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Our Staff Writers and Editors offer insights on the latest news, events, interviews and other happenings from the development through enterprise and base of the pyramid universes
Friday, November 21, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

LeapFrog Set To Acquire East African Health Insurance Firm For $18m

Source: Ventures

LeapFrog Investments and Resolution Insurance announced today, that LeapFrog intends to invest $18.7 million for a majority stake in Resolution Insurance,through its holding company, Resolution Health East Africa Limited.
Friday, November 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Explaining pneumonia’s big global decline on a tiny budget

Source: Humanosphere

There appears to be a disconnect between the global burden of pneumonia and how much money is spent on attempting to reduce this burden, which Humanosphere recently summed up as: Pneumonia leads in killing children, but not in global health financing.
Friday, November 21, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Access Bank, Airtel Team Up To Launch Nigeria’s Newest Mobile Money Service

Source: Ventures Africa

Nigeria’s fourth largest bank, Access Bank Plc, has signed a deal with Airtel Nigeria that will see its mobile money service run on the network of the mobile operator. The collaboration is aimed at boosting financial inclusion in the country.
TAGS:banking
Friday, November 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Agora Fund Will Bring Rigor of Investing to Philanthropy

Source: Agora Fund

Innovative new social enterprise will work with donors and nonprofits to apply the rigor, transparency and ease of a for-profit investment platform to the world of charitable giving.
Friday, November 21, 2014 — Europe & Eurasia

Africa's mobile money makes its way to Europe with M-Pesa

Source: CNN

Snapchat may be the latest application with a new mobile payment feature launched this week, but the idea that made Snapcash possible was spawned more than seven years ago in Africa.
Thursday, November 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

Philips and SNV collaborate to increase access to clean, efficient cooking solutions for communities in Africa

Source: Press Release

Royal Philips and the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation (http://www.snvworld.org), will be working together to improve access to clean cooking solutions in Africa by introducing clean and efficient household cook stoves to rural communities across the continent. The partnership aims to improve the health and well-being and income of rural populations while having a direct positive impact on the environment and will include research, community education and access to financing for adopting clean cooking technologies.
Thursday, November 20, 2014 — South Asia

Indian MFIs’ gross loan portfolio rose 47% in Q2 FY15

Source: VC Circle

The loan portfolio in south comprise a third of total.
Thursday, November 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

U.S. managed assets with socially responsible criteria rise

Source: Reuters

The share of U.S. managed assets invested with environmental, social or similar criteria rose 50 percent over the past two years, a foundation that tracks the field said, because of new disclosure standards and client concern about areas like climate change.
Thursday, November 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

500 Startups’ $10M fund will invest in mobile health in India, China, Africa

Source: MedCity News

A $10 million micro fund that will make investments in early and growth stage mobile startups, including mobile health, got started this week.
Thursday, November 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

Wish Foundation plans to raise $100 mn for health innovators

Source: Business Standard

Foundation seeks to reach 10 mn under-served people, ties up with Rajasthan govt to offer 11 low-cost health innovations
Thursday, November 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

How China is reshaping global development finance

Source: DW

The BRICS Development Bank, the AIIB and the Silk Road Fund – recent initiatives spearheaded by China that symbolize its growing influence in development funding and potential new sources of financing, says Rajiv Biswas.
Thursday, November 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

10 Things You Need To Know About Social And Environmental Investing

Source: Malaysian Digest

Responsible investing has undergone a radical shift, investors are demanding more of their financial advisors, and regulators are struggling to keep up, say experts.
Thursday, November 20, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MTN Uganda, Ericsson team up on mobile money service

Source: ITWeb Africa

Ericsson has announced that MTN Uganda has deployed the Ericsson Converged Wallet platform, enabling the operator to quickly introduce relevant, new and differentiated mobile financial services offerings for seven million MTN Uganda mobile wallet users and 50,000 agents
Thursday, November 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Déjà Rule: The Health Damaging Consequences of Reinstating the Global Gag Rule in 2015

Source: The Huffington Post

This year, the Foreign Operations Bill proposed by the House of Representatives includes the restoration of $300 million in funding for the successful President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which has been chronically underfunded in recent years.
Thursday, November 20, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tanzania Leads Africa in Financial Inclusion

Source: AllAfrica

TANZANIA is the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa and ninth globally for demonstrating most conducive environments for financial inclusion, according to the new Global Microscope 2014 by The Economist Intelligence Unit.
Thursday, November 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

Gilead Buys Shortcut For FDA Drug Review For $125 Million

Source: NPR

How much is a fast track for the Food and Drug Administration review of a new drug worth? Try $125 million.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Guy Who Delivers HIV Medicine On His Bicycle

Source: NPR

Sizwe Nzima was sitting in a clinic waiting for his grandparents' HIV medicine four years ago when he had an idea: Why not start an HIV medicine delivery service?
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 — South Asia

This Indian start-up could disrupt health care with its powerful and affordable diagnostic machine

Source: The Washington Post

Frustrated at the lack of interest by the medical establishment in reducing the costs of diagnostic testing, Kanav Kahol returned home to New Delhi in 2011 and built a prototype of a device called the Swasthya Slate (which translates to “Health Tablet”) in less than three months, for a cost of $11,000.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Telemedicine trend continues with new Nigerian mobile initiative

Source: Business Monitor

A joint telemedicine initiative between Apollo Hospitals and African telecoms company Airtel will expand access to health services for many Nigerian mobile subscribers.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: CFSI Identifies Household Cash Flow as the Focus for its First Innovation Challenge

Source: Business Wire

The Financial Solutions Lab at the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) today announced that household liquidity, the management and alignment of income and expenses, will be the focus of its first innovation challenge.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: Upaya, Artha Initiative to Co-Invest, Expand Management Resources for Small Businesses in India

Source: Upaya

Upaya Social Ventures and the Artha Initiative are proud to announce that they have formalized a collaboration through which they will work together to develop a pipeline of and co-invest in India’s Small and Growing Business (SGB) sector.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Cashless payment hopes pinned on developing nations

Source: Euractiv

Business and civil interests representing the mobile payments markets are developing global principles, standards and codes of conduct for digital finance, as cashless payments move to the fore in the developing world.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

South African Bitcoin exchange debuts mobile wallet

Source: Tech Central

South Africa’s largest Bitcoin exchange, BitX, has launched a Bitcoin mobile wallet that makes storing and using the cryptocurrency easier and safer for consumers in emerging markets.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

S.E.C.’s Delay on Crowdfunding May Just Save It

Source: New York Times

While the Securities and Exchange Commission dawdles, states are rushing to adopt their own crowdfunding rules. Ironically, it may just be the thing that rescues crowdfunding from a regulatory death grip.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 — South Asia

Pakistan turns to biometrics for banking

Source: Planet Biometrics

Pakistan’s central bank has revealed it will implement biometric technology for identity verification developed by the country’s National Database and Registration Authority.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: The Shift From Promotion to Pragmatism in Impact Investing

Source: Huffington Post

Gone are the heady headlines proclaiming the birth of a trillion dollar asset class. Instead, we are seeing substantive attempts to overcome challenges to sector growth.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Villgro Innovations invests in seven social enterprises

Source: Techcircle.in

Social enterprise incubator Villgro Innovations has picked seven new companies operating in the healthcare, energy, agriculture and education sectors for its second set of incubation and funding programme.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

To end preventable maternal mortality, let’s explore 'business as unusual'

Source: Devex

When you think of efforts to reduce maternal mortality, it’s natural to look to governments, theUnited Nations, the World Health Organization and other national and international bodies charged with responding to global health challenges.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

G20 vows to reduce cost of transferring remittances to 5%

Source: Economic Times

Taking concerns of India and other developing countries on board, the G20 today vowed to take "strong practical" measures to reduce the global average cost of transferring remittances to five per cent.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: Why India, not China, is a better investment partner for Africa

Source: Quartz

Did you read the story on Chinese investment in Africa? They’re being published in droves, usually with a vaguely racist headline, like “Booming African lion economies gear up to emulate Asians.”
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 — South Asia

Mobile payment startup taps into Indian villages

Source: PYMNTs

Ezetap, a mobile payment startup, wants to connect small Indian villages with business and is using its mPoS to do so, Business Standard reported.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

DFID, Gates Foundation to set up digital financial services unit in Pakistan

Source: Daily Times

The United Kingdom (UK) government’s Department for International Development (DFID) on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to set up a digital financial services (DFS) unit in Pakistan.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

How Rogue Microfinance Lenders Overburden Poor South Africans

Source: AFKInsider

Microfinance, or lending small sums to low-income borrowers or entrepreneurs, was supposed to be a source of development and income growth for the poor in Africa. Has it worked?
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 — South Asia

Jan Dhan may win Guinness record for Modi, but duplicate accounts can burden banks

Source: FirstBiz

he Narendra Modi government is in dialogues with the Guinness World Records team to bag a record for the government for opening maximum number of bank accounts in minimum number of days, according to persons familiar with the development.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

The one dollar contraceptive set to make family planning easier

Source: BBC News

An agreement has been signed which will make contraceptive injections available to women in 69 of the world's poorest countries.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 — South Asia

How technology is checking health corruption in India

Source: BBC News

In 2011 Amarendra Kumar learned that a doctor at one of Delhi's biggest hospitals was pushing for his baby niece to have a heart operation she didn't need.
Monday, November 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Breaking the R&D deadlock: could Open Labs be the key to cracking the world’s toughest health problems?

Source: The Lancet

In January, 2010, an unprecedented step was taken to progress research into diseases of the developing world when global pharmaceutical company GSK announced it was creating the world’s first Open Lab. ... Four years since its creation, the Open Lab model is emerging as a success story.
Monday, November 17, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Race to Make Ebola Vaccine Pits Crazy Timeline Against Maddening Obstacles

Source: Bloomberg

Refrigeration is just one of the myriad challenges for GlaxoSmithKline Plc and other companies racing to create vaccines to fight Ebola. They’re facing issues ranging from packaging the drug in tiny glass vials for distribution, to assembling fleets of trucks and motorbikes to transport it along potholed roads, to monitoring subjects in a Swiss lakeside city to test the vaccine ultimately destined for villages in the African jungle.
Monday, November 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Intel unveils new chip for mobility healthcare delivery

Source: Business Standard

World's largest chip maker Intel Corporation has unveiled a new sensing platform for enabling mobile-based healthcare delivery to masses.
Monday, November 17, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Viewpoint: The Entrepreneurial Mind at the Bottom of Africa's Pyramid

Source: AFK Insider

Africa is a young continent with a large so-called “bottom of the pyramid” population. There has been growing interest in the continent from investors and multinationals alike, with many South African firms in particular aggressively expanding into new markets and heightened mergers and acquisitions interest from abroad.
Monday, November 17, 2014 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: Unitus Seed Fund adds more prominent investors

Source: Unitus Seed Fund

November 16, 2014. Bangalore: Unitus Seed Fund announced that it has now raised over USD $4 million from 16 high net income Indian investors in its Indian rupee fund, and Seattle area tech executives, including Steve Singh, Diego Piacentini, and Bill Gates have invested in Unitus Seed Fund’s affiliated offshore venture fund.
Friday, November 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Pfizer and Aid Groups Team Up on Depo-Provera Contraceptive for Developing World

Source: The New York Times

Depo-Provera, an injectable contraceptive given once every three months, is already a popular choice of women in developing countries, who value the convenience and discretion of not having to take a daily birth control pill. But the injections are out of reach for many more women.
Friday, November 14, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa: Combatting Health Risks and Promoting Better Hand Washing and Hygiene

Source: All Africa

Saraya Co. Ltd, a Japanese manufacturer of hygiene and sanitation products, joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with an initiative to decrease healthcare associated infections in Uganda.
Thursday, November 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

Injections could be a thing of the past with scientists developing a way to inhale vaccines

Source: Daily Mail

Fear of a trip to the doctors and a jab of a needle could be a thing of the past, with scientists developing a world-first needless injection to dispense vaccines.
Thursday, November 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

Trillion-Sensor Vision, Results Shared

Source: EE Times

UCSD researchers show latest efforts
Thursday, November 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Financial inclusion is key to addressing America’s two-speed economic recovery

Source: Quartz

I’ve had the opportunity over the last few months to meet bankers and regulators from around the world to discuss their economic growth plans, the impact of rising inequality in wealth and incomes, and in some cases, extending the reach of their financial systems.
Thursday, November 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

SunFunder Completes New Round Of Funding

Source: CleanTechnica

SunFunder, the US crowdfunding company dedicated to funding off-grid solar projects in developing countries, announced Wednesday that it had completed its Series A equity round of funding, raising $2.5 million. The announcement came following investments from Schneider Electric, Better Ventures, and a private family foundation based in Palo Alto. This latest announcement follows on from an original Series A investment made by Khosla Impact and a group of existing angel investors.
Thursday, November 13, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: Accion and MasterCard Foundation Partner to Strengthen Board Governance in Africa

Source: PR Newswire

The Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion today announced a $6.1 millionpartnership with The MasterCard Foundation to launch the Accion Africa Board Fellowship program.
Thursday, November 13, 2014 — South Asia

Taxi-hailing smartphone app Uber to launch mobile wallet in India

Source: Times of India

The taxi-hailing smartphone app Uber will launch a mobile wallet in India after its payment mechanism came under the RBI scanner for flouting the mandatory two-step verification on card transactions earlier this year.
Thursday, November 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

Nike-backed startups put girls first in fight against global poverty

Source: Mashable

For the past two weeks, ten companies have been consulting with mentors, growing their business models and collaborating with one target demographic in mind: girls in impoverished parts of the world, a population that many say is the most marginalized in the world.
Thursday, November 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

UCLA gets $10 million for center to spur socially conscious projects

Source: LA Times

Former EBay Inc. President Jeff Skoll has donated $10 million to UCLA for a center that will encourage students to create socially conscious entertainment projects.
Thursday, November 13, 2014 — South Asia

75% of Jan Dhan accounts empty: Indian financial inclusion scheme may be missing its objective

Source: First Biz

Initial indications from the data on Prime Minister's Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) are that the grand financial inclusion scheme of the Narendra Modi government has failed to achieve its original objective - to encourage the country's vast unbanked poor population to use bank accounts for cash transactions.
Thursday, November 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

Can innovation help stop children dying from pneumonia?

Source: Unicef

Pneumonia is the world’s number one cause of preventable death among children under five years old. Every year, pneumonia kills nearly one million children – more than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. What makes this number of pneumonia deaths so unfathomable is that its cure is well-known, inexpensive and widely available.
Thursday, November 13, 2014 — South Asia

India Post keen to become a universal bank

Source: Economic Times

India Post is interested in turning itself into a universal bank like many of its peers across the world and a committee under former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subramanian is looking into the matter, a senior department official said today.
Thursday, November 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

Woman Care Global to Market Signos RT Innovative Handheld Ultrasound Technology in Africa and Latin America

Source: Globe Newswire

Woman Care Global (WCG) has announced that it will market, Signos RT, an innovative handheld ultrasound technology, in Africa and Latin America.
Thursday, November 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

Turning the tap on: Water as a business model

Source: Al Arabiya English

Too many people in the world don’t have access to safe drinking water in their homes. This month’s meeting of theWorld Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council in Dubai could be the first step to changing that.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 — South Asia

India takes action on spurious and sub-standard drugs

Source: The Pharma Letter

An American pharmacist and an Indian pharmacologist charged with smuggling four million fake pharmaceuticals into the country earlier this month may have been the last straw for the Indian government battling counterfeit drugs.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile technology reduces maternal mortality

Source: All Ghana News

Abdul-Rashid Imoro, Project Officer of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) of Savana Signatures, a Tamale NGO, has said some health facilities in the Northern Region had recorded zero maternal mortality due to mobile phone technology the NGO had introduced in the area
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: Sterlisation deaths: A rotten healthcare system continues to play havoc in Chhattisgarh

Source: FirstPost

The sterilization camp that left 13 women dead and many battling for life has exposed the rotten healthcare system in Chhattisgarh, yet again.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 — South Asia

Bangladesh installs 3 million residential solar systems

Source: PV Magazine

Bangladesh’s Infrastructure Development Company Ltd (Idcol) last week marked the installation of 3 million residential solar systems in the country. According to Bangladeshi newspaper The Daily Star, the 3 million systems installed under the Idcol program in off-grid areas have a combined capacity of 135 MW.
TAGS:solar
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: Financial inclusion in India needs another model

Source: Hindu Business Line

Priority sector targets are met by means fair and foul. Competition in providing credit to the unbanked will work better
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

Credit for all: Increasing women's access to finance

Source: Trust.org

Women’s need for financial services may actually exceed that of men because they tend to live longer, have lower levels of formal employment, own fewer assets, and have less control over household finances.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mahindra Comviva builds interoperability between Tanzanian telcos for mobile money exchange

Source: Finextra

Mahindra Comviva has announced that it has enabled the world’s first domestic interoperable mobile financial service between Airtel Money and Tigo Pesa in Tanzania.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

U.S. Lags Behind G-7 in Bank Accounts as Poor Can’t Build Assets

Source: Bloomberg

The world’s largest economy lags behind other developed nations in banking participation.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Start a Business - Not a Social Enterprise

Source: Huffington Post

If do-gooder entrepreneurs and innovators aim to have a lasting impact, they should consider skipping over the strict "social" in social enterprise.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why mobile money is so tough to crack in South Africa

Source: TechCentral

Mobile Money is proving to be a tough nut to crack. Here is why.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Q&A: West African Bitcoin Transfer Firm Joins Fight Against Ebola

Source: AFKInsider

Bitcoin, a “decentralized virtual currency” according to the U.S. Treasury, is the first cryptocurrency to be rolled out in its entirety. In addition — when considering market value — Bitcoin is largest cryptocurrency.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 — South Asia

3 tech phenomena you only encounter in the emerging markets

Source: MemeBurn

There’s a stage when, after travelling too much, or meeting too many people from the emerging markets, your perception of the world shifts.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Pre-plan for ebola-style crises

Source: Biz Tech Africa

African operators have been advised to pre-plan for a crisis such as the one faced by West African countries in the form of the ebola outbreak, by ensuring people are signed up to information dissemination services in advance.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

A Smartphone Gadget Pumps Up Breast-Milk Banks

Source: NPR

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

96% of mobile payment agents in Bangladesh are profitable, says MicroSave study

Source: The Daily Star

Ninety-six percent of mobile payment agents in Bangladesh are making profits, thanks to low operational costs, a testament to how popular the service has become in just a few years, according to a study.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

3 ways the public sector can work with business to fight chronic diseases

Source: Devex

More than three out of every five people who die today will do so because of a chronic, non-communicable disease such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer or lung disease.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Ten global organizations join MIT D-Lab's Practical Impact Alliance

Source: MIT News

Johnson & Johnson, Unilever, and others sign on to the Practical Impact Alliance, a collaborative initiative aiming to scale poverty solutions worldwide.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

3-D Printed Plastic Could Replace Not-Very-Good Corrugated Iron Roofs In The Developing World

Source: Fast CoExist

The modular system might an ideal alternative for the rusty, non-insulated roofs that are pervasive in poorer countries.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Zombies, Colin Farrell Uncover a ‘Trillion Dollar Scandal’

Source: ONE

Ahead of the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, The ONE Campaign released a new video today highlighting the fact that at least a trillion dollars is siphoned out of developing and emerging countries through corrupt activity every year. We’re talking about shady natural resource deals, phantom firms, money laundering, and illegal tax evasion.
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Citi Convenes Developers from around the Globe to Unveil Innovative Digital Banking Solutions

Source: MarketWatch

More than 60 Teams – Chosen from More than 700 Submissions across 62 Countries – to Present Innovations at Events in Silicon Valley, New York and MiamiCiti Mobile Challenge Developer Survey: 88 Percent of Developers See Potential for Financial Innovation in Wearables, but Many Say Banks Are Not Doing Enough to Innovate and Keep Up with Other Industries
Monday, November 10, 2014 — South Asia

Sanofi launches paediatric vaccine Shan5 in India

Source: Business Standard

With the launch of Shan 5 in India, 27 million babies born annually will have access to vaccination.
Monday, November 10, 2014 — South Asia

Healthcare providers in India to spend $1.1 billion on IT in 2014: Gartner

Source: Hindu Business Line

Healthcare providers in India are expected to spend $1.1 billion on IT products and services in 2014, a 5 per cent rise over 2013.
Monday, November 10, 2014 — South Asia

Indian hospital shows how mobility can improve healthcare in rural areas

Source: Information Week

By using telemedicine application for mobile devices, Balabhai Nanavati Hospital is demonstrating how mobility can truly transform the way healthcare services are delivered to rural communities.
Monday, November 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Five products that help the world's poorest people

Source: The Guardian / Business Call to Action

Giving to charity, not shopping for stuff, is the way most of us think about supporting international development. OK, so there’s fair trade, but what else besides? From small social enterprises to big labels, we look at five examples of consumer brands trying to harness the power of High Street to benefit low-income communities around the world.
Monday, November 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Inflatable Incubator for Premature Babies Wins Dyson’s $45K Prize

Source: Wired

In developing countries, childbirth is a high-risk affair—particularly if the baby’s born premature. In countries like the United States, we often put these babies in incubators until they’re able to make it on their own. But access to sophisticated equipment isn’t a given everywhere in the world. Incubators in particular are expensive, require constant electricity, and they can be complicated to operate and maintain. “I just thought, ‘there has to be a better way of doing this,’” says James Roberts.
Monday, November 10, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Gates and World Bank Back Tech-Aided Access for the Underbanked

Source: Nonprofit Quarterly

A partnership between the World Bank and the Gates Foundation is encouraging the creation of a digital payment system.
Monday, November 10, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

ACCION Microfinance Bank receives N50 million fund from Central Bank of Nigeria

Source: The Guardian - Nigeria

ACCION Microfinance Bank, Nigeria’s leading microfinance bank, has received N50 million from the Central Bank of Nigeria microfinance intervention - the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF).
Friday, November 7, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: Newsweek

Aid organizations are selling discount drugs directly to shopkeepers in hopes of quelling the parasitic disease
Friday, November 7, 2014 — South Asia

India to lose over $4.58 trillion to non-communicable diseases

Source: Economic Times India

India stands to lose $4.58 trillion due to non-communicable diseases and mental disorders between 2012 and 2030, an amount more than double India's annualGDP, according to a report.
Friday, November 7, 2014 — No Region Specified

Here’s how one green group got its investments out of dirty energy

Source: Grist

The Oregon Environmental Council had a problem. It was late last year, and the nonprofit’s board finance committee was reviewing the performance of its endowment fund, which was invested in various stocks and bonds and mutual funds.
Friday, November 7, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Econet Wireless partners with Western Union in Zimbabwe

Source: New Zimbabwe

ZIMBABWE’S largest mobile telecoms company by earnings and subscribers Econet Wireless and Western Union Company, a leader in global payment services, have teamed up to offer consumers fast and reliable international money transfers.
Friday, November 7, 2014 — South Asia

US to partner India in ‘Swachch Bharat’ campaign

Source: Times of India

Taking the US-India joint statement forward, USAID chief Rajiv Shah announced three partnership projects with India on areas close to PM Narendra Modi's heart — "strengthen water and sanitation, expand access to clean energy and increase access to banking services for poor Indians".
Friday, November 7, 2014 — No Region Specified

Pharmaceuticals industry facing fundamental change

Source: BBC News

Pharmaceuticals is an extraordinarily profitable business.
Friday, November 7, 2014 — South Asia

Philippines Leads 12 Asian Nations in Giving Access to Finance

Source: Bloomberg

The Philippines provides the best access to financial services to people among 12 countries in Asia, reflecting the central bank’s efforts to boost inclusion and tackle poverty, an Economist Intelligence Unit study shows.
Friday, November 7, 2014 — Latin America

WorldRemit expands mobile money transfer services to Latin America

Source: Mobile Payments Today

WorldRemit, an online and mobile money transfer company, has announced a partnership with Bancomer Transfer Services Inc. to offer money transfers to Latin America.
Friday, November 7, 2014 — South Asia

Hivos-Triodos Fund (HTF) Loans $3.1m to India’s IntelleGrow for Loans to Small, Medium-Sized Enterprises

Source: MicroCapital

The Hivos-Triodos Fund (HTF), a Netherlands-based microfinance investment vehicle, recently loaned EUR 2.5 million (USD 3.1 million) to IntelleGrow, an Indian nonbank financial company that specializes in making loans to small and medium-sized “social enterprises” in the agriculture, clean energy, education, financial, healthcare, sanitation and water sectors.
Friday, November 7, 2014 — South Asia

Dr. H. Sudarshan of Karuna Trust Wins India Social Entrepreneur of the Year, 2014

Source: Schwab Foundation

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, in partnership with the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation announced Dr. H. Sudarshan, founder of Karuna Trust, as the winner of the India Social Entrepreneur of the Year, 2014 Award. The awards were conferred in New Delhi, at a well-attended gala, by Mr. Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance, Corporate Affairs and Defence, Government of India. The other finalists included Matthew Spacie of Magic Bus and Yogendra Bhushan of Bodh Shiksha Samiti.
Friday, November 7, 2014 — No Region Specified

Facebook adds button designed to make it easier for users to donate to charities battling Ebola

Source: The Daily Mail

Facebook is stepping up its efforts to fight Ebola by adding a button designed to make it easier for its users to donate to charities battling the disease.
Friday, November 7, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

“Africa needs Africa”: MasterCard & Bank of Tanzania push for local solutions

Source: Mobile World Live

Zahir Khoja, VP, global channels at MasterCard, said Africa is attractive as an untapped opportunity and warned many companies think they can implement a “plug and play solution” without realising that “sometimes there is no socket” to do this. Instead they need to understand that an African-specific solution is needed.
Thursday, November 6, 2014 — South Asia

Apollo Hospitals to focus on rural areas

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Apollo Hospitals plans to ride the next wave of growth with expansion in rural sector, Prathap C Reddy, Chairman, said. The hospital chain plans to add at least 14 Reach Hospitals in rural regions at a cost of ? 1,800 crore by 2016 and plans more in the coming years.
Thursday, November 6, 2014 — No Region Specified

World's 1st dengue vaccine likely by 2015: Sanofi

Source: The Economic Times

As India deals with increasing number of dengue fever, pharma major Sanofi today said the world's first vaccine against the mosquito-borne viral disease may be available by the second half of 2015.
Thursday, November 6, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Gates Foundation refutes report it fails African farmers

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has rejected accusations that too much of its funding goes to Western researchers, saying it is helping small farmers in African countries.
Thursday, November 6, 2014 — South Asia

USAID administrator announces financial inclusion commitments in India

Source: India Blooms

U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah announced USAID support for three priority areas of partnership as identified in the recent summit between Prime Minister Modi and President Barack Obama in Washington.
Thursday, November 6, 2014 — South Asia

Can M-Pesa Succeed in India?

Source: Business Today

This case study looks at how M-Pesa, a service that originated in Kenya, was tweaked for India and whether it can succeed.
Thursday, November 6, 2014 — South Asia

India's financial inclusion scheme progressing ahead of schedule

Source: Times of India

At the current pace, it's a matter of days before bank employees help the government scale the target of opening 7.5 crore bank accounts under the financial inclusion scheme launched on August 29.
Thursday, November 6, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

A chocolate factory with a higher purpose

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

When Shawn Askinosie left a successful law career and founded his bean-to-bar chocolate company in 2006, he set out to make a prize-winning product while helping developing-world farmers and their communities. Today he practices direct trade, meeting face-to-face with farmers to buy their cacao beans at above fair trade prices. And he returns each year to share 10 percent of his profits as well.
Thursday, November 6, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: GSMA Introduces Code of Conduct for Mobile Money Providers

Source: Business Wire

The GSMA today launched a Code of Conduct for Mobile Money Providers, outlining a series of common business principles to enable the development of safe and responsible digital financial services.
Thursday, November 6, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: First-of-Its-Kind Survey Finds $23 Billion Global Market for Conservation Investing

Source: CSR Wire

The first-ever survey of conservation impact investing reveals a fast-growing market totaling approximately $23 billion in the five-year period from 2009-2013.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 — No Region Specified

Airtel joins GSMA's mobile health programme

Source: The Times of India

Bharti Airtel today said it has joined GSMA's mobile health partnership programme which aims to provide a range of services to women and children across 11 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bill Gates-Backed Group Weighs Funding for Ebola Vaccine

Source: Bloomberg

As GlaxoSmithKline Plc (GSK) and other drugmakers race to develop and deploy vaccines against West Africa’s Ebola outbreak, one key question remains: who will pay?
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 — South Asia

India next on Abbott’s global rebranding map

Source: The Economic Times

In a bid to reach out and engage with consumers more, the $22-billion US healthcare major Abbott is redefining its corporate identity, with India becoming one of the first markets after the US and Brazil where the change is being rolled out.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tanzania: CRDB, European Bank Sign Landmark Sh43 Billion Deal to Support Small Businesses

Source: All Africa

CRDB Bank and European Investment Bank (EIB) have signed a landmark 20 million Euros (about Sh 43 billion) agreement to support small scale businesses.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 — No Region Specified

Germany's GIZ looks to break Islamic microfinance shortfall

Source: Reuters

A series of German-funded studies and pilot projects aims to bridge the gap between Islamic finance and microcredit, to the benefit of communities in developing countries which remain on the fringes of the financial industry.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 — No Region Specified

An IPO at the Base of the Pyramid?

Source: Impact Alpha

Some say D.light could be one of the first base-of-the-pyramid IPOs to offer shares on a major stock market.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: Pershing Square Foundation Makes $611,000 Grant To myAgro To Support Small-Scale West African Farmers

Source: PR Newswire

The Pershing Square Foundation has announced a grant of $611,000 to myAgro – an organization that helps small-scale West African farmers save their way out of poverty through a unique mobile layaway lending program, allowing them to increase harvests by an estimated 75%.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Survey: Banking growth has not boosted savings in South Africa

Source: Money Web

The number of banked South Africans has grown to 27.4 million over the past ten years, or about 75% of the total adult population. But this increase has not translated into a higher incidence of saving, with only 20% of banked adult South Africans saving either in banks or non-bank financial institutions.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom of Kenya Braces for Competition on Key Cash Earner

Source: Business Week

Safaricom Ltd., East Africa’s biggest cellular-network operator, is bracing for competition in its key mobile-money business that helped boost first-half profit by 30 percent, CEO Bob Collymore said.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 — South Asia

India next on Abbott’s global rebranding map

Source: Times of India

In a bid to reach out and engage with consumers more, the $22-billion US healthcare major Abbott is redefining its corporate identity, with India becoming one of the first markets after the US and Brazil where the change is being rolled out.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 — South Asia

Indian start-up to enable bank transactions via kirana stores

Source: Business Standard

Novopay uses Aadhaar biometric scanner for dealings
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 — No Region Specified

AddressHealth bags global award for innovation in tele-enabled school health centres for urban poor

Source: Pharma Biz

AddressHealth, India’s first paediatric primary healthcare network, has won the prestigious ‘Stars in Global Health’ grant competition from Grand Challenges Canada. The company bagged the honours for its innovative model to provide comprehensive healthcare to children in low income groups through tele-enabled school health centres.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 — No Region Specified

Crowdfunding Global Health

Source: National Geographic

According to Wikipedia, crowdfunding is “the practice of funding a project or venture by raising many small amounts of money from a large number of people, typically via the Internet”.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 — No Region Specified

Facebook And Alibaba Will Turn The World's Poor Into Entrepreneurs. Xiaomi Will Sell Them Smartphones

Source: Forbes

Facebook and Alibaba Group Holding (NYSE:BABA) Limited are on a new mission: solve world poverty by helping more than 4 billion people from low-income countries get access to the Internet — and engage in e-tailing entrepreneurship.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 — South Asia

India might get sick before it gets rich: Krishna Kumar

Source: Business Standard

Interview with Vice-chairman and MD, Philips India
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 — Asia Pacific

PRESS RELEASE: China enters the era of social impact investing

Source: PR Newswire

The 13th Social Enterprise Conference at Columbia Business School was on October 31st. The results of a study on social impact investing in China were released for the first time in history. It is the first time that China has formally dispatched a group to attend a social enterprise conference at Columbia University
Monday, November 3, 2014 — No Region Specified

Bill Gates to give $500 million for malaria, other diseases

Source: Yahoo News

US philanthropist Bill Gates on Sunday announced he will donate over $500 million to fight malaria and other infectious diseases in the developing world, saying the Ebola outbreak is a call to action.
Monday, November 3, 2014 — No Region Specified

Good for health, good for business

Source: Devex

Why would a global corporation reinvest 20 percent of its profits from developing countries back into training health workers? It’s simple. Health workers are the driver of health systems.
Monday, November 3, 2014 — South Asia

USAID encourages private sector participation in new healthcare program

Source: Tuoi Tre News

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) on Friday launched its Healthy Markets program, an initiative to encourage the investment of local private sector and foster growth of a commercial market, in Ho Chi Minh City.
Monday, November 3, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Equity says 200,000 have signed up for its mobile money platform in Kenya

Source: The Star

EQUITY Bank yesterday said it has “quietly” registered over 200,000 customers on its mobile money transfer platform, Equitel, in the ongoing rollout.
Monday, November 3, 2014 — South Asia

Mumbai's dream of becoming an international financial center may soon be a reality

Source: Economic Times

Other centres in Asia may be losing their shine—Dubai is surrounded by geopolitical chaos and Singapore is apparently turning less attractive to expatriate workers due to slowing economic growth—marking an opportunity for Mumbai to aspire to that regional position.
Monday, November 3, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

This backpack designed for poor kids does so much more than carry books

Source: Quartz

South Africans Thato Kgatlhanye and Rea Ngwane are co-founders of the business Rethaka. Their brand of Repurposed Schoolbags are made from recycled and reinforced plastic shopping bags. Recipients are all poor. But it’s so much more than a bag. Because the kids often live in shacks and remote areas with no electricity, Repurposed Schoolbags are built with some other smart features. On the outside of the flap is a pocket for a solar panel, which charges on the long walk to and from school.
Monday, November 3, 2014 — Asia Pacific

PRESS RELEASE: Impact Accelerator launched in the Philippines

Source: Rappler.com

MANILA, Philippines — Impact Investment Exchange Asia has launched its first Impact Accelerator program in the Philippines, an intensive in-country program designed to accelerate early-stage social enterprises that have high potentials to create positive social and environmental impact at scale.
Friday, October 31, 2014 — South Asia

Eli Lilly shares MDR-TB drug technology with Shasun Pharma

Source: LiveMint

US drug maker Eli Lilly and Company said on Thursday that it had shared the manufacturing technology for two antibiotic drugs meant for the treatment of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) with India’s Shasun Pharmaceuticals Ltd as part of its ongoing programme to increase access of these medicines in countries including India, China, Russia and South Africa, where drug-resistant TB is most prevalent.
Friday, October 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

Vaccine group says 5 million-plus lives can be saved over next few years in poor countries

Source: Deseret News

GAVI Alliance believes its five-year plan to vaccinate another 300 million children worldwide will save at least 5 million lives. It will also save billions of dollars now lost to treatment of the preventable illnesses and other costs, like parents' lost wages, members of the alliance said.
Friday, October 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

Backed by Gates, Affinivax Ramps up Velcro-like Vaccine Tech

Source: Xconomy

A new startup with backing by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation called Affinivax claims it’s created a vaccine to protect against all 90 strains of pneumococcal bacteria. Now comes the hard part: scaling up, proving it in clinical trials, and making a successful business out of it.
Friday, October 31, 2014 — South Asia

Indore: Approval for mobile app to curb dengue spread hangs fire

Source: Hindustan Times

Even as dengue cases rise, government approval for a mobile app that could prevent the disease from spreading by speeding up monitoring and intervention is hanging fire.
Friday, October 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

Social Entrepreneurs Compete For More Than $3M In Skoll Challenge

Source: Forebes

The Skoll Foundation just kicked off its second annual Social Entrepreneurs Challenge. Open to its 87 awardees, 68 are participating. The competition is taking the form of a crowd-funding campaign, using the services of CrowdRise, which has a fundraising platform for nonprofits.
Friday, October 31, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Schneider Electric off-grid, on-profit solutions to create social change in African rural communities

Source: ITWeb (South Africa)

Schneider Electric South Africa has set itself a target to create access to energy for 20 000 Africans by the end of this year. An ambitious goal, but the energy efficiency giant believes this is achievable due to its solid sustainable development strategy, products and solutions.
TAGS:energy
Thursday, October 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: IFC Launches First Bonds Supporting Inclusive Businesses in Emerging Markets

Source: World Bank Group

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has launched the first bond program to support businesses that profitably provide goods, services, and job opportunities to people at the base of the economic pyramid. IFC calls these inclusive business models.
Thursday, October 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Goa will be India’s first state to achieve 100% financial inclusion, say officials

Source: Times of India

Panaji: With 95% of the house-to-house survey completed and the procedure to allot accounts to Goans done, Goa may well be the first state to be entirely covered under the Prime Minister's Jan Dhan Yojana. With this, Goa will be the first state to achieve complete financial inclusion, officials close to the development said.
Thursday, October 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

'Social Impact Bonds' Tap Private Money for Public Health

Source: Govtech.com

More states are considering “social impact bonds” for multiyear projects in health, education and prisoner rehabilitation. Are they a good investment?
Thursday, October 30, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda joins Better Than Cash Alliance as part of bid to achieve 80% financial inclusion by 2017

Source: FinExtra

Rwanda has joined the Better Than Cash Alliance to help accelerate the adoption of electronic payments in the country as part of a commitment to achieve 80% financial inclusion by 2017.
Thursday, October 30, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

China To Build Liberia Health System

Source: Liberian Observer

The government of the People’s Republic of China has pledged that as a plan for the post-Ebola period, it will work with other international partners to help build and modernize Liberia’s health sector.
Thursday, October 30, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tanzania looks to India to set up tele-medicine network

Source: Business-Standard

A high-level delegation of medical experts from Tanzania led by its Health Minister Seif Suleiman Rashid today visited the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences here to study its tele-medicine programme with a view to setting up a similar facility in their country.
Thursday, October 30, 2014 — Latin America

US sends health official to Cuban Ebola meeting

Source: UT San Diego

U.S. and Cuban health officials sat together in Havana on Wednesday to discuss Latin America's response to Ebola, the most concrete sign so far of the nations' desire to cooperate against the epidemic despite decades of tense relations.
Thursday, October 30, 2014 — Latin America

PRESS RELEASE: Institutions from Brazil, Ecuador and Paraguay win the IDB’s Inter-American Awards for Innovation

Source: WebWire

Banco do Nordeste of Brazil, Tigo from Paraguay, and FOODSANU from Ecuador have won this year’s Inter-American Awards for Financial andEntrepreneurial Innovation for their excellence in supporting financial inclusion, digital finance, and microenterprise in Latin America and theCaribbean.
Thursday, October 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Asia-Pacific J&J Innovation Center opens with Shanghai HQ

Source: Pharma Times

Johnson & Johnson Innovation has expanded its global network of research partnering hubs with the opening of the Asia Pacific Innovation Center headquartered in Shanghai with satellites in Singapore, Australia and Japan.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Defying stigma, survivors join the Ebola fight in West Africa

Source: Reuters

The worst outbreak of Ebola on record has killed 5,000 people in West Africa, mostly in Guinea and neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone. But thousands more have survived, ostracised by fearful communities ravaged by the disease.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: For-profit health care: Eliminate, tolerate or stimulate?

Source: Devex

Search online for the role of for-profit organizations in health care and you’ll find millions of results, including an abundance of studies, conferences and discussions among providers, advocates and various other actors. It’s an important debate about a complex issue — one that remains largely unresolved in countries around the globe.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 — South Asia

Latrines May Not Improve Health of Poor Children

Source: The New York Times

Because of the well-known dangers of open defecation — especially for children’s health — bringing millions of latrines to the poor has long been a goal of public health experts. But now a major study in India has stunned advocates of latrine building by showing that it may do little good.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ghana’s Fidelity Bank In $3.9m Private Health Partnership With USAID

Source: Ventures

In a bid to provide funding for private health facilities, top tier Fidelity Bank Ghana Limited and the United States Agency for International Development have signed a $3.9 million deal that will see laon facilities availed for private hospitals and clinics accredited by the country’s National Health Insurance Authority or those seeking NHIA accreditation.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 — No Region Specified

Q&A: Nigeria’s Mara Mentor Hones Youth Entrepreneurship

Source: AFK Insider

Mara Mentor was created with the aim of empowering the youths of Africa in their business endeavors, in recognition that they are the driving force behind economic growth and future prosperity.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 — South Asia

Task Force on India "Postal Bank" to submit report by year-end

Source: Business Standard

The Task Force set up by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to leverage the country's post office's network in a bid to advance financial inclusion will submit its report by the end of this year, a top government official said today.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Taking Bitcoin Beyond the Banked

Source: Coin Desk

Most of the industry development around bitcoin still seems to be run by a collection of people who are decidedly banked. This begs the question: what part do the unbanked play in bitcoin, its use and evolution?
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Indonesia Has More Smokers Than Bank Account Holders

Source: Global Indonesian Voices

Jakarta – Indonesia has a far greater number of smokers and mobile phone users than bank account holders, according to the Director General of Bank Mandiri, Budi Gunadi Sadikin.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 — No Region Specified

MBAs Drive Social Impact In Corporate Venture Capital Funds

Source: Business Because

Business school graduates are pioneering corporate venturing – venture capital funds run inside large companies that invest in social enterprises.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

IBM partners with Airtel and Echo Mobile on Ebola containment initiatives in Africa

Source: Biz Tech Africa

Airtel, IBM Research Africa and Kenya's Echo Mobile have joined forces to launch several initiatives to help curb the spread of Ebola in West Africa.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

UN, World Bank and Islamic Development Bank commit 8billion dollars in Major New Development Initiative for the Horn of Africa

Source: Standard Media

Leaders of global and regional institutions today begin an historic trip to the Horn of Africa to pledge political support and major new financial assistance for countries in the region, totaling more than $8 billion over the coming years.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

Venture Capital Firm Invests in Start-Ups With a Social Mission

Source: The New York Times

When the co-founders of SolarCity, Lyndon and Peter Rive, along with their cousin Elon Musk, were raising money for their solar energy start-up in 2007, they called on just one outside investor.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 — Latin America

Could reforms unlock Mexico's "huge" microfinance potential?

Source: BNamericas

Mexico's financial reforms could help the country's microfinance industry fulfill its "huge potential" for growth, rating agency S&P said in a report.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

Business Schools Foster Social Impact And Entrepreneurship

Source: Business Because

Business schools are catering for social entrepreneurs and MBA students who want to make a social impact – through funding, education and start-up incubation.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

Cyborg engineers, virtual doctors and wristbands to detect cancer: Futurologist reveals how tech will transform healthcare

Source: The Daily Mail

Within the next 30 years, the global population is set to increase by almost 3 billion up to 10 billion, and this rise is set to put a heavy burden on the healthcare industry.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Dusty Tanzania Market Shows Next Step in Mobile Banking

Source: Bloomberg

Like millions of Africans, Sebastian Adam uses M-Pesa, a service that lets him pay bills with his mobile phone. With his wife pregnant, Adam decided it was time to start saving -- and to earn interest on the money he saves -- so he switched to a newer offering called M-Pawa.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 — South Asia

Michael & Susan Dell Foundation Invests In Social Enterprise Kinara Capital

Source: DealCurry

@Michael_and has made an undisclosed amount of equity investment in Bangalore based social enterprise, Kinara Capital.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: F.B. Heron Foundation’s Big Shift to Impact Investing Is Moving Along. Where's the Money Going?

Source: Inside Philanthropy

The F.B. Heron Foundation is way out front on impact investing, with its goal of putting the foundation’s full endowment into social impact investments by 2017. So how's it going?
Monday, October 27, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

WHO certification puts Nigerian pharmaceutical industry in global watch

Source: Business Day

The Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) certification given to three local drug firms by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has put the Nigerian pharmaceutical industry in the global eye.
Monday, October 27, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Booting Up: Tech effort could help fight spread of Ebola

Source: Boston Herald

Despite the prevalence of crowd-sourced data and geolocation technology, global health leaders are missing the opportunity to use mobile technology in the fight against Ebola.
Monday, October 27, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Airtel, Kenya Revenue Authority partnership enables subscribers to pay taxes via mobiles

Source: The Daily Nation

Airtel subscribers can now pay their taxes through their mobile money platform following a partnership with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), which will also see the telco grow its revenues.
Monday, October 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

Tips to young social entrepreneurs: How to finance a startup

Source: Rappler

A social enterprise expert from the Social Enterprise Development Inc gives practical advice on how to overcome challenges in business startups.
Monday, October 27, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwe's OneWallet posts massive loss as EcoCash thrives

Source: The Independent

Government-ownded mobile phone operator NetOne generated a paltry US$1 194 in revenue from its mobile money transfer platform OneWallet for the year-ending December 31 2012 after investing close to a quarter of a million dollars in the product.
Monday, October 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Is social investment bad for the charity sector?

Source: Civil Society

In recent months senior figures in the world of charity have questioned whether social investment is good for the sector. David Ainsworth examines why this new field is facing a backlash.
Friday, October 24, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Secret to Nigeria’s success in overcoming Ebola: ORS

Source: Defeat DD

Aggressive use of ORS is being credited with significantly reducing the mortality rate among those who contracted Ebola in Nigeria.
Friday, October 24, 2014 — Latin America

Thompson Funded to Study Household Air Pollution Among Low-Income Communities in Guatemala

Source: UCSF

A new project aims to train women entrepreneurs to sell liquid petroleum gas (LPG) stoves and provide education about reducing exposures to household air pollution.
Friday, October 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

App puts process of AIDS testing in the palm of your hand

Source: The Globe and Mail

Ask Nitika Pant Pai about her work on a new self-test for HIV/AIDS and she’ll tell you: There’s an app for that.
Friday, October 24, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Equity's year-long thin SIM ‘live test’ will go on in Kenya, industry regulators tell MPs

Source: Standard Digital

Nairobi, Kenya: Central Bank Governor Njuguna Ndung’u and senior officials of the Communications Authority (CA) yesterday told MPs that the rollout of Equity Bank's Thin SIM on a trial basis for the next one year would not be stopped.
Friday, October 24, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Regional Development Banks and Sharia Banks Can Go Mobile, says Indonesia's Financial Services Authority

Source: Jakarta Post

As part of efforts to open up greater public access to financial services, the Financial Services Authority (OJK) will regulate the implementation of branchless banking, especially for regional development banks (BPD) and sharia banks, a top official says.
Friday, October 24, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: Mobile Money for the Poor Expanded to Enable Millions in Africa to Access Financial Services

Source: UNCDF

UNCDF, the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs),has partnered with The MasterCard Foundation to expand a flagship program that will enable three million low-income clients in Africa to access mobile financial services for the first time.
Friday, October 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Impact investing won't replace philanthropy but will push firms towards CSR, says Rockefeller Foundation Chief

Source: Economic Times

A Q&A with Judith Rodin, the president of the Rockefeller Foundation.
Friday, October 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Peruvian companies will boost their competitiveness with support from the IDB

Source: Press Release

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a third policy-based loan of $25 million designed to boost the competitiveness of Peruvian businesses. These resources will help consolidate reforms aimed at improving the business climate, lowering entry and market-access barriers and encouraging innovation.
TAGS:IDB
Thursday, October 23, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Airtel, Apollo to drive telemedicine in Nigeria

Source: New Telegraph

Nigeria’s third largest telecoms firm, Airtel, has partnered one of the largest integrated healthcare providers in the world, Apollo Hospitals, to enhance access to world-class healthcare services in Nigeria.
Thursday, October 23, 2014 — South Asia

eRezeki project to connect Malaysians at bottom 40% of income pyramid with digital income

Source: The Rakyat Post

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today announced the eRezeki project to connect Malaysians at the bottom 40% of the income pyramid (B40) with domestic and global digital income.
Thursday, October 23, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa: Jovago, Unicef Partner to Enhance Infant Registration in Africa

Source: allAfrica

Jovago.com - an online hotel booking company- and UNICEF have launched a partnership with the aim of ensuring official birth registration of every child born in Africa.
Thursday, October 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Philips, GE Healthcare going big on Connected Healthcare R&D in India

Source: Techcircle.in

Engineers from Philips Innovation Labs and GE Healthcare in Bangalore are experimenting with mobility platforms and healthcare which will come to life in India soon in the form of a connected medical world.
Thursday, October 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why American Small Businesses Are Singing Microcredit's Praises

Source: Inc.

Grameen America has helped multiple neighborhoods in the U.S. thrive. Here's the story of one business owner in Queens, New York.
Thursday, October 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mozido Receives $185 Million in Series B Funding from MasterCard, Wellington Management Company...

Source: MarketWatch

Mozido, a provider of mobile financial, retail and marketing services, today announced a two-part round of Series B funding of up to $400 million.
Thursday, October 23, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

EU Offers $1bn Development Capital To Three African Countries

Source: Ventures Africa

European Union (EU) has given three African countries Lesotho, Togo and Zambia over $1 billion for economic development under its National Indicative Programmes (NIP).
Thursday, October 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman on Dangote and investing in Africa

Source: How We Made it in Africa

“He is a smart guy, and he always has something informative to say.”
Thursday, October 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Move over banks, Reserve Bank of India pushes for smart wallets

Source: dna

The RBI is running a pilot project with a group of private payment gateway operators like Oxigen and Airtel Money to facilitate money transfers without the intervention of a bank.
Thursday, October 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Twenty years of making microfinance, or whatever you want to call it, work

Source: Humanosphere

Today in Seattle, an organization called Global Partnerships celebrates two decades of helping people rise up out of poverty through a variety of initiatives all aimed at empowering the poor – by helping smallholder farmers, improving health, encouraging the use of “green” technologies and through microfinance.
Thursday, October 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Drugmakers may need indemnity for fast-tracked Ebola vaccines

Source: Reuters

Drugmakers are looking for some kind of indemnity from governments or multilateral agencies against possible losses or claims arising from the widespread emergency use of new Ebola vaccines in Africa.
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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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

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

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

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.
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 — 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

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

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 — 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

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.
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

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 — 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.
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 — 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.
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 — 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

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 — 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

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 — 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

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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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

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 — 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 — 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

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 — 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 — 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 — 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

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 — 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

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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — 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.
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