, federal agencies supplied the majority of funding going toward developing countries, that percentage has continued to decrease over time — it is now down to around 9 percent. With 91 percent of global development funding now provided by nongovernment sources, the private sector has become a major player in the global development effort, and it is becoming increasingly important to find common objectives that garner their investment.
Last week TechCrunch reported Twitter was in final talks to acquire ZipDial for between $30 million and $40 million, and today the company announced the deal has closed. ZipDial allows people to call a special phone number for a business, hang up before they incur a charge, and then receive a phone call or SMS with information about the business. This “missed call” marketing platform allows people to access content for free, which is especially useful in the developing world where many can’t afford data plans.
Schneider Electric has announced the introduction of a new range of innovative energy efficient maintenance-free Solar Streetlights popularly known as Villaya.
Combining insecticide-treated bed nets with vaccines and other control measures may provide the best chance at eliminating malaria, which killed nearly 600,000 people worldwide in 2013, most of them African children.
The richest 1 percent of the population will own more than half the world's wealth by 2016, Oxfam International said in a report released as the World Economic Forum begins in Davos, Switzerland.
The international charity Medecins Sans Frontieres urged drugmakers GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer on Tuesday to slash the price of their pneumococcal vaccines to $5 per child in poor countries.
Before Jeff Stewart could credibly advance the notion that your Facebook friend network could—or even should—help you get a loan, he had to prove the system worked and was reliable. It took a long time. I first met him in 2012, a year after he’d launched Lenddo, pitching it as a new way for people just entering the middle class to qualify for and receive loans. His startup planned to use Facebook data to assess credit risk, and to make loans to well-qualified candidates, starting in the Philippines.
The Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has issued the following three loans: (1) EUR 482,000 (USD 555,000) over a two-year period to to Juhudi Kilimo, a for-profit provider of microloans and microinsurance in Kenya; (2) EUR 293,000 (USD 339,000) over a three-year period to Uganda Microcredit Foundation (UMF), a microfinance institution offering financial services to “economically active” Ugandans; and (3) EUR 257,000 (USD 297,000) over a three-year period to Encont, a provider of microloans to rural enterprises in Uganda .
Social Enterprise Alliance, a national organization of purpose-driven businesses, named Vanderbilt University professor Jim Schorr as its new CEO.
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) through a consortium, which includes research institutions and non-government organizations, is set to receive around €100m ($115m) from Europe's Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) to speed up the development of its Ebola vaccine regimen.
What makes a successful impact investment fund successful? Where’s the secret sauce? That’s what Cathy Clark, Ben Thornley and Jed Emerson set out to discover. Their new book The Impact Investor : Lessons in Leadership and Strategy for Collaborative Capitalism (Jossey-Bass, Oct, 2014) contains the results of their two years of research, with insights gained from studying 12 long-standing funds with a clear track record that, in total, have raised more than $1.3 billion in impact capital.
In analyzing the capital flow for social enterprises, the picture behind this reality around the world adjusts depending on what region you go to. In the western markets such as the U.S. or Europe, capital structures are becoming more inclusive for social enterprises. But what’s happening in regions such as MENA?
The World Health Organization (WHO) said 16 million people under the age of 70 are dying prematurely every year from non-communicable diseases (NCDs). A new report is calling for action to reduce these largely preventable deaths.
The year 2015 could be a watershed year for India in its quest to provide access to a wide range of financial services to all its citizens.
Into its second year, the DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia (SVC Asia) is offering SGD 150,000 of seed fund to the winners of the challenge, in commemoration of Singapore’s 50th year of independence. The increased funding, from last year’s SGD 55,000, also encourages participants to submit ideas that demonstrate greater scalability and potential for sustainable social impact.
It is early afternoon on board the "Helmer Hanssen," and the Arctic sun is already starting to set. Near the back of the ship, two people dressed in orange rain slickers are anxiously waiting. Any minute now, the ship's lines will pull taut, and a green mesh bag will be back up on deck.
Lindsey Graham stood at a podium at the festooned Knight Conference Center in Washington’s Newseum in early December and addressed a room full of public health advocates, researchers and politicians gathered for the 2014 Malaria Champions Breakfast.
In a recent interview with Dhaka Tribune, Kamal Quadir, CEO of bKash, discusses the scope, growth and future prospects of mobile banking in our country.
Accion Microfinance Bank Limited has upgraded to the category of a national microfinance bank (MFB). By this development, the bank said, it has surpassed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) requirements for a national MFB.
Eric Savage is a Duke and Harvard-educated American investment banker who chose to leave a high-flying career with Citigroup in Hong Kong to come to Bengaluru in 2008. Here he launched Unitus Capital, a firm that specializes in helping social enterprises to raise funds. Social enterprises apply market approaches to address societal challenges.
The Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) has suggested the introduction of laws and bylaws mandating the adoption of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) in the healthcare sector.
In many ways, these are changing times in U.S. philanthropy. The emphasis on data and measuring impact more closely, pushing for scale and large-scale solutions, social investing and performance metrics, crowd-funding and digital networks has created the sense that the social sector – and nonprofits along with it – has reached an inflection point that may soon fundamentally shift the way funds are raised and spent on causes and social change.
As Ebola’s death toll surpasses 8,000 people, well-intentioned individuals have been suggesting different strategies to contain the crisis. Many of these recommendations have included the use of modern technologies like cell phones, coupled with innovations such as a global rapid response team. But more than anything, what Africa really needs is simply more investment in its people and its basic health care infrastructure, along with reduced corruption—making sure that the money sent to lay the foundations of public health actually goes where it is supposed to.
Unified Signal, Inc. (OTCQB: UNSI), a leading software system in the telecommunications and mobile payments industry, today announced that it has received approval from the Central Bank of Serbia to enable the country of Serbia with its 7+ million population with the company's innovative and secure mobile wallet technology. Once deployed, the technology will allow Serbian expats in the US to move money to people living in Serbia and vice versa. Money will be transferred in real time to the recipient and for a fraction of the cost of industry competitors. The system will also allow for all people living in Serbia to freely pay for goods and services using their mobile phone.
With the goal of promoting financial and social inclusion in Peru, Movistar, in alliance with MasterCard, has announced the launch of “Your Mobile Money” (Tu Dinero Movil), the first electronic money service in Peru, which will offer users significant savings in their money transfers.
Women’s menstrual hygiene products are becoming a public health and environmental menace, raising questions on how they can be disposed safely.
Four years have passed since the launch of the Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance, a compact signed by 40 global investors in the Netherlands. The introduction to these principles states:
The decision by Bank of Zambia (BoZ) to limit interest rates that licenced non-banking financial institutions can charge customers had a negative effect on micro-finance institutions (MFIs) performance last year.
There’s plenty of differences between the mobile commerce market in the U.S. and the mobile ecosystem seen in China.
If Bitcoin were a currency, it'd be the worst-performing one in the world, worse even than the Russian ruble.
China has approved a new polio vaccine, the first of its kind to be produced in the country, a month after local authorities gave the green light for a home-grown Ebola vaccine amid Beijing's push to become a world leader in producing innovative drugs.
Climate change will cause all sorts of problems for humans in the future. It could cause mass migration and conflict as people flee flooded homes or arid farmland, and fight over ever more scarce resources. It’ll mean economic slowdown as industries are hit and societies cough up the money required to adapt to the new world. Climate change will even affect your health.
British government-owned development finance institution CDC has invested $48 million in Bengaluru-based Narayana Hrudayalaya hospital chains for a minority share.
Pan-African private investment firm Helios Investment Partners has raised over US$1 billion for a third Africa-focused fund, with the firm claiming the fund is the largest in existence dedicated to African private equity.
Absolute Portfolio Management (APM), an arm of Austria-based asset management group C-Quadrat, recently informed MicroCapital that it disbursed credits totaling the approximate equivalent of USD 8.5 million from its two Vision Microfinance funds, the Dual Return Fund-Vision Microfinance and the Dual Return Fund-Vision Microfinance Local Currency, to unspecified microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Cambodia, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru.
This past fall, President Jimmy Carter, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002, celebrated his 90th birthday. Looking ahead, he's also hoping to celebrate the global eradication of Guinea worm disease (also known as dracunculiasis).
The Asian Development Bank pledged its support for Indonesia’s development plan and is committed to disburse at least $1.5 billion in loans to the country to help fund various infrastructure projects, the multilateral lender’s president said on Tuesday.
New leadership seeks to usher in next phase of stakeholder mobilization and market innovation to mature the impact investing industry
Inside the cloud that is perpetually draped over the small town of San Juan Yaee, Oaxaca, Raúl Hernández Santiago crouches down on the roof of the town hall and starts drilling. Men wearing rain gear of various impermeabilities cluster above him, holding a 4-meter-tall tower in place. Braided wires trail from four small circles welded near its midpoint; eventually those will be bolted or tied down in order to hold the tower steady during the frequent storms that roll through this part of Mexico’s Sierra de Juárez mountains. They don’t want it falling over every time it rains. Ninety thousand of the town’s pesos—a bit over $6,000—are invested in the equipment lashed to the top of the tower, in a town where many residents get by on subsistence agriculture.
Global security services provider Kaspersky Lab has presented an overview of general threats in 2015, as well as that which is expected to dominate Kenya's threat landscape. The Company explains why there can be no respite for being vigilant.
Spending on medical research is waning in the United States, and this trend could have dire consequences for patients, physicians and the health care industry as a whole, a new analysis reveals.
In an internal email to staff distributed Tuesday, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim set an end date for his reform agenda and announced that the global financial institution will provide more open-ended contracts for its employees — part of a new framework that supports the career development of staff.
Tuberculosis kills over a million people each year, mostly in developing countries, where poor public health systems hamper efforts to diagnose and treat it. But NGOs are now embracing new mobile health technologies that could help fight the disease more efficiently and cost-effectively.
In a partnership which industry watchers hailed as capable of entrenching financial inclusion and lead innovation in mobile payment systems, Etisalat Nigeria and FirstBank have teamed up to provide Firstmonie on the Etisalat Easywallet SIM application solution.
Instead of seeking help at multiple locations, social enterprises will be able to go to a new one-stop resource centre to be launched in the second quarter of the year. Social enterprises are businesses with a social mission.
Institutional investors are increasingly aligning their investments with energy technologies of the future, a new report claims.
Union Health Minister JP Nadda today underlined the need for innovation of new drugs at low cost which are affordable to the poorest, even as he sought to strike a balance between the commercial and medical spendings.
Solar power firm SunEdison and Indian conglomerate Adani Enterprises plan to invest up to $4 billion in what would be one of India's largest solar panel makers, a boost for Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he hosts an investment summit. On the sidelines of Modi's Vibrant Gujarat gathering of statesmen and business leaders, the two firms said on Sunday that the new joint venture project would manufacture low-cost photovoltaic solar panels, helping turn sunlight directly into electricity at cheaper rates. Solar energy in India costs up to 50 percent more than power from sources like coal.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB), a multilateral development finance institution based in the Philippines, has recently approved a loan of up to USD 200 million to Yes Bank Limited, an Indian commercial bank based in Mumbai. The loan will be on-lent to “2.5 million rural, low income women” who are members of self-help groups and “up to 37,000 small-scale farmers” working in rural areas of the country. The loan agreement also includes a provision for USD 1 million to be used for technical assistance for capacity building, including financial literacy training and product development.
Financial services providers agreed almost unanimously that the public doesn’t trust the industry, and they appear to be shouldering most of the responsibility for that lack of trust.
Venture capital investors are on the road to raise nearly $2 billion, or about Rs12,400 crore, in new funds this year to power the next generation of emerging businesses in India's booming startup sector.
The Indian city of Bangalore is home to more than 15,000 waste pickers — overall, India houses 1.5 million waste pickers. They earn their daily living by sifting through the city’s 4,000 tons of solid waste for recyclables they can sell for payment.
Impact investor Gray Ghost Ventures said it is raising a $60 million third fund that represents a big step up from its $35 million second fund in 2009. The firm expects a first close on about $25 million in March, said CEO Arun Gore.
In an age of cell phones, human genome sequencing, and Google self-driving cars, even the world’s best hospitals (and airports) are still relying upon a thermometer (a 400-year-old technology) to decide who to quarantine for Ebola. The result of these antiquated approaches for diagnosing Ebola has resulted in over 1,400 Ebola suspects in the U.S. today who still have not received a definitive diagnosis.
As the New Year gets underway, we could conjure up a list of "top trends" in philanthropy for 2015 or make a bunch of predictions that we would probably regret twelve months from now, along with all the junk we ate over the holidays.
They still aren’t delivering Amazon packages. But in Haiti, Bhutan, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines, drones have helped rescue natural disaster victims – and transport medical samples and supplies.
Chairman of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc. and Founder of Tony Elumelu Foundation, Mr. Tony Elumelu has expressed disappointment with what he described as Nigerian women entrepreneurs' poor response to the $100 million lifeline provided by the Foundation's Africa capitalism Institute for entrepreneurs to boost industrialization in Nigeria.
The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that two promising Ebola vaccines appear safe and could soon be tested in West Africa, as the agency wrapped up an expert meeting in Geneva earlier today.
Si14, an original design and technology development laboratory announced that their D-EYE Portable Retinal Imaging System www.d-eyecare/com, registered with both the FDA and the European CE Authority is now approved to be marketed in the U.S. and in Europe. Dr. Andrea Russo, an ophthalmologist and PhD candidate researcher with the University of Brescia Italy, partnered with Si14 to develop the device.
The government is looking to take the legislative route by next month to finalise the setting up of the Postal Bank of India and will soon approach the RBI to consider the postal department's application for a banking licence.
Tech entrepreneurs seem to be describing a nightmare when they share accounts of when they had to deal with the regulatory authorities whilst striving to introduce tech solutions for health.
UK's Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC), private equity investors CX Partners, Newquest and a unit of Bajaj Group are leading a Rs 600-crore investment in Ujjivan Financial Services, clinching the single largest funding deal in India's microfinance sector, sources directly familiar with the matter said.
Five years after the big earthquake, Elizabeth Schaeffer Brown’s attempts to help Haitians secure a prosperous future have taught her that philanthropy simply isn’t enough.
Alibaba Group and its financial-services affiliate Zhejiang Ant Small & Micro Financial Services Group’s planned $575 million investment in the online-payment and marketplace businesses of India’s One97 Communications called Paytm will be the Chinese company’s first major investment in India’s fast-growing e-commerce industry. A deal between the two companies will open the floodgates for large amount of cross-border trade between India and China. Here’s what you need to know about Paytm.
In a rush to board a train in time, Shivani Bhargava, a 19-year-old Delhi University student from Mumbai, ends up in a tight spot after she forgets her wallet at home. After getting down at the station in Delhi, she has to book a cab and reach her hostel at the earliest, but doesn’t have the cash or cards to do so. Enter Meru Cabs’ ‘cab wallet’. All she does is tap her mobile app and, voila, the payment is made. “Not only did I reach my hostel safely, but I also got a 30% discount,” says Bhargava.
One man’s idea to double salaries and let artisans work from home has created a positive ripple effect across five states in India.
It's a new way to do silk screening, that's for sure. Bangalore-based Achira Labs has figured out a way to hand weave diabetes test strips from silk. That sounds pretty luxurious compared to the standard materials of plastic or paper. But silk turns out to have several advantages in a country like India, where weavers who can work a handloom are abundant and the material is readily available and inexpensive.
The website of a global partnership formed to wipe out deadly meningitis epidemics in sub-Saharan Africa is closing down with a simple message: "Thank you and goodbye!".
Joseph Schumpeter argued that the miracle of capitalism lies in democratising wealth. Elizabeth I owned silk stockings, he observed, but the “capitalist achievement” does not lie in “providing more silk stockings for queens but in bringing them within reach of factory girls.” In most areas of life this miracle has been working magnificently: in America the number of hours of work that it takes to buy a car, or a wardrobe full of clothes, has halved in the past generation. But in three big areas it has singularly failed to operate: health care, education and housing.
Public interest in the development of global impact investing received a significant boost last year, due to an international campaign to divest in fossil fuels by superannuation, pension, and university endowment funds.
Gate Global Impact (GGI), a US-based, regulatory-compliant electronic marketplace that focuses on impact investing, has been acquired by Investview, another US-based financial services company . As part of the deal, Investview has also acquired GGI’s Gateway 2.0, a website that enables small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) listed on the United Nation’s Global Compact Social Enterprise Hub to access financing for projects intended to produce a financial return while addressing challenges relating to “human rights, labor, environment and anti-corruption.” Investview intends to continue operating the platform through GGI. Mr Vincent Molinari, the chief executive officer of GGI, and Mr Joseph Latona, president of GGI, will join Investview. The financial details of the deal have not been made public.
Dirty money—MNCs’ undeclared profits, the proceeds of corruption, etc.—can play a large role in ending poverty.
Two species of mosquitos have interbred, giving rise to hybrids that can resist the most potent weapons used against them.
An army of women” in Ethiopia has been recruited to teach friends and neighbors how to prevent trachoma, an eye disease that’s preventable but still very common in many parts of Ethiopia. The confederation of national development NGO’s -- Light For The World – has been working to implement national eye health initiatives to prevent trachoma and other eye diseases through the World Health Organization’s initiative “VISION 2020—the right to sight”.
Outsourcing things like call center work and data entry to developing countries has been a trend for a long time, but those are mostly low-skill, low-paying jobs.
Part of a series profiling the finalists in Unilever’s Sustainable Living Young Entrepreneurs Awards, Daniel Yu explains how his social enterprise, Reliefwatch helps track and deliver essential supplies.
Africa Impact Group has been identified as a leader in impact investing across the continent, investing in funds, organizations and companies with the intention of generating measurable social and environmental impact along with financial return.
Johnson & Johnson has started clinical trials of its experimental Ebola vaccine, which uses a booster from Denmark's Bavarian Nordic, making it the third such shot to enter human testing.
A small, but growing, number of community foundations are starting to embrace impact investing in a big way.
Menstrual cups are proving to be lifesavers, and are changing the way girls in East Africa deal with something every single female in the world does: their period.
Millions of rural villagers around the world still cook with wood and charcoal, with all the limitations and inconveniences that implies. Women spend time and energy collecting and hauling wood, which contributes to deforestation and takes them away from more productive uses of their time. Worse, burning wood and charcoal inside homes produces extremely unhealthy fumes. Biogas produced from organic waste, such as cow dung and farm cuttings is a good alternative, because it's lightweight and clean burning. But it's not possible to have a bio-digester—a system for breaking down the waste to produce biogas—in every person's home. That's too expensive and impractical. You need upwards of five or six households invested in a digester to cover its costs.
Japanese drugmakers are developing medicines to treat infectious diseases that have been overlooked because there is little financial incentive.
MUMBAI: Lok Capital, the Rockefeller Foundation-backed impact investor, aims to raise $45 million (about Rs 270 crore) by June as part of the initial close of its third India-focused fund. Lok Fund III, announced a couple of months ago, has a final target corpus of $100 million and expects to raise capital commitments from development financial institutions such as International Finance Corporation (IFC), Proparco and CDC Group.
Bill Gates walks up to the water tap, but before he can drink, his entourage pulls him to one side. One woman takes off his glasses and rearranges his hair. Another dabs on a little makeup. And, at one point, someone hands him a Mason jar.
This year promises to be an interesting one for international family planning. Here are seven issues and trends to watch for:
Sir Richard Feachem led the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria from its inception in 2002 until 2007, just one part of his illustrious career in public health. We were fortunate to host Sir Richard in November for a Development Policy Centre seminar.
After the success of its women empowerment initiatives such as Kudumbashree — a women oriented, community-based, poverty reduction project — and She-Taxi, South Indian state Kerala is gearing up to set another landmark seeking to create the country’s largest social entrepreneurship network of women.
In the world of management research, Michael Porter is a rockstar. His "Five Forces" framework is a key tool in the field of strategy and his books have canonical status within MBA programs (even if most students haven't actually read all 592 pages of Competitive Advantage). In an industry known for fast-talking gurus, Porter—who teaches at Harvard Business School—is an intellectual.
Women in a Bolivian cooperative hope to boost income by adding value to their quinoa crop through making chocolate-coated energy bars.
While the year of agriculture and nutrition, as declared by the African Union, may be over, those issues will undoubtedly remain top development priorities and can present unique opportunities for collaboration with business.
Ebola survivors in the three West African countries worst hit by the epidemic will share their stories through a mobile application to be launched on Monday, in a UNICEF-backed campaign to inform and fight stigma around the disease.
Malaria is one of the Great Diseases. This mosquito-borne illness killed some 627,000 people in 2012, most of them children in sub-Saharan Africa. Efforts in the last decade have cut mortality rates for the disease by an impressive 45 percent, but malaria continues to be a massive public health burden wherever it persists.
Last November, the United States and India announced an important breakthrough concerning India’s “right-to-food” programme.
UCSD has become one of the first universities in the nation to offer global health as an undergraduate program.
When it comes to our greatest social and environmental challenges, let’s first ask: What problem are we trying to solve? Once we know where we’re headed, we can better understand which methods and resources are most needed. Charity and social enterprise both have critical roles. Increasingly, we are seeing the ways charity and social enterprise and investment can work together effectively – along with smart government policy – to drive real and lasting change.
Marketers are counting on many more reactions like hers throughout the developing world. For decades, consumer-goods companies expanded in emerging economies through rock-bottom prices and small, affordable pack sizes. At Unilever, the world’s second-largest consumer-goods maker by revenue after Procter & Gamble Co. , that meant one-use sachets of Sunsilk shampoo and 3½-ounce bars of Lifebuoy soap. But now, with the global economy sluggish and emerging-market sales growth waning for the first time in years, companies are employing a developed-world strategy with their poorest customers: Pack more features into basic products and raise their prices.
Nigeria would require about $51 billion (10 times of public health expenditure in 2012) to catch up with more advanced health systems in developed economies including Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries by 2030, according to a report of the World Economic Forum (WEF)and Boston Consulting Group, the world’s leading advisor on business strategy.
Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) are a group of 18 infectious diseases – caused by parasites, viruses, or bacteria – that disproportionately affect the poor and cause significant health and financial burdens. NTDs are endemic – meaning that they regularly infect humans – in 149 countries, with over 1 billion people infected and 2 billion people at risk. These diseases are largely treatable and preventable through control of the insects that carry these diseases, improved water quality and sanitation, and the efficient delivery of drug treatments already donated by major pharmaceutical companies.
People in rural areas of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea battling Ebola could be helped by an automated phone service that offers advice about how to avoid contracting the virus.
Aavishkar, the country's biggest social entrepreneurship-focused venture capital fund, is set to raise $400 million (Rs 2,500 crore) in 2015. This would be the biggest amount raised by any fund focusing on the social sector or impact investing in the country.
Tech billionaire Gururaj 'Desh' Deshpande is helping NGOs scale up and sustain philanthropy initiatives on their own steam. His formula for self-reliance is relevance followed by innovation.
Scientists have discovered that a drug for treating diabetes - Metformin (MET) - can also be used to boost the efficacy of TB medication without inducing drug resistance.
Martin Edlund likes to say that malaria may one day be the first disease beaten by mobile phones. Yes, he happens to be the CEO of the non-profit Malaria No More, so he has to say stuff like that. But no, it's not a total pipedream.
An experimental Ebola vaccine showed it was safe and generated an immune response in healthy Ugandan adults in a clinical trial that bodes well for a more potent version undergoing testing.
When John Barber, a project manager at Daktari Diagnostics, sought to test his company’s instrument, he went to the type of place where the technology might have the most impact: a small fishing village on the shores of Lake Victoria in Uganda. He awoke at dawn on a November morning in 2013, tossed a few Daktari devices into a backpack, and, together with a team of HIV-treatment specialists, drove 2 hours to the village of Kasensero, where the first Ugandan case of HIV was reported more than 30 years ago. Driving a Jeep along dirt roads with more cows than traffic, “we were off the grid,” Barber recalls.