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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
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

Drugmakers to join forces to make millions of Ebola vaccine doses

Source: Reuters

Leading drugmakers plan to work together to accelerate development of an Ebola vaccine and produce millions of doses of the most effective experimental product for use next year.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 — South Asia

Pharma companies feel law change can weaken ability to provide low-cost drugs

Source: The Economic Times

Indian drugmakers and public health activists are deeply worried that sections of the American pharmaceutical industry may use the recently announced Indo-US working committee on intellectual property rights to force changes in Indian patent laws to further their commercial interests at the cost of the domestic industry.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Liberians have another challenge - marginalization

Source: Catholic News Agency

"How is it that we have again become the marginalized of the earth?" That is what people ask Bishop Anthony Borwah of Gbarnga, in Liberia, the country most affected by the outbreak of Ebola.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

U.S. States Ease Interest Rate Laws That Protected Poor Borrowers

Source: New York Times

Lenders have come under fire in Washington in recent years. Yet one corner of the financial industry — lending to people with poor credit scores — has found sympathetic audiences in many state capitals.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

OPINION: Cash still king in Africa, despite mobile money rise

Source: IT Web Africa

Over 25 million Kenyans use mobile money services but one expert says “cash is still king” in most of the continent.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 — Latin America

Ecuador backs national mobile wallet

Source: Mobile World Live

In an unusual move, Ecuador is reportedly building its own mobile wallet to boost financial inclusion, without the involvement of the country’s operators or banks.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Improving Financial Services for Indonesia’s Underserved

Source: Jakarta Post

Financial inclusion is about reaching out to the poor and vulnerable in ways that allow them to take part in the world of financial services either for saving or getting credit. There are at least three ways to do this.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: Innovative Collaboration Aims to Bring Greater Transparency to Sub-Saharan Microfinance

Source: MasterCard Foundation

Aiming to bring greater transparency to microfinance across Sub-Saharan Africa, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), The MasterCard Foundation and Moody’s Analytics have launched an innovative collaboration to use Moody’s Analytics’ social performance assessments (SPA) to help microfinance institutions better measure and manage their long-term social impact.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In Ghana: "Let the Telco war begin"

Source: Ghana Web

The next few months could be very interesting for the sector and for consumers, especially as the resurgent Tigo is expected to release a game changer before Christmas and the other players seek to consolidate and increase their hold in the market.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

Dubai entrepreneur’s 100% Mad scheme to give away $1bn

Source: The National

Launching a social enterprise that will revolutionise the way we donate money to charity is a tall order. But the Dubai-based businessman Tariq Qureishy, 50, aims to raise US$1 billion in the next two years, and give the entire amount to charity through his social venture 100% Mad.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

The Winner of 2014 Nestlé CSV Prize is…

Source: Business Wire

On October 9th, during the global Creating Shared Value Forum, co-organised by Nestlé and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, it was announced that the overall winner of the 2014 Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize is Honey Care Africa (HCA)!
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Sri Lanka’s Malaria Elimination Efforts a “Spectacular Achievement”

Source: Asian Tribune

Sri Lanka has remained free of malaria for two years – an accomplishment the Global Health Group (GHG) described as a “spectacular achievement,” during a meeting with President Mahinda Rajapaksa at Temple Trees recently.Dr. Richard Feachem
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: ImpactAssets Releases "IA 50" Impact Investing Showcase

Source: CSRWire

ImpactAssets has released its 2014 impact investing showcase, the ImpactAssets 50 (“IA 50”), a free online resource for investors and financial advisors.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Major step forward in understanding of viruses as scientists unlock exact structure of Hep A virus

Source: Phys.org

Scientists have announced that for the first time, they have determined the precise atomic structure of the Hepatitis A virus.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Building energy businesses: Knowledge sharing workshop with business incubators and entrepreneurs from Asia and Africa

Source: Press Release

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) held a week-long knowledge sharing workshop for energy business incubators and entrepreneurs from Asia and Africain Bangalore, India from 22 to 27 September 2014. The UK Department for International Development (DFID), through its Knowledge Partnership Programme, also supported the initiative to transfer India’s knowledge to other regions in Asia and Africa.
TAGS:energy
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Rental America: Why the poor pay $4,150 for a $1,500 sofa

Source: The Washington Post

No credit, no cash, no bank account? There’s still a place to go shopping, but it comes at a price.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenyan mobile money agents apprehensive of new Equity Bank service

Source: Coastweek

Mobile money agents in Kenya fear loss of business once a banking institution rolls out a cheaper cash transfer service.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Here’s why emerging markets are a challenge for Apple Pay

Source: Quartz

Apple Pay could certainly be the nail in the wallet’s coffin, similar to what the iTunes model was for music when it was introduced in 2001. And this on the heels of the Twitter “buy” button, another move by a major tech titan to occupy the payments space via a mobile device.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uganda: Why Do Customers Fear Banks?

Source: allAfrica

In Uganda, many point to the success of mobile money in improving financial inclusion by promoting peer-to-peer money transfer.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Steroids Are No Boon to World’s Poorer Women

Source: The New York Times

Giving steroids to women who are about to give birth prematurely — a standard lifesaving medical practice in richer countries — may be useless or even dangerous in poor countries where most women give birth at home, a major new study has found.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

US Sets New Protocols for Ebola Health Workers

Source: Voice of America News

The United States has tightened guidelines for health workers treating patients with the Ebola virus, calling for new competency training, a buddy system for donning and doffing personal protective equipment, and total coverage of eyes, hair and skin.
Monday, October 20, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

OPINION: Ebola: The dark side of globalization

Source: Fortune

As upcoming goals, the United Nations should enact basic sanitation, healthcare and governance in failed or collapsing states not simply because of moral concerns, but because of our own safety concerns.
Monday, October 20, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

3 Ways Empathy Is Driving Successful Innovations In Health

Source: Forbes

From human-centered design to the lean startup approach, methods to develop innovative products and services emphasize the importance of understanding what customers really need. Here are some lessons in innovation that social entrepreneurs have learned from empathizing with their customers.
Monday, October 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: RBC Global Asset Management Announces $50 Million Impact Investing Initiative

Source: CNN

RBC Global Asset Management today announced an agreement with Community Reinvestment Fund, USA to purchase and service up to $50 million in loans to support affordable rental housing as part of the RBC Access Capital Community Investment Strategy.
Monday, October 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

Development Finance Institutions Come of Age

Source: Forbes

In a world where private enterprise drives jobs and prosperity, DFIs expand the frontiers of what is viewed as a profitable investment opportunity around the world.
Monday, October 20, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: Microfinance in India: To hell and back

Source: Live Mint

In a nation where half the population isn’t served by formal banking system, the microfinance industry acquired a halo in the early part of last decade. And then, the Andhra Pradesh crisis happened.
Monday, October 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

With Tomato Paste, Harvard Graduates Hope To Empower Farmers

Source: The Harvard Crimson

Although Nigeria leads Africa in oil exports, two recent Harvard graduates are trying to ramp up the West African country’s production of a different natural resource—tomato paste. “It was a pipe dream I’ve had since 2008,” said Mira A. Mehta, a Business School graduate who co-founded the startup “Tomato Jos” with School of Public Health alumnus Shane F. Kiernan earlier this year. The company, a for-profit social enterprise, aims to build up a tomato paste industry in Nigeria by educating local tomato farmers about agricultural techniques and supplying them with seeds and fertilizers. The name Tomato Jos itself means “cute girl” in Nigerian slang, a play on the fact that the tomatoes in the Nigerian city Jos are known to be very sweet and juicy.
Monday, October 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

Making a smartphone for just $25

Source: Marketplace

Here’s a market you’ll be likely to hear more of in tech: “The Next Billion.” It's shorthand for the next billion people that will become online consumers, and that makes them the target of tech giants like Google, Facebook and Samsung. The next billion live in emerging economies like China, India, Brazil and Africa. Jenna Burrell, a professor at UC Berkeley’sSchool of Information, has been studying one of these markets, namely Ghana, since the early 2000s. She says even back then, it was clear that people who wanted to get online weren’t going to use desktops.
Monday, October 20, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenyan President Kenyatta for thin-SIM card rollout and digital migration

Source: Human IPO

President Uhuru Kenyatta says he is in favor of Equity’s thin-SIM technology and digital migration.
Friday, October 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Investing in local production of medicines is a priority

Source: UNAIDS

A high-level meeting held in Geneva, Switzerland, explored how countries can improve access to medicines and develop their domestic production, with the help of public and private investment.
Friday, October 17, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Issues continue to dog the testing of Ebola drugs and vaccines

Source: Science MagazIne

The fact that no “flexible and innovative protocol” exists for Ebola speaks to the complex practical and ethical issues that surround the use of untested drugs and vaccines in the midst of the explosive spread of a virus that kills more than half the people it infects.
Friday, October 17, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Why Ebola wasn’t stopped by huge investment in African healthcare

Source: The Conversation

Despite it being nearly six months after the Ebola outbreak was confirmed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), we are still hearing stories of severe shortage of gloves in health facilities in West Africa. Many nurses have been asked to reuse them or merely rub their hands with chlorine after consultations.
Friday, October 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

WakaWaka Power gets a big brother with the new solar-powered 'first aid kit'

Source: TreeHugger

This solar gadget innovator is back with a new model, the WakaWaka Base, which includes either a 5,000 or 10,000 mAh battery pack, and the device is designed to be charged with the company's 7.5 or 10 watt portable solar panel. Along with the solar panel and battery pack module, WakaWaka is also offering two small LED lamps, one of which is powered by plugging it into the Base, and one which has an internal battery that can be recharged via the panel and battery pack.
Friday, October 17, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa: The Overlooked Hub of Payments Innovation

Source: Payments Source

A number of financial institutions are using emerging technology to deliver payments on the continent.
Friday, October 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Blockchain Ideas Get Play at IMF Panel

Source: Wall Street Journal

Financial inclusion has become a long overdue buzzword among aid agencies and international economic policymakers of late – and it’s opening the door for bitcoin and blockchain technology to become a part of the discussion among international policymakers.
Thursday, October 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

IBM Teams on First Watson Application in Africa

Source: eWEEK

IBM and Metropolitan Health of South Africa have teamed to create a new health care customer service service based on Big Blue's Watson cognitive computing system.
Thursday, October 16, 2014 — South Asia

India to enter top two markets for health company Abbott

Source: Times of India

Close on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "Make in India" call, global health giant Abbott is setting up a Rs 450-crore plant for manufacturing nutrition products in Jhagadia, Gujarat.
Thursday, October 16, 2014 — Latin America

IDB and PepsiCo Foundation Launch Innovative Program to Prevent Undernutrition and Obesity in Latin American Infants

Source: Inter-American Development Bank

On the eve of World Food Day, the IDB and the PepsiCo Foundation announce $5 million grant for nutrition program to help children in Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico and Peru
Thursday, October 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

A total market for circumcision

Source: PSI

How private sector providers add marketing and distribution value for voluntary medical male circumcision
Thursday, October 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MTN set to support money transfers between Rwanda and Uganda

Source: Biz Tech Africa

In a move aimed at warding off competition and increasing revenue collection from its mobile money service, MTN Uganda has partnered with MTN Rwanda to deliver cross border transactions between the two countries.
Thursday, October 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tanzania: Mobile Technology to Benefit Local Farmers

Source: allAfrica

CONNECTED Farmer Alliance (CFA), a public-private partnership between Vodafone Group, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and TechnoServe, has announced an agreement to use mobile technology to increase productivity of thousands of smallholder farmers.
Thursday, October 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Doctors Without Borders Is Experimenting With Delivery Drones To Battle An Epidemic

Source: Fast CoExist

Drones aren't delivering pizza just yet. But they could soon help save lives in places where health care is hard to reach.
Thursday, October 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Equity set to offer free money transfer services

Source: The Star, Kenya

Equity Bank will not charge for mobile money transfer services on mobile virtual network, it said yesterday, but subscribers also have to hold accounts with the lender.
Thursday, October 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

ClearlySo raises £800,000 to help support social entrepreneurs

Source: Startups.co.uk

Big Society Capital and Body Shop co-founder amongst backers of social impact investment intermediary
Thursday, October 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Equity Bank to issue American Express cards across Africa

Source: 4-traders.com

Equity Bank's deal with American Express gives the Kenyan lender exclusive rights to issue AmEx credit cards across the continent outside South Africa.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 — South Asia

After Winning Hult Prize, MBA Entrepreneurs Seek To Heal Indian Healthcare

Source: BusinessBecause

Manish Ranjan led his business school team to victory in the Hult Prize 2014. Now, the MBA entrepreneur has grand plans to help fix India's healthcare system.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Digital doctors: China sees tech cure for healthcare woes

Source: Reuters

There's been a rise recently in digital healthcare, or eHealth, to bridge the chasm between China's developed health services in large cities and its grassroots rural care.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Profit motive big hurdle for Ebola drugs, experts say

Source: MedicalXpress

For nearly four decades, mention of the Ebola virus has evoked death and terror, yet a simple factor—money—has stood in the way of erasing the curse, experts say.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

DuPont suits part of battle against Ebola crisis

Source: DelawareOnline

The World Health Organization estimates a monthly need for 300,000 personal protection suits or seven suits daily per Ebola patient bed, according to Daniel Epstein, spokesman for WHO.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 — South Asia

Canada to help India in building smart cities

Source: Business Standard

Canada will help India in building smart cities and achieving its target of housing for all by offering wooden multi-storey housing technology, officials said here Wednesday. In a meeting with Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu here, Canadian Minister of International Trade Ed Fast said his country's "expertise in wood-based housing technology that enables multi-storey construction and India can consider it to meet its ambitious housing targets".
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners Strengthens Global Private Equity Impact Investing Capabilities

Source: Market Watch

David Wilton Joins Morgan Stanley from International Finance Corporation.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Data Specialist in Court Bid to Block Equity's SIM Card

Source: 4 Traders

Equity Bank's thin-SIM mobile money transfer system faces more hurdles after a data specialist went to court seeking to block its rollout.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: Accion Venture Lab Invests in Kenyan Start-up Umati Capital

Source: Accion

Accion today announced an investment in Umati Capital, a Kenya-based lending company that provides invoice discounting and other forms of working capital financing to small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in East Africa.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 — South Asia

India's Financial Inclusion Scheme Can Bring Unorganized Remittances Under Banking Channels

Source: Economic Times

"With the help of the Jan Dhan Yojana, the reach of banking can definitely be expanded, making migrant workers aware of different services," says a senior executive from Bank of India.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 — No Region Specified

SolarAid Releases Second Impact Report on Rural Solar

Source: Press Release

This week SolarAid release their second ever Impact Report. The report is packed with information on how the charity does what they do, why they do it, the impact of that, and what they’re working towards. In the last year the charity, who's goal is to eradicate the kerosene lamp from Africa by 2020, had some great progress.
TAGS:solar
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How Mobile Technology Can Help End Poverty For Rural Farmers

Source: Huffington Post

Mobile phones are giving farmers in rural communities served by Grameen Foundation's Community Knowledge Workers access to information that helps them improve their practices and earn more for their produce.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 — South Asia

In Lending Circles, a Roundabout Way to a Higher Credit Score

Source: The New York Times

Shweta Kohli has always paid her own way.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 — South Asia

Social enterprise is an emerging force in Pakistan

Source: The Guardian

New social start ups tackling water, energy and construction challenges in Pakistan hope to help break the country’s reliance on aid
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Liberian Singers Use The Power Of Music To Raise Ebola Awareness

Source: NPR

In West Africa, one of the simplest ways to slow the Ebola outbreak is to educate people about how to keep from getting infected with the virus. Now, there are some signs that Ebola awareness is indeed driving down the number of cases in parts of Liberia — and Liberian musicians and DJs may deserve some of the credit.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile Money: Banks get ready to take on M-pesa

Source: The Africa Report

Safaricom's popular mobile money-transfer service may finally have met its match as innovation in the banking sector catches up.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa: 10 Reasons Why Mobile Rocks in Africa

Source: allAfrica

Mobile use in Africa is expected to increase 20-fold in the next five years.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

OPINION: Ebola epidemic is a 'Black Swan' event, say U of M infectious disease experts

Source: MinnPost

West Africa’s Ebola epidemic is a “Black Swan” event that is likely to severely alter how the world approaches future global public health crises — even more so than the AIDS epidemic has done — according to a commentary published Friday in JAMA Internal Medicine by Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP).
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 — South Asia

Pharmaceutical companies, WHO help India in HIV/AIDS drug crisis

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - Indian companies and global health groups are stepping up efforts to provide a critical medicine for the country's free HIV/AIDS drugs program after more than 150,000 patients risked going without their dosages this month.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 — South Asia

Southeast Asia has an acute healthcare problem. These apps inject hope

Source: Tech In Asia

Millions of Southeast Asians today lack access to affordable, quality healthcare. As connected devices become increasingly ubiquitous in the region, however, many companies and NGOs are developing innovative ehealth apps to address the problem.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

French bank, Twitter team up for money transfers via tweets

Source: Reuters

One of France's largest banks is teaming up with social network Twitter Inc. (TWTR.N) this week to allow its customers to transfer money via tweets.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Nigerian Government Aims to Use Post Office to Reduce Unbanked Population to 10 Percent

Source: Nigerian Tribune

The Federal Government has said it would leverage the expansive network of the Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) to reduce the unbanked adult population in the country to 10 per cent by 2016.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

New Calvert chief sees two trends in sustainable investing

Source: Washington Business Journal

John Streur, incoming CEO of Calvert Investments Inc., sees "two broad trends that are really coming together to shape and influence socially responsible investing."
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 — South Asia

Coins.ph launches Bitcoin wallet tailored for emerging markets

Source: Tech In Asia

Yesterday, Coins.ph, the Philippines largest Bitcoin exchange, launched what it says is the first mobile Bitcoin wallet designed specifically for emerging markets.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Global Innovation Fund Receives $200m from Omidyar Network, Governments of Australia, Sweden, UK, US

Source: MicroCapital

The Global Innovation Fund (GIF), a UK-based nonprofit, recently announced its launch in the US city of New York. GIF plans to fund “social innovations” brought forward by nonprofit entities as well as for-profit organizations and government.
Friday, October 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

A new challenge

Source: The Economist

The Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges in Global Health programme is a decade old. How has it done, and what should it do in the future?
Friday, October 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Pfenex And PATH Partner On Vaccines

Source: Benzinga

Pfenex Inc., a clinical-stage biotechnology company engaged in the development of high-value biosimilar therapeutics and difficult to manufacture proteins, today announced the initiation of a multi-product research program with PATH.
Friday, October 10, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

SC Johnson Rolls Out Bottom-of-the-Pyramid Marketing Strategy in Ghana

Source: Triple Pundit

SC Johnson, the Wisconsin-based company, is selling cleaning and pest control products in Ghana while contributing to local efforts to reduce the risks of contracting malaria.
Friday, October 10, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Here's How Nigeria Beat Ebola

Source: Mother Jones

It took 18,500 interviews, but Nigeria managed to contain the Ebola outbreak.
Friday, October 10, 2014 — Asia Pacific

U.S. Opposing China’s Answer to World Bank

Source: New York Times

For almost a year, China has been pitching a big, internationally funded bank that would offer quick financing for badly needed transportation, telecommunications and energy projects in underdeveloped countries across the region. But the United States has not embraced the proposal.
Thursday, October 9, 2014 — No Region Specified

RSF Social Finance Makes a Loan to Madécasse

Source: 3BL Media

RSF is pleased to announce a new loan to Madécasse, a social enterprise that makes chocolate and vanilla products in Africa. RSF provided a line of credit that will allow Madécasse to finance their inventory purchases and assist with cash flow gaps throughout the year.
Thursday, October 9, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ebola outbreak: Where are the mHealth apps?

Source: mHealth News

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa and now the U.S. is surely among the most high-profile incidents wherein mobile health technologies could have proven their mettle.
Thursday, October 9, 2014 — No Region Specified

Meet the Company That’s Bringing the LED Revolution to the Developing World

Source: UN Dispatch

Yesterday three physicists won the Nobel Prize in Physics for creating blue-light LEDs, which makes the LED white lights we find everywhere possible.
Thursday, October 9, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ebola cost to W.Africa economy could top $32 bn: World Bank

Source: Yahoo! News

The deadly Ebola epidemic could deal a $32 billion-plus blow to the West African economy over the next year if officials cannot get it under control, the World Bank warned Wednesday.
Thursday, October 9, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

$25M gift to U-M will help Third World moms, babies

Source: Detroit Free Press

An anonymous donor has given the University of Michigan $25 million to bring reproductive health medicine to remote areas in Africa.
Thursday, October 9, 2014 — South Asia

Branchless banking introduced for poor households in Indonesia

Source: The Jakarta Post

Bank Indonesia (BI) officially launched on Wednesday an electronic payment system to support the transfer of government direct cash assistance to poor families in several provinces in the country.
Thursday, October 9, 2014 — South Asia

Health insurance reduces mortality among Indian poor

Source: IANS Live

Washington, Oct 9 (IANS) An Indian government scheme to provide health insurance for catastrophic illness to households below the poverty line (BPL) has lowered both mortality rates and out-of-pocket expenses for the residents in Karnataka, a World Bank-funded study shows.
Thursday, October 9, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: Products meant for the affluent, urban market will not work for the financially excluded in India

Source: The Hindu

Stripped-down versions of products meant for the affluent, urban Indian will not work for the financially excluded
Thursday, October 9, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Private Equity Fund Leapfrog Exits From Kenyan Insurer

Source: AllAfrica

Private equity fund LeapFrog Investments has exited a Kenyan insurance firm in which it first injected capital in 2011.
Thursday, October 9, 2014 — South Asia

IMJ Investment Partners’ Koichi Saito: Bopping to the BoP startup

Source: e27

Koichi Saito, Director, IMJ Investment Partners doesn’t think Manila needs Google Glass
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Firestone Did What Governments Have Not: Stopped Ebola In Its Tracks

Source: NPR

Firestone detected its first Ebola case on March 30, when an employee's wife arrived from northern Liberia. Since then Firestone has done a remarkable job of keeping the virus at bay.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 — No Region Specified

Vaccines targeting adults, teens best chance to eliminate TB

Source: Business Standard

Targets to eliminate tuberculosis (TB) by 2050 are more likely to be met if new vaccines are developed for adults and adolescents rather than infants, according to a new research.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ebola Vaccine Trials May Give Placebo to Those at Risk

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

As global health officials rush to begin human trials of two promising Ebola vaccines in West African medical workers, a daunting question remains unanswered: Who gets the placebo injection?
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ebola Protective Suits Are In Short Supply

Source: NPR

The Ebola outbreak created a demand for personal protective equipment. Clinics can go through hundreds of PPE suits a day. Manufacturers increased production but agencies say there's still a shortage.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya’s Wananchi Group raises $130m for African expansion

Source: BizTech Africa

Kenya’s Wananchi Group, which owns the Zuku pay-TV and fibre brands, has raised US$130 million in funding to expand in East and Southern Africa.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 — No Region Specified

An Unconventional Billionaire Is Revolutionizing Philanthropy By Closing His $8 Billion Foundation

Source: Fast CoExist

Should charity go on forever? For Chuck Feeney, the answer is an emphatic no--and fellow billionaires, from newly-minted Silicon Valley entrepreneurs to Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, can learn from his example.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom, Commercial Bank of Africa launch campaign to deepen financial inclusion

Source: All Africa

Commercial Bank of Africa and Safaricom have launched a campaign to deepen financial inclusion and access to financial services, targeting M-PESA customers who have yet to start using mobile savings and micro - loan solution M-Shwari.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Here Comes the Internet of Money

Source: Bloomberg View

A new wave of financial innovation is forming, that could sweep over traditional banking, traditional payments systems, even the traditional idea of money.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 — Asia Pacific

PRESS RELEASE: Freedom from Hunger, Microcredit Summit Campaign launch project to improve maternal health in the Philippines

Source: Microcredit Summit

CARD MRI, Freedom from Hunger and the Microcredit Summit Campaign are launching a joint project called “Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies” to improve health knowledge and promote behavior change for more than 600,000 women by December 2015.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Rise Of The African Social Entrepreneur

Source: Ventures Africa

Has social entrepreneurship taken off in Africa? Is it making the impact it is supposed to make? Has institutional support been of the kind that is required?
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Table-banking, a booming loan facility among Kenyan women

Source: Shanghai Daily

Initially when she needed a loan, Joan Mwashi would approach a group she belonged to under a microfinance institution.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 — South Asia

Operational difficulties complicate India’s ambitious financial inclusion scheme

Source: The Hindu

Banks in a tizzy over shortage of cards, duplication of accounts
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 — Latin America

Entrepreneur aims to eliminate blindness in Mexico

Source: CCTV America

Poor physical health and poverty can go hand-in-hand. When those without money suffer from a disability, they either cannot afford to get the medical attention to get better or go deeper into poverty trying to become healthy. In Mexico, two million people suffer from cataracts and even more from other eye-related health issues, making it the second leading cause of disability in the country. Most of them are poor or working class people.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 — South Asia

Why India's sanitation crisis needs more than toilets

Source: BBC News

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day speech, vowed to eliminate open defecation, India took notice.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 — South Asia

CMD of Bandhan shares details about the new bank’s network, people and likely structure

Source: LiveMint

Kolkata-based Bandhan Financial Services Pvt. Ltd is one of two companies (IDFC Ltd is the other) preparing to convert themselves into banks, having received an ‘in-principle’ approval from the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) six months back.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 — South Asia

The Dangers of the Indian Government’s Flirtation with U.S. Pharma and Risks for India’s Coherent, Pro-Public Health IP Policy

Source: Equilibri

India’s new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and his delegation, who have been visiting the U.S. for the first time, have spent considerable time and energy in courting U.S. business interests.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Equity Bank Determined to Challenge M-Pesa's Monopoly in Mobile Banking

Source: AllAfrica

Equity Bank is determined to challenge M-Pesa monopoly following an announcement made by Taisys Technologies where Equity Bank will be issuing a ultra-thin mobile banking smart SIM with patented technology from Taisys.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 — No Region Specified

ideas42 joining with USAID and CGAP to scale up financial heuristics

Source: Ideas42

Project will scale-up pilots applying behavioral economics to create morecustomer-centric financial services
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 — Latin America

Latin American Business Schools Rise With Social Entrepreneurship

Source: Business Because

Latin American business schools are drawing more international students and launching more MBA programs with a unique focus on entrepreneurship and social responsibility.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 — South Asia

Delving deep into India’s fast-growing healthcare industry

Source: The Hindu

The World Health Organization (WHO) has described the framework of a health care system in terms of its basic building blocks.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

OPINION: Shared mobile money agents: Does this benefit the ecosystem?

Source: Techzim

It’s been reported that the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has pushed through an order compelling Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile operator, to share its mobile money transfer agents with the other mobile networks.
Monday, October 6, 2014 — South Asia

Over the counter drug market to reach $6.6 billion by 2016

Source: The Economic Times

The over the counter (OTC) drug market in India is expected to grow to $6.6 billion by 2016 with pharma companies and chemists increasing their presence in the rural market.
Monday, October 6, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Philips, PET to commercialise Wind-Up Fetal Heart Rate Monitor

Source: BizTech Africa

Royal Philips has announced a partnership with South Africa based not-for-profit organization, PET (PowerFree Education Technology), to further develop, test and commercialise a Wind-up Doppler Ultrasound Fetal Heart Rate Monitor aimed at addressing the high rates of preventable infant mortality across Africa.
Monday, October 6, 2014 — No Region Specified

How Indoor Stoves Can Help Solve Global Poverty

Source: TIME

Clean cooking and better sources of energy can have a domino effect on health and education.
Monday, October 6, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Malawi HIV infections down

Source: Amalawi

The Malawi Ministry of Health said new HIV infections have reduced from 52,000 to 35,000 per year.
Monday, October 6, 2014 — No Region Specified

4.4 billion people around the world still don’t have Internet. Here’s where they live

Source: The Washington Post

The world wide web still isn't all that worldwide. An exhaustive new study by McKinsey & Company (really, it's 120 pages long) about the barriers to Internet adoption around the world illuminates a rather surprising reality: 4.4 billion people scattered across the globe, including 3.2 billion living in only 20 countries, still aren't connected to the Internet.
Monday, October 6, 2014 — No Region Specified

Socially Responsible Investing Around the Globe Isn’t Easy

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Socially responsible investors—who seek to marry long-term competitive financial results with social objectives—have to tangle with a number of risks in emerging markets.
Monday, October 6, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bank of Ghana deadline unsettles microfinance companies

Source: Ghana Web

Some microfinance companies are doubtful of meeting the Bank of Ghana’s set deadline of June 2016 to shore-up their paid capital as per the revised regulations.
Monday, October 6, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: How Pay-for-Success Funding Might Help Low-Income Students

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

Policy makers, college administrators, and parents are all searching for ways to help needy students graduate. But one option is missing from the debate: pay-for-success financing.
Monday, October 6, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

OPINION: Is mobile money the key to Africa’s cashless society?

Source: IT News Africa

As the story of the mobile phone and its contribution in bridging the digital divide in Sub-Saharan Africa unfolds, the device’s revolutionary role in facilitating transactions and wealth distribution in the region is shaping up in an unprecedented way.
Friday, October 3, 2014 — No Region Specified

The "Celebrity Couples" of Global Health and Development

Source: Huffington Post

Sanitation and nutrition, contraception and newborn survival, girls' education and child survival, infrastructure and maternal survival, women's incomes and violence -- these are just some of the most powerful relationships in global health and development today. Odd couples, you might think.
Friday, October 3, 2014 — No Region Specified

Facebook planning to step into healthcare: Sources

Source: Times of India

Facebook already knows who your friends are and the kind of things that grab your attention. Soon, it could also know the state of your health.
Friday, October 3, 2014 — No Region Specified

Rockefeller Foundation aims for Impact

Source: BusinessWeek

Judith Rodin is the president of the Rockefeller Foundation, which means she’s in charge of giving away one of America’s historic fortunes. One problem: “As rich as Rockefeller” doesn’t mean quite what it once did. The foundation ranks only 16th in assets among U.S. charities, according to the Foundation Center.
Friday, October 3, 2014 — No Region Specified

Citi looks to tech and non-profits to drive financial inclusion; Gates talks bitcoin and biometrics

Source: Finextra

Citi is working with non-profit organisation Catalyst Miami on a tech-based financial inclusion programme that it believes could be replicated across the country.
Friday, October 3, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mobile wallet won’t take off in India unless direct withdrawal allowed: Experts

Source: The Economic Times

The first wave of telco-backed payments banks is slated to charge up India's mobile banking turf but explosive growth in mobile money transactions, mirroring the Africa experience, won't happen unless RBI allows direct cash withdrawals under mobile wallet services, leveraging the reach of telecom retail networks, mobile operators and sector analysts told ET.
Friday, October 3, 2014 — South Asia

Philanthropic capital should be invested more strategically for poverty alleviation: Country Director, Acumen Pakistan

Source: Business Recorder

Farrukh H Khan is the Country Director & CEO of Acumen Pakistan and one of the leading independent business and financial advisors in the country.
Friday, October 3, 2014 — No Region Specified

Gates Links Technology, Banking Services for Poor

Source: The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required)

Bill Gates is banking on digital technology to bring financial services to the world’s poor.
Friday, October 3, 2014 — No Region Specified

Plagues on the Poor: What Ebola Can Learn From Malaria

Source: TIME.com

If the U.S. spent more money on disease prevention and clinics—and less on vaccines and drugs—everyone in the world would stand to benefit
Friday, October 3, 2014 — South Asia

US consumer giant seeks to smash India menstruation taboos

Source: YourHealth

The latest commercial for Procter & Gamble's top-selling brand of sanitary pads in India ticks all the usual boxes - a young woman jogs happily in pristine white trousers, before effortlessly winning a tennis tournament.
Thursday, October 2, 2014 — No Region Specified

Plant-based vaccines challenge big pharma

Source: Health24

The recent revelation that the Ebola drug ZMapp is produced in the leaves of tobacco plants captured global attention.
Thursday, October 2, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: ObamaCare's Anti-Innovation Effect

Source: Wall Street Journal

Of the many unintended consequences of the Affordable Care Act, perhaps the least noticed is its threat to innovation.
Thursday, October 2, 2014 — No Region Specified

Handling the next pandemic

Source: USA Today

Can the global health system stop Ebola? The answer has more to do with Samuel Kaziraho than you might expect.
Thursday, October 2, 2014 — No Region Specified

GlaxoSmithKline, NewLink working to bring Ebola vaccines online: WHO

Source: Yahoo! News

Both GlaxoSmithKline and NewLink Genetics are working to boost their capacity to make Ebola vaccines, with a goal of a "very significant increase in scale during the first half of 2015," the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.
Thursday, October 2, 2014 — No Region Specified

Experiments in development: Time to rethink RCTs?

Source: Devex

Randomized controlled trials, an impact evaluation method, have been a contentious development issue of late, with as many advocates as critics. A Devex survey of senior development executives across six continents and varied organizations revealed that nearly half aren’t familiar with the debate or have no opinion at all. This indicates that while RCTs remain a hot topic among academics and practitioners, the issue is not yet relevant to many senior managers. Another sizable group — 37 percent of executives surveyed — responded that RCTs are “somewhat overhyped.”
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ebola Researchers Have A Radical Idea: Rush A Vaccine Into The Field

Source: NPR

Traditional means of containing Ebola aren't working fast enough to get ahead of the epidemic. So the question is: Will giving an experimental vaccine to willing volunteers help contain the disease or put people at greater risk?
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile technology offers option to combat fake drugs in West Africa

Source: PCWorld

Cholera, malaria and the rapidly expanding threat of Ebola have hit African countries with a related health-care problem: the scourge of fake drugs.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Shares of Companies Testing Ebola Vaccines Rise

Source: ABC News

Shares of some companies that are studying potential vaccines for Ebola climbed after federal officials announced that the first case of the disease has been diagnosed in the U.S.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Developing countries should enroll medical and nursing students from rural areas

Source: MedicalXpress

Nearly one third of medical and nursing students in developing countries may have no intention of working in their own countries after graduation, while less than one fifth of them intend to work in rural areas where they are needed most, according to a new study.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MFI credit bureau on course in Ghana

Source: Ghana Web

Work on a credit referencing system for the microfinance sector is scheduled to be completed by middle of next year, the Ghana Association of Microfinance Companies (GAMC) has said.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 — No Region Specified

Will There Be Enough ESG Investing Opportunities To Meet Demand?

Source: Financial Advisor Magazine

So-called “responsible” investing is gaining cred both with retail investors and institutional investors. But as Cerulli Associates points out in a recent report, the question is whether growing interest in green or responsible investing will translate into more investible opportunities in this space.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Meet The Swiss Tycoon Who Is Funding African Innovation

Source: Forbes

Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, a Swiss-Angolan, is a successful entrepreneur and the founder of the African Innovation Foundation (AIF), a Swiss-based organization that promotes innovation and sustainable development for Africa. The African Innovation Foundation mobilizes innovators across the continent to release untapped potential in Africa, enhancing the way Africans live, work, and learn.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 — South Asia

Are Toilets and Bank Accounts Connected? In India, Yes

Source: Bloomberg

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to develop India includes creating toilet access for all 1.2 billion people and opening a bank account for every adult who doesn’t already have one.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

OPINION: Ebola and Irrational Exuberance for Social Impact Bonds and Social Enterprise

Source: Non-Profit Quarterly

The lack of preventative action against Ebola isn’t just market failure, and effective action against public health crises in West Africa are unlikely to be addressed by private investors putting money into social impact bonds.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

ExxonMobil fights malaria in Cameroon against backdrop of climate change

Source: Global Post

The fossil fuel giant is part of a public-private partnership with a complicated balance sheet.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

5 smart ways for the private sector and NGOs to tackle chronic diseases together

Source: Devex

It’s no secret that noncommunicable diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and asthma cause an increasing burden of death and disability in rich and poor countries alike. But few people are aware that 35 million people die from chronic diseases globally each year, and that number is expected to grow considerably over time.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

The future of healthcare: live-saving innovations for the bottom billion

Source: The Guardian

From India to Mexico, meet the innovators in open-heart surgery and palliative care developing unconventional health solutions
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Unilever Pledges to Help 25 Million People Gain Improved Access to Toilets

Source: Sustainable Brands

Today, at the Global Citizen Festival in New York’s Central Park, Unilever is announcing a commitment to help 25 million people gain improved access to toilets by 2020.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: TriLinc Global Impact Fund Makes Impact Investments in Kenya, South Africa and Argentina

Source: Business Wire

TriLinc Global Impact Fund announced today that it has approved a total of $9.9 million in trade finance facilities to a Kenyan, a South African and an Argentine company, bringing total financing commitments as of September 29, 2014 to $38.1 million for business expansion and socioeconomic development through its holdings in Latin America, Africa and Southeast Asia
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Crowdfunding Becomes Global Phenomenon

Source: Forbes

Crowdfunding itself is going viral around the globe. It seems that everywhere you look, crowdfunding is popping up in a big way. This is top of mind for me as I jump on a plane to Moscow to deliver a keynote address at CrowdMap ’14.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Indian government to offer life insurance with new bank accounts through financial inclusion scheme

Source: Economic Times India

The government will shortly announce the life insurance cover to be provided to the new bank accounts being opened under the Prime Minister's Jan Dhan Yojana, a top finance ministry official said today.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Green Divestment Movement Still in Its Infancy Despite Rockefeller Coup

Source: Philanthropy

In announcing last week that it would purge its portfolio of fossil fuel investments, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund did more than make a financial decision; it joined a movement.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 — South Asia

How Agent Orange helped spawn the Socially Responsible Investing movement

Source: Green Chip Stocks

Sustainable, socially responsible mutual funds would not exist without agent orange.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa: Landmark HIV Diagnostic Access Program Will Save $150m

Source: AllAfrica

Roche has announced a major Global Access Program to sharply lower the price of HIV viral load tests in low- and middle-income countries
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 — South Asia

UST Global unveils unique telemedicine mobile app, in collaboration with Nanavati Hospital

Source: The Health Site

Kerala’s largest IT employer UST Global, Monday, announced the release of an advanced telemedicine application, developed in collaboration with Mumbai-based Balabhai Nanavati Hospital’s telemedicine centre and BlackBerry India.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Bringing Solar Power To Remote Hospitals Is Saving Lives

Source: Fast CoExist

One startup working in Nepal learned that delivering high-quality health care often means having to innovate in unexpected ways--such as building new energy systems.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

Microfinance Struggling to find its feet in Middle East

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Microfinance has blossomed in recent years, helping fill a funding need for businesses too tiny and risky for traditional banks. Curiously perhaps, while microfinance has been a big hit across parts of Asia and South America, its start in the Middle East and North Africa hasn’t been as auspicious.
Monday, September 29, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

GE eyes expansion of healthcare and energy operations in SA

Source: Business Day

General Electric, which is supplying a total of 376 locomotives to Transnet, is looking for opportunities in other sectors in SA, such as healthcare and energy.
Monday, September 29, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Can We Rely on the Private Sector to Halt Malaria in Africa?

Source: Newsweek

NGOs are selling discount drugs directly to shopkeepers in hopes of quelling the parasitic disease.
Monday, September 29, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Scientists grapple with ethics in rush to release Ebola vaccines

Source: Reuters

Normally it takes years to prove a new vaccine is both safe and effective before it can be used in the field. But with hundreds of people dying a day in the worst ever outbreak of Ebola, there is no time to wait.
Monday, September 29, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How the private sector can pitch in to help combat Ebola

Source: Devex

While health workers on the ground continue to struggle to contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the United Nations, international nongovernmental organizations and other donors are appealing to the private sector for help.
Monday, September 29, 2014 — No Region Specified

The Argidius Foundation and the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs Announce Prize of One Million Euros

Source: Press Release

The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) and the Argidius Foundation—a charitable foundation promoting businesses as a way to mitigate poverty—have announced an award of one million euros ($1.27 million) to Investisseurs & Partenaires (I&P), an impact investment group dedicated to African small and growing businesses.
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Monday, September 29, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Financial Inclusion: Ecobank, MasterCard Enter New Card Deal

Source: Ventures Africa

Sequel to a multi-country licensing agreement made between MasterCard and Ecobank in January, both institutions have signed another deal that will see the use of MasterCard prepaid, debit and credit cards at Ecobank’s Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and Point of Sale (PoS) terminals in 28 African countries.
Monday, September 29, 2014 — South Asia

India's cooperative banks emerge from technological dark ages

Source: Live Mint

The National Informatics Centre cooperative core banking solutions aims to address some of the concerns of financial inclusion in rural areas.
Monday, September 29, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: Are the RBI and Indian government headed for a face-off?

Source: First Biz

The Modi government has ignored warning signals raised by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) about the way the Jan Dhan Yojana financial inclusion scheme is being implemented.
Monday, September 29, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ghana microfinance companies back licence-freeze

Source: Ghana Web

The Ghana Association of Microfinance Companies (GAMC) has backed moves by the central bank to put a limit on the number of operating permits that can be issued to microfinance companies.
Friday, September 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: How to Fund the Ebola Fight

Source: Epoch Times

To combat Ebola and other infectious diseases, the US could impose $3 tax on international air travel.
Friday, September 26, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ebola vaccine for West Africa still in Canada, 6 weeks after it was promised

Source: CBC News

The experimental Ebola vaccine that Canada promised to ship to West Africa to help fight the epidemic six weeks ago has yet to be shipped to West Africa a, says Dr. Gregory Taylor, the country's new chief public health officer.
Friday, September 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

At UN General Assembly, global health projects are big business

Source: Global Post

Leaders from 140 countries gathered this week at the UN General Assembly in New York City amid a set of global crises that include war in Iraq and Syria as well as Ebola in Africa.
Friday, September 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Unilever and USAID Call for a World-Wide Hygiene Intervention for Newborns

Source: CSR Wire

Handwashing with soap is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce preventable diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia, which are the main causes of child mortality.
Friday, September 26, 2014 — South Asia

Boom time for e-commerce in India; but customers face heightened risk of fraud

Source: Economic Times

As more Indians step up to make online payments, there is a proliferation of payment gateways and mobile wallets, many of which are facing the risk of being misused by unscrupulous merchants.
Friday, September 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why It’s Hard to Divest From Fossil Fuels (Even If You Want To)

Source: Time

Climate change activists are pushing for investors to get out of carbon polluters. What are the options for individuals using mutual funds?
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Vodacom “cautiously optimistic” that M-Pesa is better positioned to take off in South Africa

Source: ITWeb Online News

Mobile operator Vodacom is cautiously optimistic that itsMobile money offering, M-Pesa, is now better positioned to take off locally, after it failed to make much of an impression on the local market the first time around.
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — South Asia

Janalakshmi to lead investor rush into India’s microfinance sector

Source: Business Standard

After Janalakshmi's record-breaking deal, Indian MFI sector likely to raise Rs 2,000 crore in FY15
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: IIX announces CGI Commitment to Action on Women’s Impact Bond

Source: Asia IIX

Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX), a leader in social sector development through impact investing, recently announced its Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action on Women’s Impact Bond (WIB) at the 2014 CGI Annual Meeting.
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

What Needs To Happen For Impact Investing To Be The World-Changing Force It Could Be

Source: Fast CoExist

The idea of investing both for profit and social good has come a long way in the last few years, but the sector still has enormous potential to grow.
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mobile Technology Overcomes Barriers to Financial Inclusion for Women

Source: Huffington Post

This week more than 1,000 leaders across industry, government and academia have come together at Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) to discuss new approaches to address complex global challenges.
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

Experts: Population to Grow from 7 to 11 Billion

Source: Voice of America News

Our planet is home to about seven billion people. Since the 1990s, population experts have predicted the number would grow to ninebillion before it begins to slow down and possibly decrease.
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

Walmart Now Offering Low-Cost Mobile Checking Accounts

Source: TechCrunch

Apple Pay what again? Walmart is getting into the mobile banking space, the companyannounced this morning, through a partnership with financial services provider Green Dot Corporation.
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The gamification of global health: could a game change your bad habits?

Source: The Guardian

From the #StopEbola song to the Aids Fighter Pilot game in India, fun is proving to encourage healthier behaviours
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Red Cross team attacked while burying Ebola dead

Source: Yahoo! News

A Red Cross team was attacked while collecting bodies believed to be infected with Ebola in southeastern Guinea, the latest in a string of assaults that are hindering efforts to control West Africa's current outbreak.
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

Ebola vaccines could be available by end of year

Source: UPI

Promising vaccines, developed by U.S. and Canadian companies and agencies, could be ready for use by December.
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

Bill Clinton Rewards a Social Startup and Resolves a Minor Health Crisis in the Same Night

Source: BusinessWeek

A team of students from the Indian School of Business left a Times Square Sheraton Tuesday night with $1 million to help them improve access to health care in low-income neighborhoods and with this year’s Hult Prize, which former U.S. President Bill Clinton awards annually to a team of student social entrepreneurs.
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

Multinationals reaffirm commitment to BoP business with BCtA

Source: The Guardian

Inclusive business has continued to flourish with the growth of new enterprises that serve the bottom of the pyramid
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 — South Asia

Health insurers offer Nano price

Source: The Times of India

With increased penetration of government health insurance schemes like RSBY ( Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana) coupled with private hospitals building capacity across the country, health insurers are also looking at smaller markets.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ebola drug trials to be fast-tracked in West Africa

Source: Reuters

Experimental Ebola drugs including compounds from Mapp Biopharmaceutical, Sarepta and Tekmira will be tested in affected West African states for the first time in a bid to fast-track trials, the Wellcome Trust said on Tuesday.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Major donors launch new fund to support innovation

Source: Devex

For some time now, major bilateral donors have been working independently to fund innovations and support startups, but a group of them announced Tuesday a new fund where they will pool capital to spur creative, pioneering interventions to tackle global development challenges.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Project to develop room-temperature storage for fragile biologics

Source: Lab Product News

A project at McMaster University is receiving $112,000 in seed funding from Grand Challenges Canada ... (to) adapt an existing technology to make vaccines for deadly illnesses more affordable and available for use in resource-poor areas.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Bank of America Announces $10 Billion Catalytic Finance Initiative to Accelerate Clean Energy Investments

Source: UNEP.org

New York, 23 September 2014 - Bank of America today announced a Catalytic Finance Initiative, designed to stimulate at least $10 billion of new investment into high-impact clean energy projects.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

IMF unveils results of global financial access survey

Source: The Guardian, Nigeria

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has unveiled the result of its 2014 Financial Access Survey (FAS), which is aimed at mapping the global financial inclusion strategy.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why the Rockefellers are betting on renewable energy

Source: The Week

Sure, it's mostly symbolic. But the global energy business is also on the cusp of a dramatic transformation.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 — Latin America

PRESS RELEASE: Accion Acquires 10 Percent Stake in Peruvian Microfinance Institution Credinka

Source: Accion

Boston, MA and Lima, Peru, September 24, 2014 – Accion, a leader in microfinance, today announced its purchase of a 10 percent stake in Peruvian microfinance institution Credinka from majority stake holder Diviso Grupo Financiero.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: CGAP CEO Ehrbeck Will Join Omidyar Network As Partner

Source: Press Release

Omidyar Network today announced that Tilman Ehrbeck will join the philanthropic investment firm as a partner. Based in Washington D.C., Ehrbeck will oversee Omidyar Network's Financial Inclusion, Impact Investing, and Property Rights initiatives. Omidyar Network Managing Partner Matt Bannick made the announcement during the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ebola Death Rate 70 Percent, WHO Says in Dire New Forecast

Source: NBC News

World Health Organization researchers issued a dire new forecast for the Ebola epidemic Tuesday, one that sees 20,000 cases by November, much sooner than previous estimates. And 70 percent of patients are dying.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Use of Thin SIM technology approved in Kenya

Source: HumanIPO

The use of thin SIM technology has been approved in Kenya paving way for new Mobile Virtual Networks Operators (MVNOs) to use them for new services among them mobile money transfer.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Sorry, Kids, Changing the World Takes More Than a Killer App

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

On Wednesday, Bill Clinton will present the Hult Prize at the Clinton Global Initiative meetings in New York. The $1 million award will go to a team of young social entrepreneurs with a business idea to improve lives in developing countries.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

IESE Launches an MBA Elective in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Source: FindMBA

New course reflects a growing commitment by business schools to address the unique needs of social enterprises
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — South Asia

Tata announces social enterprise challenge

Source: Times of India

The Tata Group has announced the commencement of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge (TSEC) 2014-15, a joint initiative with the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C), to find India's most promising early-stage social enterprises.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — South Asia

Big Data enables us to reach the bottom of the pyramid: TTSL CIO

Source: Indian Express

Tata Teleservices has become one of the first companies in India to harness big data to bolster its legal and regulatory operational requirements.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: British government and Unilever join forces to help world’s poor

Source: Press Release

Justine Greening has signed a joint letter of intent with Unilever CEO Paul Polman, committing to a new partnership.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Multinational Companies Court Lower-Income Consumers

Source: The New York Times

When General Electric engineers here wanted to develop a more affordable baby warmer for India’s small, private hospitals, they initially replaced the fat, rubberized wheels standard on high-end models with smaller metal ones. They figured it was a quick, easy way to cut costs.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

GE Foundation Expands ImPACT Africa program to Address Critical Shortage of Health Workers in Kenya

Source: Yahoo! Finance

The GE Foundation announced today a new Commitment to Action with the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) to expand the ImPACT (Improving Perioperative & Anesthetic Care Training) Africa program in Kenya.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

For Social Enterprises, The Bottom Line is Impact: Four Lessons About Investing in Social Businesses

Source: Huffington Post

Despite Cambodia's rapid economic growth driven by strong exports, private investment and a growing agricultural industry, nearly one in five Cambodians live below the international poverty line.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

M-Kopa Solar Powers Up 100,000th Home in East Africa

Source: AllAfrica

M-KOPA Solar announced on Friday that it has powered up to 100,000 homes in Kenya and Uganda within two years of its commercial launch.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — South Asia

Why isn't the Reserve Bank of India excited about Modi's financial inclusion scheme?

Source: Scroll.in

The central bank warned last week that a faulty rollout could create more problems than it could fix.
Monday, September 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

Multinational Companies Court Lower-Income Consumers

Source: The New York Times

For years, multinational companies had little interest in lower-end consumers, figuring no money was to be made. Now, they are increasingly attractive to all types of industries, from consumer product makers to technology businesses.
Monday, September 22, 2014 — South Asia

Gates Foundation to Aid India in ‘Toilets For All’ Program

Source: India West

The Urban Development Ministry and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have agreed on a partnership to promote user-friendly toilets to ensure universal sanitation in the country.
Monday, September 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

Source: Voice of America

President Barack Obama heads to the United Nations General Assembly this week with two missions: to rally international support for a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria and to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa.
Monday, September 22, 2014 — South Asia

Jumpstarting Indian Startups Serving The Bottom Of The Pyramid

Source: Forbes

There’s a dearth of seed-stage funding for social enterprises in developing countries, a situation known as the “pioneer gap.” That’s why Will Poole and Dave Richards co-founded Unitus Seed Fund about two years ago and, recently, announced an agreement with the U.S. Global Development Lab, a new enterprise within USAID, to jumpstart the early-stage impact startup ecosystem in India.
Monday, September 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

JPMorgan Chase to spend $35m on promoting financial inclusion

Source: Finextra

This commitment builds on the efforts of the Financial Solutions LabSM, a separate five-year, $30 million program developed earlier this year by JPMorgan Chase and the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), to identify, test and scale innovative financial products and services to improve financial security.
Monday, September 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

Half the world will online by 2017

Source: BizTech Africa

Over 50% of the global population will have Internet access within three years’ time, with mobile broadband over smartphones and tablets now the fastest growing technology in human history, according to the 2014 edition of the State of Broadband report.
Monday, September 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

Yak's wool social enterprise launched to rival cashmere

Source: The Telegraph

Tengri, a new high-end fashion label using yak’s wool, has released its first range of ethical woollens. The brand aims to shake the dominance of cashmere clothing with its alternative soft fabric. Founded by Nancy Johnston, a former charity worker, in March this year, Tengri seeks to highlight the plight of Mongolian yak herders, many of whom can no longer make a living from their traditional, nomadic lifestyle.
Monday, September 22, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Indonesia's Financial Services Authority plans cap on microcredit interest rates, banks on alert

Source: The Jakarta Post

Indonesia's Financial Services Authority plans to set a cap on microcredit rates this year, a move that would put domestic lenders on alert as micro-lending has been seen as the most profitable credit segment.
Monday, September 22, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

OPINION: Safaricom, Equity Bank thin SIM wars a distraction that should not drag on

Source: Standard Digital

Nairobi; Kenya: The dispute pitting Safaricom against Equity Bank over the latter’s plans to offer mobile money transfer services is unnecessary and should not be allowed to drag on.
Monday, September 22, 2014 — South Asia

Gates Foundation offers to help monitor India's ambitious financial inclusion scheme

Source: Economic Times

NEW DELHI: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has offered to help in monitoring of the progress made with regard to Pradhan Mantri Jan-Dhan Yojana, the flagship financial inclusion scheme of India's government.
Friday, September 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Wireless sensor warns if vaccines get too hot

Source: SciDev.Net

A wireless sensor that sends text message alerts to healthcare workers could help better protect temperature-sensitive vaccines and provide crucial data on storage, transport and distribution infrastructures in developing nations, according to its inventors.
Friday, September 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

5 Techy Solutions for Health Systems

Source: Impact Magazine

There's a shortage of doctors, nurses and midwives worldwide, so there's a need to make the most of those currently in the field. Here are several ways to do that.
Friday, September 19, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

UN announces mission to combat Ebola, declares outbreak ‘threat to peace and security’

Source: UN News Centre

The Security Council, in its first emergency meeting on a public health crisis, declared the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a threat to peace and security and announced that the United Nations will deploy a new emergency health mission.
Friday, September 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why the U.S. Lags the World in Mobile Payments

Source: Time

Many American consumers are beyond excited by the prospect of Apple Pay, but overseas the iPhone's latest feature is old news.
Friday, September 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

The Role of Private Sector Investment in Climate Change

Source: Huffington Post

Assuming countries across the world can muster the political will to actually make bold, sustained commitments to ending poverty, providing decent jobs, providing universal health coverage, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, there is still the question of how to pay for it.
Friday, September 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Don't Grow For Growth's Sake: Smart Growth For Social Enterprises

Source: Fast CoExist

“How small can I stay, while still driving big, transformative impact?” It’s an exciting question some social entrepreneurs are now asking themselves as they consider how to turn a good idea into a scalable solution.
Friday, September 19, 2014 — Latin America

MasterCard and Bansefi to drive financial inclusion in Mexico

Source: Finextra

MasterCard and BANSEFI, the social bank of Mexico, announced a partnership to foster financial inclusion in Mexico through the disbursement of social benefits using electronic payments.
Thursday, September 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The black market for Ebola survivors’ blood

Source: The Washington Post

Blood from Ebola survivors is rich with antibodies against the deadly virus, and since there is currently no approved drug to fight it, some have become desperate enough to take fate into their own hands and turn to the black market for an experimental serum made with survivors' blood.
Thursday, September 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

OPINION: Making African Health Care Radically Cheaper

Source: Harvard Business Review

In sub-Saharan Africa, there are three important ways disruptive innovations can democratize health systems: improving health record-keeping, widening drug access and building patient trust.
Thursday, September 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

African depositors grew fivefold since 2004 according to IMF Financial Access Survey

Source: CPI Financial

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) survey revealed that among African countries reporting data on commercial bank depositors, depositors per 1,000 adults experienced a fivefold increase from 2004 to 2013, while simultaneously achieving a 40-percent growth in real GDP per capita.
Thursday, September 18, 2014 — Latin America

IDB Launches USD $500 Million Education, Youth and Employment Bond

Source: 3BL Media

Citi priced a $500 million four-year Education, Youth and Employment (EYE) bond on behalf of The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB or IADB) on Tuesday – a first-of-its-kind investment vehicle, created with the support of Citi Microfinance.
Thursday, September 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

WHO: $1 billion needed to keep Ebola infections within the ‘tens of thousands’

Source: The Washington Post

The World Health Organization is pleading for a global investment of nearly $1 billion to fight the spread of Ebola, warning that the amount is merely the minimum needed to keep infections of the deadly virus "within the tens of thousands."
Thursday, September 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: Bata Shoe Foundation Announces $25,000 in Award Funding for Young Entrepreneurs

Source: Press Release

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Thomas J. Bata, the Thomas J. Bata Legacy Award will support responsible entrepreneurship in emerging markets
Thursday, September 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom prepares for battle, sets date for new Mpesa network

Source: Standard Digital

The stage is set for deployment of Safaricom’s long-awaited new M-Pesa system, raising stakes in the ongoing battle between the mobile phone service provider and a slew of new entrants in the mobile money transfer business, led by Equity Bank.
Thursday, September 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Free mobile money transactions from Airtel to boost Rwanda's financial inclusion drive

Source: All Africa

The government's efforts geared at ensuring that all Rwandans access financial services have been boosted by Airtel Rwanda, which has scrapped charges on Airtel Money service transactions.
Thursday, September 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Devastating Economic Impact of Ebola

Source: Undispatch

As the Ebola crisis continues to take a toll on people’s lives and livelihoods in West Africa, the focus is increasingly not just on the health aspects of the crisis, but also on its social and economic consequences.
Thursday, September 18, 2014 — South Asia

India Must Fix Its Drug Quality Problem

Source: Forbes

India’s newly elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi just launched his first official tour of the United States.
Thursday, September 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Orange Money links up with Bank of Africa for mobile banking

Source: Finextra

Wireless operator Orange has integrated its mobile Money platform with the Bank of Africa, enabling users to perform basic banking transactions with their handsets.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mobilizing against TB

Source: Phys.org

Every year, more than one million people around the world die from tuberculosis, a disease that has been treatable and preventable for decades.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Japanese Global Health Fund awards $33.5 million to develop vaccines, drugs for neglected diseases

Source: EurekAlert!

The Global Health Innovative Technology Fund (GHIT Fund), a new public health partnership that is bringing Japanese know-how and investment to the global fight against infectious diseases, today announced seven grant investments totaling US$15.3 million to speed the development of promising drugs and vaccines to battle three insect-borne diseases—malaria, dengue and Chagas disease.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwandans Balk at Price of Improved Cooking Stoves

Source: Voice of America

A campaign to persuade people in Rwanda to buy a new improved type of cooking stove - which uses less fuel and is less smoky - hasn't succeeded, according to the stoves' manufacturers.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

Dozens of children feared dead after being injected with 'tainted’ measles vaccine in Syria

Source: The Telegraph

As many as 36 children were reported to have died excruciating deaths last night after receiving tainted measles vaccines under a UN-sponsored programme in the rebel-held north of Syria.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Malaysia to Send 20M Latex Gloves to West Africa

Source: Voice of America News

Malaysia will send more than 20 million medical rubber gloves to five African nations battling the deadly Ebola virus, addressing a crucial shortage faced by overwhelmed health workers, the country's Prime Minister Najib Razak announced on Monday.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

How Telcos, MTOs and Banks Could Crash over Remittances

Source: PYMNTS.com

Hugo Cuevas-Mohr shares insights gleaned from his work with money transfer professionals from all over the world about the remittance market, the role of traditional players, banks and telcos and who has the edge as this $500 billion industry evolves.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

To Grow Impact Investing, Focus on Multilingual Leadership

Source: Huffington Post

September 15, 2014, will be remembered for the release of a seminal report on impact investing, care of an international taskforce backed by eight country advisory boards and four topical working groups.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

A Day in the Life of the Unbanked Consumer — And How Mobile Can Help

Source: ReCode

To fully understand the effect that mobile payment technology is having on our world, let’s take a look at a day in the life of individuals who are oceans apart but have one thing in common: No bank account.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

How Millennials Will Change the Face of Philanthropy

Source: Diplomatic Courier

Millennials are expected to be the core beneficiaries of a coming $30 trillion transfer of wealth between generations, according to Accenture’s report on the “Greater Wealth Transfer.” This will impact philanthropy, investments, and possibly even global financial markets.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 — South Asia

Foreign investors chasing bigger gains by investing in Indian microfinance institutions

Source: Economic Times

Instead of raising their holdings in companies such as HDFC Bank and IDFC, the infrastructure lender which is turning into a bank, investors are chasing India's profitable microfinance institutions.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Social value networks join up to create ‘international force for change’

Source: The SROI Network

Two of the most established and respected social impact organisations are joining forces to create the largest international social value network in the world.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Fight Against Ebola Outbreak Is 4 Months Behind Where It Should Be: Aid Expert

Source: Huffington Post

National governments and health organizations around the world are scrambling to overcome lapses in leadership and logistical issues to turn around a worsening Ebola crisis in West Africa. According to one aid expert, relief efforts are roughly four months behind schedule.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Pioneering a New Financial Instrument to Help Combat Climate Change

Source: World Bank

To help keep finance flowing to projects that combat climate change, the World Bank and partners are developing an innovative pilot program that allows project developers and financiers to compete in an online auction to deliver the largest number of emissions reductions at the lowest cost.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 — Latin America

Philip Morris Sues Uruguay Over Graphic Cigarette Packaging

Source: NPR

Shopping for cigarettes in Uruguay isn't a pleasant experience. Photos of decaying teeth, premature babies and gruesome hospital scenes wrap around every pack. In fact, the country requires manufacturers to cover at least 80 percent of the packaging with medical warnings and graphic images.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Where to, when mobile money reaches critical mass?

Source: BusinessTech

M-money services take-up has taken time, but as it passes the “critical mass” moment, two things begin to happen, writes Russel Southwood.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 — South Asia

Reserve Bank of India governor cautions Modi government on speed of financial inclusion scheme

Source: FirstBiz

Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan’s warning to sarakari banks, on a hunt to win maximum number of bank accounts in minimum days to make Narendra Modi government’s flagship financial inclusion scheme Jan Dhan Yojana a success, reflects the regulator’s concern on the way government using state-run banks to push its populist agenda overlooking prudential norms.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The MasterCard Foundation: Access to Financial Services in Africa Can Transform Lives

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

“Greater financial inclusion is correlated with higher living standards, better health outcomes, higher education levels, and an overall improvement in well-being,” explained Ann Miles, Director of Financial Inclusion at The MasterCard Foundation.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Bill Gates focused on digital payment for poor

Source: PYMNTS

Though there has been a lot of talk and media coverage about the tremendous potential mobile payments offer to the poor, underbanked and financially disenfranchised around the world–minus a few bright spots (M-Pesa) the progress of mobile in bridging the gap between the banked and unbanked has been slow going.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 — South Asia

Climate smart farmers get tech savvy to save India's bread basket

Source: Reuters

Erratic weather, rising temperatures, declining water resources and labour shortages are threatening India's bread basket state of Haryana, forcing farmers to abandon age-old practices and adopt technology to ensure food supplies for millions.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Amex to Crowdsource Financial-Inclusion Ideas from Academics

Source: American Banker

It's like the opposite of "Not Invented Here" Syndrome.
Monday, September 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile technology supports frontline health workers

Source: SciDev.Net

South Africa’s standard paper-based health system is inefficient and ineffective. Through Mobenzi, workers can organise patient data centrally and swiftly. It allows illness identification and treatment, referrals, and patient interaction.
Monday, September 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Johnson & Johnson Announces New Grant to Harvard Medical School to Combat Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis

Source: Press release

Johnson & Johnson today announced its affiliate Janssen Pharmaceutica NV (Janssen) has entered into a novel collaboration with Harvard Medical School to address critical gaps in the global struggle against tuberculosis (TB).
Monday, September 15, 2014 — No Region Specified

Notts company Eminate aims to improve global health with new ingredients

Source: Nottingham Post

After achieving global success with a salt-reduction product, a Nottingham company is working on new ingredients which could improve health.
Monday, September 15, 2014 — No Region Specified

G8 report sheds light on the process of building the impact investing market

Source: The Economist

A G8 task force on impact investing published a report on September 15th, with its recommendations on how to push forward the market.
Monday, September 15, 2014 — No Region Specified

Morgan Stanley Adds ‘Impact’ Portfolios in Brokerage

Source: Bloomberg

Morgan Stanley (MS), which has set a goal of attracting $10 billion of client assets to sustainable investing products over the next few years, is adding two such portfolios for its wealth-management customers.
Monday, September 15, 2014 — South Asia

USAID is incubating start-ups to tackle poverty problems

Source: The Los Angeles Times

With his nifty PowerPoint slides and carefully crafted pitch, Yashraj Khaitan might be mistaken for any other fast-talking, code-savvy Bay Area millennial boasting that he has hit on the idea to solve a vexing world problem. Yet, in Khaitan's case, some very influential people in Washington think he may be right. The federal government agency charged with easing world hunger and poverty has bet a million dollars on Khaitan's tiny start-up. It is among a handful of companies that the US Agency for International Development is looking to as it seeks to upend the way aid agencies go about trying to improve living conditions in some of the world's most deeply impoverished places.
Monday, September 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya MPs to rule on Equity Mobile Virtual Network Operator services

Source: East African Business Week

Equity Bank will have to wait a little longer before rolling out its Mobile Virtual Network Operator services in Kenya.
Monday, September 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria: Massive Response to Historic Mobile Money Network

Source: All Africa

Hundreds of residents have thronged meetings and training sessions organized for prospective sales agents for the country's first super mobile money network.
Friday, September 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

WHO to Start New Global Health Initiative For Needle Safety

Source: TIME

At the TEDMED conference in Washington, DC, Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, assistant director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), revealed that the organization will announce its third-ever global health initiative and policy in October. The initiative this time is around needle safety
Friday, September 12, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Glaxo’s Ebola Vaccine and the Rise of Tropical-Disease R&D

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Financial arguments may finally be leading Big Pharma to increase its minuscule investment in research and development of new drugs for tropical diseases.
Friday, September 12, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Rise And Rise Of Mobile Money

Source: Leadership

Mobile Money transactions are gradually taking off in Nigeria after a very slow start due to inability to fully comprehend the scheme, lack of technology by those licensed to operate it and low level of the awareness by the public.
Friday, September 12, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Millicom debuts automatic m-wallet interest payments in Tanzania

Source: Mobile World Live

Millicom claimed a world first after launching a mobile money service in Tanzania which offers users the opportunity to automatically earn a return on their balance direct to their wallet without the need for a separate registration.
Friday, September 12, 2014 — South Asia

Card payment network RuPay sees boost from Indian government's financial inclusion scheme

Source: Business Today

The Indian government's financial inclusion drive to expand banking services in the country is giving a boost to home-grown card payment network RuPay.
Friday, September 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

BlackBerry acquires virtual SIM startup Movirtu, plans to support ‘all major smartphone operating systems’

Source: The Next Web

BlackBerry today announced it has acquired Movirtu, a UK startup that allows multiple numbers to be active on a single device.
Thursday, September 11, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: World Bank Group’s billion dollar private sector health initiative in Africa is failing to reach the poor

Source: Oxfam

A billion-dollar flagship scheme to support private sector-led health care in Africa is bypassing poor people and concentrating instead on high-end urban hospitals catering mainly for the rich.
Thursday, September 11, 2014 — South Asia

Next generation of microfinance: Leveraging Indonesian experience

Source: The Jakarta Post

The history of microfinance institutions in Indonesia dates back more than 100 years.
Thursday, September 11, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Merck adds to African m-health

Source: ITWeb Africa

Merck, a German-based pharmaceutical company, has added to a growing amount of mobile-health (m-health) programmes across Africa, channelling efforts to boost SMS-based support systems to help diabetic patients manage their condition.
Thursday, September 11, 2014 — South Asia

Uber in talks with firms to integrate digital wallet in India

Source: Economic Times India

Global taxi-hailing company Uber is in talks with firms providing digital wallets and payment gateways in India as it looks to become compliant with local regulations.
Thursday, September 11, 2014 — South Asia

The Man Who Feeds 1.2 Million Kids A Day

Source: Fast CoExist

Running a massive school meals program that feeds malnourished kids, Manoj Kumar is on a mission to show how entrepreneurs can make real inroads in tackling India's age-old social problems.
Thursday, September 11, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Gates Foundation Commits $50 Million to Fight Ebola

Source: Voice of America News

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation says it is committing $50 million to help combat the growing Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Thursday, September 11, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

OPINION: There Are Far Higher Public Health Priorities For Africa Than Ebola

Source: Forbes

In a world of limited healthcare resources, we need to make hard decisions that will deliver high-impact outcomes for the most people at the least cost. Giving the WHO an additional half-billion dollars to curb Ebola virus infections would be a poor choice.
Thursday, September 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Three Lessons on Impact Investing: Reflections from Batman and Robin

Source: Forbes

After our panel last week at the Social Capital Markets (SOCAP) conference in San Francisco, a colleague tweeted a photoshopped image of me and Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of Nonprofit Finance Fund, as Batman and Robin, respectively.
Thursday, September 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Alliance for Financial Inclusion Reveals New Home in Malaysia and New Funding Partner With Omidyar

Source: Market Wired

AFI announced today that Malaysia, represented by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), will be the new host country for the Alliance for Financial Inclusion.
Thursday, September 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Aindra Systems Gets Backing by Villgro, the Social Enterprise Incubator

Source: PR Newswire

Aindra Systems, an early-stage startup, has secured backing by Villgro, the Social Enterprise Incubator focused on funding startups having a social impact.
Thursday, September 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why This VC Firm Thinks B Corporations Are A Good Investment

Source: Fast CoExist

The Collaborative Fund believes that B Corp social good certification is a signal that startups are making decisions that are better in the long term.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

African Nations Working to Lift Ebola Travel Bans

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Some African countries have agreed to lift travel bans on people arriving from Ebola-hit nations, the African Union's top official said on Monday, in a step to ease the economic pain the virus has brought to the continent.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 — Latin America

Coca-Cola Life Markets As 'Healthy Coke' In South America: Is It Really Better For You?

Source: Latin Times

Coca-Cola Co. is introducing Coca-Cola Life -- a mid-calorie cola that was released in Argentina and Chile last year -- to the Mexican market in September. Each 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola life contains half the calories of a regular Coke, with 64 calories and 16 grams of sugar. According to the Wall Street Journal, the product has tested well (in both flavor and concept) with Mexicans.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 — South Asia

Nepal's entrepreneurs healing blindness among poor

Source: ShanghaiDaily.com

Many villagers are not aware of how easily cataract can be treated or cured," said Suraj Shrestha, CEO at Anthropose, a Nepal-based enterprise. "The thing that appalls me the most is how people superstitiously believe that cataract is a curse from God. This needs to change," the entrepreneur told Xinhua on Sunday.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 — South Asia

Four reasons why Modi's toilet obsession is good for India

Source: Scroll.in

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swach Bharat scheme aims to eliminate open defecation by constructing toilets in every household by 2019. No one doubts the need for the programme. Close to 48% of India’s urban population has no access to toilets. In rural areas, the number stands at 60%.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 — South Asia

India's Bandhan Bank's plans to usher in a new model in financial inclusion

Source: The Hindu Businessline

Bandhan will start its journey with 600 branches. The microfinance company’s existing 2,016 offices will operate as sub-branches, each having an army of salaried field staff to take banking to the villages.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

LeapFrog raises $400 million for social impact investments in Asia, Africa

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - LeapFrog Investments, a private equity firm backed by George Soros and JP Morgan, said it has raised $400 million for socially responsible investments in Asia and Africa - the largest ever for a fund specializing in low-income emerging market financial services.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Investing to Make a Difference Is Gaining Ground

Source: New York Times

Interest in impact investing, which has been around for more than a decade, is growing and changing. Some $3.74 trillion, or 11 percent, of total United States assets under management were placed in sustainable investments in 2012.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya’s BRCK ships over 600 devices

Source: BizTech Africa

Kenyan-developed modem-cum-router BRCK has shipped over 600 devices to 45 countries since it was launched with the goal of providing internet connectivity in off-grid rural areas.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Globacom’s new direction for mobile money development in Nigeria

Source: Business Day Online

Globacom is in a renewed push to scale up mobile money services in Nigeria, through the formation of a new partnership ecosystem, comprising of leading financial services companies, and a robust nationwide agent network.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

CREO Investors Pledge $300 Million for Environmental Impact

Source: Huffington Post

Nearly a dozen wealthy families are announcing today that they have committed to invest a combined $300 million over five years in commercial ventures in the areas of climate, energy, health, food and sustainability.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 — No Region Specified

M-Pesa To Monitise: How Necessity Is Pushing FinTech Innovation From Africa To The UK

Source: Forbes

Necessity is often said to be the driver of innovation. Nowhere is this clearer than with the mobile-phone based money transfer and microfinancing service, M-Pesa, in Kenya, wherein the need to provide financial services to the under-banked population resulted in a truly transformative fintech solution.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya’s telecom regulator moves to increase competition in money transfer business

Source: Standard Digital News

Communications Authority of Kenya ( CAK) has said it will not reverse its decision to allow Equity Bank to introduce mobile money transfer services despite protests from integrated communications service provider, Safaricom.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 — Latin America

Mexico summit pledges to serve microfinance clients better

Source: The Daily Star

The 17th Microcredit Summit held in Merida, Mexico, last week discussed ways to better serve the next generation of clients and promote client-centred microfinance.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 — No Region Specified

These Off Grid Solar Lights Are Made By The Communities Who Use Them

Source: Fast CoExist

Liter of Light works with women's cooperatives to make solar lights from simple parts, instead of sending them solar lights that don't work the way they want them.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 — Latin America

Dengue fever vaccine shown to be significantly effective in Latin America clinical studies

Source: Vaccine News Daily

Sanofi Pasteur announced last week that it has completed the third phase of its clinical study for a vaccine candidate in Latin America aimed at eliminating dengue fever.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 — No Region Specified

Harvard Receives Largest-Ever Donation

Source: NPR

A $350 million gift pledged to Harvard University's School of Public Health is the largest single donation in the university's long history, officials said, and will help bolster research in several key areas including global pandemics.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mobile Payments Pioneer: I’m Betting on Bitcoin For Emerging Markets

Source: CoinDesk

For mobile payments pioneer and venture capitalist Carol Realini, the financial world is divided into three camps: those who believe in bitcoin, those who don’t understand it and those have yet to consider or study its technology.
Monday, September 8, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Unexpected players entering the telecoms space in Africa

Source: How We Made it in Africa

New developments in Africa’s technology industry show how technology is disrupting the way business is being done on the continent.
Monday, September 8, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

New ID Card Scheme: Breaking the Barrier to Financial Inclusion in Nigeria

Source: This Day Live

The burden of providing valid means of identification that has alienated some segments of the society from deriving benefits and value from the nation’s financial system and other initiatives will become history with the National Electronic Identity Card, reports Festus Akanbi
Monday, September 8, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom and Equity take Row over Thin SIM to Parliament

Source: Standard Digital

Kenya’s biggest mobile network operator, Safaricom, and biggest bank in terms of customer base and reach, Equity Bank, appeared before a House committee on their push and pull over Equity’s bid to offer mobile money services.
Monday, September 8, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Omidyar Network leads Series B funding in Cignifi

Source: Reuters

Cignifi, which has developed a platform to provide credit and marketing scores for people using mobile phone behavior data, has closed a Series B funding round led by existing investor Omidyar Network.
Monday, September 8, 2014 — No Region Specified

Governments must do more to grow impact investing - G8 taskforce chair Cohen

Source: Trust.org

Governments need to create policies that help to accelerate the growth of investing for profit and social good, the head of a task force set up by the world's richest nations to boost impact investing said.
Monday, September 8, 2014 — South Asia

Social enterprise Incubator Villgro invests in three start-ups

Source: Economic Times

Social enterprise Incubator Villgro has invested in three startups, marking its first set of funding this fiscal year. It is targeting to invest in 25-30 more startups by the end of the fiscal year. Ujjeewan Healthcare, Aindra Systems and Scholowiz Educational Solutions, all early-stage companies, have secured funding from Villgro.
Monday, September 8, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nudging towards financial inclusion in India

Source: Financial Express

The Indian government recently launched a massive financial inclusion program with a view to improve access to formal finance. In this context, it is crucial to understand not only the importance of universal access to formal finance, but also the effective ways of achieving the same.
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