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Our Staff Writers and Editors offer insights on the latest news, events, interviews and other happenings from the development through enterprise and base of the pyramid universes
Friday, July 3, 2015 — No Region Specified

Getting Vaccines to People Who Need Them Is the Most Important Issue in Global Health

Source: Quartz

Fear of vaccines has allowed a host of diseases, including measles and whooping cough, to re-surface around the world in recent years.
Friday, July 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Portable Solar Power to the People

Source: BiztechAfrica

Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management, is commercialising its solar powered portable LED lamps with mobile phone charger, the Mobiya TS 120S, in order to offer innovative, reliable and affordable products to people living without access to electricity.
Thursday, July 2, 2015 — South Asia

Social Enterprise Awards 2015: Inspiring social change

Source: Jakarta Post

For these six creative and inspiring social enterprises, lying back while expecting funding from donors is so last-decade. “Do what you can, start now and do it for others” seems to be the sacred slogan for six winners of the Social Enterprise Awards for Arts, Creative Economy and Tourism, which were presented by DIAGEO and the British Council in Jakarta recently.
Thursday, July 2, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Can a Bajaji Change a Teen Girl's Life?

Source: PSI Impact

“Human-centered design has a role in solving every problem,” says Pam Scott, a serial design thinker whose career has wended from advertising to customer research to a board seat at IDEO.org to a current chapter that might be dubbed activist philanthropy. A born connector, Scott has spent nearly three decades working at the intersection of design and impact, and much of her power lies at getting the right people in the room and prompting them to ask — and answer — the right questions.
Thursday, July 2, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Can Mobile Money Improve Your Health?

Source: IT News Africa

According to insights provided byMondato, the general rule of thumb is that when something appears too good to be true, it very likely is. Imagine that you were unfamiliar with the concept of insurance. A stranger at your door promises that if you pay 1000 shillings per month via your phone, if at some point you or someone in your family were to fall ill, the man’s company will pay up to 300 times that amount to cover the medical expenses. You would certainly be forgiven for being highly circumspect, at the very minimum.
Thursday, July 2, 2015 — South Asia

Mobile Banking Provides Lifeline for Bangladeshis

Source: The Wall Street Journal

On the first Friday of every month, Sabina Begum makes the short trip from her single-room shack in a crowded Dhaka slum to a nearby grocery. The grocer, in addition to selling her much-needed supplies, doubles as her financial-services provider.
Thursday, July 2, 2015 — No Region Specified

A Condom That Tests for STDs Just Before Sex

Source: Condom Collective

Just last week, I was joking with some colleagues about whether we could sell a stick of gum with our condoms that, when chewed, would turn a certain color to indicate whether or not you had an STD. It turns out, we were not the only ones with such idea and they ignored the gum and went right to the condom itself.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015 — No Region Specified

Bangladesh-Based Poverty Group Founder Wins World Food Prize

Source: The Associated Press

A man who created a nonprofit organization credited with helping more than 150 million people out of poverty was named the winner of the 2015 World Food Prize on Wednesday. Fazle Hasan Abed, of Bangladesh, created BRAC, the organization originally known as Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee, as a temporary relief organization to help the country recover from the 1970 typhoon that killed about 500,000 people and the subsequent war fought in 1971 to win independence from Pakistan. Bangladesh was once listed as the second poorest country in the world.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015 — No Region Specified

How Will Global Health Financing Change Post-MDGs?

Source: Devex

Hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent since 2000 to tackle some of the world’s biggest health problems.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015 — South Asia

BlackBerry’s Prescription for Success in Healthcare

Source: The Financial Express

“Technology and mobility will play a crucial role in revolutionising the healthcare system and propelling the next phase of growth in India,” says Annie Mathew, Director, Alliances and Business Development, BlackBerry. In conversation with Abhishek Raval.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015 — Latin America

WHO Validates Elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV and Syphilis in Cuba

Source: World Health Organization

Cuba today became the first country in the world to receive validation from WHO that it has eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV and syphilis.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015 — No Region Specified

Impact Investing For The Millennial: You, Too, Can Have An Investment Portfolio

Source: Forbes

Impact investing has been catching headlines with major banks like Bank of America BAC +1.48% and JP Morgan developing so-called “impact portfolios.”
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 — South Asia

Primary Healthcare Staff to Protest Against Privatisation

Source: The Times of India

The state government's decision to hand over primary health centres and affiliated sub-centres from across the state into private hands to be operated under the public private partnership (PPP) mode has triggered protest from healthcare staff and social organizations.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 — South Asia

Saving the Cows, Starving the Children

Source: The New York Times

Gandhi famously denied himself food. And by starving himself to protest British rule, he ultimately made India stronger. But India’s leaders today are using food as a weapon, and they are sacrificing not themselves, but others. Their decisions threaten to make India’s children — already among the most undernourished in the world — weaker still.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 — South Asia

Vietnam Is Having Condom Problems — And That's a Good Thing

Source: NPR

Vietnam is having condom problems. Hundreds of thousands of condoms sold there are substandard. They tear easily and don't offer reliable protection. While this might seem like a red flag, it's actually a sign of progress.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 — No Region Specified

Julie Bishop: Australia Will Use Private Firms Like Coca-Cola to Deliver Aid

Source: The Guardian

The Australian government will partner with private companies such as Coca-Cola to distribute medical aid, foreign minister Julie Bishop has said.
Tuesday, June 30, 2015 — No Region Specified

Profits Meets Philanthropy in ‘Pay-For-Success’ Investments — Horizons

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Do you care about reducing the prison population? Want to create work opportunities for homeless people? Re-employ veterans? Well, a new model of investing allows you to fund such projects — and even take home a profit.
Monday, June 29, 2015 — No Region Specified

Bill Gates Hopeful of AIDS Vaccine in 10 Years

Source: The Jakarta Post

Billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates, who spends millions of dollars on AIDS drug development, said Friday he hoped for a vaccine against the disease within the next decade as a cure remains far off.
Monday, June 29, 2015 — South Asia

Burning Bridges by Building Bridges

Source: Philstar

Do you remember the old folk song that goes, “ako ang nagtanim at nagbayo at nagsaing, subalit nang maluto ay iba ang kumain” (I planted, pounded and cooked my own rice, but some other guy ate it)? It is not exactly the same story for the farmers, but it is certainly how they still feel.
Monday, June 29, 2015 — South Asia

Now, ATM-Like Machines to Dispense Free Medicine

Source: The Times of India

Taking free medicine distribution to the next level, state health department will soon introduce automated medicine dispensing machines. Similar to ATMs, the new and unique machines will be able to recognize prescriptions and dispense medicines.
Monday, June 29, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

New Tools Deliver Medical Diagnoses, Fast, Cheap and in the Field

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Reliable electricity is a rare commodity in some parts of Guinea, which means some traditional medical equipment often is useless. So researchers there are using a new tool to identify Ebola cases: a portable diagnostic machine that fits in a suitcase and runs on a solar battery.
Monday, June 29, 2015 — Latin America

A Light in the Darkness

Source: The Economist

Some mountainous parts of Mexico are so remote that the electricity grid fails to reach them, let alone the banking system. A five-year-old social enterprise, Iluméxico, hopes to change that. It provides more than 20,000 people with loans to buy low-cost solar panels and batteries, enabling them to switch lights on, watch television and charge mobile phones, sometimes for the first time.
Friday, June 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

Technology Billionaire Bill Gates to Double Investment in Clean Energy Projects Over Five Years

Source: International Business Times

Technology billionaire Bill Gates says he’ll plow $2 billion of his own money into breakthrough energy projects that reduce emissions and eschew fossil fuels. The planned investment doubles what Gates already has spent on early-stage energy companies geared to fight climate change, the Financial Times reported Thursday.
Friday, June 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Finger-Prick, Blood Test for Ebola Takes Just Minutes

Source: The Washington Post

Public health officials may soon be able to screen patients for Ebola at border crossings and hospitals with a finger-prick blood test that takes mere minutes.
Friday, June 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Buyout Firm Vital Plans $500 Million Africa Fund As Demand Booms

Source: Bloomberg

Private equity firm Vital Capital Investments LP is planning a $500 million investment fund that will focus on African industries overlooked by competitors.
Friday, June 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Press Release: FINCA Surpasses $1 Million in Loans to Microenterprise and Small Businesses in Nigeria in First Six Months

Source: PR Newswire

FINCA's newest subsidiary, FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd. in Nigeria, surpassed USD 1 million in small loans to microenterprise and small business owners within its first six months of operation, it was announced today by President & CEO Rupert Scofield during his remarks at the Spring meeting of the Financial Inclusion Equity Council (FIEC), hosted this year by FINCA at its headquarters building in Washington, DC.
Friday, June 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How Rwanda’s Clinics Have Gone Off-Grid and Onto Renewable Energy

Source: The Conversation

Rwanda is located in the poorest region in the world, sub-Saharan Africa. Despite this, it is making advances with off-grid renewable energy solutions for rural areas that could be a model for similar economies.
Friday, June 26, 2015 — South Asia

A Clean Bag of Water

Source: USA Today

It weighs no more than 11 ounces, fits easily into a backpack and looks like any other plastic bag.
Thursday, June 25, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Illicit Financial Flows: Digital Pirates Costing Africa Big Bucks, but Mobile Banking Could Surprisingly Save the Day

Source: Mail & Guardian Africa

Illicit Financial Flows (IFF) are moving to the forefront of the international agenda, as governments worldwide join forces to combat money laundering, tax evasion, and international bribery, which make up the bulk of such flows.
Thursday, June 25, 2015 — South Asia

Wipro GE Healthcare Unveils First Locally Made CT System

Source: Business Line

Wipro GE Healthcare today shipped out the first Computed Tomography (CT) system designed and developed in India to a hospital in Pune.
Thursday, June 25, 2015 — North Africa and Near East

Surviving Pakistan's Slums: The Extraordinary Story of Mohammad Sabir

Source: DAWN

Every morning at sunrise, five-year-old Muhammad Sabir stepped out of his house, sagging a garbage bag to his shoulders, filling it with aluminum, plastic, paper scraps or anything he could find to sell. Salvaging trash to survive, he picked up snippets of newspapers and tried to read them.
Thursday, June 25, 2015 — No Region Specified

Triggering Behavior Change: Children’s Role in Development

Source: The World Bank

In order to end poverty by 2030, everyone needs to do their part, even kids. And they can start by pooping in the toilet and washing their hands.
Thursday, June 25, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa Leads Mobile Money Boom

Source: Bizcommunity

New data from Juniper Research has revealed how Service Providers are benefiting from the boom in mobile money transfer services - with $2bn in revenues forecast for this year and $4bn annually 2018...
Thursday, June 25, 2015 — No Region Specified

Different Options for Male Contraception Could Be on Their Way

Source: Jezebel

Last time we heard about Vasalgel, the male contraceptive that is expected to be the first one of its kind to be approved by the FDA, there was hope that it could be available to the public as soon as 2017. It’s now expected to hit the US market at least a year later, but there could be even more options for male birth control by then.
Thursday, June 25, 2015 — No Region Specified

Early Tesla Motors Investors Raise $400 Million Impact VC Fund

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Two early investors in Tesla Motors Inc.TSLA +0.96% teamed up and raised a $400 million venture capital fund to back startups that have a positive social or environmental impact, Venture Capital Dispatch has learned.
Thursday, June 25, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Report: Private Impact Investing Funds Yielded Financial Performance in Line With Non-Impact Funds

Source: Digital Journal

Private impact investment funds -- specifically private equity and venture capital funds -- that pursue social impact objectives have recorded financial returns in line with a comparative universe of funds that only pursue financial returns.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — South Asia

Beyond Organic: Promoting Indonesia’s Indigenous Farming Cultures

Source: The Guardian

The first time Helianti Hilman visited the indigenous farmers of the West Java town of Garut, she was asked to remove her shoes before entering their fields. Her surprise grew when the farmers quizzed her on her mood – they didn’t want her upsetting the plants.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — South Asia

Banyan: An Endeavour for Gold Standard in Recycled Plastic

Source: Livemint

The bustling metropolis of Hyderabad generates about 4,500 tonnes of solid waste every day. Contrary to popular perception, as much as 70% of the waste is recycled in India, thanks in large part to a network of ragpickers, who scavenge heaps of trash everyday to pick products that can be recycled.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Viva Senegal: How This West African Nation Became Africa's Quiet High-Tech Titan

Source: Mail & Guardian Africa

All too often conversations on the digital scene in Africa look to the East - focusing on the gains being made in Rwanda and Kenya in particular.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Survey: Big financial inclusion gains in Zambia

Source: The Post Zambia

According to the FinScope 2015, the proportion of Zambian adults accessing financial services has increased to 59.3 percent in 2015 from 37.3 percent in 2009.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — No Region Specified

Is There Finally Some Movement on the Pressing Challenge of Microinsurance?

Source: Inside Philanthropy

More market players are stepping into the microinsurance arena - if this trend continues, the role of philanthropy in this space may become less and less critical.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uganda: Banks Partner with Telecoms to Cope With Mobile Pressure

Source: All Africa

Ugandan banks seem to have realized the threat from mobile services, as more of them are partnering with telecoms to swiftly roll out mobile banking products.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — South Asia

How the Internet of Everything will help bank the unbanked in India

Source: Money Control

As digital frontiers expand, banks will be able to deliver highly customized services at relatively low costs and expand their customer base by reaching people who were until now outside the banking ecosystem.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — South Asia

India to Offer Tax Benefits to Encourage Electronic Payments

Source: Firstpost

The government has put out draft proposals on Monday to encourage electronic transactions in the country.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — South Asia

India Poised For Mobile-Payments Revolution As Internet Giants Alibaba, Amazon Move In

Source: International Business Times

A host of new players – from Amazon to Alibaba-backed One97 – are introducing a range of mobile-payments systems that could provide the backbone for an e-commerce boom.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — No Region Specified

Global Health Advocates Circle U.S. Capitol, but Senators Advance Toward TPP Trade Deal

Source: Science Speaks

Representing organizations that train and supply health workers in some of the world’s poorest countries, that push for global access to life-saving medicines, and that urge effective responses to infectious diseases, protesters opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership took their message to the streets outside of lawmakers’ offices this morning in an effort to change just a few minds.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — No Region Specified

U.S. States Want to Do Good: Here's How Wall St. Is Helping

Source: CNBC

Goldman Sachs could be coming to a pre-K program near you. Or, at least, that may be the case in Pennsylvania.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — South Asia

MyDentist Raises Around $8M From LGT Group, Existing Investors

Source: VCCircle

Mumbai-based Total Dental Care Pvt Ltd, which runs dental care chain under the MyDentist brand, has secured Rs 50 crore (around $8 million) in its Series C round of funding led by LGT Venture Philanthropy, a global impact investing organization founded by LGT and the Princely Family of Liechtenstein.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 — South Asia

Indonesian Lawmakers Want to Fight AIDS By Restricting Access to Condoms

Source: Quartz

Want to stop the spread of HIV? Limit the availability of condoms. So goes the reasoning behind a draft law being developed in the Bengkulu province of Indonesia, on the southwest coast of Sumatra.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Calvert Expands Responsible Indexes; Launches New Funds

Source: Business Wire

Calvert Investments, Inc., a global leader in Responsible Investing, announced today a major new initiative that the firm describes as the next step in the evolution of responsible investing. The firm is building upon its global Responsible Investing research expertise and has launched a suite of Responsible Indexes and related lower cost Index Funds that will track them.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: Why Is the United States Letting Its Best Foreign Aid Tool Fall Apart?

Source: Foreign Policy

As America is blowing billions by using its military as a one-size-fits-all solution for emergencies around the world, USAID is understaffed, underfunded, and on the cusp of crisis.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uganda Legalizes Islamic Banking

Source: All Africa

Uganda's Cabinet has approved the amended Financial Institutions Act 2015, which paves the way for the introduction of Islamic and Agency banking in Uganda.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 — South Asia

Mobile Banking Provides Lifeline for Bangladeshis

Source: Wall Street Journal

Phone-based services revolutionize the way people save and send money.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile Device Uses the Net to Tackle Deafness

Source: BD Live

About 3-million people in SA suffer from hearing loss. Every year, about 4,000 people become deaf due to antiretroviral and tuberculosis treatment. Early detection through screening tests could halve this number.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya Slum Mathare Gets Cheap Water Through ATMs

Source: BBC

Residents of the Mathare slum area of Kenya's capital, Nairobi, are now able to access water through an ATM-style dispenser.
Monday, June 22, 2015 — South Asia

Citizen Media Shows Why India Is Unlikely to Reach Its Millennium Goals Target for Maternal Mortality

Source: Global Voices

According to the UN Millennium Development Goals, India should bring down its maternal mortality rate (MMR) to 109 per 100,000 live births by 2015. This is a tough ask, as from an MMR of 437 per 100,000 live births in 1990-91 India has only achieved a reduction to 190 by 2013-2014. Experts therefore believe that India is likely to miss its Millennium Development Goals target for MMR.
Monday, June 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

Guess Which Country Has The Biggest Increase In Soda Drinking

Source: NPR

The Big Soda companies are spending money to develop new markets in low- and middle-income countries. In some of these places, people are earning a bit more than a few years before, so they have more money for soda.
Monday, June 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

South Africa: Dumping of Condoms May Flaw Distribution Numbers Says DA

Source: All Africa

Recent boasts by the national and provincial health departments at the recent SA Aids Conference held in Durban about how successfully condoms were being distributed may in fact be flawed.
Monday, June 22, 2015 — South Asia

WHO names Vietnam a new global vaccine supplier

Source: Thanh Nien News

Vietnam has become the 37th country and the fifth in the Western Pacific meeting requirements to produce vaccines for the global market, the World Health Organization said.
Monday, June 22, 2015 — South Asia

Technoserve Launces Business Accelerator for Women-Led SGBs in Mumbai

Source: News Release

TechnoServe, with the support of the Blackstone Charitable Foundation, announces the launch of Empowering Women Entrepreneurs, its Business Accelerator program for women-led small and growing businesses in Mumbai and invites applications for its inaugural batch of 2015-16 ventures.
Monday, June 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

D-Lab Scale-Ups awards $100,000 to five social entrepreneurs

Source: MIT News

The MIT D-Lab Scale-Ups fellowship program — which offers one year of support to social entrepreneurs bringing technology-based, poverty-alleviating products to market at scale — has announced its 2015 fellows.
Monday, June 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Innovation for Poverty Action's New $7.4 million Grant Will Support Research for Financial Inclusion

Source: Innovations for Poverty Action

Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) announced today a new $7.4 million grant to support research on product design innovations that enable the poor to access, use, and benefit from financial services.
Monday, June 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

In America's Payday Loan Capital, Innovative Microcredit Helps Break The Debt Cycle

Source: Huffington Post

Mississippi has more payday lenders per capita than anywhere else in America, but an innovative partnership is helping to give the state's residents access to responsible small-dollar loans.
Monday, June 22, 2015 — South Asia

With 2.7 million customer base, iPay gears up to become a billion-dollar company in India

Source: Your Story

iPay offers a tablet based e-inventory which connects the consumers to e-sellers through local retailers, allowing consumers in smaller cities to purchase online by paying offline.
Monday, June 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

Former U.N. Official: Bitcoin Has Potential in Fragile States

Source: CoinDesk

Having worked in humanitarian affairs and on the ground in conflict zones for the last 20 years, Ben Parker provides a unique perspective on how bitcoin could succeed where it's perhaps needed most – in struggling developing nations.
Friday, June 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

And The Total Spent On Health In Impoverished Countries Last Year...

Source: NPR

According to the sixth annual report on how much money has been spent to improve health in developing countries, the 2014 total was $227.9 billion, representing a 1.6 percent drop from 2013.
Friday, June 19, 2015 — South Asia

Vodafone M-Pesa partners with WaterHealth India to serve the underserved ‘Bottom of the Pyramid’ customers

Source: TechWhack

WaterHealth is a global leader in setting up decentralized water purification systems that provides safe drinking water to over five (5) million people globally. Vodafone India has partnered with WaterHealth India to facilitate its cash collection process across 450 locations in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Gujarat, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Friday, June 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

Five Things to Know About the First-Ever Global Progress Report on Universal Health Coverage

Source: The World Bank

Last Friday, I had the privilege of attending the launch of a new global report that provides the clearest picture to date of countries’ progress moving toward universal health coverage (UHC). UHC is critical for building resilient health systems, which protect communities and strengthen societies in times of crisis and calm alike.
Friday, June 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

Ford Shifts Grant Making to Focus Entirely on Inequality

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

The fight against inequality will take center stage at the Ford Foundation under a sweeping overhaul announced today by the nation’s second biggest philanthropy.
Friday, June 19, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: MTN, Western Union Sign Mobile Money Transfer Deal

Source: All Africa

It will now be easy for Rwandans living abroad to send money to their relatives back home following the launch of a new mobile money transfer service by MTN Rwanda and Western Union, a global money transfer service firm.
Friday, June 19, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa Discovers the Power of Crowdfunding

Source: BBC

Budding South African film producer Meg Rickards was struggling to raise the money for her new feature film, Whiplash, when she came across the idea of crowdfunding.
Friday, June 19, 2015 — South Asia

Women in business: Can P2P lending bridge gender gap in access to capital in India?

Source: Economic Times

For a country like India where there is a distinct buzz around startups and entrepreneurship, the number of women entrepreneurs and women in business still continue to be far and few.
Friday, June 19, 2015 — Latin America

Prescription for Shoes

Source: Duke Global Health Institute

We walk into the exam room—Jeremy, a fourth year medical student on the cusp of finishing a clinical rotation at the Mayan Medical Aid health post, and me, a global health graduate student eager to learn about healthcare in indigenous communities in Guatemala.
Friday, June 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

Social Media, Messaging Apps Driving Global Mobile Money Adoption

Source: Memeburn

It’s hardly news that mobile is important to emerging economies. Stories of those countries lepfrogging older technologies have been told so many times that they can sometimes seem tired. But when you stop and think about it, even the rise of mobile money and marketing in these markets has been nothing short of remarkable. For instance, the latest report from global trade body Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF), shows that 69% of mobile media users globally carried out a banking activity via mobile in 2015, up three percent year-on-year. But in Indonesia the figure was 80%, in Nigeria 85% and Kenya an incredible 93%.
Friday, June 19, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Phones4Power: Using Mobile Phones to Run Micro-Grids in Africa

Source: The Guardian

Kenya-based business SteamaCo is harnessing the power of mobile to bring affordable electricity access to rural, off-grid communities. SteamaCo’s smart technology allows solar micro-grid owners to monitor their performance remotely and capture consumer payments via mobile money platforms, thereby overcoming the traditional challenges of keeping grids working reliably and profitably.
Friday, June 19, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Samsung Delivers Accessible Healthcare to Hammanskraal

Source: IT-Online

Samsung Electronics South Africa is addressing the need to provide accessible healthcare services in the Ga-Ramotse community in Hammanskraal. As part of its commitment to the communities in which Samsung serves, the organisation donated a Solar Powered Health Centre (SPHC). The SPHC supplies a variety of screenings, equipment and offers treatment to members of the community in need.
Friday, June 19, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

New App Helps Farmers in Kenya Find Climate-Smart Seeds

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

A new app launched in Kenya June 10 could help millions of farmers adapt to climate change by offering information on the best seeds for changing growing conditions, agriculture experts said.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Philips launches innovative ultrasound to boost healthcare access for South African mothers

Source: Media Update

Royal Philips has launched a new ultra-mobile ultrasound system VISIQ to the South African market. The size of a tablet, the VISIQ is the first ultra-mobile system from Philips.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — South Asia

Solar power enterprise gives light, livelihood to the poor

Source: Inquirer.net

In the slums of Tondo, Manila, hope flickers in broad daylight for poor communities in the form of solar power technology. Amid makeshift houses, piles of garbage and mud-covered walkways, young mothers are operating a container van which has been transformed into a renting station of solar-powered rechargeable lamps in Sitio Damayan (Smokey Mountain).
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Want international growth? Africa's set to double pharma sales in 5 years

Source: Fierce Pharma

Pharma growth in China may be slowing and Europe stalling, but there's one area where drugmakers might actually achieve some big growth, according to McKinsey & Co. That's Africa, a mere $4.7 billion market in 2003 and $20.8 billion a decade later.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

SACCOs Seek Speedy Regulation in Uganda

Source: New Vision

Savings and Credit Co-operatives (SACCOs) leaders have asked government to fast track regulation for microfinance institutions in the country in order to attract more people to use their services and protect clients.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — South Asia

TPC the First Microfinance Institution in Cambodia Certified for Commitment to Client Protection

Source: The Smart Campaign

Thaneakea Phum Cambodia (TPC) has been formally recognized as “Client Protection Certified” by the Smart Campaign for meeting strong standards of client care. TPC is the first microfinance institution in Cambodia to be awarded this prestigious certification and one of the 10 MFIs pursuing such recognition supported by funding from the French Development Agency (AFD) under the "Client Protection Initiative" project Implemented by Cambodia Microfinance Association (CMA).
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — South Asia

Aavishkaar Raises Rs 500 crore for Foreign Investments

Source: The Economic Times

Aavishkaar, India's biggest social entrepreneurship focused venture capital fund, would be investing about Rs 500 crore ($75 million) in start-ups from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

Solving Complex Social Problems Through Collaboration

Source: Harvard Business Review

Geneva Global, a tiny but mighty philanthropic consulting firm that specializes in international development, is helping to change the world from its small suburban corner of Wayne, Pa. With a team of just 52 staff members, they are quietly igniting social good on a global scale through the repetitive flexing of an approach called dumbbell collaboration.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — South Asia

Bandhan Bank Is Born: Chandra Shekhar Ghosh's Incredible Journey From a Sweet Shop to Owning a Bank

Source: Firstpost

In most Indian languages, the word Bandhan means bond or togetherness. His bond with the credit-deprived poor in Eastern India’s villages and a Rs 2 lakh loan were the initial capital for Chandra Shekhar Ghosh, the son of a small sweet-shop owner from Bengal, to begin a microfinance institution, Bandhan Financial Services Ltd, and grow it to a private bank in less than 15 years.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

The Real FinTech Capitals of the World

Source: Asia Outlook

What is the FinTech capital of the world? London? New York? Silicon Valley? It’s actually somewhere in Africa or Asia if you heed the results of this year’s Payments Innovation Jury Report.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

Closing the Financial Inclusion Gender Gap

Source: Huffington Post

While financial inclusion is growing for everyone, women tend to lag men by seven percentage points globally - in emerging markets, the difference is nine percentage points on average and can be as high as 18 percentage points in South Asia.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa: Gates Foundation Changes Focus to 'Last Mile' of Delivery

Source: allAfrica

AllAfrica's Juanita Williams andMelissa Britzinterviewed Dr Ayo Ajayi, the director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Africa Team, about the foundation's new approach to working with the continent.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

Report: Nine global drivers of mobile money, as consumers embrace e-commerce and mobile banking

Source: Vanllla Plus

New report, based on a study of 15,000 mobile media users across 15 countries, shows that mobile banking continues to engage consumers – especially in mobile first markets.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

What Nestlé Forgot to Mention When Giving Its Reasons for Scaling Down in Africa

Source: Quartz

Five years ago, Nestlé announced its bold expansion plan for the sub-saharan Africa region: a $161 million investment to build three new factories and 13 new distribution facilities. The desired outcome? Increased sales for the food multinational and 750 new jobs for the 21 countries in the region. This plan was inspired by the much-talked about economic revival of Africa and its “rising middle class”.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

Thread Raises $3.5 Million Round for Clean Textile Innovation

Source: Tech.Co

Thread, a Pittsburgh-based startup dedicated to creating dignified jobs in the developing world, recycles plastic into socially responsible fabric.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — Asia Pacific

In Global Fight Against HIV, China’s Circumcision Device Makes the Cut

Source: Wall Street Journal

China wants a bigger slice of the global health market and it has a new tactic for getting it: circumcision.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

This High-Tech Vision Test Could Make the World See 20/20

Source: Next City

While providing charity eye care in Haiti, Joel Kassalow noticed that a complex eye-testing machine was essential, unwieldy and too costly to buy in multiples — and it became a bottleneck in giving people necessary care. So he offered an innovation he’d created at his company, Smart Vision Labs: a version of the same machine at one-fiftieth the weight and one-hundredth the cost.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

Visualizing stagnation: Funding stalled for global health

Source: Humanosphere

There’s plenty of moral and rhetorical support for fighting diseases of poverty, but if you look at global health spending trends lately the story is one of stagnation, or even decline.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

Double Duty Dollars: Behind the Crazy Idea That Investors Can Make Money and Change the World at the Same Time

Source: Forbes

In 2001, after 29 years cultivating Napa’s Silver Oak Cellars and its iconic cabernet sauvignon, Justin and Bonny Meyer sold their 50% stake to partner Ray Duncan for $110 million. With Justin’s health iffy, they hoped it would give them more time together forphilanthropy and to build their newer winery, Meyer Family Cellars. But just eight months later Justin died of a heart attack at 63, leaving Bonny, then 52, to manage the money and their shared charitable mission.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

Towards Low Carbon Growth at the Bottom of the Pyramid

Source: The Hindu Business Line

The bottom of the pyramid, which constitutes more than 42 per cent of the global population, is the most vulnerable to climate change risks. The recent disasters that shook Nepal, Bihar and washed away parts of Uttarakhand left us staring at this fact. In these events, the mass majority who were affected were from the poorer socio-economic group. An increasing frequency of epidemics and diseases in this group only make matters worse.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Apollo Plans to Assist Lesotho in Healthcare Sector

Source: The Economic Times

India's leading healthcare chain Apollo Hospitals is looking to engage with the southern African country of Lesotho to assist it in capacity building in the healthcare sector.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

Merck Manuals Health Guides Go Digital, and Free, in Global Push

Source: Reuters

Merck Manuals, the widely used health guides provided by drugmaker Merck & Co, are moving to a digital-only format in 10 different languages as part of an effort to educate the global community on medical issues.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ecobank/MasterCard Partner to Expand Payments in Africa

Source: PYMNTS

MasterCard announced on June 15 a new partnership with Ecobank to push electronic payments over the next 10 years in 32 sub-Saharan African countries – where, according to Michael Miebach, MasterCard President, Middle East and Africa, 90 percent of transactions are made in cash.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — South Asia

ADB to Increase Lending to Support India’s New Initiatives

Source: Asian Development Bank

Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao today met with India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to discuss ADB’s partnership with India. Mr Nakao also met with Minister of Urban Development, M. Venkaiah Naidu and discussed ADB’s support to the government’s new urban initiatives. He stressed that ADB is committed to strengthening its support to India’s new initiatives that target increased economic growth and reduced poverty.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

People Are Finally Talking About the Thing Nobody Wants to Talk About

Source: NPR

When Elynn Walter walks into a room of officials from global health organizations and governments, this is how she likes to get their attention:
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — Asia Pacific

U.S. startup combines Bitcoin with Islamic microfinance in Indonesia

Source: Gulf Times

Founded in San Francisco and recently moved to Jakarta, a financial startup called Blossom aims at nothing less than shaking up the microfinance sector in Indonesia.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

Surgical Intervention: How to Improve Access to Surgical Care in the Developing World

Source: APPS Policy Forum

Access to surgical and anaesthetic care is an essential, but often forgotten, component of health care in the developing world.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

Nine mobile money trends: Consumers embrace ecommerce and banking via mobile

Source: Net Imperative

A new report reveals nine significant mobile money trends and explores how they are stimulating growth across the expanded mobile ecosystem.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Remedy for a Trillion Dollar Problem?

Source: Devex

Africa is bleeding. But it’s not a physical wound, it’s a financial one, and it’s allowing more to leave in illicit flows — money that is illegally transferred, earned or utilized — than the amount received in development aid. Though the loss is coming out of Africa and other developing regions, the Band-Aid that could stop the bleeding is in the hands of a small group of rich countries.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — South Asia

Aavishkaar raises $75 million for foreign investments

Source: Economic Times

Aavishkaar, India's biggest social entrepreneurship focused venture capital fund, will be investing about Rs 500 crore ($75 million) in start-ups from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Indonesia.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — Asia Pacific

$100 Million for Social Startups in Australia

Source: Pro Bono Australia

Socially and environmentally conscious startups are set to benefit from the creation of the new $100 million Impact Investment Funds - said to be one of Australia’s biggest.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 — South Asia

Survey: Majority of population exposed to unsafe drinking water

Source: Pakistan Today

The majority of the population in Pakistan is exposed to the hazards of drinking unsafe and polluted water from both surface and ground water sources.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The shipping containers tackling South Africa's chronic childcare shortages

Source: The Guardian

A social enterprise operating out of repurposed shipping containers is helping to tackle Cape Town’s lack of childcare facilities.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwe at the forefront of the mobile revolution

Source: IT Web Africa

While everyone looks to Kenya as the leader in mobile money transfers, when it comes to sending money from mobiles, Zimbabweans have been almost twice as eager to use an app to make a transfer.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 — No Region Specified

White House rallies investors to commit $4 billion to clean energy

Source: Reuters

The White House has pushed foundations, institutional investors and philanthropies to commit more than $4 billion to clean energy projects and help fight climate change, doubling a goal set in February, officials said.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Indonesian start-ups helping to broaden financial inclusion

Source: Spy Ghana

A string of innovative financial products from Indonesian start-ups are circumventing the traditional payment and investment system, helping to broaden financial inclusion and challenging the established banks.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 — No Region Specified

We Won't Meet Health-Related SDGs If We Don't Invest in Innovation

Source: Devex

The sustainable development goals won’t be finalized until September, but people are already debating whether we can reach them. At least for the proposed health targets one thing is clear, they won’t be achieved without innovations that make better health care more affordable, accessible and effective. #GlobalGoalsWork, but only if we have the tools we need to reach them.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Why we’re building an investment fund to back solar energy in Africa

Source: Quartz

The near-trillion dollar question is: what kind of power infrastructure should Africa build? Should it replicate the large-scale electricity grids of the developed world, or is there a shorter path to electrifying Africa?
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa: What's Driving Ethiopia's Remarkable Improvements in Nutritional Health?

Source: allAfrica

Since 2000, Ethiopia has been doing something right in early childhood nutrition. Under-five child stunting rates have dropped from 58 percent to 40 percent, child wasting has dropped below 10 percent, and the prevalence of underweight in young children has declined from 41 to 25 percent.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 — South Asia

Empty accounts continue to plague India's financial inclusion plan

Source: Business Today

More than half of a record 160 million accounts opened in India as part of a drive to offer banking to all are still empty, illustrating the massive task ahead for one of the government's most high-profile campaigns and the strain on banks.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Thundafund: The crowdfunding platform made for Africa

Source: CNN

One South African company has created an ethically-conscious platform for entrepreneurs from the continent -- and it's leaving its rivals by the wayside in the process.
Monday, June 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

Gavi to heighten engagement with countries transitioning into Vaccine Alliance

Source: Vaccine News

The Vaccine Alliance recently announced a series of actions that will support the new goals of the Alliance’s 2016-20 strategy, and the Gavi Board has chosen to assist the countries making the transition into the new practices.
Monday, June 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

Some 400 million lack healthcare worldwide: WHO and World Bank

Source: Reuters

An estimated 400 million people worldwide lack access to at least one of seven essential health services, ranging from pregnancy care to clean water, according to a report released on Friday by the World Health Organization and World Bank.
Monday, June 15, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ethiopia Offers 100% FDI to India Healthcare Sector

Source: The Financial Express

Ethiopia offered 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) facility to India for setting up hospitals and other healthcare facilities in Ethiopia. The host country will acquire land for Indian entrepreneurs and offer other incentives and tax facilities as well.
Monday, June 15, 2015 — South Asia

Integrating poorest people within the value chain is a key to success: Global Development Network

Source: Business Today

Panelist and participants at the 16th Global Development Network annual conference discussed how businesses must be more inclusive in catering to more than 40 per cent population of the world that lives below $2 a day.
Monday, June 15, 2015 — South Asia

India Scraps Import Duties on AIDS Drugs to Battle Shortage

Source: Reuters

India has scrapped customs import duties for drugs and test kits used to treat AIDS in an effort to cut prices across the country, as it struggles to cope with an ongoing shortage in its national program to fight the disease.
Monday, June 15, 2015 — Asia Pacific

How one man wants to lend cash to 500m Chinese and lead a microfinancing revolution

Source: South China Morning Post

Zane Wang Zhengyu, founder and chief executive of lending company China Rapid Finance (CRF), wants to redraw the mainland's credit landscape. Wang hopes to create the mainland version of the San Francisco-based Lending Club, which offers borrowers funds at rates lower than those charged by credit cards. Ideally, the model could help meet the financing needs of 500 million potential mainland customers, many of them borrowing for the first time.
Monday, June 15, 2015 — South Asia

Social Enterprises Get US$112K Worth of Grants at DBS-NUS Event

Source: Digital News Asia

DBS Foundation and NUS Enterprise have announced the winners of the 2015 DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia (SVC Asia), adding that they would receive grant monies totalling S$150,000 (US$112,000).
Monday, June 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

How to Turn Big Health Data Into Big Health Action

Source: Devex

Mobile technology has revolutionized data-collection tools for health workers, but unless that data creates meaningful change, the “data revolution” will struggle to revolutionize global health systems for patients and providers.
Friday, June 12, 2015 — No Region Specified

Sustainable innovation, minus the sticker shock?

Source: GreenBiz

What do solar-powered hearing aids, a subscription service for baby clothes and mobile technology for farmers in East Africa all have in common? For one, they are each finalists in this year’s Sustainia100, an annual study of the top 100 sustainability innovations, published Thursday.
Friday, June 12, 2015 — South Asia

MSF urges India not to 'cave to pressure' on affordable drugs

Source: Reuters

Charity Medecins Sans Frontieres appealed to India on Thursday not to give in to pressure from Europe, the United States and Japan to make it easier for big firms to get patents in the country, potentially blocking the production of cheap generics.
Friday, June 12, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Acumen makes first cookstove investment with Burn Manufacturing

Source: Press Release

Acumen announces its new investment in BURN Manufacturing, a cookstove company that aims to transform the lives of Kenyans with its low-cost, energy-efficient design.
Friday, June 12, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In Ethiopia, crop insurance takes root but changes needed - experts

Source: Reuters

For Ethiopian farmers dealing with the worsening impacts of climate change, small-scale crop insurance can be a lifesaver.
Thursday, June 11, 2015 — No Region Specified

Modern housing can cut malaria infections nearly in half

Source: Quartz

Keeping your children home safe at night is a good idea. But what if home is a deadly place? For many people living in developing countries, traditional housing does little to keep out malaria-spreading mosquitoes.
Thursday, June 11, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Reformed drug shops can widen access to healthcare

Source: SciDevNet

Retail drug shops are popular with rural people but many sellers lack qualifications. Introducing training, accreditation and oversight can enhance their services and, once established, such a system funds itself, ending the need for donor support.
Thursday, June 11, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: FINCA Releases Case Study Outlining Ways to Drive Financial Inclusion Through Mobile Technology

Source: FINCA

FINCA’s experience in Tanzania offers lessons learned for development practitioners
Thursday, June 11, 2015 — No Region Specified

Rich nations study details of massive insurance program to ease Third World climate change damages

Source: Climate Wire

Countries already bearing the brunt of extreme weather events are cautiously optimistic about a new insurance scheme designed by the world's wealthiest nations to protect about 400 million people in the world's most vulnerable communities.
Thursday, June 11, 2015 — No Region Specified

Ericsson partners with Verifone on mobile money in emerging markets

Source: Telecoms

Kit giant Ericsson has announced a partnership with Verifone Mobile Money to offer its customers a broader range of mobile payment tools for emerging markets.
Thursday, June 11, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Sustainable Innovation, Minus the Sticker Shock?

Source: GreenBiz

What do solar-powered hearing aids, a subscription service for baby clothes and mobile technology for farmers in East Africa all have in common?
Thursday, June 11, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Habitat Destruction Is Exposing Us to a Dangerous New Form of Malaria

Source: Pacific Standard

If you’re not a doctor, you probably think of malaria as a single disease. That’s not quite right. There are several parasites that cause what we call malaria—likePlasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, and Plasmodium malariae—and each brings a slightly different form of the disease. Now, in a northeastern corner of Malaysia, doctors are concerned about the rapid expansion of yet another malaria-inducing parasite named Plasmodium knowlesi. Incidence of the parasite increased tenfold between 2004 and 2011, and many public-health researchers are worried things are going to get worse.
Thursday, June 11, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tony Blair: Access to Electricity Is the Single Most Vital Precondition for Success in African Nations

Source: Quartz

A decade on from the Gleneagles Summit, Africa is undergoing a remarkable transformation. Standards of living are increasing, the middle class is set to double in the next ten years and a continent that was then a scar on the conscience of the world is now the most exciting. Africa’s challenges are still better known than its prospects; but with a digital revolution in full-swing and data revolution underway, African nations have a chance to leapfrog stages of development.
Thursday, June 11, 2015 — No Region Specified

Can This Scientist Unite Genetic Engineers and Organic Farmers?

Source: National Geographic

Eighteen scientists are sitting in a lab, talking about new ways to feed the planet. These are some of the world’s foremost experts on rice. Most of them are from China. Nearly all of them are men.
Thursday, June 11, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Indonesia to Unleash Loan Funds as Micro-lending Rates Cut

Source: Bloomberg

Indonesia wants to unleash 30 trillion rupiah ($2.3 billion) of new loans for small businesses and halve some bank micro lending rates to help revive an economy running at its slowest pace in five years.
Thursday, June 11, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: New Formulation of HIV Treatment To Save More Children’s Lives - UNICEF and UNAIDS

Source: UNAIDS

Children affected by HIV and AIDS will benefit from the decision by the United States Food and Drug Administration to grant approval to a new antiretroviral formulation that can be mixed with food to make it easier for children living with HIV to take the life-saving medicines, UNAIDS and UNICEF said today.
Thursday, June 11, 2015 — South Asia

After five-year hiatus, mutual funds turn to investing in India's microfinance companies

Source: Economic Times

Mutual funds have started investing in debt issuances of microfinance companies after a five-year hiatus.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 — No Region Specified

Is Overpopulation a Legitimate Threat to Humanity and the Planet?

Source: The New York Times

A recent Retro Report examines how the apocalyptic predictions about overpopulation made by the biologist Paul Ehrlich, in his 1968 book “The Population Bomb,” have not come to pass. ... But do we still need to worry about overcrowding?
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 — No Region Specified

Vanderbilt professor hopes 'crazy idea' will combat malaria

Source: The Tennessean

A Vanderbilt University professor is working to decide if a "crazy idea" could become a crucial tool in the fight against malaria and other deadly diseases.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 — No Region Specified

Effort to Chart Global Deaths Draws Backlash

Source: Global Health NOW

An interview with Jeremy N. Smith, author of a new book, "Epic Measures: One Doctor. Seven Billion Patients," about Christopher Murray’s audacious project to determine what is killing and plaguing people in every corner of the globe.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 — South Asia

Logistic solutions provider MYPACCO partners with Alibaba.com

Source: Economic Times

Mumbai-based logistic solutions provider MYPACCO today said it has partnered with Alibaba as part of its Trade Facilitation Center initiative, to offer comprehensive logistic solutions in the country.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 — South Asia

Six ways to move money in India

Source: Live Mint

A look at ways to make payments, based on convenience, cost efficiency and usage.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Citi’s 2014 Global Citizenship Report Highlights Efforts to Enable Economic Progress in Communities Around World

Source: MarketWatch

Citi today released its 2014 Global Citizenship Report highlighting efforts underway in the past year to empower people, support economic progress in cities, and catalyze sustainable growth. The report, Progress: Responding to Global Challenges,examines how Citi lends, invests and facilitates growth through core business activities and philanthropic efforts, as well as partnerships and new approaches to address pressing needs.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 — Latin America

School in Bolivia Cleans Up Using Pedal-Powered Soap

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

Freddy Candia Aguilar, affectionately known as “MacGyver” for his uncanny ability to make something out of nothing, proudly held a banner with the words “Cochabamba Pedal Project” emblazoned on it. He had been providing free bike tune-ups all day to participants in Cochabamba, Bolivia’s first Bike and Pedestrian Day, while promoting his new social enterprise.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Morgan Stanley Extends Commitment to Sustainable Investing with Its Inaugural Green Bond

Source: MarketWatch

Morgan Stanley announced today that it has closed on the issuance of a $500 million green bond, the Firm’s inaugural green bond and the latest step in the Firm’s ongoing strategy to advance market-based solutions to social and environmental challenges.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Merrill Lynch Introduces New Sustainable Impact Multi-Asset Class Portfolios and an ESG Measurement Resource

Source: MarketWatch

Merrill Lynch today announced that it has added sustainable impact multi-asset class portfolios to its expanding platform of impact portfolios to serve clients interested in using their investment capital for positive social and environmental purposes. Additionally, the firm will provide its 14,000 financial advisors new resources to help clients understand the impact of their investments in these portfolios.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Scholarships for savings: Nigerian bank uses incentives to advance financial inclusion among students

Source: The Guardian Nigeria

First Bank Plc has put in place a set of incentives, including scholarships, that would encourage young Nigerians, particularly students, to voluntarily embrace savings culture and by extension, help drive financial inclusion.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Study: Ebola Virus Didn't Mutate Into More Dangerous Strain

Source: USA Today

The Ebola virus in West Africa that has killed 11,000 is not more virulent than prior strains as had been feared, according to a study published Tuesday.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 — South Asia

What India’s Microloan Meltdown Taught One Entrepreneur

Source: Wall Street Journal

Vikram Akula speaks about what went wrong in 2010 and what’s next.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 — South Asia

U.S. Health Care Companies Enjoy Big Opening in India

Source: Forbes

India’s economy is expected to grow 7.5% in the year ahead, driven by ever-growing demand for energy, infrastructure, and technology and high-quality healthcare. I’ve traveled to India to see what’s happening.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015 — South Asia

How CAMTech India Is Addressing Pressing Healthcare Issues Through Innovation By Integrating Technology and Healthcare

Source: SocialStory

According to the World Health Organisation’s 2014 report, nearly 800 women die every day due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria: Twitter Users Share Four Billion Ebola Messages in a Week

Source: AllAfrica

In one week at the height of the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, in West Africa in 2014, Twitter users shared over four billion Ebola-related messages.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

5 African e-health startups to watch

Source: Disrupt Africa

Africa’s basic infrastructural challenges – such as poor transport links, and the limited number of medical professionals and clinics – have long hindered the health sector. However, across the continent, Africa’s innovators are looking to leverage technology to ensure quality medical care is universally accessible.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

NDC says no to 'needless' Ebola vaccines trial in Volta region

Source: Starr FM Online

The ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) outfit in the Volta region is warning it will resist any attempt by the government to use Voltarians as “guinea pigs in a needless” Ebola vaccines trial.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Sending money out of South Africa set to become easier and cheaper

Source: Mail and Guardian Africa

An exemption to a financial intelligence law will reduce the cost and lessen the bureaucracy involved in transferring cash across the border.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 — No Region Specified

Norway's plan to divest massive $900B fund from coal could hit U.S. companies

Source: E & E Publishing

The decision may have spillover effects for U.S. companies, as the equity-heavy fund invests most of its stock positions in U.S. firms, and this new policy slates shares in dozens of American utility companies for sale.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 — No Region Specified

With Diverse Tools, OPIC Guides Impact Investing for U.S. Government

Source: Forbes

Root Capital CEO Willy Foote interviews OPIC’s President and CEO, Elizabeth Littlefield, on impact investing and OPIC’s evolving role in development.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Impact Investment Fund launches: a new $100 million socially-conscious Aussie start-up fund

Source: Financial Review

The constrained Australian venture capital industry is about to receive a $100 million infusion earmarked for companies that promise to do good for society or the environment.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 — South Asia

Simpa Networks Gets Renewable Energy OPIC Impact Award

Source: CleanTechnica

The energy-poor tend to be among the poorest people in their countries and cannot afford the high upfront costs of a quality solar solution. About 400 million people in India live in remote villages and don’t have access to an electricity grid. Millions more have only very limited access to electricity. Although distributed solar based solutions are available, high up front costs keep them out of reach from many who have limited income and cannot obtain bank financing.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Press Release: Amref Health Africa in the USA Awarded $6M CDC Grant to Build Laboratory Systems in South Sudan

Source: GlobeNewswire

Amref Health Africa, the Ministry of Health of the Republic of South Sudan (RSS) and partners will manage a five-year (2015–2020) USD$ 6 million Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grant aimed at building the capacity of laboratory and blood transfusion services to respond to health needs of the population of the RSS. The project's focus is to systematically strengthen the capacity of the National Public Health Laboratory to support country-wide laboratory services.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Sustainability and Systems Change Via a Sanitary Pad

Source: The Globe and Mail

It is a fundamental human right for a girl or woman to have the ability to manage basic biological functions. Yet four in five East African women and girls cannot access sanitary pads due to their lack of affordability.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 — No Region Specified

Seashells Inspire Drug, Vaccine Development

Source: TheFishSite.com

Mimicking nature, Australian scientists have developed a protective seashell-inspired capsule to preserve the active biological ingredients needed to create promising new drugs.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya's largest bank signs up 1.8 million mobile banking customers since March

Source: Reuters

Kenya's biggest bank by assets, KCB, has signed up 1.8 million customers for its mobile phone-based service since it was launched in March and is on target for 10 million users within a year from now, its chief financial officer said.
Monday, June 8, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya Equity Bank targeting 100 million African customers for its mobile payment and banking service

Source: Mail and Guardian Africa

Kenya's Equity Bank Ltd., which has started a new mobile payment and banking service called Equitel, is seeking 100 million customers in Africa within 10 years and the first five million by the end of 2015.
Monday, June 8, 2015 — South Asia

Postal bank coming soon to India, say officials

Source: Business World

India’s massive postal network is likely to turn into payment banks by late next month, reaching out to the unbanked section of the society under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Jan Dhan programme.
Monday, June 8, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

East Africa: Online Banking Still a Challenge to Many Kenyans - Study

Source: All Africa

Online banking remains a challenge to many people even as the smart phone penetration in Kenya experiences substantial growth, according to a new survey.
Monday, June 8, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ebola’s Long Shadow: West Africa Struggles to Rebuild Its Ravaged Health-Care System

Source: The Wall Street Journal

J.J. Dossen Memorial Hospital, on the southeastern tip of this nation recently declared free of Ebola, has three doctors and spotty electricity. Sixteen of its 46 nurses left during the Ebola crisis. When two motorcycle accident victims needed X-rays, the hospital dispatched them in its only ambulance on a bumpy eight-hour ride to the nearest facility with a machine.
Monday, June 8, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Shaking up global remittance market: Startups & telcos making money available at the click of smartphones

Source: Economic Times

New tech startups and traditional telecom operators are taking advantage of the rapid rise of smartphones in many emerging economies to reduce the barriers - and costs - of sending cash overseas.
Monday, June 8, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Social Enterprise Leader Wants to Map Africa’s Future

Source: NewsDay Zimbabwe

Entrepreneur Vimbiso Mashumba says she feels privileged to be part of the 30 young people to represent Zimbabwe at the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.
Monday, June 8, 2015 — No Region Specified

Women's Contribution to Healthcare Constitutes Nearly Five Percent of Global GDP, but Nearly Half Unpaid, Unrecognized

Source: Medical Xpress

A major new Commission on women and health has found that women are contributing around $3 trillion to global health care, but nearly half of this (2.35% of global GDP) is unpaid and unrecognised.
Monday, June 8, 2015 — South Asia

Life Without Light in Rural India: Why Solar Lanterns Can't Compete With the Grid

Source: The Guardian

Chanda sometimes wakes long before dawn to sweep her house and beat the husk off her rice. Now in her 70s, Chanda has long since lost her sight. The sound of her morning activities reverberates down the narrow, unpaved street of the Adivasi colony, through the mud brick walls of the homes stacked either side, waking her neighbours. Next door, Leena complains but is sympathetic. “Living without electricity is like being blind,” she says. “You move around your home and cook without being able to see. Even in the day it is the middle of the night.”
Sunday, June 7, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bill Gates, Dr. Paul Farmer, and African Tycoon Strive Masiyiwa on Combating Future Epidemics

Source: Forbes

Forbes 400 Fellow Katie Meyler’s voice trembled and her eyes teared up as she told a roomful of billionaires and philanthropists gathered for the Forbes 400 Summit onPhilanthropy Wednesday the plight of Sarah, a 10-year old girl from Liberia who lost her father and sister to Ebola before the disease killed her, too.
Friday, June 5, 2015 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Global Health: Who Should Pay For Your Altruism?

Source: Forbes

Rather than policies aimed at reducing prices for HIV treatments, which place all the financing burden on innovators and reduce the incentive for innovation, policies should aim to subsidize HIV treatment in the developing world.
Friday, June 5, 2015 — No Region Specified

Expats, the 'scaffolds' of locally led organizations

Source: Devex

“Why does Nuru Kenya have to be locally led?” Jake pressed. “Why can’t expats continue the work?" “Maybe we aren’t asking the right question,” I responded, straightening up in my chair. “Instead of asking why should we exit, perhaps we should ask, why should we stay?”
Friday, June 5, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion Releases Report on Progress toward Global Financial Inclusion

Source: PR Newswire

The Center for Financial Inclusion (CFI) at Accion – an action-oriented think tank working toward full global financial inclusion – released its 'By the Numbers' report today, which benchmarks progress toward global financial inclusion and makes projections about the movement's future.
Friday, June 5, 2015 — No Region Specified

Report: U.S. cities are taking a stronger look at financial inclusion

Source: CivSource

Cities are taking a stronger look at financial inclusion, according to new research from the National League of Cities.
Friday, June 5, 2015 — South Asia

OPINION: Fixing financial inclusion in India

Source: Financial Express

A Self Help Group-bank linkage programme should be included in the financial inclusion strategy of the government.
Thursday, June 4, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Campaign for Affordable Medicine Gains Ground in South Africa

Source: Inter Press Service

Patient and leading health organisations in South Africa have now joined a Fix the Patent Laws campaign launched in 2011 by Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to push for reform of the country’s current patent laws.
Thursday, June 4, 2015 — No Region Specified

How A Drunken Chipmunk Voice Helps Send A Public Service Message

Source: NPR

A new game called Polly, designed by computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University, helps get useful information to people with little or no reading skills.
Thursday, June 4, 2015 — South Asia

Making Markets Work: How We Got to 10,000 Toilets

Source: PSI Impact

Last month, our PSI-India project surpassed 10,000 toilets in rural Bihar, one of the poorest states in India, where 99 million reside and more than 80% practices open defecation.
Thursday, June 4, 2015 — No Region Specified

3D eye tech social enterprise giving gift of sight

Source: The New Zealand Herald

Dr. Hong Sheng Chiong's talk at TEDxAuckland last month was met with a standing ovation. Yet what he had to say is really just the beginning of an open-source journey to end preventable blindness globally; and it begins with a life-changing invention designed especially for those living in poverty.
Thursday, June 4, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile phone access in Africa set to double in next five years

Source: Reuters

Eighty percent of sub-Saharan Africa’s 800 million people should have access to mobile telephones by the end of the decade, industry body group GSMA said Wednesday.
Thursday, June 4, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Motsepe, Schwab Sign 3-year, $1.07 Million Social Entrepreneurship Deal

Source: BizNews.com

Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder and Chairperson of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, and Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Co-Founder and Deputy Chairman of the Motsepe Foundation, announced a three-year, 1 million Swiss franc partnership on the opening day of the World Economic Forum on Africa. The objectives of the partnership are to advance the social entrepreneurship agenda in Africa by raising awareness, engaging the media and celebrating proven social innovators; contribute to research initiatives on best practices and scaling strategies; and build the capacity of African social enterprises through peer-to-peer exchanges.
Thursday, June 4, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

A New U.N. Health Goal Targets Folks 69 and Under. Ageism or Realism?

Source: NPR

In September, the U.N. will vote to adopt 17 Sustainable Development Goals (aka SDGs). They cover issues like poverty, health and climate change. The idea is to encourage the 192 U.N. member states to establish policies that will make the world a better place over the next 15 years.
Thursday, June 4, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

This Startup Gives Poor People a Year's Income, No Strings Attached

Source: The Huffington Post

A person whom Teresa had never met showed up at her home one day with a remarkable offer. Teresa and her family would receive what amounted to a year's income, in cash. Nothing was owed in return. She did not have to repay the money, and her family could spend it however they wished.
Thursday, June 4, 2015 — Latin America

How the Red Cross Raised Half a Billion Dollars for Haiti ­and Built Six Homes

Source: ProPublica

The neighborhood of campeche sprawls up a steep hillside in Haiti’s capital city, Port-au-Prince. Goats rustle in trash that goes forever uncollected. Children kick a deflated volleyball in a dusty lot below a wall with a hand-painted logo of the American Red Cross.
Thursday, June 4, 2015 — No Region Specified

Alleviating Poverty Doesn't Have to Be So Hard, and Behavioral Science Can Help

Source: Co.Exist

Living in poverty means not just living with less money than other people. It also means dealing with extra pressures of time, cost, and mental space. For example, someone without a bank account will often spend more money cashing a paycheck than someone who has one. Poverty has even been shown to reduce cognitive ability. When faced with a big car repair bill, people on lower incomes will test lower in a subsequent IQ test than someone with more money, one study in New Jersey showed.
Thursday, June 4, 2015 — South Asia

Improving Rural Health Care, One Boat Trip At a Time

Source: Devex

More than 10 years ago, Sanjoy Hazarika heard about the death of a mother in a remote island in Assam, a state in northeast India, because she couldn’t get to the hospital in time. This led the soft-spoken professor to think: Why not bring the hospital to the people?
Thursday, June 4, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

An Angel Network That Invests Only In Ethiopian Ventures

Source: Forbes

RENEW Strategies, an impact investment advisory firm that manages a network of wealthy families with an interest in African development, is part of the Impact Angel Network, which currently invests entirely in Ethiopian ventures.
Thursday, June 4, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: Juntos takes customer engagement platform to Africa through partnership with Tigo Tanzania

Source: PR Newswire

Juntos announced their partnership with mobile money provider company Tigo Pesa in Tanzania, to provide new account support to Tigo Pesa customers through the Juntos innovative engagement platform.
Thursday, June 4, 2015 — No Region Specified

How a Cutting Edge Effort to Boost Family Financial Stability is Giving Out $3 Million

Source: Inside Philanthropy

JPMorgan Chase is the founding partner with CFSI of the Financial Solutions Lab, a $30 million, five-year initiative "to identify, test, and expand the availability of promising innovations that help Americans increase savings, improve credit, and build assets."
Thursday, June 4, 2015 — No Region Specified

How Can the World Secure $100 Billion in Climate Finance?

Source: World Resources Institute

New analysis from WRI shows a credible and politically balanced path towards $100 billion in 2020 is possible by including a larger set of climate finance sources in a balanced way while scaling up all public finance.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 — No Region Specified

Gates pledges $776M for malnutrition, unlocks UK commitments

Source: Devex

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation — the world’s largest private foundation — will spend $776 million over the next six years to fight malnutrition, a strong signal of support for a historically underfunded sector, according to the foundation’s leaders.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 — No Region Specified

JHU undergrads design tool to support family planning efforts in developing regions

Source: HUB

New kit may help train global health providers to insert and remove contraceptive implants.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Can China’s Financial System Become More Inclusive?

Source: The Diplomat

Beijing is trying to make finance accessible to those traditionally denied it, with mixed results.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Foundation Searches for Young Social Entrepreneurs

Source: Sun.Star Cebu

There are many success stories of social enterprises taking off, but most of these are in Manila. Proponents of a contest seeking to award social entrepreneurs hope to find the next success story in the provinces.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Viewpoint: Investing in Health, Investing in Africa

Source: CNBC Africa

Africa faces two key challenges to achieve its full potential. The remarkable economic progress of the last 15 years must be sustained. And, this progress must be broadened to include the many millions of people who have yet to benefit from the continent’s rising prosperity.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uganda: How Mobile Money Firms Survived Court

Source: All Africa

On May 29, telecommunications companies dealing in mobile money services got a lifeline after the Commercial court dismissed a case filed by Abdu Katuntu, the member of Parliament for Bugweri county, who had challenged the legality of the services.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: Root Capital Announces New $15 Million Lending Facility to Finance African Agricultural Enterprises

Source: Root Capital

The company will finance agricultural enterprises throughout sub-Saharan Africa to enhance local food security and stimulate inclusive economic growth in the region.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 — South Asia

Life With A $100 Smartphone: How Low-Cost Phones Are Rapidly Changing Lives In India

Source: International Business Times

Bharath Kumar has the husky build of a rugby player, which comes in handy as he lugs around a large backpack filled with packages to deliver on his patch of Bangalore. That and ownership of a good scooter or motorcycle were among prerequisites the 25-year-old met about a year back when he switched jobs so he could motor around town, sometimes listening to music, delivering packages from Amazon.com’s Indian unit.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Five Indicators Show Growth in Social Purpose at World’s Largest Companies

Source: 3BL Media

Growth in five key indicators between 2012 and 2014 illustrate the expanding application of corporate skills and resources to solving societal challenges.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: Bangladesh Government joins the Better Than Cash Alliance

Source: PR Newswire

Aligned with the nation's Digital Bangladesh Vision 2021, the Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh today announced it will accelerate its transition from cash to digital payments, marked by a new partnership with the Better Than Cash Alliance.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

What Does It Really Mean to Build Health Systems?

Source: Devex

Over the past year, discussions around dealing with the Ebola outbreak to bringing cases down to zero invariably circled around the need for health systems strengthening.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya’s Miti Health hopes for Unreasonable access to mentors, markets

Source: Disrupt Africa

Kenyan startup Miti Health, which provides chemists with business management and supply chain software on the Android platform, hopes taking part in the Unreasonable East Africa accelerator programme in Kampala this summer will allow it to scope out Uganda as a possible expansion market while also gaining to access to investors and mentors.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 — No Region Specified

Japanese Companies Attack Neglected Diseases

Source: New York Times

Several Japanese drug companies have joined a new project to find medicines to treat two neglected parasitic diseases, Chagas and leishmaniasis.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: G7 companies cheat Africa out of billions of dollars, says Oxfam report

Source: Oxfam

G7 based companies and investors cheated Africa out of an estimated US$6 billion in 2010 through just one form of tax dodging, according to a new Oxfam report ‘Money talks: Africa at the G7’, released today.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: Finance Minister launches National Financial Inclusion Strategy for Pakistan

Source: State Bank of Pakistan

The Federal Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar, launched National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) for Pakistan at Islamabad.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 — South Asia

The inside story of Alibaba's strategic partnership with Indian mobile wallet company Paytm

Source: Economic Times

It was personal chemistry as much as business rationale that led to Alibaba's financial arm investing $500 million in Paytm.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 — No Region Specified

The Three Things I Tell Women in My Social Entrepreneurship Class

Source: Quartz

The future of American economic growth is in the hands of women, but much of their entrepreneurial potential remains untapped. This is not just my opinion, it’s backed up by a 2014 Kauffman Foundation study,which found that women-owned businesses account for just 16% of employer firms. I fall into that minority, even though I myself have four entrepreneurial ventures under my belt.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 — No Region Specified

REPORT: By 2020, biometrics will be predominant method bank customers will use to identify themselves

Source: Goode Intelligence

Goode Intelligence today issued a new Analyst Report forecasting that by 2020, bank customers will use biometrics as the predominant method of identifying themselves to access bank services.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Food Safety in Southern Africa - Rethinking World Health Worries

Source: allAfrica

The theme for World Health Day, held on 7 April 2015, was 'From farm to plate - make food safe.' The main motivation for the theme was the alarming amount of bacteria borne diseases across the globe, transmitted by eating food which is contaminated by bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 — No Region Specified

Five Tips on Becoming a Successful Social Entrepreneur

Source: Yahoo!

We know that success doesn’t come overnight. All entrepreneurs know too well. For The Venture’s global report, Redefining Success in a Changing World, more than 550 social entrepreneurs were surveyed about how they reached success. Here are five tips from some of the most successful social businesses.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: New Global Focus Placed on Reducing Anemia in Adolescent Girls

Source: The Huffington Post

Recently, the World Health Assembly set out new global nutrition targets. These targets will guide and influence priorities in health programming and investments. One such ambitious goal is to see a 50 per cent reduction of anemia in women of reproductive age by 2025.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ugandan court says mobile money illegal, but no jurisdiction

Source: Telecom Paper

A court has pronounced that mobile money business operated by the five major telecommunication companies is illegal - a judge dismissed the case, however, because it was instituted in the wrong court.
Monday, June 1, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

'One in 10 Malaria Drugs in Nigeria Is of Poor Quality'

Source: AllAfrica

New research released recently has indicated that substandard medicines are more prevalent than fake ones in world's most malaria-burdened country, Nigeria.
Monday, June 1, 2015 — No Region Specified

WHO Expands Postpartum Family Planning, Increasing Chances for Maternal and Child Survival

Source: Global Health NOW

The fifth edition of the Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use has been released and it could significantly change the family planning (FP) landscape in developing countries, expanding access to long-acting contraceptives and reducing the unmet FP needs of 225 million women.
Monday, June 1, 2015 — Latin America

Ecuadorian Banks Must Adopt Official Electronic Currency - or Else

Source: Pan Am Post

While companies worldwide are embracing the rise of decentralized cryptocurrency bitcoin, Ecuadorian officials have chosen to make local banks adopt a home-grown state digital currency — whether they like it or not.
Monday, June 1, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya's Equity Bank gets court backing to roll out thin SIM technology

Source: Business Daily Africa

After a year-long court battle, Equity Bank can finally go ahead and roll out its thin Sim technology in Kenya.
Monday, June 1, 2015 — South Asia

Rajasthan-based Karma Healthcare raises investment from Ennovent Impact Investment Holding

Source: Economic Times

Ennovent Impact Investment Holding on Monday said it has invested an undisclosed in Rajasthan-based healthcare provider Karma Healthcare.
Monday, June 1, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tanzania surpasses financial inclusion target

Source: Daily News

TANZANIA has surpassed its financial inclusion target of 50 per cent, some two years ahead of deadline in 2016, thanks to mobile transaction platform.
Monday, June 1, 2015 — South Asia

Nepal government grows wary of foreign aid

Source: Nikkei Asian Review

International relief organizations are intensifying efforts to distribute aid in Nepal a month after the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake. Nepal's government, however, seems intent on rejecting the help.
Monday, June 1, 2015 — South Asia

Profit From a Cause

Source: Business Today

Making and selling portable toilets? Investors wrinkled their noses when Rajeev Kher, Managing Director of Pune-based Saraplast Pvt Ltd, first sought funds from them in 1999. Sixteen years later, the toilets have been such a success that he is spoilt for choice as he looks for a third round of funding. "My company has been profitable for a long time," he says. "But I will never forget that when I started off, it was Aavishkar which came forward to support me."
Monday, June 1, 2015 — South Asia

To Make India Truly Digital, Target the Poor, Not Rich

Source: Hindustan Times

America’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the powerful regulator for all communication, has proposed that poor citizens of the US should have subsidised access to the internet via broadband.
Monday, June 1, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

South Africa: KZN Launches Human Milk Banks

Source: allAfrica

Far too few South African women practice exclusive breastfeeding and, as a result, far too many children are dying.
Friday, May 29, 2015 — No Region Specified

Could Viagra make it harder to spread malaria?

Source: CNET

Researchers from the Pasteur Institute in Paris found that drugs like Viagra may be effective in preventing malaria from spreading from person to person by stiffening up the parasite that causes it.
Friday, May 29, 2015 — No Region Specified

Antibiotic Alternatives Rev Up Bacterial Arms Race

Source: Scientific American

More than eight decades have passed since Alexander Fleming’s discovery of a fungus that produced penicillin — a breakthrough that ultimately spawned today’s multibillion-dollar antibiotics industry. Researchers are now looking to nature with renewed vigor for other ways of fighting infection.
Friday, May 29, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Vodafone expands Farmers Club to 4 new markets

Source: Telecom Paper

Vodafone announced that it is launching its Farmers’ Club initiative - which offers a range of mobile services to help farmers in Turkey boost productivity - in India, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania.
Friday, May 29, 2015 — No Region Specified

How Google is changing mobile for the next billion users

Source: ZDNet

Faced with a large population with slow, little or no mobile broadband, Google is tweaking its core apps to spread the mobile revolution around the world.
Friday, May 29, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Young Founders of STAWI Win $15,000 Thomas J. Bata Legacy Award for Responsible Entrepreneurship in East Africa

Source: PR Newswire

At a reception in Nairobi today the Bata Shoe Foundation announced that STAWI, a Kenyan business that processes perishable fruits, grains, and cereals into gluten free flour, is the winner of the $15,000Thomas J. Bata Legacy Award for young responsible entrepreneurship in East Africa. Two runners up - GreenChar and KARIBU Solar Power - received $5,000 each. The Award was established in 2014 in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of the late CEO of the Bata Shoe Organization, known as "Shoemaker to the World." It provides funding and mentoring for young entrepreneurs inEast Africa who demonstrate a commitment to the values that guided Mr. Bata's leadership of the organization for four decades.
Friday, May 29, 2015 — South Asia

Smokeless Tobacco – A Major Cause for Concern in India

Source: The Health Site

Wrapped inside betel leaves and placed in the corner of the mouth, chewing tobacco has been a practice in India for centuries.
Friday, May 29, 2015 — South Asia

Khushi Baby: A High-Tech Way to Track Infant Health

Source: India West

It looks like a dangling, shiny plastic charm, but it’s actually an innovative high-tech device that may revolutionize health care in India. This is Khushi Baby, a small medical device designed to streamline the process of vaccinating children in the developing world.
Friday, May 29, 2015 — South Asia

India's microfinance loans are growing at a scorching pace, but it's a warning signal

Source: First Post

The institutions that give tiny loans to the poor somehow seem to be rediscovering their long-lost obsession for rocket-speed loan growth — the same mistake that once shattered the entire industry.
Friday, May 29, 2015 — Latin America

Latin America development bank CAF eyes presence in Cuba

Source: Reuters

The Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) aims to be the first multilateral lender present in Cuba, its executive president said on Thursday, as the communist-run island seeks foreign investment amid a diplomatic opening to the United States.
Friday, May 29, 2015 — South Asia

With over six million mobile accounts, Easypaisa becomes third largest bank in Pakistan

Source: Business Recorder

Easypaisa, a leading branchless banking service, claimed to have become the country's third largest bank in terms of accounts.
Friday, May 29, 2015 — No Region Specified

70% of institutional investors turning down projects on environmental, social and governance grounds

Source: PWC.com

Seven out of ten institutional investors interviewed by PwC say they would decline to take part in a private equity fund raising or would turn down a co-investment on environmental, social and governance risk grounds.
Friday, May 29, 2015 — No Region Specified

Inequality Has Transformed Surviving Childhood Into a Global Postcode Lottery

Source: The Guardian

You may already know the grim statistics: every day, 17,000 children under the age of five die; nearly half of them are newborn babies.
Thursday, May 28, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Indonesia Turns to Technology to Build its Banking Sector

Source: Wall Street Journal

Indonesia is hoping to get more of its 250 million citizens using formal financial services, and it’s looking to some of the creative tech startups that are already one step ahead for some assistance.
Thursday, May 28, 2015 — South Asia

Why India’s e-commerce startups are going mobile-only

Source: International Business Times

E-commerce companies in India are ignoring the PC and going straight to mobile in the country’s young, but rapidly growing online marketplace.
Thursday, May 28, 2015 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: Accion Announces MetLife Foundation Grant to Support Financial Inclusion in Myanmar

Source: PR Newswire

Financial inclusion pioneer Accion announced today that the MetLife Foundation has awarded Accion a $250,000 grant over two years to support its new MFI, Dawn Microfinance, in Myanmar.
Thursday, May 28, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Norway's $900 billion sovereign wealth fund to slash coal investments

Source: Associated Press

Norway has made a big move toward dropping investments in coal companies by its massive $900 billion sovereign wealth fund because of their impact on climate change.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

New Mothers Get A New Kind Of Care In Rural Nigeria

Source: NPR

How do you help a country struggling to provide quality health care, particularly to its rural citizens?More doctors would be great. New and better clinics would help. But in some places, community health workers are an important part of the solution.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

As Antibiotic Resistance Spreads, WHO Plans Strategy To Fight It

Source: NPR

The world is losing some of the most powerful tools in modern medicine. Antibiotics are becoming less and less effective at fighting infections. The problem has gotten so bad that some doctors are starting to ponder a "post-antibiotic world."
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: In India, MobiKwik partners with ICICI Bank to let customers add cash to their mobile wallet at branches

Source: TechStory

ICICI Bank will collect cash payments from MobiKwik customers across more than 4000 branches in the country.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile money agents ‘making it big’ in Kenya's rural areas

Source: Capital FM

According to a new report by Helix Institute of Digital Finance, in non-Nairobi urban areas, profitability has increased by 26 percent while in rural areas profits for the agents have gone up by 45 percent.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Why turning the Postal Service into a bank isn’t nearly as ridiculous as it sounds

Source: Salon

This remains a tremendous idea to relieve economic inequality and preserve an important public-sector ladder into the middle class; and continued agitation just might get it done.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — South Asia

Why India's farm sector is getting increasing attention from impact investors

Source: Economic Times

Impact investors are now turning their focus to agriculture and its allied fields, after a decade of attention to microfinance, financial inclusion and healthcare.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: Why Proposed WHO Reforms Aren’t Enough to Deal With the Next Epidemic

Source: The Washington Post

Every May, the members of the World Health Organization (WHO) meet in Geneva for the World Health Assembly (WHA). WHA is incredibly important for how WHO operates, as this is the meeting that determines the organization’s policies and approves its budget. This year’s WHA garnered far more international attention, as it was the first time the member-states were coming together to discuss WHO reforms in the wake of its response to Ebola.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — South Asia

Fighting poverty by helping find jobs

Source: Business Standard

Dedicated to connecting the right job seeker with the right employer in this unstructured segment, Bengaluru-based start-up babajob.com uses the internet, mobile apps and a variety of other routes.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — South Asia

Report: Simple mobile services can boost Indian farmers’ income

Source: Mobile World Live

The introduction of a number of simple mobile services in India has the potential to boost the income of two-thirds of the country’s small-scale farmers by up to $9 billion a year by 2020, according to a report by Vodafone.
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

GlaxoSmithKline Invests £5.85m to Train 9,000 Health Workers in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria

Source: Ghana Business News

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a British multinational pharmaceutical company, has rolled out a three- year healthcare programme to support the training of more than 9,000 health workers in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Merck Opens Telehealth Clinics for Patients in Rural Africa Areas

Source: HIT Consultant

Merck, in partnership with Kenya Ministry of Health, kicked off their first telehealth clinics at both of Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi and Machacos Hospital as a part of their e-health initiative in Africa.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Governments take decisive step towards more affordable vaccines

Source: Doctors Without Borders

Governments meeting in Geneva for the annual World Health Assembly raised the alarm Sunday on the exorbitant rise in the price to vaccinate a child, and took a decisive step towards addressing the problem by passing a resolution which called for more affordable vaccines and greater transparency of vaccine prices.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — Latin America

Catholic Trust Looks to Brazilian Fund for Social Returns

Source: The New York Times

A Brazilian investment fund is taking to heart theVatican’s endorsement of leveraging capitalism’s tools to help address inequality.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

What The U.S. Can Learn About Financial Inclusion From The Developing World

Source: Tech Crunch

While every country context is unique, there is much that the U.S. and developing countries can learn from each other.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

South Africa Plans to Corporatise Post Bank

Source: CPI Financial

South Africa’s Telecommunications and Postal Services Minister Siyabonga Cwele says the process to corporatise Post Bank is at an advanced state.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

5 African Bitcoin Startups to Watch

Source: Disrupt Africa

Bitcoin is gaining traction worldwide, with the first quarter of 2015 seeing record levels of investment pumped into Bitcoin startups globally. Africa is no exception to the trend, with startups springing up with innovative applications for Bitcoin in the African context – disrupting the remittance market, and making the cryptocurrency available over SMS. Here, Disrupt Africa names the five startups leading the way with Bitcoin in Africa.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: Time for Decisive Action on Antimicrobial Resistance

Source: Devex

A 12-year-old schoolboy from Southern California dies of pneumonia caused by a bacterial infection. A 25-year-old pharmacy worker from England nearly succumbs to sepsis as a result of a urinary tract infection. An Egyptian businessman beats leukemia only to be infected with a resistant type of E. coli. Each of these stories is a real life example of the devastating impact of one of the biggest threats to global health in our world today — antibiotic resistance.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

This Startup Pays African Students to Learn How to Code

Source: Co.Exist

Most twenty-somethings in Nairobi are underemployed—and most also can't afford to pay for college to get better jobs. On a trip to the Kenyan capital to give a talk about the future of education, edtech pioneer Jeremy Johnson was asked a difficult question: How is it possible to scale high-quality education if people can't pay for tuition?
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Mystery of the Power Bank Phone Taking Over Ghana

Source: Quartz

Have you noticed an odd bulge in people’s shorts around Accra? It’s likely because, like many of my friends, they’ve recently acquired a new phone. But it’s not the iPhone 6 Plus, and it’s not the Samsung Galaxy S6.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Press Release: Orange Launches the 2015 Orange African Social Venture Prize

Source: Orange

Orange (http://www.orange.com) is launching the call for applications for the 5th edition of the Orange African Social Venture Prize. This initiative aims to encourage innovative start-up projects which help to accelerate development on the African continent.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

Mozilla Gives Up on Its Dream of a $25 Firefox Smartphone

Source: The Verge

Mozilla is learning that making smartphones dirt cheap doesn't guarantee success when you're running up against Google's Android operating system. CNET reports that in an email to employees sent out on Thursday, CEO Chris Beard made it clear that the company will soon be changing its mobile strategy. "We have not seen sufficient traction for a $25 phone," Beard wrote. He went on to say, "We will focus on efforts that provide a better user experience, rather than focusing on cost alone."
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — South Asia

India sees more cashless transactions through internet, ATM as consumers favor virtual payment

Source: Economic Times

Paperless transactions through the internet, ATM, cards and mobile devices have surpassed paper-based ones in the year leading to March 15, reiterating the fact that Indians are moving towards virtual payment.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — South Asia

Analysis: Golden Rice in India: Is It Necessary? What Are Impediments to Adoption?

Source: Genetic Literacy Project

There is a saying in Chinese used to wish others well that means, “may you never live in interesting times.” In a complex world full of conflict, disease, and death, the idea of living in a simpler world without the plagues of the present must seem comforting to most. Sadly, this is not the world we live in, no matter how much one may wish it into reality. For those living in rural India, life can be a constant struggle.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — South Asia

Swiss investor Rianta Capital Zurich is scouting for impact investments in India

Source: Tech In Asia

Switzerland-based impact investor Rianta Capital Zurich has partnered with Villgro, India’s social enterprise incubator, to scout for funding opportunities in agriculture and allied sectors.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya's Jamii Bora Bank sheds microfinance tag

Source: Standard Digital

Jamii Bora Bank has announced that it is now targeting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), in a major change of strategy that has seen it shed the microfinance tag.
Friday, May 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

A Toilet In Every Home: Zambians Celebrate Sanitation Milestone

Source: NPR

A recent daylong event celebrated a milestone in Zambia, where the practice of defecating in the open is all too common. In April, Chienge, in the northernmost province of Luapula, became the first district in Zambia to be declared free of open defecation by the government.
Friday, May 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Clinic where doctors access X-ray reports round-the-clock

Source: Daily Nation

Ms Nyokabi Kaguthi runs her dream shop in a field dominated by male medical practitioners. She is the founder and director of Africa Telerad, a startup that provides medical diagnostic reports.
Friday, May 22, 2015 — South Asia

Amazon and the Bank of India Are Helping Small Businesses

Source: PaymentEye

The State Bank of India (SBI) and Amazon.in have agreed to work together and focus efforts on improving payments and e-commerce solutions for small businesses across the country.
Friday, May 22, 2015 — South Asia

India's Street Dentists Filling Gap for the Poor

Source: AsiaOne

Ignoring noisy buses and curious onlookers, street dentist Allah Baksh plunges his hands into a patient's mouth to fit a sparkling set of dentures for $12 (S$16) in the Indian city of Bangalore.
Friday, May 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Vodacom's M-Pesa Relaunch Is a Flop

Source: Mobile Money Africa

A second attempt by Vodacom to launch the M-Pesa mobile payments platform in South Africa has flopped.
Friday, May 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Building the Business Case for Health Sector Strengthening

Source: Devex

As the Ebola virus in West Africa wanes, multilateral and bilateral donors along with NGOs and country governments are making a concerted push to strengthen health systems across the developing world to protect against future health crises.
Friday, May 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Findex: Sub-Saharan Africa Continues to Be the Leading Frontier of Financial Inclusion

Source: The Huffington Post

Half of the world's population lives and works in the informal economy - not by choice, but by necessity. In the language of economists, poor families in developing countries are consumption-smoothing households and capital-consuming, self-employed entrepreneurs at the same time. As a result, they need a broader range of financial services to manage inevitably irregular income and expense spikes, accumulate working capital, build assets, and mitigate risks. Lacking better alternatives, they often resort to informal financial mechanisms, such as moneylenders, pawnbrokers, and rotating savings clubs, which can be very unreliable and expensive.
Friday, May 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwe Uses the Most Condoms in the World, Reduces HIV Infections

Source: International Business Times

Zimbabwe’s condom usage now tops that of any other country in the world, with over 109 million condoms used in 2014. These safe sex practices have helped the southern African country lower the number of HIV infections, according to data collected by the state-run National Aids Council (NAC) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Friday, May 22, 2015 — South Asia

Angel Investing 2.0 – Will Angel Investing Go Online in India?

Source: YourStory

The last one year has seen a huge surge in angel investing in the Indian startup ecosystem. As a platform that has now become the largest marketplace for startup funding; we have been witnessing how the ecosystem has evolved over the last 18 months. In early 2013 when LetsVenture was founded, startup funding was traditionally done through offline networks and fundraise was challenging; our intent was to make fundraising faster and efficient for the founders.
  • Managing Partners

    William Davidson Institute
  • Sponsoring Partner

    Citi Foundation
  • Content Partners

    IADB
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