Advanced equipment has been developed to help protect health-care workers, but the gear may not be helpful in poor countries.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said it would invest $52 million in CureVac, a German biotechnology company that develops vaccines and immunotherapies, marking the foundation's biggest-ever equity investment.
The Mister Sister initiative started almost three years ago is making a positive contribution at enhanced access to primary health care in rural and remote populations in the Otjozondjupa, Omaheke and Khomas Regions.
While many people have mobile money accounts – usually with the phone companies - few are actively used.
MasterCard and Microsoft announced a partnership to promote economic development in Mexico by supporting the base of the economy, the micro merchant, through comprehensive projects and innovative solutions in information technology, communication and payments
Global impact investments were expected to grow to $12.7 billion last year, up 20% from the previous year, according to a report released Thursday by Global Impact Investing Network.
Ericsson, Coca-Cola, Tigo and SolarKiosk are partnering on a social enterprise initiative called ‘EkoConnect’ that is designed to provide safe water, solar power, mobile communications as well as basic goods and services to underserved communities in Rwanda.
Having made some headway in the US – B Lab’s home ground – and Europe, the time may be right to bring the B Corp concept to Asia, B Lab founder Bart Houlahan says.
Yale’s Global Health Justice Partnership has released a report warning the international community that scientific discoveries will not be enough to prevent the over 500,000 deaths that occur every year from Hepatitis C.
Two examples provide clues to how technology is paving the way to tackle big healthcare problems globally.
Billionaire talks about how he and Canada work together, the setbacks Ebola represents—and why he has a positive outlook.
MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga discussed financial inclusion at Mobile World Congress.
A new bank announced in the annual budget last week could boost loans and cut borrowing costs for the country's cash-starved small businesses - tailors, mechanics and phone booth operators who account for around a fifth of the economy.
The African continent has become home to a new wave of creativity and talent, with Nairobi as the hotbed of innovation.
Through PayNearMe, Grameen America Borrowers Gain Convenient Option to Repay Loans at 7,800 7-Eleven Stores Nationwide, as Grameen Expands Solution to California and New York.
EcoSure has registered over 1 million users, an uptake that translates to 150,000 new users every week. These are impressive numbers, so what’s the secret behind this?
The global financial crisis didn’t dent the demand for loans from small businesses and micro-entrepreneurs around the world. But it sure whacked the supply of capital available to lend to them.
Ghanaian startup Beam is banking on the fact heavily undercutting other remittance services will lead to large uptake of Bitcoin across Africa.
Lighting Science Group Corporation and Intellectual Ventures’ Global Good today announced a research agreement to collaborate on the development of next-generation light technologies for pest control.
The cascade of events leading to bacterial infection and the immune response is mostly understood. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the immune response to the bacteria that causes tuberculosis have remained a mystery — until now.
Inhabitants of this megacity, suffering through the worst drought in decades, have unwittingly contributed to an outbreak of dengue fever by storing scarce water in open containers.
Lumkani Fire Detection has won the South African leg of Chivas Regal’s Win the Right Way competition — a global initiative that sets out to find and support the world’s top social entrepreneurs. The Cape Town-based startup has developed an early-warning fire detection system for dense settlements. The small fire detection device consists of heat detectors that send an SMS with GPS locations to community leaders and the local fire department in times of danger.
Across Africa, growth rates and the discovery of natural resources are pushing countries toward middle-income status, but their health systems are still too weak for donors to withdraw support.
The swine flu flare-up has pushed an indigenous innovation faster into the market, a rare silver lining in an otherwise gloomy story, as India battles the worst outbreak of the virus in the past five years.
More than 40 percent of women in India are underweight when they begin pregnancy, according to a new study published by Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
Kenyan-based Equity Bank says it is interested in exploring investment opportunities within the country’s health sector, as it seeks to exploit increasing demand for healthcare in the country.
Bitcoin startups Volabit and SatoshiTango have opened a money transfer service between their respective countries through a collaboration called Coinnect.
Tuning in to news channels, browsing through social media sites, or engaging in a chit-chat with one of Egypt's ever-so talkative taxi drivers can leave even the biggest optimist heavy-hearted. High illiteracy rates in Egypt's primary and middle schools, blood-covered hospital beds shared by multiple patients, and increased suicide rates among men unable to provide for their families are tragically common and familiar headlines. While the core of our economic and social problems have long been recognized, very little has been done to address them.
One of the greatest challenges for philanthropy today is the very term itself --philanthropy.
As telecommunications carriers in Europe seek a share of the billions of dollars likely to flow to companies that build mobile-payment systems, Claudio Chiche has a few words of advice: Ask Africa for help.
MasterCard announced partnerships to make international remittance services available to millions of consumers in both Nigeria and Zimbabwe.
The World Bank on Monday approved a $500 million loan for the MSME Growth Innovation and Inclusive Finance Project to improve access to finance for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) working in the manufacturing and services sector at an early stage.
The GSMA’s Mobile Money for the Unbanked (MMU) programme today released its fourth annual ‘Mobile Financial Services State of the Industry Report’, providing a quantitative assessment of the state of mobile financial services, including mobile money, mobile insurance, mobile savings and mobile credit.
Pakistan has wasted $3.7 million worth of vaccines donated to protect children from deadly diseases because officials failed to store them properly, a senior health official told Reuters on Monday.
Mutant genes that are resistant to a vital anti-malaria drug were found in the blood of people close to the India border.
New mobile payment platforms can provide a foundation for financial inclusion in South Africa and beyond, says David Abbott of Fiserv, a leading global provider of financial services technology solutions. But who will build the robust ecosystem required to fulfill their potential?
The Fund reached 5.5 million low-income and rural borrowers in 15 countries
At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Orange launched a digital offer called Klif for under US$40, bundling a smartphone, data, voice and text bundle. The solution will be available across Africa and the Middle East. Orange has launched Klif for under US$40, bundling a smartphone, data, voice and text in one for its African and Middle Eastern footprint. Ten offer is claimed to set "a new benchmark in price that will act as a major catalyst for smartphone and data adoption across the region".
Clara Miller, who has headed the F.B. Heron Foundation for the past three years, wants to take the ultimate impact investing step: moving the foundation’s $300 million endowment entirely into impact investments.
For Florida plumber Frederick Schilling Jr, the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, which killed at least 45,000 people, was a pivotal moment in his life, transforming how he looks at the world. His view today? “We in America have absolutely no idea how good we have it and how easy our lives are,” he said.
The global sustainable investment market has grown “substantially” in the past two years with assets reaching $21.4 trillion by the start of 2014, according to a new report by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA).
Microcredit is no panacea for lifting millions of people from poverty, leading economists said on Friday in releasing research from seven countries that challenges a key development tool.
Stellar, the cryptocurrency-based payments system launched last year by Jed McCaleb, announced a partnership with banking-software company Oradian to use Stellar platform in its core banking software for microfinance institutions.
Chronic disease among HIV positive people has been overlooked, say K. M. Venkat Narayan and Sten Vermund. Over 35 million people worldwide are living with HIV. Massive global efforts and investments to deliver combination antiretroviral therapy (ART) have transformed a fatal infectious disease into a chronic, treatable disease.
Visa is to work with Bharti Airtel to extend its mobile money service to seven markets in Africa, including Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles and Tanzania.
The government has been urged to set financial targets for social enterprises as it prepares to pour more money into businesses dedicated to improving people's lives and the environment.
Over seventy percent of active individual investors (71%) describe themselves as interested in sustainable investing, and nearly two in three (65%) believe sustainable investing will become more prevalent over the next five years, according to a new survey published today by the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing. The new Sustainable Signals report examines the attitudes and perceptions of individual investors towards sustainable investing and considers the broader implications for investors, corporations and governments.
Global health partners met in Geneva to begin the process of building a new approach to better determine health needs and constraints and addressing them in countries.
An astounding 94 percent of consumers are likely to switch brands to one that supports a cause. Social impact is becoming more relevant in today's business world, and we are quickly realizing that the business of impact is the business of the future. And like many other social entrepreneurs leading the way in this space, it is important that we encourage all businesses to build a higher purpose into their model so that the most effective organizations in the world can also positively impact humanity in a major way.
What happens when the cameras power down, the microphones are put away, and the jets take off That’s a question many citizens ask themselves when they see their leaders in the headlines, making a fiery speech or a bold pledge from a podium in a faraway city.
One would expect a multinational pharmaceutical group and a leading humanitarian NGO to hold radically opposed views on access to vaccines.
The first clinical safety trial on a tuberculosis drug since 2009 is now under way. The phase I trial of TBA-354 will involve 50 volunteers from the United States, according to the TB Alliance, the not-for-profit product development partnership sponsoring the trial.
In Myanmar, sexual encounters are the most common mode of HIV transmission, causing the epidemic to concentrate among key populations such as female sex workers (FSW) and their male clients (MC), as well as men who have sex with men (MSM). Since 1996, PSI/Myanmar has targeted its condom social marketing program to these groups in order to achieve the greatest impact by preventing the spread of infection.
In 2011 I returned to Kenya for a vacation. I wanted to see the community where I had lived just two years earlier, bring gifts to the families I had bonded with, and sing songs with the kids of the rural village that I had called home. I had lived in Muhuru Bay without water and electricity while working with teachers in this community to help students prepare for high school. It was meant to be a break before heading off to the West Coast for business school. I hadn't expected to start a company, especially one in technology.
This week at the World Trade Organization intellectual property committee meeting, least-developed countries submitted a request to extend a waiver allowing them not to enforce intellectual property rights on pharmaceutical products. The countries have extended the waiver before, but this time they are seeking to make it indefinite, until they are no longer considered LDCs.
Treating diarrhea and pneumonia among children often requires a fairly simple intervention, such as administering life-saving oral rehydration salts. But instead, Indian doctors are often prescribing unnecessary antibiotics or other drugs that may actually worsen illness - according to a recent study coming out of Duke University in the United States.
U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co has contributed an HIV medicine for children to an international shared patent pool in a move that should speed the development of cheap paediatric formulations for use in poor countries.
Did you ever text a coffee to your buddy? Now you can with this new app. Created in the Philippines, Cheers is the first social messaging app that’s built around a mobile wallet.
As part of a wide-scale healthcare transformation program, one of the largest of its kind in Africa, the Kenyan Ministry of Health (MoH) has announced GE Healthcare as a key strategic technology and solutions partner, following the conclusion of an open tender process.
Microcredit has been met with immense enthusiasm in China in recent years, with both banks and business moguls pushing into the sector. Global Times (GT) reporters Gu Di and Liu Zhun talked to Muhammad Yunus (Yunus), a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, economist, and microcredit icon. For founding Grameen Bank, a bank that makes small loans to the impoverished, he was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. Yunus shared his understanding with GT of why microcredit is flourishing in China and how China's "One Belt and One Road" project could influence the field.
Over 500,000 female entrepreneurs in Nigeria are to be introduced to electronic payments under a new partnership agreed between MasterCard and local microfinance institution Grooming Centre.
In a manner of speaking, Africa can mentor the rest of the world on mobile money based on the number of such solutions that have been successfully planted on the continent in the past half-decade. In a very recent development, Equity Bank Kenya has, in conjunction with MasterCard, launched a prepaid card with the central aim of deepening the cash lite economy in the east African country.
Global telecommunications and media firm Millicom has announced today that following an agreement with Vodacom's M-Pesa service, Tigo Pesa customers in Tanzania will be the first in Africa to be able to transact with users of all their country's mobile money networks.
Citi® and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a collaboration to work with developers and build the next generation of financial technology (FinTech) through the Citi Mobile Challenge. IBM will offer mentorship tutorials, and access to Bluemix, IBM's digital innovation platform, to help developers participating in the Citi Mobile Challenge build, test and deploy their FinTech solutions. Citi Chief Client Experience, Digital and Marketing Officer for Global Consumer Banking Heather Cox and IBM Fellow and CTO Jerry Cuomo made the announcement at IBM InterConnect 2015, IBM's major cloud and mobile conference.
In Kenya the cell phone is being used to transform the way that people consume energy. M-KOPA Solar – the word 'kopa' is Swahili for 'borrowed' – is a Nairobi-based business that has pioneered the idea of "pay-as-you-go" solar energy in Africa.
The CBN said, “An essential governance structure and element of regulatory oversight for institutions offering non-interest (Islamic) financial services is the establishment of an advisory body at the level of the Central Bank to provide assurance that the strategic direction and conduct of financial transactions of Non-Interest (Islamic) Financial Institutions (NIFIs) are in compliance with the rules and principles underpinning their operations.
Banking Africa’s unbanked population–adults who don’t use formal banks or semi-formal microfinance institutions to save or borrow money–may not be the solution to providing wider access to financial products and services.
Saïd Business School's dean argues that MBA programs should steer students toward futures that benefit not only their institutions but the world at large.
Children living with HIV in 92 countries may soon have access to a lower-cost antiretroviral treatment.
Will Poole, a top Microsoft executive-turned seed-stage investor, is tapping American and Indian tech entrepreneurs to back some startups in India that are decidedly not tech-related.
Lifting of restrictions on mobile money agents has helped Airtel Kenya recruit more merchants as it bids to take convenience closer to customers, according to chief executive Adil Youssefi.
Vodafone Ghana, a telecommunications company, has partnered the Legon Center for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Services (CERSGIS) to roll out a mobile application “app” that aids child healthcare delivery and immunization.
Impact investing is hot right now. The meteoric rise of social enterprise is shaking the foundations of the nonprofit sector, and traditional investors are starting to pay attention. There are more than $46 billion worth of impact investments currently under management, and a total projected market potential of up to $45 trillion. Though we’re not yet mainstream, we are on way.
Indonesia is developing its own vaccines to fight infectious diseases because funds from the EU and other development agencies to its health sector are drying up. EurActiv reports from Indonesia.
Changing disease patterns, low public spend on healthcare, and high out of pocket expenses have been the primary concerns leading to the formulation of the government’s new health policy. Economic advancement in India over the last two decades has enabled the government to take the cue and clearly articulate its intent to increase the public financing of health to 2.5 per cent of GDP in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan to move toward affordable, accessible and quality healthcare for all.
They don’t have the name recognition of Ebola, but lymphatic filariasis and schistosomiasis are killer viruses in developing countries. Big killers. Indeed, combined with other illnesses like malaria and pneumonia, infectious diseases account for 1 in 7 deaths worldwide. But good luck trying to convince drug companies to put resources and funds into developing vaccines for most of them: Diseases in poor countries don’t make for lucrative markets.
He came to Australia barely two months old with his family fleeing war in Sri Lanka. Now 31, the Tamil migrant with a broad Aussie accent acquired in Homebush, NSW, wants to give back.
Kompanion Financial Group, one of the largest microfinance institutions in the Kyrgyz Republic both by loan portfolio and number of clients, has concluded an equity raise selling a 35% stake to international investors. The shares were purchased by Netherlands based investors FMO and Triodos Investment Management, with the latter investing through Triodos Fair Share Fund and Triodos Microfinance Fund. Kompanion’s founder Mercy Corps will remain majority shareholder and hold a 65% stake. The funds will be used for growth capital in the lending operations and support Kompanion’s transformation to a licensed banking institution.
The Financial Solutions Lab at the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) with founding partner JPMorgan Chase & Co. today announced a $3 million competition for technology innovators working to address consumer financial challenges. This cross-sector initiative will identify technology-enabled financial solutions and provide winners with direct and indirect support to test and expand the availability of their products and services to consumers.
In a major breakthrough, the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday announced that it had approved a rapid diagnostic test kit for Ebola that can provide results in 15 minutes and correctly identify 92% of patients infected by the disease.
Smart syringes that break after one use should be used for injections by 2020, the World Health Organization has announced.
Safaricom Ltd. will cut its planned $400 million investment in East Africa’s biggest economy this year if Kenyan regulators impose penalties on the wireless carrier to limit its market dominance, its chief executive officer said.
A new initiative has been launched to increase food security for small holder farmers in five regions in Ghana. The initiative - ICT Challenge – is a partnership between the Grameen Foundation, Farm Radio International and Digital Green.
Like any other country, Nigeria has its problems. However, Nigeria perched now as Africa’s “Golden Child” with a GDP of $510 billion, ballooning past South Africa who has numerous economic challenges ahead.
Emerging markets used to be a beacon of hope in the world economy, but now they are more often a source of gloom. China’s economy is slowing. Brazil is mired in stagflation. Russia is in recession, battered by Western sanctions and the slump in the oil price; South Africa is plagued by inefficiency and corruption. Amid the disappointment one big emerging market stands out: India.
During his recent visit to Canberra, Stephen Howes spoke to Dr Mark Dybul, the head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. You can listen to a podcast of their full conversation here. The following is a condensed transcript.
Growing up as a daughter of a high ranking civil servant in Bangladesh, I have distinct memories of my father's trip to Paris every year in the 1980s. To me it was exciting -- Papa was seeing Paris -- the most romantic city in the world. To him it was a dreaded trip because it was Donor Consortium that brought him to France to beg for donor money for Bangladesh.
Tencent has made its first investment in Africa under the banner of its WeChat messaging service. WeChat Africa, a joint venture between Tencent and Naspers, announced an investment in M4JAM (Money For Jam), a South Africa-based mobile job service that connects to WeChat.
I’m not a fan of crowdfunding for the celebrity cause of the moment. The Internet has made it so much easier for people to pony up money for any person or family whose story gets picked up — by social media, newspapers, network and cable shows — that it has become trendy to give.
Hennion & Walsh, one of the nation's premier providers of investment services and an advocate for individual investors, today announced the launch of its SmartTrust Sustainable Impact Investing Trust, further expanding its suite of proprietary SmartTrust Unit Investment Trust (UIT) portfolios. Selected by Argus Investors' Counsel and based, in part, on criteria established by IW Financial, the Trust seeks to provide investors with total return potential by investing in the stocks of companies that meet the Trust's investment criteria including, but not limited to, environmental, social and governance factors.
Premier Kathleen Wynne says the Liberal government is putting up $4 million to finance 11 socially conscious enterprise projects across the province.
London-based online money transfer business WorldRemit has closed a funding round worth $100m, backed by Technology Crossover Ventures and prior investor Accel Partners.
The maiden human trial of a potential tuberculosis drug — the first in six years — has now commenced.
The domestic insurance industry posted a stellar growth performance in the past year, registering an estimated 28 million Filipinos protected by microinsurance.
Over the last 17 years, women-owned businesses have increased dramatically—a substantial 68% since 1977. In a world where women have long lived and worked in the shadows of men, entrepreneurship seems to be helping women narrow the gender gap in the workplace. Until you take a look at their paychecks.
It’s been an exciting few months for client protection in the microfinance industry. FINCA Kyrgyzstan, MBK Ventura in Indonesia, SKS Microfinance in India, and a number of other MFIs around the world demonstrated that they successfully integrate the client protection principles into their practices and joined the rapidly growing list of institutions that are Smart Certified. Today, we’re pleased to share that the number of clients across all the Smart Certified institutions surpassed the 15-million-client benchmark.
Maybe Jesse Helms was right. I never thought I’d hear myself utter those words, but after witnessing the fracas around the U.S. Agency for International Development’s “Local Solutions” policy, I’m coming around to his way of thinking.
Smart cash machines installed by Steward Bank, which is controlled by Zimbabwe's Econet Wireless, will allow mobile money users to make cardless transactions and airtime top-ups for account holders with other banks.
Simple technologies like Kenya's M-Pesa mobile money system can have a huge impact in the developing world. Offering something genuinely new, reliable and, above all, cheap, they can stitch together communities, catalyze markets, improve economies, and ultimately change lives.
Whole Planet Foundation is kicking off its 2015 Prosperity Campaign at Whole Foods Market with the goal of raising $5 million for microlending programs worldwide—enough to help 135,000 people lift themselves out of poverty and start a new life.
Last night, Lions Health together with UNICEF and Unilever, launched the Young Lions Health Award, an exciting new competition for young creatives and marketers that aims to improve challenges facing global health systems in developing countries.
Banks have three to five years to get their digital act together before they enter a spiral of decline, according to a paper by McKinsey & Company. This view was echoed by BBVA chairman and CEO Francisco Gonzalez, who told media and analysts at the announcement of BBVA’s latest results that up to half the world’s banks could slip through the cracks as digital transformation takes hold.
Earlier this week, in Michael Woodhead’s superb blog China Medical News, he wrote about “major problems with ‘serious’ research clinical trails carried out in China.” Michael points to a JAMA article and then proceeds to elaborate:
Today, Citi, the global banking giant, is announcing its next-gen sustainability strategy that includes an eye-popping number: $100 billion over 10 years for “lending, investing and facilitating” activities focused on mitigating climate and other sustainability solutions.
Geneva's public prosecutor searched HSBC's (HSBA.L) lakeside Swiss office on Wednesday after opening a criminal inquiry into allegations of aggravated money laundering, the second probe to hit the bank this week.
Financial inclusion in Zimbabwe increased to 77 percent in 2014 from 60 percent in 2011 mainly driven by mobile money platforms, the FinScope Consumer Survey has shown. According to the survey, which was launched yesterday, 45 percent of the population (3,15 million) is registered with mobile money platforms. Of those who are registered users, 80 percent use it to remit while 46 percent use it to transact in order to pay utility bills, buy airtime, etc.
What has microfinance achieved for the world’s poor? Estimates vary widely, but 300 million people are estimated to be direct beneficiaries of the microcredit movement, and more than $68 billion may be currently invested in the industry, according to a 2010 estimate from the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, a unit of theWorld Bank.
On January 29, the board of SKS Microfinance, the country's only listed microfinance entity, approved the company's proposal to apply for a licence to set up a small finance bank, a new category of lenders that the Reserve Bank of India has created to drive financial inclusion. A few kilometres away from the SKS office in Hyderabad, Vikram Akula, who founded the company in 1997 and had to unceremoniously exit in 2011, is giving final touches to the application for a small finance bank for his start-up VAYA Finserv.
An estimated 230 million migrants will send $500 billion in remittances to developing countries in 2015, a flow of capital expected to do more to reduce poverty than all development aid combined, a senior official of the U.N. agricultural bank said.
Working out of a Starbucks in 2012, Obdulio Piloto saw an article about the Peter Thiel Foundation’s Breakout Labs’ funding effort for revolutionary technology projects.
Moven, the first app and debit card to provide real-time behavioral feedback to help users change their spending habits and save more, announced today the appointment of Founder and CEO Brett King to the Board of Directors of the prestigious Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI).
torcyclists can seem invincible as they dodge and weave their way through traffic and zip down alleyways. But beyond a motorcycle’s quick and convenient capabilities is a dark story: a developing global crisis of road fatalities.
Putting in place a sophisticated digital racket, hackers were able to steal millions of dollars from up to 100 banks in what the Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab is calling "the most successful criminal cyber campaign we have ever seen."
It had been a 'bad' trading year. The balance sheet was deep in the negative, following heavy investment in restructuring, rebranding and repositioning.
The notion that income inequality has continued to rise over the past decade is part of the conventional wisdom. You’ve no doubt heard versions: The rich just keep getting richer. Inequality is higher than ever. Nearly all of the gains from the economic recovery have gone to the top 1 percent.
Start-up accelerators are common in Europe and the United States, where the likes of Y Combinator and Startupbootcamp have emerged as leaders in the model and have offered hundreds of start-ups both equity funding and mentorship to assist them in scaling. But in Africa the concept is still very young, having only really arrived in 2012.
The journey of a social entrepreneur is full of ups and downs. Many give up on the struggle and many live to tell the tale. The only difference between the two is the never give up attitude. It doesnt mean that they are immune to the downs or not think of giving up, but they never actually do give up. I had the great opportunity to moderate a session on this very topic “The day i nearly gave up” with my fellow social entrepreneurs Neelam Chibber (Mother Earth/Industree Foundation), Madan Padaki (Head Held High/ GAP), Amit Jain (eHealth Point) and G Srinivasan (Rural Shores) at a panel put together by NASE during the Annual AFI forum at Infosys Campus, Bangalore.
The Female Health Company (NASDAQ - CM: FHCO), which manufactures the world's leading female condom, today announced its corporate partnership with the International AIDS Society's Industry Liaison Forum (ILF). The Female Health Company, the only HIV prevention technology company represented in the ILF, will work alongside preeminent thought leaders, research and academic institutions, and pharmaceutical companies in setting the tone for the next generation's response to the global HIV epidemic.
The Indian microfinance sector has found a new Andhra Pradesh in West Bengal. The sector, which has not been able to see any business in the state of Telangana and AP, has seen brisk business in this eastern state, piping other southern states as well.
Interest in the area of social entrepreneurship has gained momentum in recent years. Many studies have been commissioned in this area, including comparative studies to clarify the concepts of conventional entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship, and also social entrepreneurship with not-for-profit activities such as corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, charity and voluntary work.
In a bid to increase card payments and financial inclusion, Mexican banks are collaborating with mobile payments technology vendors to deploy mPOS solutions at mom-and-pop stores. The Mexican government encourages these initiatives, as around 70 percent of all purchases in Mexico are made with cash and the informal economy represents 30 percent of GDP.
From irritating chemicals to a troubled supply chain, condoms haven’t always been the kindest to the earth, or our bodies. Here are three companies trying to change that.
Call it providence. Twelve years ago, Neeti Kailas happened to walk the corridors of Ahmedabad’s Vikram Sarabhai Hospital. She was a student of product design then, at the National Institute of Design (NID) and was trying to ascertain potential project ideas—design problems she could find solutions to. That walk turned out to be a game changer. All around her, she could see things that needed fixing. Kailas decided that she was the woman for the job.
Bitcoin fans may not enjoy the government’s attention, but they should be flattered: It means the technology they are developing is powerful stuff.
Infosys co-founder and billionaire Nandan Nilekani, who spearheaded the country's massive unique identification project, is gearing up for an equally ambitious project - to help elementary school children across the country improve their reading and arithmetic skills using low-end tablets and smartphones.
Afaxys Pharmaceuticals, a division of Afaxys, Inc., is proud to announce a first-of-its-kind partnership with Project Ruby (PRJKT RUBY), an innovative online platform, to bring affordable contraceptives to women in the United States and the developing world.
Even if you ignore all the hype around crowdfunding, there can be no doubt that it is a real alternative for entrepreneurs to achieve visibility and funding today. According to articles on Entrepreneur last year, there are now almost 1,000 crowdfunding platforms in existence, currently estimated to add more than $65 billion and 270,000 jobs to the economy.
Kenya's 2014 mobile money use surged to a record 26.1 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of about 4 billion dollars from previous year.
With the tenure of the nine elected female board members having expired today, Nobel winning micro-credit organisation Grameen Bank will now be run by government-appointed board members.
The politically correct and socially sustainable is, though certainly laudable, not particularly profitable. Investors shunning sin stocks manage portfolios that are, on average, significantly less profitable than those possessed by shareholders without similar scruples.
US pharma giant Pfizer aims to bolster its sterile injectable capabilities and gain access to biosimilars by buying injectables specialist Hospira. Pfizer anticipates that the $17 billion (£11 billion) deal will result in $800 million in savings by 2018.
Developing countries in Africa have been hit by the full force of the recent Swiss Leaks scandal. The Swiss branch of HSBC bank cost Tanzania, Senegal and the Ivory Coast over 30% of their national health budgets. EurActiv France reports.
When his eight-year old son Dharmaraj broke his hand while grazing cattle in the remote mountains of Humla, Mansingh Thapa took him to a private clinic in Simkot. It cost Rs 4,500 just to get Dharmaraj’s hand in a cast.??But the pain in the boy’s arm did not subside. Unable to afford a second visit to the clinic, Mansingh packed his belongings, slung Dharmaraj on his shoulders and set off on an eight-day walk to Bayalpata Hospital in Achham district. ?“What could we do? We didn’t have any other choice,” said Mansingh who had heard about Bayalpata from friends who had received free treatment here.
In low-income countries, good information about personal budgeting and saving is hard to find. Many people have limited schooling and little familiarity with financial institutions. Financial education efforts at the local level—often constrained by inadequate staff resources and transportation challenges—tend to be one-time events accessible only to a small slice of the population. Getting the information you need at the moment you need it is nearly impossible.
For thousands of years the pastoralist communities of northern Kenya have herded their cattle alongside elephants and zebras, the grass of the rangelands shared between livestock and wildlife in relative balance. In recent decades, climate change, habitat loss, and human population growth have combined to erode that balance, leading to overgrazing and the degradation of the grasslands that both humans and wildlife need to survive.
Startup accelerator Scholas.Labs was announced last week during an education event hosted by Pope Francis. Although one hardly expects to hear “startup accelerator” and “pontiff” in the same sentence, this enterprise is quite real and is aimed at assisting education projects all over the world.
The ongoing political turmoil continues to take its toll on the small and medium businesses who have borrowed money from micro finance institutions (MFIs) as the big MFIs have tightened their vigilance fearing the future impact on loan recovery.
Long ago, your parents probably gave you some advice: never borrow money from a friend. More importantly: never let your friends borrow from you. If the movies have taught us anything, it’s that mixing money and friendship rarely ends in anything other than blood and tears.
After decades of existing primarily to distribute grants, many of Canada’s 191 community foundations have been wading into a new kind of financial activity, impact investing. The shift encompasses exploring deep questions about their reason for being and how they are/should be showing up in the world.
To this day, an estimated 1.3 billion people do not have access to electricity. That is over a billion people who struggle to refrigerate their food and medicine, study at night to further their education, or charge their mobile phones. Electricity is crucial to human well-being and development, and lack of access to it is a huge barrier to overcoming poverty in the developing world.
Mobile technology is rapidly transforming communications and culture in Africa. More than half the continent’s population has a mobile device, up from just one percent in 15 years, according the United Nations. Of course, cities and developed regions are as connected as their counterpart elsewhere, but remote and undeveloped areas where people live on little more than a dollar a day are usually poorly served. That is beginning to change, and healthcare providers are using technology to improve and save lives.
Sub-Saharan Africa is adopting mobile financial services at a pace seen in few other places, presenting banks and mobile-network operators (MNOs) with a set of strategic choices that will go a long way toward determining their success in the region.
Jackie Kiconco sits in her garden with her right hand supporting her chin. Her eyes are gazing across the maize garden that she had planted but because of late rainfall, the seeds failed to germinate.
The growing use of banking services in South Africa is driven by a national rollout of social security debit cards and strong economic growth across finance, real estate and business services sectors. According to the Banking Association of South Africa, just under a quarter of the adult population (23.5%) remains unbanked.
Crowdfunding is a way to raise money from a large number of people via the Internet to fund a project. The concept is well established in the West, but is still new in Africa. A World Bank project in Kenya has launched a mentorship program to help business owners take advantage of crowdfunding, which some say could help replace the kind of aid they currently receive from NGOs.
Intellectual Ventures’s Global Good division has teamed up with General Electric to create a new test for malaria that’s designed to spot even the parasites that cause the disease, even in cases that would otherwise be missed by traditional testing.
There are too many takers for licences for small-sized banks. A total of 113 companies knocked the doors of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) with applications when the deadline expired at the close of business hours on 3 February. The list (see here) includes both the biggies and tiny names.
The Reserve Bank of India’s decision to create small finance banks could be a game-changer for microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country.
Two state-of-the-art public hospitals in New Delhi are barely operational years after they officially opened - not for lack of funding but because officials did not spend the millions of dollars allocated to treat heart and kidney patients.
India has run out of critical supplies under its state-run HIV/AIDS program, activists say, leaving tens of thousands of infected patients without access to life-saving drugs.
While the tech world is busy speculating about bitcoin’s volatile value, cryptocurrency is making arguably its biggest impact in countries where the current price of 1 bitcoin exceeds the average salary earned in a week.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has recently announced an advisory services agreement with Mircrofinance Institute Advans Cameroun geared at expediting the rate of financial inclusion in Cameroon by expanding the range and reach of services available to underserved urban and rural populations.
BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest money manager, hired Deborah Winshel to run a new unit dedicated to impact investing, a strategy that seeks to make money while improving society.
Tucked away in a few rooms within the Alexandria Life Science and Translational Research Center in Rockville, Maryland, is a 48-member biotechnology company pursuing a singular obsession to eradicate one of the greatest global health challenges in history, malaria. “We’re swinging for the knockout,” says Dr. Stephen Hoffman, who founded Sanaria in 2003. “This is not to take anything away from the incredibly successful work others are doing to distribute bed nets, create educational programs to increase malaria literacy or discover better methods to deliver existing antimalarials. Those efforts are vitally important. But we’re searching for the one blow that will finally end humanity’s fight against this ancient disease: a vaccine.”
In an effort to reduce incidents of fraud and protect customer accounts from unauthorised access, the Bankers’ Committee has intensified efforts on the enrolment of bank customers on the Bank Verification Number (BVN). BVN involves the registration of customers in the financial system using biometric technology making accounts more secure using unique identifiers such as fingerprint.
Rigorous evidence of impact is not just about accountability in impact investing. It is an enabler of the field's growth in its own right.
It’s bespoke, beautifully formed, and changing the face of transport in Ghana. The bamboo bicycle is gaining traction in the country and one organization is riding this popularity wave to increase youth employment in the process.
By now, the numbers on the recent U.S. measles outbreak are well known. In 2014, America had more than 600 cases of measles—the highest number in 20 years. In the month of January 2015 alone, 84 people in 14 states reported having measles, with most cases linked to an incident at Disneyland. The reason for the resurgence? More and more people are opting to not vaccinate their kids.
Let’s deal with the name first. If you’re like me, it would’ve been a distraction throughout the article if we hadn’t. The company is named after its German founder and patron, Andreas J. Rottendorf (1897-1971). As per the organization’s founding charter, it can’t be changed.
Investments in African schools, healthcare and other infrastructure are at risk from the long-term impacts of global warming because governments and businesses are not considering climate information in their plans, researchers have warned.
Western Union Co (WU.N) said it would cut prices for money transfers within the United States to help fend off fierce competition and would buy back up to $1.2 billion of shares.
Unilever, Acumen and the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, have launched a landmark Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action called the Enhanced Livelihoods Investment Initiative (ELII) to improve the livelihoods of as many as 300,000 smallholder farmers and their communities in Africa, South Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
While most regions in Africa are recording significant uptake of mobile money, the West African region is lagging behind, according to a new report.
ICICI Bank Ltd on Tuesday launched Pockets, a mobile payments wallet for Android phones, which can be topped up with money from any bank account for making phone-based payments.
Internet.org is now available in India, Facebook said late Monday, potentially bringing Internet access to tens of millions of new users for the first time.
Across the world, a child's survival is a lot like drawing a lottery ticket. Factors based purely on chance — where a child is born, how much money his or her family has and what their ethnic background is — can determine if a child lives past age 5.
Bangladesh is to get a $300-million loan from the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA) to help improve child nutrition after a deal was signed on Monday.
Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has called for mining houses to invest in centres for disease control to help fight Tuberculosis and Ebola in African regions where they mine.
Two mobile money platforms have launched in Ethiopia, as the country looks to improve the take-up of bank services.
Today, the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI) and HelpAge International released Aging and Financial Inclusion: An Opportunity, a report that examines the unmet financial needs of the rapidly growing global aging population, particularly in the developing world. The purpose of this report is to highlight the barriers and opportunities related to financial services in older age and throughout the aging process, a relatively neglected area of study.
Sustainability is an all too overused word that is rarely linked to the word profit. Yet sustainability and profit go hand in hand. When it comes to building a network of health facilities in a developing country using a social franchising model similar to how business franchises operate; the link between profit and sustainability is imperative. Without one we cannot hope to have the other.
Kenya-based bitcoin services provider BitPesa has raised $1.1m as part of a new funding round led by hedge fund Pantera Capital.
Doctors treating Ebola patients while wearing “the full spacesuit” — protective gear, including waterproof hoods — are struggling with a clinician’s dilemma: what to do if they can’t use one of the oldest, most basic tools in medicine — a stethoscope.
In recent years, the banking and finance industries have not done a lot to earn the trust of consumers in the West. But in poor countries, basic financial services can be transformative.
A study that looks at links between poverty and high-risk behavior among Tijuana sex workers will offer loans to a group of 60 women this year. The dollar amount is small— initially about $200 per participant — and the researchers hope that the women will use the money to launch small businesses and find an additional source of income.
Healthcare is such an emotional issue that basic economics is often taken for a ride. This explains quite well India’s intention—following the release of the National Health Policy 2015 late last year—to move towards providing healthcare as a fundamental right through a universal public healthcare system.
Chams Mobile and Skye Bank Plc have signed an agreement to launch the Virtual Visa Card in Nigeria.
With President Obama concluding a successful visit to Delhi, the Indo-US bilateral agenda is now poised to move ahead on nuclear and renewable energy, defence collaboration, trade and investment and several other important issues. However, we at Asha Impact, a social investing and public policy organisation, believe one major issue was not explicitly addressed, both in the official dialogue and the extensive media coverage. An issue that both countries can seize upon to effectively leverage the convergence between India's overriding objective of inclusive growth and the United States' strategic interest in seeing India succeed in its development path.
According to recent data from Uganda's parliament, the country has 1 doctor per 24,725 people and 1 nurse per 11,000 people, both well below guidelines from the World Health Organization. By contrast, Trinidad and Tobago has 12 doctors and 35 nurses per 10,000 people.
BlackRock Inc (BLK.N) is planning an array of new investment products that will allow clients to invest in addressing large societal issues, such as global hunger or poverty, an executive at the New York-based firm said.
Orange has struck a deal with Ecobank that will enable customers in several African countries to transfer money between accounts with the telco and financial services group through their mobile phones.
A Japanese foundation will try to discover innovative approaches to neglected infectious diseases with a Grand Challenge.
The Government of Egypt, represented by The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, and MasterCard have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a strategic collaboration that will help drive financial inclusion and maximize government efficiency.
Villgro announces Unconvention|L, an event that seeks to unearth and nurture social entrepreneurs, in four cities in the next two months.
In 2008, the World Health Organization announced a global effort to eradicate malaria, which kills about 800,000 people every year. As part of that goal, scientists are trying to develop new drugs that target the malaria parasite during the stage when it infects the human liver, which is crucial because some strains of malaria can lie dormant in the liver for several years before flaring up.
Kenyan incubator the iHub has partnered Chase Bank in an arrangement that will see the two organisations collaborate on advancing the country’s tech ecosystem and offering more innovative services to the bank’s customers and the general public.
With an interesting take on making profit through social good, affordable motorcycle startup Tugendehas announced that it’s closed a round of US$780 000. The Ugandan-based company describes itself as a for-profit social enterprise that offers an affordable lease-to-own model to help motorcycle taxi drivers own bikes in 18 months or less. The business model seems pretty sleek and has in 2014 grew 300% to over 700 active customers.
In emerging markets, mobile money services have the power to simplify lives, offering people the convenience of paying from anywhere and at any time, but also to transform them, playing a social noble role by addressing the unbanked or underserved population in Africa, offering them payment services they did not have access to before.
Local technologies and innovations can transform healthcare delivery in Africa, health experts and biomedical researchers have told a conference.
A $34 device that plugs into the audio jack of a smartphone was nearly as effective as far more costly diagnostic blood testing equipment in identifying antibodies for HIV and syphilis in a pilot study in Africa, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.
On a Tuesday night at a Nairobi tech incubator, Michael Kimani preaches the virtues of crypto currencies to a small gathering of tech-savvy Kenyans.
A Dubai-based Arab-American designer turned social entrepreneur has won a chance to compete for a share of a $1 million fund and represent the region at a global finals for social entrepreneurs in San Francisco.
Dattaram, 50, earns Rs 9,000 a month doing domestic chores in three to four homes in a Mumbai neighbourhood.
MasterCard has opened its largest Tech Hub outside of the U.S. in Pune, India, and plans to roll out its mobile payments system in April, the card brand said on Wednesday (Feb. 4).
On April 5, 2012, a revolutionary avenue of capital formation for small businesses was created when President Obama signed The JOBS Act into law and equity crowdfunding in the United States was born. Entrepreneurs with small businesses were excited by the prospect of using online crowdfunding to raise up to $1 million by selling equity in their company, something not allowed on rewards-based crowdfunding sites Kickstarter or Indiegogo. When the JOBS Act was passed, the new law gave the Securities and Exchange Commission until January 1, 2013 to publish regulations and rules that would allow this game-changing law to go into effect.
Loan of up to $5 million has mobilized an additional $5 million through a B-loan syndication.
The surprising failure of a large clinical trial of H.I.V.-prevention methods in Africa — and the elaborate deceptions employed by the women in it — have opened an ethical debate about how to run such studies in poor countries and have already changed the design of some that are now underway.
Eve, an artificially-intelligent 'robot scientist' could make drug discovery faster and much cheaper, say researchers writing in the Royal Society journal Interface. The team has demonstrated the success of the approach as Eve discovered that a compound shown to have anti-cancer properties might also be used in the fight against malaria.
Ethiopian banks and microfinance firms are launching mobile money services, helping reach swathes of the population that now have little access to branches or services, the mobile technology providers and banks said.
In the village of Sori along the banks of Kenya’s Lake Victoria, fishing has long been the lynchpin of the local economy. Jobs here are largely divided by gender: men catch the fish, and the women process the meat, take it to market, and handle finances.
South Africans social entrepreneurs have come up with inventions aimed at curbing deadly fires and floods in the country's crowded informal settlements.