Facebook has reached a deal to have free internet beamed to some of the most remote parts of Africa via satellite.
The United Nations now estimates that 90 percent of the world’s population has access to improved drinking water. But the story of access to safe drinking water is more complex, especially when it comes to the 2.7 billion people who live on less than $2 a day: In developing countries around the world, tens of millions of people rely on water filtration and purification products each year to improve their drinking water in the absence of proper infrastructure providing clean water.
The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank has approved a loan of 25 million US dollars to support the Mozambican government's financial sector development strategy.
The Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) has commended the MasterCard Foundation's pronouncement of investing $47 million in agricultural finance projects across Africa, including $15 million for a partnership with AGRA that will deliver financial support to 730,000 farming households.
The focus should now be on environmental, social and governance investing, along with funds and index products that use these criteria.
It took Indian consumers decades to move from paper money to plastic money. But a switch from plastic money to no money is happening at a much rapid pace, thanks to mobile wallets, which allow you to make payments through your smartphone without actual money transaction.
Zimbabwe is finalising new laws aimed at strengthening its fragile banking industry through measures such as imposing shareholding restrictions and revamping oversight functions to guard against insider loans.
An international public-private partnership is expanding its efforts to strengthen Africa’s food system. The Hershey Company is joining Partners in Food Solutions, a Minnesota nonprofit, as its newest corporate partner.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), a US-based multilateral finance institution that operates in Latin America and the Caribbean, recently approved a loan of USD 10 million to Vision Banco, a microfinance institution (MFI) in Paraguay. The loan will be disbursed from IDB’s Opportunities for the Majority Sector facility, which lends, invests equity, offers technical advice and provides partial guarantees and risk-sharing facilities to “companies, financial intermediaries … [and] non-profits that are willing to engage with the base of the socioeconomic pyramid”.
CLEO Bachelor of the Year finalist Dustin Leonard hasn’t had time to celebrate his nomination — the hunky American expat has been busy distributing half a million free condoms in Africa.
Impact Hub has officially launched a fellowship in 3 African countries – Burundi, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone – specifically designed at helping impact entrepreneurs make their innovations sustainable. The Hub’s Resilience Africa initiative is to launch hubs and two varying types of incubators in six African countries in partnership with Cordaid, an NGO from Netherlands.
A dozen Pacific-rim nations agreed to an historic pact that would cut trade barriers on items ranging from cars to rice, setting up a potentially contentious ratification vote before a skeptical U.S. Congress.
Three scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering “therapies that have revolutionized the treatment of some of the most devastating parasitic diseases,” the Nobel committee announced on Monday.
The Bangladesh Bank move to integrate a total of seven business entities including four commercial banks into Mobile Financial Services platform poses challenge.
While ten entities are on the cusp of becoming small finance banks, aiming to bring the financially excluded population of the country under the banking purview, technology will be the game changer in the space, said Samit Ghosh, chief executive officer and managing director, Ujjivan Financial Services Private Limited.
Governments and agencies around the world are increasingly prioritizing full financial inclusion of women, but moving the needle is impossible without data on how many women actually have access to financial services and through what channels. The Global Banking Alliance for Women (GBA), in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Data2X, today is releasing a draft report for public comment [http://gbaforwomen.org/download/draft-report-measuring-womens-financial-inclusion/], based on interviews with over 50 regulators, policymakers, International Finance Institutions (IFIs) and bankers from around the world that reveals just how this data could inform better policies and prompt the private sector to take on this missed market opportunity.
Scientists have identified specific genetic variations that protect some African children from developing severe malaria and say their discovery will boost the fight against a disease that kills about half a million children annually.
World Health Partners (WHP) has committed to providing essential healthcare services to eight million women and children in Kenya.
Less than six months after its first units shipped to Iraq and Ethiopia, a Swedish company producing modular, flat-packed refugee shelters is struggling to keep up with demand. And many of those orders are now coming from Europe.
In the sustainable development priorities for the next 15 years adopted by heads of states in New York this week, the United Nations has highlighted financial inclusion as an important enabler for poorer households in the informal economies of the global south to increase resilience and better capture opportunities.
One of the world’s most in-demand anaesthetics can now be produced on the spot, thanks to the thermos-flask sized device that recently won Flinders University inventor Professor Colin Raston an Ig Nobel prize.
In Indonesia, 203 million people are classified as poor, living on less than US$4.50 per day. This group of consumers is not the section of the economic pyramid that conventional banks and insurance companies tend to prioritize, despite their making up the majority of the archipelago’s population. This is a problem Aidil Zulkifli, co-founder and CEO of UangTeman, hopes to solve.
The Intellecap Impact Investment Network (I3N) has announced a partnership with IIM Calcutta Innovation Park (IIMCIP) to facilitate the creation of a powerful ecosystem for entrepreneurship development in Eastern India. This partnership with IIMCIP furthers I3N’s commitment and ability to generate impact in Eastern India.
Last week, retail chain Shoppers Stop Ltd tied up with mobile wallet FreeCharge, allowing customers to use FreeCharge wallets to make payments across 74 Shoppers Stop outlets, 17 HyperCity stores, 95 Crossword outlets, 19 HomeStop stores, and its online marketplace.
Often, public attention gravitates to simple fixes to large-scale problems — with reason, as such solutions are appealing, and sometimes they work. But a recent flurry of projects is supporting health through complex packages of solutions, including an organization supporting vision in Africa, a tech project in South Asia and even part of America’s Affordable Care Act.
In the world of microfinance, women’s collectives have acquired a great deal of prominence globally and are known by various names such as Self Help Groups (SHGs), Joint Liability Groups (JLG), or Village Saving and Loan Associations (VSLA). There is a strongly held belief that the formation of these groups has transformed the lives of women, improving their financial status due to the direct links between the microcredit, obtained through the group, and the livelihood activities financed by this credit.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has been steadily reforming India’s financial sector, in addition to achieving notable monetary policy successes. A few weeks back, the RBI granted licenses to 11 payments banks and followed that with licenses to 10 smallfinance banks.
Impressed by Google's flagship Project Loon - that takes internet to the remote and inaccessible areas - Prime Minister Narendra Modi believes this has multiple uses like long distance education, rural schools and telemedicine, officials said.
The World Health Organization on Wednesday radically revised its guidelines for those who should be on HIV anti-retrovirals, in a push for early treatment and prevention that it hopes will help end the epidemic by its target date of 2030.
The U.N. adopted its Sustainable Development Goals on Friday, building on the Millennium Development Goals, launched in 2000. This offers a moment to reflect on the successes of that 2000 agenda, but also to look forward, learning lessons and working to ensure that this new agenda has the highest possible chance of success.
Insurance group Zurich has revealed plans to plough around $100m into companies and projects that have a positive environmental or social impact.
Beyonic (beyonic.com), a technology company that aims to eliminate the rampant use of cash in emerging markets, is announcing a partnership with Mobile Accord (mobileaccord.com) that will make Beyonic the largest mobile money aggregator in Africa. Beyonic currently operates in Uganda and Kenya, and will leverage Mobile Accord’s expertise in building mobile solutions and relationships with leading mobile carriers to bring Beyonic’s platform to 25 additional countries. Beyonic’s online platform enables businesses to quickly deploy, track and manage 2-way mobile money payments over multiple mobile carriers with one, easy-to-use system.
Grameen Foundation was selected by The Global Resilience Partnership to implement transformative resilience solutions to problems facing smallholder coconut and cocoa farmers in Southeast Asia. A global leader in innovations to help the world's poor, Grameen Foundation was among eight global teams in the Global Resilience Challenge, a multi-stage design competition that received nearly 500 initial applications to address the most difficult resilience challenges. The foundation will now receive up to $1 million to implement its proposed solution in a way that can be scaled and adopted by others in the future.
The tie up will help gain access to real-time medical consultations for complex medical cases in areas that have scarce resources.
When he was 24, Tal Dehtiar found himself on a bus with a gun at his head. He was hitchhiking through South America at the time, fresh off of graduating from business school. It was while on a bus in Brazil that a gunman boarded, demanding that everyone hand over their belongings.
The Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies (CAMTech) at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Global Health will host a Diabetes Innovation Hack-a-thon in Hyderabad on October 10-11, 2015. Organized in partnership with Lattice Innovations and with support from Marico Innovation Foundation (MIF), Terumo and Medtronic, the event brings together some of India’s brightest minds to develop innovative and affordable health technologies that will improve the prevention, diagnosis and management of diabetes in India and globally.
At the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting closing plenary, Tata Communicationsand MasterCard announced a CGI Commitment to Action to financially empower 25,000 women in the developing world, part of a larger vision to ultimately reach 100 million women. The global telecommunications leader and the leader in global payments technology join forces with a unique network of partners including Brightstar Corp, Kiva, Tone, Trickle Up and the Hidary Foundation to bring their shared vision to life over the next five years through access to transformative mobile platforms comprising a range of financial, health and education applications and services.
A Baltimore startup that developed a surgical tool to recycle the blood of a patient suffering from internal bleeding landed a $100,000 investment Monday from AOL co-founder Steve Case, winning a "live pitch" competition among eight Baltimore companies.
Youseph Yazdi was surprised by the number of people who jumped in to help design better protective gear for people helping Ebola victims – everyone from freshmen to robotics experts to a wedding-dress maker. But he was even more surprised when the solutions the team came up with at the hackathon at Johns Hopkins University attracted the notice of leading producers of protective clothing. A version of the suit they designed will be manufactured by DuPont and available early next year, the university announced Monday.
For those headed down career paths related to nutrition and global health, experts and industry professionals aren’t just calling for medical degrees or experience in the clinical field. What’s needed, officials from UNICEF, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition and political scientists told Devex, is business and tech expertise — namely MBA-holders and nutrition technologists.
Kenya is set to benefit from a joint project of UNICEF and the Philips Foundation which targets at reducing maternal and child mortality rates.
It manipulated the pollution levels of its cars. It deliberately designed “defeat” software to fool regulators and, more importantly, customers into thinking it was hitting targets it was nowhere close to. And who knows, as the scandal unfolds, there may well be even worse revelations about the scale of corporate wrongdoing at the German car giant Volkswagen. It is now engulfed in a scandal from which the company may never recover.
Over the weekend, Paul Polman, the CEO of Unilever, won an award at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit. Part of the reason he won the award is a program run by Unilever in India to encourage handwashing.
The Treasury has announced the first-ever Government Bond that will be offered exclusively via mobile phone, pointing to the growing relevance of mobile money solutions in the evolving payments space.
The Hershey Company announced a new Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action to train 7,500 farmers in Ghana on improved agronomic practices, empowering them to supply local commercial markets with safe and high-quality peanuts to produce Vivi, a vitamin and mineral-fortified nutritional supplement distributed to school children in Ghana.
A report from GBA, IDB and Data2X argues that banking data is key to unlocking full financial participation for women.
There are several clear reasons why the development community views financial inclusion as an important ingredient for economic and social progress.
Designing a profitable solution for an unmet market need should be business strategy 101 for most entrepreneurs, so why have so many mobile money service offerings failed?
What would happen if Tanzanian women who never before owned or could afford a cellphone suddenly received one?
Study results and a new tool to screen mutual funds for fossil fuels.
Supported by one of the world’s leading philanthropies, a new partnership was announced Saturday during a United Nations development meeting aimed at improving health in poor and middle-income countries by helping to strengthen their primary care providers.
Every day in India, people are going blind, not getting tumours detected, living with treatable chronic pain, not developing their brain cells, losing limbs, and dying while the solutions are stuck in the labs of some of India’s brightest inventors. These challenges are not unique to India, but the magnitude of potential lives to improve or save is. Innovation needs to accelerate, and the pathway from labs to patients needs to be shorter and easier.
In the last two decades, there has been a steady erosion of the provision of free health care by a quickly spreading private health system. Middle class families are paying out-of-pocket or becoming dependent on health insurance schemes, while poorer families are being forced to access private health care in life and death matters.
Kiva, a US-based microfinance intermediary, recently announced that it is winding down its peer-to-peer microfinance lending platform Kiva Zip in Kenya. Since its inception in 2012, Kiva Zip has enabled users to lend directly to microentrepreneurs in Kenya and the US. Loans in Kenya are distributed through M-Pesa, a mobile money transfer service. Most of Kiva’s loans differ from those through Kiva Zip in that they are intermediated by microfinance institutions. As of 2015, Kiva Zip had received deposits from approximately 8,000 direct lenders and disbursed the equivalent of USD 1.8 million in local currency to approximately 6,500 borrowers in Kenya. As of the same date, Kiva Zip reported a repayment rate of 91 percent .
East African nations are working to reach a common SIM card registration framework to help tame crime that is perpetrated using mobile phones.
Barclays has opened the Barclays Kenya Product Lab in Nairobi, an agile product development program that will give local developers access to a pool of resources to come up with solutions that could potentially change the future of the financial industry.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Silicon Valley has also come with some major announcements like Wi-Fi in railways stations and broadband connectivity in villages.
Council pension funds in Britain have invested £14 billion in the fossil fuel sector, despite the fact these assets risk tumbling in value as the world grapples with climate change.
On Tuesday 22nd September, the Selection Committee for the 6th European Microfinance Award on Microfinance in Post-disaster, Post-conflict Areas & Fragile States, composed of members of the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) and Inclusive Finance Network Luxembourg (InFiNe.lu),) selected the three finalists who will go on to compete for the €100,000 prize. These three organisations are Crédit Rural de Guinée from Guinea, The First Microfinance Institution from Syria and Taytay Sa Kauswagan Inc. from the Philippines. The winner will be announced by the President of the High Jury Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg on November 19th, at a ceremony hosted at the European Investment Bank in Luxembourg, during the annual European Microfinance Week.
CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI), the Microcredit Summit Campaign, and Freedom from Hunger announced that under the “Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies” program, some 800,000 women have received maternal health education in the past 5 months and 3600 women have received healthcare in the past 12 months. The project aims to improve maternal health alongside their microfinance services in the Philippines, accelerating achievement of UN Millennium Development Goal 5.
Equity crowdfunding platforms are “crowding out” banks, venture capitalists and business angels in the UK, suggests a new paper published by researchers from the University of St Andrews and the University of Stirling. St. Andrews explains that UK startups are “embracing the £146 million Crowdcube economy.” Crowdcube may be the largest investment platform but other sites like Seedrs and SyndicateRoom are playing a significant role in this financial transition. The paper builds upon existing research in the space including, Mollick’s, Cambridge University and more.
Victoria Amponsah was worried when she entered a clinic in Accra, Ghana, to deliver her son — she was especially distrustful of the quality of medicines at the clinic. She had heard stories and seen firsthand many other women from her village enter the clinic to give birth and not come out.
Asia accounts for 80% of the global microinsurance industry, followed by Latin America and Africa with 15% and 5% respectively, according to ILO and Munich Re. Asia had the highest number of people with microinsurance cover, at 170.4 million in 2012.
A recent report by the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that nearly 100 million people are “pushed into poverty” trying to access basic health care services. The crisis has forced 80 countries to ask the WHO for technical assistance to shift toward Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Since governments are struggling to provide basic health services, and private health care providers remain too expensive to access, citizens in the developing world are caught in a financial trap. However, a new movement in health care innovation is now challenging the status quo.
Small Finance Banks (SFBs) will shift the focus of the microlending business away from the dedicated micro finance institutions (MFIs), domestic rating agency India Ratings said today.
Humanitarian organizations are increasingly asked to provide aid in a climate of political and economic unrest.
"There's so much scope for digital payments, and there are enough unbanked even in the city, that you can tap into with only a little effort," says Nitin Misra, who heads Paytm's payment product pipeline. "We can offer a lot to the unbanked and the underbanked, and for the small percentage of the population that is actually fully banked, we offer safety and convenience."
Asia's largest vaccine maker, Serum Institute of India, plans to file for fast-track approval to launch a dengue treatment in India, its chief executive said, potentially becoming the first company globally to launch a drug for the mosquito-borne virus.
According to TechSci Research report, "India Mobile Wallet Market Opportunities & Forecast, 2020", mobile wallet market in Indiais projected to reach US$ 6.6 billion by 2020. The mobile wallet market in India is projected to exhibit exponential growth during the forecast period, on account of rising smartphone penetration rate, growing mobile internet user base, and increasing government support. In addition, mobile wallet companies operating in India are also offering attractive deals and incentives to attract new users. In recent years, wallet companies have increasingly formed collaborations with service providers and financial institutions to offer a robust and seamless mobile wallet platform to the users. Usage of mobile wallet is growing across various applications such as money or banking transactions, mobile recharge & bill payments, ticket bookings, utility applications, etc. In addition, approval of payment bank licences of major companies such as Paytm, Vodafone, Airtel, etc. is projected to drive growth in the number of banking transactions through mobile wallet over the next five years.
The Business Call to Action (BCtA) is pleased to announce that Novo Nordisk, a global healthcare company with more than 90 years of innovation and leadership in diabetes care, has joined BCtA with an initiative to improve access to safe and affordable diabetes care for the working poor in Kenya. The company aims to reach 1.5 million people with a grassroots awareness campaign involving community leaders, healthcare workers and peer educators on diabetes risk factors, the importance of early detection and proper treatment of the disease.
Turing Pharmaceuticals, a small company that generated outrage by raising the cost of an old anti-infective drug by more than 5,000%, said it would roll back that increase to make sure it remains affordable.
GE Healthcare said today it will spend $300 million to develop lower-cost technologies and healthcare delivery solutions across multiple care settings in emerging markets through a new business unit.
Electronic payment systems, like mobile money services, have become one of the most convenient ways of paying utility bills, as well as sending money to the remotest village and buying top-up airtime. From students to the working class, traders, and peasants, anyone with a mobile money service registered cell phone number is one only an agent-away from receiving their cash.
Coca-Cola, the world’s largest maker of sugary beverages, has spent almost $120 million in the past five years to pay for academic health research, partnerships with major medical groups and community fitness programs aimed at curbing the obesity epidemic.
Many South Africans dream of getting their concepts off the ground, but they lack the funding to make it reality. Too often their ideas are put on the back-burner for ‘one day’ – when they have accumulated enough wealth; when they finally secure that loan; or when the right investor shows up carrying a suitcase filled with cash.
MasterCard and the Singapore Management University (SMU) today announced the launch of a two-year Social and Financial Inclusion Programme.
Equitel, the telecommunications arm of Equity Group, grew its share of the mobile telephony market to 2.4 per cent in June from 1.9 per cent in March, fresh official data showed on Friday, as big players marginally lost ground.
Paperwork and bureaucracy aren’t just pains in the backside of everyone working at every small business or smaller nonprofit. They’re also barriers to entry — for new people, new ideas and even new sources of capital.Crowdfunding might help level the playing field, but even that has a new set of challenges and limitations. When it comes to improving our cities, who knows how many opportunities to try out new approaches or scale up existing models are falling through the cracks?
A new study has shown that Kenya could reap enormous benefits by helping refugees start small businesses thus curbing the emergence of terror gangs within refugee camps.
Riders for Health, an international social enterprise that manages and maintains vehicles for health-focused partners in Sub-Sahara Africa has assured the provision of such services in post-Ebola Liberia, aimed at improving Liberia's health delivery system in the area of transport management.
Microfinance companies that have been awarded small finance licences may need to mobilise close to Rs 2,000-crore equity between them from local investors to dilute foreign ownership.
It’s web-based nature facilitates access via a wide range of devices, including smartphones and tablets.
Entrepreneurs rarely announce funding on a Sunday. But today is an exception. Home focused healthcare platform Portea announced that it has raised $37.5 million Series B round led by existing investor – Accel and International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group; Qualcomm Ventures, and Ventureast.
The world's middle class is growing. According to Pew Research Center, 63 million people entered Latin America's middle class over the last decade; it is estimated that Nigeria's middle class grew by 600 percent between 2000 and 2014.
When drawing up plans to help stimulate the economic development of new and emerging economies, the United Nations previously looked to multinational operations that could open new plants and offices in specific countries. However, with the ongoing changes in the business environment, the realization is that these large corporations are no longer the source for job creation and have recently been focused on lean operations and downsizing staff.
Although partnerships between banks and telcos are essential in enabling financial inclusion to billions of people in Africa, the egos among the institutions are hindering such partnerships, especially in SA.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.REGN, -1.42% today announced an agreement with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop, test and manufacture a monoclonal antibody therapy for the treatment of Ebola virus infection.
Payments service provider, Paytm, Mobikwik and Citrus haver tied up with e-Paisa, to enable easy payment option to customers to pay at retail outlets like grocery stores, restaurants and other small brick and mortar merchants through their mobile wallets.
Over the past decade, the Indian banking sector has witnessed a sustained push in the form of a number of initiatives and reforms from the government as well as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The sector has grown significantly in terms of customer base, coverage and business.
The Internal Revenue Service took a major step this week to calm grant makers’ fears about taking risks with impact investments, giving them a green light to commit more of their assets to investments that further their missions.
Many technology start-ups aim to become “unicorns,” the companies that get valued at $1 billion or more on their way to probable vast riches. Yancey Strickler and Perry Chen have no interest in that.
The Kresge Foundation's board of trustees has stepped up its social investment plans with a commitment to invest $350 million, or 10 percent of the value of its endowment, in socially beneficial efforts by 2020.
The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI) today announced the upcoming launch of Financial Inclusion 2020 (FI2020) Week, taking place from November 2-6, 2015.
“Why do we have toilets at school but not at home?” This question from one of her children prompted Nusrat, a wife and mother of six living in India, to apply for a sanitation loan. Within two weeks of receiving the loan, Nusrat was able to purchase a toilet. Now, one year later, the monthly instalments on Nusrat’s loan have all been repaid and her family is happier, healthier, and safer.
In scrubby wasteland tucked behind a bustling market on the Gambia coast, five women in overalls determinedly hammered at small metal cylinders, the din reverberating around the tin-roofed shelter.
In spite of the growing interest of investors and donors in social entrepreneurship, funding for new, early-stage and growing ventures remains difficult to secure, leading some entrepreneurs to make decisions that may not align with the core mission of their organization.
Mahatma Gandhi refused to join the Constituent Assembly that wrote our wonderful Constitution, but his advice to some of the members was, “Whenever you are in doubt, apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man you may have seen, and ask yourself if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him. Will he gain anything by it? Will it restore him to control over his own life and destiny? Will it lead to swaraj for the hungry and spiritually starving millions?” I submit that the recent Supreme Court (SC) interim judgment on Aadhaar does not pass the Mahatma’s test and it must be appealed. All it needs is one small tweak.
s MOOCs grow in influence and sophistication, they’re no longer simply reimagined in a Harvard classroom or even in a nearby studio. Recently, transforming a residential course — going digital viaHarvardX — included filming in far-flung Rwanda and Haiti.
African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina, who took over this month, said he’s aiming to eliminate Africa’s energy deficit by 2025 by mobilizing $55 billion of investment.
Equity has completed acquisition of ProCredit Bank of the Democratic Republic of Congo after receiving regulatory approval from Kenya and DRC.
Tuberculosis (TB) patients seeking treatment at private hospitals anywhere in the state will no longer have to pay for the expensive drugs.
MoneyGram, a global provider of innovative money transfer and payment services, and Vodacom, the leading telecom company in Tanzania, have announced that Vodacom subscribers can now receive money directly into their M-Pesa accounts through MoneyGram’s money transfer services.
The Tech Museum of Innovation announced today that Oakland-based Embrace — the 2012 Tech Awards laureate that makes a low-cost infant warmer used by more than 150,000 premature babies worldwide — has been named the second recipient of the Laureate Impact Award sponsored by PayPal. The award honors past Tech Awards laureates who have demonstrated significant progress toward solving a global problem since winning the prize.
They huddled around the table, with their matching school uniform of maroon pants and white tops. Some were on their tiptoes, heads bobbing up and down trying to get a good look. Others were crouched down so they could see between the girls in front of them. Two in the back whispered to each other, curious about the demonstration they were seeing.
Novopay Solutions Pvt. Ltd on Wednesday unveiled its consumer wallet, which allows payments at neighbourhood stores, remittances and withdrawals.
MTN Mobile Money customers with accounts in DFCU Bank can now deposit and withdraw money from their Mobile Money wallets directly to their bank accounts conveniently on their phones. This follows the launch of a strategic partnership between the two brands in which MTN is extending the service to dfcu Bank customers.
The Reserve Bank granted small bank licences to 10 applicants, most of which are engaged in microfinance, in a move seen as one of the most far-reaching initiatives on financial inclusion since bank nationalisation in the late 1960s.
The answer to Africa’s malaria challenge could fit in a pocket.
When ecommerce marketplace Snapdeal acquired mobile top-up site FreeCharge in April – the biggest acquisition in India to date – the promise was to build a digital commerce ecosystem. An important piece of that jigsaw fell into place today with the launch of a new mobile wallet by Snapdeal and FreeCharge jointly.
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their 169 associated targets fail to recognise the importance of business as a force for social change concludes a new report by the British Council and Social Enterprise UK (SEUK).
Earlier this summer I wrote a response to the constant attacks from microfinance haters that are trending this year. It was a nice surprise to see that a piece referencing Taylor Swift could be taken seriously!
Nigerian architect Kunlè Adeyemi is re-imagining African’s water slums as floating islands.
Indian philanthropist and cardiac surgeon Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty is the Chairman of Narayana Health in Bangalore. Born in a small village, Shetty went to school in Bangalore before studying in the UK. After returning to India in 1989, Mother Teresa had a heart attack, and Dr. Shetty was called to operate on her. From then on, he served as her personal physician.
Kenya giant mobile phone company Safaricom recently made a move that, if other technology firms in Africa follow, could have revolutionary effects. It launched a Shillings 50 million ($500,000) innovation fund.
As the United Nations prepares to ratify new global development goals, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that people in major sub-Saharan African nations are feeling more optimistic about the future than many others around the world. Having experienced relatively high rates of economic growth in recent years, African publics are more likely than citizens of many wealthier nations to believe their economies will improve in the short run, and that in the long run the next generation will be better off financially.
A shortage of long-term financing since the 2008 crisis is choking the investment-backed growth of companies in developing countries and hampering the ability of credit-worthy families to borrow for education and housing needs and escape poverty, a new World Bank report warned today.
National security and regional stability have dominated the political debate over the Iran nuclear accord in recent weeks. Less discussed, however, are the far-reaching, positive implications for public health that will come when sanctions are lifted, as the deal calls for, and Iran’s medical system can begin to cooperate with the West again.
Nine of the world's largest banks are backing an initiative to create a set of global standards for the use of distributed ledger technology in financial markets.
Five women from Makerere University in Uganda have created a test kit that connects to an app on smartphone which detects harmful vaginal bacteria that can cause bacterial vaginosis and other infections, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported today.
The number of Rwandans owning a mobile phone has increased from 6.2 per cent of the country's total population in 2000 to 63.6 per cent in 2014 as poverty dropped to 39 per cent, the fourth Integrated Household Living Survey, launched yesterday in Kigali, says.
Contrary to earlier studies, children in rural India have higher vaccinationrates than those in cities and Hindu kids are more likely to get their shots than Muslims, researchers from a leading American university have said.
Three years after launching Africa’s first 4G LTE services in Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria, Smile Telecoms has raised $365 million.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently gave a licence to India Post to function as a payments bank. Does it change anything for the people? Post offices in India have already been working as payments banks. Individuals open accounts, deposit and withdraw money by cash or cheques and receive payments through them. All these transactions are meticulously recorded manually in their passbook. Post offices do not provide any loans or carry out any credit transaction. This has been in operation for more than a century and much before the RBI came into existence. So, what would change after the RBI’s licence?
Unitus Seed Fund, the leading impact venture seed fund investing in startups innovating for the masses in India, announced that it is doubling down on its StartHealth investing initiative targeting investments of INR 15 crore in 6 new early-stage health technology startups. With partners such as Pfizer, PATH, Manipal Hospitals and Narayana Health, the StartHealth program provides flexible funding, expert support, and mentorship as well as access to healthcare facilities to accelerate the go-to-market path for promising startups. Unitus also announced that Dr. Ashwin Naik, founder of Vaatsalya hospitals, will be joining as a healthcare fund advisor to help support healthcare entrepreneurs invested in by Unitus. Separately, StartHealth participant UE LifeSciences announced earlier this week that it has raised a INR 19.5 crore Series A investment round led by Aarin Capital.
People who live a long way from grocery stores pay more for food because they have to travel there and back, which costs money, and they waste more time doing it. That's why two social entrepreneurs from Cape Town, South Africa, have come up with Lakheni, a group buying club that aggregates orders, with local daycare centers serving as a base.
German social enterprise B-Energy has developed portable “digester” bags that produce methane gas out of food waste or animal droppings, which can help low-income entrepreneurs in the global South make a living through a franchise model, BBC Newsreports.
The fake drug market, worth over 400 billion euros, is more profitable than the sale of illicit drugs. Each year 800,000 people, most of them in Africa, die because of fake drugs, because they can be less expensive and more accessible than the real thing. RFI has launched a public awareness campaign against fake medications with the Chirac Foundation with the slogan "Street medication kills".
When Facebook announced in March 2014 that it was acquiring virtual-reality pioneer Oculus VR for $2 billion, the news caused jaws to drop throughout the tech industry. It also left at least a few of the 9,522 people who had contributed to Oculus’s Kickstarter campaign less than two years earlier grumbling that they should be cut in on the windfall.
Globally, some two billion working-age adults in emerging markets are excluded from the type of financial intermediation that we take for granted in the developed world: a transaction account to send and receive money; the ability to save for a rainy day; access to credit if needed for bigger, spiky outlays; insurance to help mitigate the financial consequences of an unfortunate event.
Dorothy Zulu survives on 10 kwacha ($1) a day and, like the majority of Ngombe's 120,000 residents, spends up to a third of it on water. "If you don't have money here you can't drink water," Zulu told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
The 193 member states of the United Nations last month unveiled a new global agenda for sustainable development. The 15-year plan, titled Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is set to be formally endorsed by world leaders in New York this month and will come into force at the beginning of next year. It is worth considering where the countries of the Middle East fit into this.
This September, the United Nations is promoting a new sustainable development agenda by encouraging countries to adopt a set of global goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. With 17 significant goals in all ... (i)t can be read as inspiring ... or intimidating.
Under a new student-led nonprofit aimed at reducing infant and maternal mortality in South Asia, expectant mothers would receive a free box full of newborn essentials like baby clothes, diapers, and wipes, as well as health-related items such as a clean delivery kit and oral rehydration salts. The caveat: Women would only get the box—which doubles as a portable basket in which babies can sleep or play—if they agree to a prenatal checkup.
India’s union ministry of health and family welfare installed four vending machines to dispense sanitary napkins in the ladies’ washrooms of its New Delhi office. In a country where millions of women still do not use sanitary napkins—and rely on old, unhygienic rags for their monthly cycle—initiatives like these are very welcome. ... But ...
For years he had two feet planted firmly on the ground as a corporate investment banker. Now, with a little start-up money, Jehiel Oliver runs a small Anacostia-based company, with a plan to solve a big agriculture problem half a world away.
Mobile operator Orange, which has operations in 16 African countries, has partnered with French charity crowdfunding platform HelloAsso to launch what it says is Africa's first mobile crowdfunding platform.
Jason Baron uses an unusual metric for sizing up stocks: women. From his perch at U.S. Trust in Boston, Baron works in a small but growing part of the money-management business that’s trying to sell the idea that when it comes to investing, gender pays.
Could mobile wallets be to India what credit cards are to the West? When they were launched about five years ago, they were used mostly for making online payments. Increasingly, though, they are being used to make payments in the 'offline' world.
Rural India is reeling from a shortage of doctors and medical personnel. To address this, a three-year course to train medical personnel was proposed. However, the MCI opposed the proposed course and failed to implement it. Now, the Delhi high court has ordered that it be implemented within six months.
Early intervention with medical devices focused on “simple things” could be better than drugs at halting infectious disease outbreaks.
Despite the hyped 87 per cent mobile phone penetration rate as of March 2015, the reality is that Kenya's unique subscriber base is probably around 45 per cent, meaning more than half of the country lacks "real" access to mobile services.
"If this disease can happen to me, it can happen to anyone", says Mr. Bachchan who himself was a victim of TB in the year 2000.
Safaricom has suspended the increased rates introduced for Equity Bank’s Equitel customers on 1st August 2015 and confirmed the revised rates will now take effect at the same time for all banks on December 1st 2015.
Living close to a dam could increase the risk of contracting malaria, a new study conducted in sub-Saharan Africa has found.
During MasterCard’s Investment Community Meeting on Wednesday (Sept. 9), the remarks from CEO Ajay Banga and his executive team gave a pretty good indication into how MasterCard views its role in the fast-moving digital payments ecosystem.
In order to boost a space that has grown at a snail’s pace, the government on Wednesday approved 100% foreign direct investment (FDI) under the automatic route for non-bank entities that operate cash machines, subject to certain conditions. Wednesday’s move, the government said, will help improve financial inclusion in the country.
Investors are avoiding putting money in projects that deliver financial returns while having a positive social or environmental impact because they believe they are too complex, according to research.
Expanding through acquisitions has increasingly become the tactic of choice for hospital operators seeking to speedily expand in India, where the demand for private healthcare is booming thanks to an overburdened public healthcare system.
A mobile health platform has been launched with the mission of improving health conditions for pregnant women and fighting child mortality in Africa.
The Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures (CPMI) and the World Bank Group today issued a consultative report on Payment aspects of financial inclusion. The report examines demand and supply-side factors affecting financial inclusion in the context of payment systems and services, and suggests measures to address these issues.
An innovative business model combining solar power and cellphones is electrifying parts of rural Africa that are far from the grid.
After going through a crisis period, the country's microfinance industry has returned to the growth phase, especially in the light of stable regulatory framework, says a report.
The United States has been synonymous with innovation. Conducting research to better understand the world and to experiment with new ideas has been an important part of this country’s progress. However, at this critical juncture in history, when chronic noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) (e.g., cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and mental health disorders) are rapidly becoming the largest global health burdens, affecting human welfare and productivity worldwide, US institutions must better align opportunities, pathways, and resources for 21st century scientists and future leaders in health policy.
Tanzania’s health ministry is set to revisit the way it goes about collecting data to control malaria following new insights into the disease.
New research suggests that by investing in low-carbon infrastructure, including transport, building efficiency, and waste management, cities could save $17 trillion by 2050, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
A new report by the International Solid Waste Association (ISWA) is highlighting the ‘global health emergency’ affecting tens of millions of people in developing countries who lack good sanitation infrastructure.
Almost half of Kenyan mothers do not give birth in a hospital and, thus, receive little professional care or education on basics such as how long to breast feed, what to do in the case of diarrhea and vomiting, or where to go for an emergency. In this issue of Digital Diversity, Cayte Bosler looks at an innovative text messaging service which helps parents differentiate between normal behaviors and signs that something might be wrong.
Globacom will from today commercially roll out Glo Xchange super agents’ network that will drive mobile money implementation across Nigeria in partnership with four leading deposit money banks, bringing 80 million unbanked Nigerians into the formal financial sector.
The same team that launched the do-good venture capital firm Unitus Seed Fund in 2012 is at it again, announcing a new accelerator program that plans to help launch venture capitalists in developing parts of the world.
Superannuation fund HESTA has committed $30 million to create an impact investment fund managed by Social Ventures Australia, which is said to be the single largest investment of its kind in Australia to date.
Now that anyone can now buy shares in a private company through an equity-crowdfunding platform, interested investors are wondering who will operate the online share-buying sites. Some observers have suggested that rewards-based crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo will enter the market, taking advantage of their experience in other parts of the crowdfunding marketplace.
Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of Paytm, was one of the two individuals, besides nine other entities, to be granted a payments bank licence. He believes that being a payments bank, Paytm can now provide its customers with a three-step life cycle comprising pay, buy and save.
Cutting Edge Capital (CEC), a leading firm helping social ventures and entrepreneurs raise capital, announced today that its client WaterFX Hydro I, Inc., dba HydroRevolution, received regulatory approval for a California limited public securities offering (DPO) to accredited and non-accredited investors in the amount of $10 million. The offering is being listed on CuttingEdgeX, a web-based platform that showcases DPOs for all types of investors. CuttingEdgeX’s Online Investment Tool (OIT) streamlines the investing process by allowing issuers like HydroRevolution to post the offering documents, explain the investment, stay in compliance with the securities laws, and receive commitments from investors, all electronically.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will help newly licensed payment banks in technology sharing and innovation as it expects India to become a global showcase for digital payment systems in the next three to five years, Daniel Radcliffe, senior officer at the financial services for the poor (FSP) programme at the foundation, said in an interview on Friday.
You never quite know what’s going to fall into your lap in the World Health Organization’s media unit. The Regional Director may need to reshoot a TV spot on the same day that a storm suddenly floods one of the 11 countries you oversee. Figuring out what the various arms of the WHO are doing in response to a situation, and then designing a campaign on the fly?—?it’s like breaking into a sprint at the tenth mile.
Global mortality rates for children under five have fallen by more than half since 1990, when the Millennium Development Goals for addressing effects of poverty were established, a U.N. interagency group reported Wednesday.
Currently, there are no approved vaccines or therapies to prevent dengue infection. The disease, which primarily affects children, is associated with approximately 22,000 deaths annually worldwide, according to the CDC. Infectious Disease News has compiled information on five candidate dengue vaccines in various stages of development.
Microfinanciers’ plans to check Aadhaar numbers to ensure potential borrowers aren’t already loaded with loans may come undone after a recent interim ruling by the Supreme Court restricted the use of Aadhaar data to ration shops and cooking gas.
A new study led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds that mobile phone records can be used to predict the geographical spread and timing of dengue epidemics. More people around the world are becoming vulnerable to this deadly virus as climate change expands the range of the mosquito that transmits dengue and infected travelers spread the disease across borders. Utilizing the largest data set of mobile phone records ever analyzed to estimate human mobility, the researchers developed an innovative model that can predict epidemics and provide critical early warning to policy makers.
Global FMCG giant RB is taking the fight to HUL through its Banega Swachh India campaign. Both companies have high stakes in PM Narendra Modi's clean India initiative as they believe they can drive change in con sumer behaviour through the programme, which will eventually lead to higher sales volumes of soaps and cleaners.
Ghana-based pay-as-you-go solar firm PEG has raised GHS13.2 million (US$3.4 million) to expand its presence in the West African country.
To do good, gathering donations from good-hearted people isn’t enough. The most efficient and effective way to bring about positive change is through business, partnering the profit motive with a project that helps improve lives.
Every day, social entrepreneurs from around the world are seizing opportunities others miss to improve broken systems, innovate and develop solutions to change society for the better. Over the past few months, I've traveled to India, Brazil, Southeast Asia, East Africa, Western Europe and the U.S. to visit 50 NGOs and social enterprises with my team at Epic Foundation.
When mobile payments and banking come to mind, one most likely thinks of headline-grabbing industry leaders such as Apple, Barclays and Visa. However, the reality is a bit different. The distinction of largest uptake of mobile payment adoption actually belongs to Kenya, and the M-Pesa payment solution.
The world is running out of one of the most effective snakebite treatments, putting tens of thousands of lives at risk, warn experts.