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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, February 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

How and Why Your Business Should Support Social Impact

Source: Chicago Tribune

An astounding 94 percent of consumers are likely to switch brands to one that supports a cause. Social impact is becoming more relevant in today's business world, and we are quickly realizing that the business of impact is the business of the future. And like many other social entrepreneurs leading the way in this space, it is important that we encourage all businesses to build a higher purpose into their model so that the most effective organizations in the world can also positively impact humanity in a major way.
Friday, February 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: $7.5 Billion on the Table for Vaccines: Will Leaders Keep Their Word?

Source: Reuters

What happens when the cameras power down, the microphones are put away, and the jets take off That’s a question many citizens ask themselves when they see their leaders in the headlines, making a fiery speech or a bold pledge from a podium in a faraway city.
Friday, February 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

Morgan Stanley Survey Finds Sustainable Investing Poised for Growth

Source: 3BL Media

Over seventy percent of active individual investors (71%) describe themselves as interested in sustainable investing, and nearly two in three (65%) believe sustainable investing will become more prevalent over the next five years, according to a new survey published today by the Morgan Stanley Institute for Sustainable Investing. The new Sustainable Signals report examines the attitudes and perceptions of individual investors towards sustainable investing and considers the broader implications for investors, corporations and governments.
Friday, February 27, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Press Release: Global Health Partners Begin Building a New Approach to Ensure Equitable Access to Medicines

Source: The Global Fund

Global health partners met in Geneva to begin the process of building a new approach to better determine health needs and constraints and addressing them in countries.
Thursday, February 26, 2015 — South Asia

Can Too Many Free and Subsidized Condoms Actually Harm Markets?

Source: PSI Impact

In Myanmar, sexual encounters are the most common mode of HIV transmission, causing the epidemic to concentrate among key populations such as female sex workers (FSW) and their male clients (MC), as well as men who have sex with men (MSM). Since 1996, PSI/Myanmar has targeted its condom social marketing program to these groups in order to achieve the greatest impact by preventing the spread of infection.
Thursday, February 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How an Anti-Tech Teacher Ended Up Creating A Mobile App to Improve Education in Africa

Source: The Huffington Post

In 2011 I returned to Kenya for a vacation. I wanted to see the community where I had lived just two years earlier, bring gifts to the families I had bonded with, and sing songs with the kids of the rural village that I had called home. I had lived in Muhuru Bay without water and electricity while working with teachers in this community to help students prepare for high school. It was meant to be a break before heading off to the West Coast for business school. I hadn't expected to start a company, especially one in technology.
Thursday, February 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

World Trade Organization Least-Developed Countries Request Waiver of Intellectual Property Rights on Pharma Products

Source: Intellectual Property Watch

This week at the World Trade Organization intellectual property committee meeting, least-developed countries submitted a request to extend a waiver allowing them not to enforce intellectual property rights on pharmaceutical products. The countries have extended the waiver before, but this time they are seeking to make it indefinite, until they are no longer considered LDCs.
Thursday, February 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

Tuberculosis Drug Candidate Begins Clinical Safety Trial

Source: Science and Development Network

The first clinical safety trial on a tuberculosis drug since 2009 is now under way. The phase I trial of TBA-354 will involve 50 volunteers from the United States, according to the TB Alliance, the not-for-profit product development partnership sponsoring the trial.
Thursday, February 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Big Pharma, NGO Square the Circle on Access to Vaccines

Source: EurActiv

One would expect a multinational pharmaceutical group and a leading humanitarian NGO to hold radically opposed views on access to vaccines.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 — South Asia

This New Messaging App Has a Built-in Wallet That Lets You Send Money to Your Friends

Source: Tech in Asia

Did you ever text a coffee to your buddy? Now you can with this new app. Created in the Philippines, Cheers is the first social messaging app that’s built around a mobile wallet.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 — South Asia

Yunus Sees Room for Microcredit in China

Source: Global Times

Microcredit has been met with immense enthusiasm in China in recent years, with both banks and business moguls pushing into the sector. Global Times (GT) reporters Gu Di and Liu Zhun talked to Muhammad Yunus (Yunus), a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur, economist, and microcredit icon. For founding Grameen Bank, a bank that makes small loans to the impoverished, he was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. Yunus shared his understanding with GT of why microcredit is flourishing in China and how China's "One Belt and One Road" project could influence the field.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MasterCard, Grooming Centre Boost Financial Inclusion for MSMEs in Nigeria

Source: Disrupt Africa

Over 500,000 female entrepreneurs in Nigeria are to be introduced to electronic payments under a new partnership agreed between MasterCard and local microfinance institution Grooming Centre.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Financial Inclusion: Equity Bank, Master Card Launch New Prepaid Card in Kenya

Source: Ventures Africa

In a manner of speaking, Africa can mentor the rest of the world on mobile money based on the number of such solutions that have been successfully planted on the continent in the past half-decade. In a very recent development, Equity Bank Kenya has, in conjunction with MasterCard, launched a prepaid card with the central aim of deepening the cash lite economy in the east African country.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tanzanians to Enjoy Africa's First Universal Mobile Money Service

Source: ITWeb Africa

Global telecommunications and media firm Millicom has announced today that following an agreement with Vodacom's M-Pesa service, Tigo Pesa customers in Tanzania will be the first in Africa to be able to transact with users of all their country's mobile money networks.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Press Release: Kenyan Ministry of Health Selects GE as a Strategic Partner to Support Healthcare Modernization Program

Source: Business Wire

As part of a wide-scale healthcare transformation program, one of the largest of its kind in Africa, the Kenyan Ministry of Health (MoH) has announced GE Healthcare as a key strategic technology and solutions partner, following the conclusion of an open tender process.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 — Latin America

Citi and IBM Align to Accelerate Digital Banking Innovation Through Citi Mobile Challenge

Source: Market Watch

Citi® and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a collaboration to work with developers and build the next generation of financial technology (FinTech) through the Citi Mobile Challenge. IBM will offer mentorship tutorials, and access to Bluemix, IBM's digital innovation platform, to help developers participating in the Citi Mobile Challenge build, test and deploy their FinTech solutions. Citi Chief Client Experience, Digital and Marketing Officer for Global Consumer Banking Heather Cox and IBM Fellow and CTO Jerry Cuomo made the announcement at IBM InterConnect 2015, IBM's major cloud and mobile conference.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Pay-As-You-Go Solar Power Takes Off in Africa

Source: CNBC

In Kenya the cell phone is being used to transform the way that people consume energy. M-KOPA Solar – the word 'kopa' is Swahili for 'borrowed' – is a Nairobi-based business that has pioneered the idea of "pay-as-you-go" solar energy in Africa.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 — South Asia

Treating India's Ailing Rural Healthcare

Source: DW

Treating diarrhea and pneumonia among children often requires a fairly simple intervention, such as administering life-saving oral rehydration salts. But instead, Indian doctors are often prescribing unnecessary antibiotics or other drugs that may actually worsen illness - according to a recent study coming out of Duke University in the United States.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 — No Region Specified

Merck Places Children's HIV Drug in Shared Non-Profit Patent Pool

Source: Reuters

U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co has contributed an HIV medicine for children to an international shared patent pool in a move that should speed the development of cheap paediatric formulations for use in poor countries.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — South Asia

Why Bill Gates Is Backing Impact Entrepreneurs in India

Source: Entrepreneur

Will Poole, a top Microsoft executive-turned seed-stage investor, is tapping American and Indian tech entrepreneurs to back some startups in India that are decidedly not tech-related.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya: Relaxed Rules Have Helped in Mobile Agent Recruitment - Airtel

Source: allAfrica

Lifting of restrictions on mobile money agents has helped Airtel Kenya recruit more merchants as it bids to take convenience closer to customers, according to chief executive Adil Youssefi.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Vodafone Supports Healthcare with Immunization Tracker “App”

Source: Ghana Wed

Vodafone Ghana, a telecommunications company, has partnered the Legon Center for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Services (CERSGIS) to roll out a mobile application “app” that aids child healthcare delivery and immunization.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Upside of Ebola May Be Vaccines

Source: OZY

They don’t have the name recognition of Ebola, but lymphatic filariasis and schistosomiasis are killer viruses in developing countries. Big killers. Indeed, combined with other illnesses like malaria and pneumonia, infectious diseases account for 1 in 7 deaths worldwide. But good luck trying to convince drug companies to put resources and funds into developing vaccines for most of them: Diseases in poor countries don’t make for lucrative markets.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — South Asia

Meet Rangan Srikhanta, the Former Refugee Who Wants to Change the World One Laptop at a Time

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

He came to Australia barely two months old with his family fleeing war in Sri Lanka. Now 31, the Tamil migrant with a broad Aussie accent acquired in Homebush, NSW, wants to give back.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Kompanion Financial Group Completes Equity Raise with Investment from FMO and Triodos Investment Management

Source: Kompanion

Kompanion Financial Group, one of the largest microfinance institutions in the Kyrgyz Republic both by loan portfolio and number of clients, has concluded an equity raise selling a 35% stake to international investors. The shares were purchased by Netherlands based investors FMO and Triodos Investment Management, with the latter investing through Triodos Fair Share Fund and Triodos Microfinance Fund. Kompanion’s founder Mercy Corps will remain majority shareholder and hold a 65% stake. The funds will be used for growth capital in the lending operations and support Kompanion’s transformation to a licensed banking institution.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — No Region Specified

Financial Solutions Lab Announces $3 Million Competition to Tackle Consumer Financial Security

Source: Center for Financial Services Innovation

The Financial Solutions Lab at the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) with founding partner JPMorgan Chase & Co. today announced a $3 million competition for technology innovators working to address consumer financial challenges. This cross-sector initiative will identify technology-enabled financial solutions and provide winners with direct and indirect support to test and expand the availability of their products and services to consumers.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — No Region Specified

The Slippery Slope of Impact Investing

Source: Forbes

Impact investing is hot right now. The meteoric rise of social enterprise is shaking the foundations of the nonprofit sector, and traditional investors are starting to pay attention. There are more than $46 billion worth of impact investments currently under management, and a total projected market potential of up to $45 trillion. Though we’re not yet mainstream, we are on way.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — Asia Pacific

As Overseas Money Dries Up, Indonesia Develops Its Own Vaccines

Source: EurActiv

Indonesia is developing its own vaccines to fight infectious diseases because funds from the EU and other development agencies to its health sector are drying up. EurActiv reports from Indonesia.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — South Asia

Healthcare Needs a Critical Push

Source: Business Line

Changing disease patterns, low public spend on healthcare, and high out of pocket expenses have been the primary concerns leading to the formulation of the government’s new health policy. Economic advancement in India over the last two decades has enabled the government to take the cue and clearly articulate its intent to increase the public financing of health to 2.5 per cent of GDP in the Twelfth Five-Year Plan to move toward affordable, accessible and quality healthcare for all.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Central Bank of Nigeria to Establish Regulatory Council for Islamic Finance

Source: CPI Financial

The CBN said, “An essential governance structure and element of regulatory oversight for institutions offering non-interest (Islamic) financial services is the establishment of an advisory body at the level of the Central Bank to provide assurance that the strategic direction and conduct of financial transactions of Non-Interest (Islamic) Financial Institutions (NIFIs) are in compliance with the rules and principles underpinning their operations.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — No Region Specified

New Deal Allows Generics Makers License to Sell HIV Drug

Source: Devex

Children living with HIV in 92 countries may soon have access to a lower-cost antiretroviral treatment.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Banking Africa’s Unbanked Population is Not the Solution to Improved Inclusion

Source: Ventures Africa

Banking Africa’s unbanked population–adults who don’t use formal banks or semi-formal microfinance institutions to save or borrow money–may not be the solution to providing wider access to financial products and services.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Oxford Business Dean: MBA Programs Should Be More than Driving Schools

Source: Bloomberg

Saïd Business School's dean argues that MBA programs should steer students toward futures that benefit not only their institutions but the world at large.
Monday, February 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

The Future of the Global Fund

Source: Devpolicy

During his recent visit to Canberra, Stephen Howes spoke to Dr Mark Dybul, the head of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. You can listen to a podcast of their full conversation here. The following is a condensed transcript.
Monday, February 23, 2015 — South Asia

Bangladesh's Entry Into Impact Investment

Source: The Daily Star

Growing up as a daughter of a high ranking civil servant in Bangladesh, I have distinct memories of my father's trip to Paris every year in the 1980s. To me it was exciting -- Papa was seeing Paris -- the most romantic city in the world. To him it was a dreaded trip because it was Donor Consortium that brought him to France to beg for donor money for Bangladesh.
Monday, February 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwe: WHO Approves Ebola Testing Kit

Source: allAfrica

In a major breakthrough, the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday announced that it had approved a rapid diagnostic test kit for Ebola that can provide results in 15 minutes and correctly identify 92% of patients infected by the disease.
Monday, February 23, 2015 — South Asia

WHO Urges Shift to Single-Use Smart Syringes

Source: BBC

Smart syringes that break after one use should be used for injections by 2020, the World Health Organization has announced.
Monday, February 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom Will Reduce Investment if Kenyan Regulators Move to Limit Its Dominance

Source: AFKInsider

Safaricom Ltd. will cut its planned $400 million investment in East Africa’s biggest economy this year if Kenyan regulators impose penalties on the wireless carrier to limit its market dominance, its chief executive officer said.
Monday, February 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Grameen Launches Media Project for Ghana Smallholders

Source: Voice of America

A new initiative has been launched to increase food security for small holder farmers in five regions in Ghana. The initiative - ICT Challenge – is a partnership between the Grameen Foundation, Farm Radio International and Digital Green.
Monday, February 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria’s Next Challenge: Bank Us Please

Source: Ventures Africa

Like any other country, Nigeria has its problems. However, Nigeria perched now as Africa’s “Golden Child” with a GDP of $510 billion, ballooning past South Africa who has numerous economic challenges ahead.
Monday, February 23, 2015 — South Asia

A Chance to Fly

Source: The Economist

Emerging markets used to be a beacon of hope in the world economy, but now they are more often a source of gloom. China’s economy is slowing. Brazil is mired in stagflation. Russia is in recession, battered by Western sanctions and the slump in the oil price; South Africa is plagued by inefficiency and corruption. Amid the disappointment one big emerging market stands out: India.
Monday, February 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tencent Backs Mobile Jobs Startup With Its First ‘WeChat Africa’ Investment

Source: TechCrunch

Tencent has made its first investment in Africa under the banner of its WeChat messaging service. WeChat Africa, a joint venture between Tencent and Naspers, announced an investment in M4JAM (Money For Jam), a South Africa-based mobile job service that connects to WeChat.
Monday, February 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: The Problem with Crowdfunding: It Doesn’t Help the Needy Crowd

Source: The Washington Post

I’m not a fan of crowdfunding for the celebrity cause of the moment. The Internet has made it so much easier for people to pony up money for any person or family whose story gets picked up — by social media, newspapers, network and cable shows — that it has become trendy to give.
Friday, February 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Hennion & Walsh Launches Sustainable Impact Investing Trust

Source: PR Newswire

Hennion & Walsh, one of the nation's premier providers of investment services and an advocate for individual investors, today announced the launch of its SmartTrust Sustainable Impact Investing Trust, further expanding its suite of proprietary SmartTrust Unit Investment Trust (UIT) portfolios. Selected by Argus Investors' Counsel and based, in part, on criteria established by IW Financial, the Trust seeks to provide investors with total return potential by investing in the stocks of companies that meet the Trust's investment criteria including, but not limited to, environmental, social and governance factors.
Friday, February 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Ontario to Invest $4M in Businesses With Social Conscience

Source: Toronto Star

Premier Kathleen Wynne says the Liberal government is putting up $4 million to finance 11 socially conscious enterprise projects across the province.
Thursday, February 19, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

The Secrets to Closing a $100m Venture Capital Funding Deal

Source: Real Business

London-based online money transfer business WorldRemit has closed a funding round worth $100m, backed by Technology Crossover Ventures and prior investor Accel Partners.
Thursday, February 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

New Tuberculosis Drug Enters First Trial: The Good and Sad News

Source: Devex

The maiden human trial of a potential tuberculosis drug — the first in six years — has now commenced.
Thursday, February 19, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Low-Income Filipinos Can Rely on Microinsurance When Disaster Strikes

Source: The Manila Times

The domestic insurance industry posted a stellar growth performance in the past year, registering an estimated 28 million Filipinos protected by microinsurance.
Thursday, February 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

Why Do Female Social Entrepreneurs Pay Themselves Less?

Source: Co.Exist

Over the last 17 years, women-owned businesses have increased dramatically—a substantial 68% since 1977. In a world where women have long lived and worked in the shadows of men, entrepreneurship seems to be helping women narrow the gender gap in the workplace. Until you take a look at their paychecks.
Thursday, February 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

Consumer Protection in Microfinance Exceeds 15-Million-Client Mark via Smart Certified Institutions

Source: Center for Financial Inclusion Blog

It’s been an exciting few months for client protection in the microfinance industry. FINCA Kyrgyzstan, MBK Ventura in Indonesia, SKS Microfinance in India, and a number of other MFIs around the world demonstrated that they successfully integrate the client protection principles into their practices and joined the rapidly growing list of institutions that are Smart Certified. Today, we’re pleased to share that the number of clients across all the Smart Certified institutions surpassed the 15-million-client benchmark.
Thursday, February 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: The Illusion of Control in Foreign Aid

Source: Devex

Maybe Jesse Helms was right. I never thought I’d hear myself utter those words, but after witnessing the fracas around the U.S. Agency for International Development’s “Local Solutions” policy, I’m coming around to his way of thinking.
Thursday, February 19, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Smart ATMs Allow Mobile Money Transactions in Zimbabwe

Source: ITWeb Africa

Smart cash machines installed by Steward Bank, which is controlled by Zimbabwe's Econet Wireless, will allow mobile money users to make cardless transactions and airtime top-ups for account holders with other banks.
Thursday, February 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

51 Breakthrough Technologies to Defeat Poverty

Source: Fast Company

Simple technologies like Kenya's M-Pesa mobile money system can have a huge impact in the developing world. Offering something genuinely new, reliable and, above all, cheap, they can stitch together communities, catalyze markets, improve economies, and ultimately change lives.
Thursday, February 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

Whole Foods Market Launches Campaign to Fight Global Poverty Through Microcredit

Source: Investor's Business Daily

Whole Planet Foundation is kicking off its 2015 Prosperity Campaign at Whole Foods Market with the goal of raising $5 million for microlending programs worldwide—enough to help 135,000 people lift themselves out of poverty and start a new life.
Thursday, February 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Lions Health Partners with UNICEF and Unilever to Create an Innovative Global Health Campaign

Source: Market Watch

Last night, Lions Health together with UNICEF and Unilever, launched the Young Lions Health Award, an exciting new competition for young creatives and marketers that aims to improve challenges facing global health systems in developing countries.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 — South Asia

Global Pharma's R&D Re-Balancing

Source: Forbes

Earlier this week, in Michael Woodhead’s superb blog China Medical News, he wrote about “major problems with ‘serious’ research clinical trails carried out in China.” Michael points to a JAMA article and then proceeds to elaborate:
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

Inside Citi’s Plan to Deploy $100 Billion for Cities, Renewables, Climate

Source: GreenBiz

Today, Citi, the global banking giant, is announcing its next-gen sustainability strategy that includes an eye-popping number: $100 billion over 10 years for “lending, investing and facilitating” activities focused on mitigating climate and other sustainability solutions.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Swiss Prosecutor Raids HSBC Office, Opens Criminal Inquiry

Source: Reuters

Geneva's public prosecutor searched HSBC's (HSBA.L) lakeside Swiss office on Wednesday after opening a criminal inquiry into allegations of aggravated money laundering, the second probe to hit the bank this week.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwe: Mobile Money Drives Financial Inclusion

Source: allAfrica

Financial inclusion in Zimbabwe increased to 77 percent in 2014 from 60 percent in 2011 mainly driven by mobile money platforms, the FinScope Consumer Survey has shown. According to the survey, which was launched yesterday, 45 percent of the population (3,15 million) is registered with mobile money platforms. Of those who are registered users, 80 percent use it to remit while 46 percent use it to transact in order to pay utility bills, buy airtime, etc.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

What Impact Investors Can Learn From Microfinance

Source: Devex

What has microfinance achieved for the world’s poor? Estimates vary widely, but 300 million people are estimated to be direct beneficiaries of the microcredit movement, and more than $68 billion may be currently invested in the industry, according to a 2010 estimate from the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, a unit of theWorld Bank.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 — South Asia

Vikram Akula's Next Big Gig

Source: Business Today

On January 29, the board of SKS Microfinance, the country's only listed microfinance entity, approved the company's proposal to apply for a licence to set up a small finance bank, a new category of lenders that the Reserve Bank of India has created to drive financial inclusion. A few kilometres away from the SKS office in Hyderabad, Vikram Akula, who founded the company in 1997 and had to unceremoniously exit in 2011, is giving final touches to the application for a small finance bank for his start-up VAYA Finserv.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

Remittances to Developing Nations to Hit $500 Billion in 2015 - U.N. Official

Source: Reuters

An estimated 230 million migrants will send $500 billion in remittances to developing countries in 2015, a flow of capital expected to do more to reduce poverty than all development aid combined, a senior official of the U.N. agricultural bank said.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

Hialeah Health-Tech Firm Attracts Investor Attention

Source: Miami Hearald

Working out of a Starbucks in 2012, Obdulio Piloto saw an article about the Peter Thiel Foundation’s Breakout Labs’ funding effort for revolutionary technology projects.
Wednesday, February 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

Half the World's Banks Could Disappear, and Most of the Branches

Source: Which 50

Banks have three to five years to get their digital act together before they enter a spiral of decline, according to a paper by McKinsey & Company. This view was echoed by BBVA chairman and CEO Francisco Gonzalez, who told media and analysts at the announcement of BBVA’s latest results that up to half the world’s banks could slip through the cracks as digital transformation takes hold.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

The Female Health Company Joins the International AIDS Society's Industry Liaison Forum

Source: CNN

The Female Health Company (NASDAQ - CM: FHCO), which manufactures the world's leading female condom, today announced its corporate partnership with the International AIDS Society's Industry Liaison Forum (ILF). The Female Health Company, the only HIV prevention technology company represented in the ILF, will work alongside preeminent thought leaders, research and academic institutions, and pharmaceutical companies in setting the tone for the next generation's response to the global HIV epidemic.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 — South Asia

Viewpoint: ‘The Day I Nearly Gave Up’ – Social Entrepreneurs Share Their Battle Stories

Source: YourStory

The journey of a social entrepreneur is full of ups and downs. Many give up on the struggle and many live to tell the tale. The only difference between the two is the never give up attitude. It doesnt mean that they are immune to the downs or not think of giving up, but they never actually do give up. I had the great opportunity to moderate a session on this very topic “The day i nearly gave up” with my fellow social entrepreneurs Neelam Chibber (Mother Earth/Industree Foundation), Madan Padaki (Head Held High/ GAP), Amit Jain (eHealth Point) and G Srinivasan (Rural Shores) at a panel put together by NASE during the Annual AFI forum at Infosys Campus, Bangalore.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa Tech Trends: The Age of Start-Up Accelerators

Source: How We Made It In Africa

Start-up accelerators are common in Europe and the United States, where the likes of Y Combinator and Startupbootcamp have emerged as leaders in the model and have offered hundreds of start-ups both equity funding and mentorship to assist them in scaling. But in Africa the concept is still very young, having only really arrived in 2012.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Moven Founder Brett King Appointed to Center for Financial Services Innovation Board of Directors

Source: Market Wired

Moven, the first app and debit card to provide real-time behavioral feedback to help users change their spending habits and save more, announced today the appointment of Founder and CEO Brett King to the Board of Directors of the prestigious Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI).
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 — South Asia

The Rising Global Health Crisis No One Is Talking About

Source: TakePart

torcyclists can seem invincible as they dodge and weave their way through traffic and zip down alleyways. But beyond a motorcycle’s quick and convenient capabilities is a dark story: a developing global crisis of road fatalities.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

Report: Using Malware, Hackers Steal Millions From Banks

Source: NPR

Putting in place a sophisticated digital racket, hackers were able to steal millions of dollars from up to 100 banks in what the Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab is calling "the most successful criminal cyber campaign we have ever seen."
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: New Strategies Needed to Attract Small Savers to Invest in Shares

Source: allAfrica

It had been a 'bad' trading year. The balance sheet was deep in the negative, following heavy investment in restructuring, rebranding and repositioning.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

Inequality Has Actually Not Risen Since the Financial Crisis

Source: The Upshot

The notion that income inequality has continued to rise over the past decade is part of the conventional wisdom. You’ve no doubt heard versions: The rich just keep getting richer. Inequality is higher than ever. Nearly all of the gains from the economic recovery have gone to the top 1 percent.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 — South Asia

Microfinance Strikes Deep Roots in West Bengal

Source: Financial Chronicle

The Indian microfinance sector has found a new Andhra Pradesh in West Bengal. The sector, which has not been able to see any business in the state of Telangana and AP, has seen brisk business in this eastern state, piping other southern states as well.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Of Social Business Ventures and Islamic Principles

Source: The Star Online

Interest in the area of social entrepreneurship has gained momentum in recent years. Many studies have been commissioned in this area, including comparative studies to clarify the concepts of conventional entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship, and also social entrepreneurship with not-for-profit activities such as corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, charity and voluntary work.
Monday, February 16, 2015 — Latin America

Mexican Banks Using Mobile Payments Technology to Enable Digital Transactions at Mom-and-Pop Stores

Source: Mobile Payments Today

In a bid to increase card payments and financial inclusion, Mexican banks are collaborating with mobile payments technology vendors to deploy mPOS solutions at mom-and-pop stores. The Mexican government encourages these initiatives, as around 70 percent of all purchases in Mexico are made with cash and the informal economy represents 30 percent of GDP.
Monday, February 16, 2015 — No Region Specified

Greener sex? Condoms Now Come in a Spectrum of Earth-Friendly Tones

Source: The Guardian

From irritating chemicals to a troubled supply chain, condoms haven’t always been the kindest to the earth, or our bodies. Here are three companies trying to change that.
Monday, February 16, 2015 — South Asia

Neeti Kailas: Crafting Affordable Health Care Through Design

Source: Forbes India Magazine

Call it providence. Twelve years ago, Neeti Kailas happened to walk the corridors of Ahmedabad’s Vikram Sarabhai Hospital. She was a student of product design then, at the National Institute of Design (NID) and was trying to ascertain potential project ideas—design problems she could find solutions to. That walk turned out to be a game changer. All around her, she could see things that needed fixing. Kailas decided that she was the woman for the job.
Monday, February 16, 2015 — No Region Specified

The Thought That ISIL Might be Using Bitcoin is Keeping US Regulators Up at Night

Source: Quartz

Bitcoin fans may not enjoy the government’s attention, but they should be flattered: It means the technology they are developing is powerful stuff.
Monday, February 16, 2015 — South Asia

Grameen Bank Goes Under Full State Control Today

Source: Dhaka Tribune

With the tenure of the nine elected female board members having expired today, Nobel winning micro-credit organisation Grameen Bank will now be run by government-appointed board members.
Monday, February 16, 2015 — No Region Specified

Will These 5 Models of Crowdfunding Replace Angel and VC Investors?

Source: Entrepreneur

Even if you ignore all the hype around crowdfunding, there can be no doubt that it is a real alternative for entrepreneurs to achieve visibility and funding today. According to articles on Entrepreneur last year, there are now almost 1,000 crowdfunding platforms in existence, currently estimated to add more than $65 billion and 270,000 jobs to the economy.
Monday, February 16, 2015 — South Asia

Nandan Nilekani Plans Tech Project 'Ek Step' to Hone Children's Basic Skills

Source: The Economic Times

Infosys co-founder and billionaire Nandan Nilekani, who spearheaded the country's massive unique identification project, is gearing up for an equally ambitious project - to help elementary school children across the country improve their reading and arithmetic skills using low-end tablets and smartphones.
Monday, February 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya's Mobile Money Use Swells to a Record $50,000 per Minute, $26.1 Billion Annually in 2014

Source: GlobalPost

Kenya's 2014 mobile money use surged to a record 26.1 billion U.S. dollars, an increase of about 4 billion dollars from previous year.
Monday, February 16, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Afaxys Pharmaceuticals Partners with Project Ruby to Bring Affordable Contraceptives to Women Worldwide

Source: Business Wire

Afaxys Pharmaceuticals, a division of Afaxys, Inc., is proud to announce a first-of-its-kind partnership with Project Ruby (PRJKT RUBY), an innovative online platform, to bring affordable contraceptives to women in the United States and the developing world.
Friday, February 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

Hospira Buyout Is a Shot in the Arm for Pfizer’s Biosimilars

Source: Chemistry World

US pharma giant Pfizer aims to bolster its sterile injectable capabilities and gain access to biosimilars by buying injectables specialist Hospira. Pfizer anticipates that the $17 billion (£11 billion) deal will result in $800 million in savings by 2018.
Friday, February 13, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

'Swiss Leaks' Catastrophic for African Economies

Source: EurActiv

Developing countries in Africa have been hit by the full force of the recent Swiss Leaks scandal. The Swiss branch of HSBC bank cost Tanzania, Senegal and the Ivory Coast over 30% of their national health budgets. EurActiv France reports.
Friday, February 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

Another Inconvenient Truth: Vice Pays

Source: CFI

The politically correct and socially sustainable is, though certainly laudable, not particularly profitable. Investors shunning sin stocks manage portfolios that are, on average, significantly less profitable than those possessed by shareholders without similar scruples.
Friday, February 13, 2015 — South Asia

Boy Walked Eight Days to Treat Broken Arm

Source: Nepali Times

When his eight-year old son Dharmaraj broke his hand while grazing cattle in the remote mountains of Humla, Mansingh Thapa took him to a private clinic in Simkot. It cost Rs 4,500 just to get Dharmaraj’s hand in a cast.??But the pain in the boy’s arm did not subside. Unable to afford a second visit to the clinic, Mansingh packed his belongings, slung Dharmaraj on his shoulders and set off on an eight-day walk to Bayalpata Hospital in Achham district. ?“What could we do? We didn’t have any other choice,” said Mansingh who had heard about Bayalpata from friends who had received free treatment here.
Friday, February 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

DAI, Souktel, and MFO Launch Mobile Financial Education Services with Facebook’s Internet.org

Source: DAI

In low-income countries, good information about personal budgeting and saving is hard to find. Many people have limited schooling and little familiarity with financial institutions. Financial education efforts at the local level—often constrained by inadequate staff resources and transportation challenges—tend to be one-time events accessible only to a small slice of the population. Getting the information you need at the moment you need it is nearly impossible.
Friday, February 13, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Sustainable Cattle in Kenya Pay Off

Source: TreeHugger

For thousands of years the pastoralist communities of northern Kenya have herded their cattle alongside elephants and zebras, the grass of the rangelands shared between livestock and wildlife in relative balance. In recent decades, climate change, habitat loss, and human population growth have combined to erode that balance, leading to overgrazing and the degradation of the grasslands that both humans and wildlife need to survive.
Friday, February 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

Startup Accelerator Scholas.Labs Announced by Pope Francis

Source: The Inquisitr

Startup accelerator Scholas.Labs was announced last week during an education event hosted by Pope Francis. Although one hardly expects to hear “startup accelerator” and “pontiff” in the same sentence, this enterprise is quite real and is aimed at assisting education projects all over the world.
Friday, February 13, 2015 — South Asia

Bangladesh's Political Turmoil Taking Its Toll on Small, Medium Businesses

Source: The Financial Express

The ongoing political turmoil continues to take its toll on the small and medium businesses who have borrowed money from micro finance institutions (MFIs) as the big MFIs have tightened their vigilance fearing the future impact on loan recovery.
Friday, February 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

This App Wants You to Borrow Money From Friends, Not Banks

Source: Wired

Long ago, your parents probably gave you some advice: never borrow money from a friend. More importantly: never let your friends borrow from you. If the movies have taught us anything, it’s that mixing money and friendship rarely ends in anything other than blood and tears.
Friday, February 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

Reshaping a Narrative as Canada’s Community Foundations Move Into Impact Investing

Source: Social Enterprise Canada

After decades of existing primarily to distribute grants, many of Canada’s 191 community foundations have been wading into a new kind of financial activity, impact investing. The shift encompasses exploring deep questions about their reason for being and how they are/should be showing up in the world.
Thursday, February 12, 2015 — No Region Specified

Impact Investor Global Partnerships Invests in Solar to Connect the Poor With Light

Source: The Huffington Post

To this day, an estimated 1.3 billion people do not have access to electricity. That is over a billion people who struggle to refrigerate their food and medicine, study at night to further their education, or charge their mobile phones. Electricity is crucial to human well-being and development, and lack of access to it is a huge barrier to overcoming poverty in the developing world.
Thursday, February 12, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Going Mobile in Sub-Saharan Africa to Save Lives - And Change The Future

Source: Forbes

Mobile technology is rapidly transforming communications and culture in Africa. More than half the continent’s population has a mobile device, up from just one percent in 15 years, according the United Nations. Of course, cities and developed regions are as connected as their counterpart elsewhere, but remote and undeveloped areas where people live on little more than a dollar a day are usually poorly served. That is beginning to change, and healthcare providers are using technology to improve and save lives.
Thursday, February 12, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa's Mobile Money Market Could Grow to $1.5 Billion by 2019

Source: EIN News

Sub-Saharan Africa is adopting mobile financial services at a pace seen in few other places, presenting banks and mobile-network operators (MNOs) with a set of strategic choices that will go a long way toward determining their success in the region.
Thursday, February 12, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Agriculture Insurance Turning Around Farmers’ Lives in East Africa

Source: New Vision

Jackie Kiconco sits in her garden with her right hand supporting her chin. Her eyes are gazing across the maize garden that she had planted but because of late rainfall, the seeds failed to germinate.
Thursday, February 12, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Upwardly Mobile: The Power of a United Approach to African Payment Innovation

Source: Memeburn

The growing use of banking services in South Africa is driven by a national rollout of social security debit cards and strong economic growth across finance, real estate and business services sectors. According to the Banking Association of South Africa, just under a quarter of the adult population (23.5%) remains unbanked.
Thursday, February 12, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Unable to Get Credit, African Entrepreneurs Turn to Crowdfunding

Source: Voice of America

Crowdfunding is a way to raise money from a large number of people via the Internet to fund a project. The concept is well established in the West, but is still new in Africa. A World Bank project in Kenya has launched a mentorship program to help business owners take advantage of crowdfunding, which some say could help replace the kind of aid they currently receive from NGOs.
Thursday, February 12, 2015 — South Asia

For MFIs in India, Transition to Small Banks Could Be Arduous

Source: Business Line

The Reserve Bank of India’s decision to create small finance banks could be a game-changer for microfinance institutions (MFIs) in the country.
Thursday, February 12, 2015 — South Asia

Deserted New Delhi Hospitals Sour India's Healthcare Dream

Source: Reuters

Two state-of-the-art public hospitals in New Delhi are barely operational years after they officially opened - not for lack of funding but because officials did not spend the millions of dollars allocated to treat heart and kidney patients.
Thursday, February 12, 2015 — South Asia

Activists Claim India’s Free HIV/AIDS Program Is In ‘Shambles’

Source: The Wall Street Journal

India has run out of critical supplies under its state-run HIV/AIDS program, activists say, leaving tens of thousands of infected patients without access to life-saving drugs.
Thursday, February 12, 2015 — No Region Specified

Bitcoin Blazes New Trail in Emerging Markets

Source: TechCrunch

While the tech world is busy speculating about bitcoin’s volatile value, cryptocurrency is making arguably its biggest impact in countries where the current price of 1 bitcoin exceeds the average salary earned in a week.
Thursday, February 12, 2015 — No Region Specified

Intellectual Ventures Teams Up with GE to Fight Malaria

Source: GeekWire

Intellectual Ventures’s Global Good division has teamed up with General Electric to create a new test for malaria that’s designed to spot even the parasites that cause the disease, even in cases that would otherwise be missed by traditional testing.
Thursday, February 12, 2015 — South Asia

Viewpoint: Smaller Banks Better Suited for India’s Financial Inclusion Drive; Modi Should Have Waited

Source: Firstpost

There are too many takers for licences for small-sized banks. A total of 113 companies knocked the doors of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) with applications when the deadline expired at the close of business hours on 3 February. The list (see here) includes both the biggies and tiny names.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

World Bank Boosts Financial Inclusion in Cameroon

Source: Ventures Africa

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has recently announced an advisory services agreement with Mircrofinance Institute Advans Cameroun geared at expediting the rate of financial inclusion in Cameroon by expanding the range and reach of services available to underserved urban and rural populations.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 — No Region Specified

BlackRock Hires Robin Hood’s Winshel to Head Impact Investing

Source: Financial Advisor

BlackRock Inc., the world’s largest money manager, hired Deborah Winshel to run a new unit dedicated to impact investing, a strategy that seeks to make money while improving society.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 — No Region Specified

A Working Malaria Vaccine that Can't Get Money

Source: Newsweek

Tucked away in a few rooms within the Alexandria Life Science and Translational Research Center in Rockville, Maryland, is a 48-member biotechnology company pursuing a singular obsession to eradicate one of the greatest global health challenges in history, malaria. “We’re swinging for the knockout,” says Dr. Stephen Hoffman, who founded Sanaria in 2003. “This is not to take anything away from the incredibly successful work others are doing to distribute bed nets, create educational programs to increase malaria literacy or discover better methods to deliver existing antimalarials. Those efforts are vitally important. But we’re searching for the one blow that will finally end humanity’s fight against this ancient disease: a vaccine.”
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigerian Banks Intensify Efforts on Customer Biometric Registration

Source: The Sun News

In an effort to reduce incidents of fraud and protect customer accounts from unauthorised access, the Bankers’ Committee has intensified efforts on the enrolment of bank customers on the Bank Verification Number (BVN). BVN involves the registration of customers in the financial system using biometric technology making accounts more secure using unique identifiers such as fingerprint.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 — No Region Specified

Step One in Growing Impact Investing: Prove Social Enterprise Works

Source: The Huffington Post

Rigorous evidence of impact is not just about accountability in impact investing. It is an enabler of the field's growth in its own right.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bamboo Bike Business Changing Youth Employment in Ghana

Source: Ghana Broadcasting Corporation

It’s bespoke, beautifully formed, and changing the face of transport in Ghana. The bamboo bicycle is gaining traction in the country and one organization is riding this popularity wave to increase youth employment in the process.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 — No Region Specified

Vaccines Are Profitable, So What?

Source: The Atlantic

By now, the numbers on the recent U.S. measles outbreak are well known. In 2014, America had more than 600 cases of measles—the highest number in 20 years. In the month of January 2015 alone, 84 people in 14 states reported having measles, with most cases linked to an incident at Disneyland. The reason for the resurgence? More and more people are opting to not vaccinate their kids.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Profit for Good at Rottendorf Pharmaceuticals

Source: Outsourced Pharma

Let’s deal with the name first. If you’re like me, it would’ve been a distraction throughout the article if we hadn’t. The company is named after its German founder and patron, Andreas J. Rottendorf (1897-1971). As per the organization’s founding charter, it can’t be changed.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Investments in African Schools, Health and Other Infrastructure Exposed to Climate Risks

Source: Reuters

Investments in African schools, healthcare and other infrastructure are at risk from the long-term impacts of global warming because governments and businesses are not considering climate information in their plans, researchers have warned.
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 — No Region Specified

Western Union to Cut Prices for Money Transfers Within U.S.

Source: Reuters

Western Union Co (WU.N) said it would cut prices for money transfers within the United States to help fend off fierce competition and would buy back up to $1.2 billion of shares.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 — No Region Specified

$10 million Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to support smallholder farmers

Source: Press Release

Unilever, Acumen and the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership, an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, have launched a landmark Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action called the Enhanced Livelihoods Investment Initiative (ELII) to improve the livelihoods of as many as 300,000 smallholder farmers and their communities in Africa, South Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

West Africa Lags in Mobile Money Usage

Source: PCWorld

While most regions in Africa are recording significant uptake of mobile money, the West African region is lagging behind, according to a new report.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 — South Asia

ICICI Bank, India’s Largest Private Sector Bank, Launches New e-Wallet for Mobile Payments

Source: Live Mint

ICICI Bank Ltd on Tuesday launched Pockets, a mobile payments wallet for Android phones, which can be topped up with money from any bank account for making phone-based payments.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 — South Asia

Facebook’s Internet.org Now Offering Free Connectivity to Millions in India

Source: VentureBeat

Internet.org is now available in India, Facebook said late Monday, potentially bringing Internet access to tens of millions of new users for the first time.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 — South Asia

Better Bath Rituals Is One Way Bangladesh Is Saving Its Newborns

Source: NPR

Across the world, a child's survival is a lot like drawing a lottery ticket. Factors based purely on chance — where a child is born, how much money his or her family has and what their ethnic background is — can determine if a child lives past age 5.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 — South Asia

Bangladesh to Get $300 million World Bank Loan for Child Health

Source: Reuters

Bangladesh is to get a $300-million loan from the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA) to help improve child nutrition after a deal was signed on Monday.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ethiopia Backs Mobile Players for Financial Inclusion

Source: Mobile World Live

Two mobile money platforms have launched in Ethiopia, as the country looks to improve the take-up of bank services.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 — Latin America

Press Release: Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion and HelpAge Int'l Report - Aging and Financial Inclusion: An Opportunity

Source: PR Newswire

Today, the Center for Financial Inclusion at Accion (CFI) and HelpAge International released Aging and Financial Inclusion: An Opportunity, a report that examines the unmet financial needs of the rapidly growing global aging population, particularly in the developing world. The purpose of this report is to highlight the barriers and opportunities related to financial services in older age and throughout the aging process, a relatively neglected area of study.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 — Latin America

Viewpoint: Profit Is Not a Dirty Word

Source: PSI Impact

Sustainability is an all too overused word that is rarely linked to the word profit. Yet sustainability and profit go hand in hand. When it comes to building a network of health facilities in a developing country using a social franchising model similar to how business franchises operate; the link between profit and sustainability is imperative. Without one we cannot hope to have the other.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Pantera Leads $1.1 Million Funding for African Bitcoin Startup BitPesa

Source: CoinDesk

Kenya-based bitcoin services provider BitPesa has raised $1.1m as part of a new funding round led by hedge fund Pantera Capital.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Call for Mines to Invest in African Health Systems

Source: Cape Business News

Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, has called for mining houses to invest in centres for disease control to help fight Tuberculosis and Ebola in African regions where they mine.
Monday, February 9, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In Treating Ebola, Even Using a Stethoscope Becomes a Challenge

Source: The New York Times

Doctors treating Ebola patients while wearing “the full spacesuit” — protective gear, including waterproof hoods — are struggling with a clinician’s dilemma: what to do if they can’t use one of the oldest, most basic tools in medicine — a stethoscope.
Monday, February 9, 2015 — No Region Specified

Platforms, Not Products, Are the Way to Bring Financial Services to the Poor

Source: Quartz

In recent years, the banking and finance industries have not done a lot to earn the trust of consumers in the West. But in poor countries, basic financial services can be transformative.
Monday, February 9, 2015 — Latin America

Study to Offer Microloans to Tijuana Sex Workers

Source: U-T San Diego

A study that looks at links between poverty and high-risk behavior among Tijuana sex workers will offer loans to a group of 60 women this year. The dollar amount is small— initially about $200 per participant — and the researchers hope that the women will use the money to launch small businesses and find an additional source of income.
Monday, February 9, 2015 — South Asia

Viewpoint: India Needs Free Market Healthcare

Source: Live Mint

Healthcare is such an emotional issue that basic economics is often taken for a ride. This explains quite well India’s intention—following the release of the National Health Policy 2015 late last year—to move towards providing healthcare as a fundamental right through a universal public healthcare system.
Monday, February 9, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Firms Adopt Visa Digital Payment Card in Nigeria

Source: Thisday Live

Chams Mobile and Skye Bank Plc have signed an agreement to launch the Virtual Visa Card in Nigeria.
Monday, February 9, 2015 — South Asia

Time For Indo-US Collaboration in Social Impact Investing: A 5-Point Agenda

Source: The Huffington Post

With President Obama concluding a successful visit to Delhi, the Indo-US bilateral agenda is now poised to move ahead on nuclear and renewable energy, defence collaboration, trade and investment and several other important issues. However, we at Asha Impact, a social investing and public policy organisation, believe one major issue was not explicitly addressed, both in the official dialogue and the extensive media coverage. An issue that both countries can seize upon to effectively leverage the convergence between India's overriding objective of inclusive growth and the United States' strategic interest in seeing India succeed in its development path.
Monday, February 9, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Viewpoint: Suing Uganda for 'Brain Drain'

Source: allAfrica

According to recent data from Uganda's parliament, the country has 1 doctor per 24,725 people and 1 nurse per 11,000 people, both well below guidelines from the World Health Organization. By contrast, Trinidad and Tobago has 12 doctors and 35 nurses per 10,000 people.
Monday, February 9, 2015 — No Region Specified

BlackRock to Ramp Up Impact Investing

Source: Reuters

BlackRock Inc (BLK.N) is planning an array of new investment products that will allow clients to invest in addressing large societal issues, such as global hunger or poverty, an executive at the New York-based firm said.
Friday, February 6, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Orange and Ecobank form African m-banking partnership

Source: FinExtra

Orange has struck a deal with Ecobank that will enable customers in several African countries to transfer money between accounts with the telco and financial services group through their mobile phones.
Friday, February 6, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Japanese Foundation Joins the Public Health Grand Challenge Bandwagon

Source: AAAS

A Japanese foundation will try to discover innovative approaches to neglected infectious diseases with a Grand Challenge.
Friday, February 6, 2015 — North Africa and Near East

Egypt, MasterCard Sign MoU to Drive Financial Inclusion

Source: BiztechAfrica

The Government of Egypt, represented by The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, and MasterCard have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a strategic collaboration that will help drive financial inclusion and maximize government efficiency.
Friday, February 6, 2015 — South Asia

Villgro Announces Business Pitch Contests in Four Cities in February-March 2015

Source: PR Newswire

Villgro announces Unconvention|L, an event that seeks to unearth and nurture social entrepreneurs, in four cities in the next two months.
Friday, February 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

New Source of Cells for Modeling Malaria

Source: MIT News

In 2008, the World Health Organization announced a global effort to eradicate malaria, which kills about 800,000 people every year. As part of that goal, scientists are trying to develop new drugs that target the malaria parasite during the stage when it infects the human liver, which is crucial because some strains of malaria can lie dormant in the liver for several years before flaring up.
Friday, February 6, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

iHub Partners with Chase Bank for Innovation in Kenya’s Financial Services

Source: Disrupt Africa

Kenyan incubator the iHub has partnered Chase Bank in an arrangement that will see the two organisations collaborate on advancing the country’s tech ecosystem and offering more innovative services to the bank’s customers and the general public.
Friday, February 6, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tugende secures $780K to fill Uganda’s roads with motorcycle taxi drivers

Source: Ventureburn

With an interesting take on making profit through social good, affordable motorcycle startup Tugendehas announced that it’s closed a round of US$780 000. The Ugandan-based company describes itself as a for-profit social enterprise that offers an affordable lease-to-own model to help motorcycle taxi drivers own bikes in 18 months or less. The business model seems pretty sleek and has in 2014 grew 300% to over 700 active customers.
Friday, February 6, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Here’s where Africa’s payments revolution should be happening today

Source: Venture Burn

In emerging markets, mobile money services have the power to simplify lives, offering people the convenience of paying from anywhere and at any time, but also to transform them, playing a social noble role by addressing the unbanked or underserved population in Africa, offering them payment services they did not have access to before.
Thursday, February 5, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Could a $34 Smartphone Device Improve HIV Diagnosis in Africa?

Source: Reuters

A $34 device that plugs into the audio jack of a smartphone was nearly as effective as far more costly diagnostic blood testing equipment in identifying antibodies for HIV and syphilis in a pilot study in Africa, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.
Thursday, February 5, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bitcoin's Big Opportunity in Africa

Source: Fast Company

On a Tuesday night at a Nairobi tech incubator, Michael Kimani preaches the virtues of crypto currencies to a small gathering of tech-savvy Kenyans.
Thursday, February 5, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Experts Call for Innovations to Aid Africa’s Healthcare

Source: Science and Development Network

Local technologies and innovations can transform healthcare delivery in Africa, health experts and biomedical researchers have told a conference.
Thursday, February 5, 2015 — No Region Specified

Will JOBS Act Equity Crowdfunding Ever Happen?

Source: Forbes

On April 5, 2012, a revolutionary avenue of capital formation for small businesses was created when President Obama signed The JOBS Act into law and equity crowdfunding in the United States was born. Entrepreneurs with small businesses were excited by the prospect of using online crowdfunding to raise up to $1 million by selling equity in their company, something not allowed on rewards-based crowdfunding sites Kickstarter or Indiegogo. When the JOBS Act was passed, the new law gave the Securities and Exchange Commission until January 1, 2013 to publish regulations and rules that would allow this game-changing law to go into effect.
Thursday, February 5, 2015 — Latin America

IDB to support BoP families in the Dominican Republic with access to credit for home improvements

Source: Inter-American Development Bank

Loan of up to $5 million has mobilized an additional $5 million through a B-loan syndication.
Thursday, February 5, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

A Failed Trial in Africa Raises Questions About How to Test H.I.V. Drugs

Source: The New York Times

The surprising failure of a large clinical trial of H.I.V.-prevention methods in Africa — and the elaborate deceptions employed by the women in it — have opened an ethical debate about how to run such studies in poor countries and have already changed the design of some that are now underway.
Thursday, February 5, 2015 — No Region Specified

Artificially Intelligent Robot Scientist 'Eve' Could Boost Search for New Drugs

Source: Science Daily

Eve, an artificially-intelligent 'robot scientist' could make drug discovery faster and much cheaper, say researchers writing in the Royal Society journal Interface. The team has demonstrated the success of the approach as Eve discovered that a compound shown to have anti-cancer properties might also be used in the fight against malaria.
Thursday, February 5, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ethiopia Launches Mobile Money Schemes to Extend Banking Reach

Source: Daily Mail

Ethiopian banks and microfinance firms are launching mobile money services, helping reach swathes of the population that now have little access to branches or services, the mobile technology providers and banks said.
Thursday, February 5, 2015 — No Region Specified

Can Mobile Banking Revolutionize the Live of the Poor?

Source: The Verge

In the village of Sori along the banks of Kenya’s Lake Victoria, fishing has long been the lynchpin of the local economy. Jobs here are largely divided by gender: men catch the fish, and the women process the meat, take it to market, and handle finances.
Thursday, February 5, 2015 — North Africa and Near East

Dubai's Dumyé Named in World's Best Social Enterprises

Source: Arabian Business

A Dubai-based Arab-American designer turned social entrepreneur has won a chance to compete for a share of a $1 million fund and represent the region at a global finals for social entrepreneurs in San Francisco.
Thursday, February 5, 2015 — South Asia

Payment Banks: How It Is Possible to Build a Business Around Financial Inclusion

Source: The Economic Times

Dattaram, 50, earns Rs 9,000 a month doing domestic chores in three to four homes in a Mumbai neighbourhood.
Thursday, February 5, 2015 — South Asia

Mastercard Opens Tech Hub and Preps for Masterpass in India

Source: PYMNTS

MasterCard has opened its largest Tech Hub outside of the U.S. in Pune, India, and plans to roll out its mobile payments system in April, the card brand said on Wednesday (Feb. 4).
Thursday, February 5, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

South Africa Inventions Aim to Stop Slum Fires, Floods

Source: Daily Mail

South Africans social entrepreneurs have come up with inventions aimed at curbing deadly fires and floods in the country's crowded informal settlements.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: How Mobile Money Is Leading the Drive Toward a Cashless Economy

Source: allAfrica

Since its launch in 2011, the nation's journey toward a cashless economy has registered steady progress with benefits such as reducing financial exclusion and enhancing customer experience.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 — South Asia

Shell Foundation May Invest $75 Million in Clean Energy in India Over Next 5 Years

Source: The Economic Times

Shell Foundation, an independent charity set up by Anglo-Dutch energy group Shell, plans to allocate about half of its $150 million deployable funds in India's clean energy sector over the next five years, a top official said. The foundation may not invest the funds directly into projects but in for-profit companies or financial institutes, which will in turn invest in solutions to make cheap energy options accessible in rural and urban poor areas. "We want to take a marketbased approach where we can fund or forward grants to companies who are directly or indirectly providing the bottom of the pyramid with access to energy," said Pradeep Pursnani, deputy director-chief operating officer at Shell Foundation.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 — South Asia

Jeff Bezos-Backed Startup Remitly Now Offers Money Transfers to India

Source: GeekWire

Remitly wants to make it easier and cheaper for people to transfer money to family and friends in India.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 — South Asia

Obama’s Visit, New Partnership Could Boost Mobile Money in India

Source: The World Post

The focus of the media attention during the president's visit was the historic invitation to be the honored guest at India's Republic Day -- a first for the U.S. and a signal of the close and evolving relationship between the two countries. However, what got little notice was something the president left behind, something that will likely contribute to the biggest transformation for the poor in India.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Pharmaceutical Industry in West Africa Receives a Boost

Source: Spy Ghana News

To ensure affordability, safe, quality and efficacious medicines on the African continent, the West Africa Medicines Registration Harmonization Project and Steering Committee of African Union Model Law, has been launched in Accra.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 — No Region Specified

How a Grassroots Fund Profits From Looking Beyond the Money

Source: Entrepreneur

It’s something many investors don’t want to hear: Businesses that provide economic opportunity for low-income people in challenging markets around the world require a lot of expensive hand-holding. Harold Rosen, founder of the Grassroots Business Fund (GBF), isn’t afraid to tell them. And, the hand-holding can be worth it.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Only 40% of Ebola Donations Have Reached the Affected Countries

Source: TIME

The latest study shows the gap between what the world pledged to give, and what the affected countries really got.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 — No Region Specified

The 'Very Simple Question' That Impact Investors Should Ask

Source: Chicago Tribune

How can impact investors get the most bang for their buck? Cathy Clark, the director of Duke University’s Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship, said it depends on how they define the bang.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Study Shows the Top Ten Global Health Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Issues

Source: Newswise

Ten years after the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness reported on the need for better coordination in the global fight against disease, global pharmaceutical supply chains remain fragmented and lack coordination, facing at least 10 fundamental challenges, according to a newly published paper by professors at NYU Wagner and MIT-Zaragoza.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 — South Asia

Greenlight Planet Receives Funding of $10 Million

Source: The Economic Times

Solar energy product company Greenlight Planet has raised $10 million (Rs in funding led by Fidelity Growth Partners India to support its distribution expansion efforts in India and Southeast Asia.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 — South Asia

Mylan to Buy Women's Health Business in India for $800M

Source: TribLIVE

Mylan Inc. said Monday that it is acquiring some women's health care businesses from an Indian partner in a deal that could be worth more than $800 million and help it capitalize on demand for contraceptives in developing countries.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 — No Region Specified

Pollution Kills Far More People Than Malaria Or Ebola In The Developing World

Source: Fast Company

Diseases like ebola, HIV, and malaria rightly get a lot of a headlines, because they can kill millions of people very quickly. But there's another problem that affects even more people, and it's not mentioned as much: pollution.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

My Health Plan for Africa - New WHO Boss

Source: All Africa

Dr Rebecca Moeti was last week in Geneva appointed the new WHO boss for Africa. She spoke exclusively to Star's John Muchangi on her immediate plan.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 — No Region Specified

New aid model needed or world's poorest will wait a century for basics

Source: Reuters

It will take 100 years for some of the world's poorest people to get basic healthcare, sanitation and education services, unless the current approach to aid is radically changed, said a report published on Tuesday.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

M-KOPA Solar raises $12.45m in latest funding round

Source: Disrupt Africa

Kenyan startup M-KOPA Solar has closed its fourth round of investment through a US$12.45 million equity and debt deal led by LGT Venture Philanthropy, which will be used to expand the company’s product range, grow its operating base in East Africa and license its technology to other markets.
TAGS:solar
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

African Development Bank promises Kenya $500 million loan for infrastructure projects

Source: Standard Digital

African Development Bank (AfDB) will loan Kenya Sh45 billion ($500m) this year to finance major infrastructure projects in the country.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: Central Bank Approvals Delay Crossborder Mobile Money Service

Source: All Africa

The infrastructure to facilitate the service is ready, but there have been delays in getting the necessary regulatory approvals by the central banks in Rwanda, Kenya and Uganda.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 — South Asia

Vodafone says policy shortcomings, lack of awareness derailing mobile money growth in India

Source: Economic Times

Vodafone India has said that regulatory hurdles and lack of financial inclusion awareness is limiting the growth of mobile money, at a time when the government is pushing for greater financial inclusion.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ugandan joint venture wins $1m

Source: East African Business Week

TTC Mobile, (formerly Text to Change), management said the money will be used to expand the company’s activities, hire more local and international staff and spread its projects all over the world, effectively turning the company into a leading global social enterprise. Eunice Namirembe, the TTC Mobile Uganda Country Director, has said this investment will help more social projects and possible expansion of some of the existing ones.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 — No Region Specified

Governments hold key to unlocking billions for social good - G8 report

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

Governments can unleash billions of dollars to tackle social problems more effectively if they take bold steps to reduce barriers to investing for both profit and social good, a task force set up by the world's richest nations said on Monday.
Tuesday, February 3, 2015 — South Asia

India's Jan Dhan Yojana has helped poor, but financial inclusion still far off

Source: Live Mint

According to a World Bank survey in 2012, only 35% of adults in India had access to a formal bank account and only 8% borrowed from institutional and formal sources
Monday, February 2, 2015 — South Asia

Pfizer, Manipal Hospitals & others join hands to accelerate health tech startups in India

Source: The Economic Times

A group of health care entities, including Manipal Hospitals and Narayana Health, have gotten together with an investor to provide up to $1.6 million in grants and investments to early-stage startups that seek to enhance access to affordable technology-driven health care products and services for low-income masses in India.
Monday, February 2, 2015 — South Asia

Change in Reserve Bank of India norms may leave mobile wallet firms irrelevant

Source: Economic Times

Friday, January 30, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Study: Ebola Vaccine May Fall Short

Source: Voice of America

One of the Ebola vaccines about to enter testing in Liberia may not be as potent as researchers had hoped, according to a new study, raising questions about how well it will prevent infection.
Friday, January 30, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

HIV Fears Rise Over Condom Shortage in States

Source: The Times of India

At least six states are facing a severe shortage of condoms distributed under the government's AIDS control programme, giving rise to a public health concern over the risk of HIV infections spreading.
Friday, January 30, 2015 — No Region Specified

Stanford Launches Major Effort to Expedite Vaccine Discovery with $50 Million Grant

Source: Stanford Medicine

The funding will establish the Stanford Human Systems Immunology Center, and will accelerate efforts to develop vaccines for the world's most deadly infectious diseases.
Friday, January 30, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

This 'Eco Stove' Does More Than Cook Your Dinner

Source: CNN

In Uganda, more than 28 million people in the country are without electricity. To put that into perspective, the entire population of the beautiful landlocked east-central African nation is less than 38 million people.
Friday, January 30, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Press Release: Four Initiatives From Across Africa Win Share of Global $1 Million Healthcare Innovation Award

Source: PharmiWeb.com

Organisations from South Africa, Zambia, Kenya and Uganda recognised by GSK and Save the Children for innovations proven to help reduce deaths in under-fives.
Friday, January 30, 2015 — No Region Specified

A Big Step Forward for Bolstering Financial Inclusion

Source: iMFdirect

Economists are paying increasing attention to the link between financial inclusion—greater availability of and access to financial services—and economic development. In anew paper, we take a closer look at exactly how financial inclusion impacts a country’s economy and what policies are most effective in promoting it.
Friday, January 30, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Why More Nigerian Microfinance Banks May Collapse

Source: The News Nigeria

The Managing Director of Asha Microfinance Bank, in Nigeria’s western city of Lagos, Mr Aminul Bhuiya, on Thursday raised fears about the possible collapse of more microfinance banks in the country saying this was due to high cost of operation.
Friday, January 30, 2015 — No Region Specified

Bill Gates Explains Why Bitcoin Won't Help the Poor

Source: CoinBuzz

According to the World Bank, approximately 2.5 billion people (roughly half of the world’s adult population) does not have a bank account due to reasons such as lack of money, high fees, long distances, and complicated paperwork.
Friday, January 30, 2015 — No Region Specified

A $710 Million Crowdfinanced Company: An Alternative to Venture Capital

Source: Crowdfund Insider

Last week the UC Berkeley case study on Sanovas Inc., the San Rafael California Life Science accelerator was presented at the JP Morgan Chase OneMed conference to a packed audience of over 120 investors. I presented the case study, which is the first in a series to be released by UC Berkeley looking at innovative firms and models in crowdfunding.
Friday, January 30, 2015 — South Asia

Bharti Airtel, India’s Largest Mobile Services Provider, Applies for a Payments Bank License

Source: The Economic Times

Bharti Airtel, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Airtel M Commerce Services Ltd. (AMSL), is applying for a Payments Bank licence with Kotak Mahindra BankBSE -0.69 % as a partner.
Friday, January 30, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

If Cash Is King in Africa, Mobile Money Is Heir Apparent

Source: Ventures Africa

For most African businesses and the populace at large, cash is king, owing to the continent’s developing electronic funds transfer systems and the slow uptake of technology-based remittance and payments platforms. But experts believe that the growing integration of telecommunications and banking in most African countries, as well as the continued revamping of platforms enabling electronic funds transfers, is helping mobile money to catch up to cash in terms of popularity.
Thursday, January 29, 2015 — South Asia

International Health Activists Criticise President Obama’s Attempts to Undermine India's IPR

Source: Pharmabiz

US President Barack Obama’s comments during the India-US CEO Forum in New Delhi on Monday January 26 with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have drawn harsh criticism from international health activists. The activists have called upon Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to stand strong against US pressure to change its pro-public health patent laws.
Thursday, January 29, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

UK University Ranking Reveals Global Health Neglect

Source: Science and Development Network

The United Kingdom’s top medical research universities spend just two per cent of their health research budgets on work related to health in developing countries, according to a study launched last week.
Thursday, January 29, 2015 — South Asia

Viewpoint: Entrepreneurial Dream mEntrepreneurial Dream Made Easy in Pakistan

Source: Pakistan Herald

When 40-year-old Salma Bai wanted to set up her own tea shop in Faisalabad, her main worry was obtaining the capital that was required to start an entrepreneurial venture.
Thursday, January 29, 2015 — No Region Specified

Mental Health Is a Global Issue – Here’s How Neuroscience Can Cross International Boundaries

Source: The Conversation

Neuroscience holds the key to understanding the brain – and to developing more effective treatments for people with mental health disorders.
Thursday, January 29, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Innovative Biometric Payment Technology for Ebola Response Workers Launched

Source: UNDP in Sierra Leone

The Government of Sierra Leone through the National Ebola Response Centre (NERC) has this week launched a national exercise to implement the revised Hazard Policy aimed at re-classifying Ebola Response Workers (ERWs) based on real risks and further ensuring fiduciary sustainability and compliance.
Thursday, January 29, 2015 — South Asia

Viewpoint: Stop Marketing, Start Elevating

Source: Business Line

The next five years will throw a lot of cold water on marketers, waking them up to a burning challenge. At the heart of it is a global tech-fuelled surge of power from brands to people, and today it is sweeping through a younger, assertive hooked-up India.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 — Latin America

Brazilian Development Bank Loans $100m to Banco do Nordeste do Brasil to Expand Microcredit

Source: MicroCapital

Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES), the Brazilian government’s development bank, reportedly has announced that it will loan USD 100 million to Banco do Nordeste do Brasil (BNB), a public bank operating in Brazil’s Northeastern Region. The investment will be made from the microcredit program of BNDES, and BNB will commit an additional BRL 42.8 million (USD 16.6 million) to the effort. The proceeds will be used to fund individual entrepreneurs as well as micro- and small enterprises (MSEs). The interest rate of the wholesale loan will be set according to the country’s Long-term Interest Rate (known as TJLP in portuguese), which currently stands at 5.5 percent, plus 1.1 percent [1].
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 — No Region Specified

Unilever Boss Paul Polman Slams Capitalist Obsession with Profit

Source: The Telegraph

Paul Polman has criticised business leaders for putting profit ahead of sustainability, arguing that both can exist 'without compromise'.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 — No Region Specified

With New CEO, What's Next for the Global Impact Investing Network

Source: Devex

The impact investing industry has grown in reputation and size over the past five years — and alongside it, the Global Impact Investing Network has evolved as well, with its membership increasing tenfold as it added products and services for the growing field.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uber Eyes Use of Mobile Money Service in Africa

Source: PC Advisor

Many people in Africa do not have credit cards, but do use mobile services on phones. After launching its service in seven African cities and hitting a few hitches, especially in Kenya, Uber is exploring the use of mobile money services.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 — No Region Specified

Bill Gates Dismisses Criticism of High Prices for Vaccines

Source: The Guardian

Criticising the cost of vaccines could lead to pharmaceutical companies withdrawing research funding, warns Gates, as donors pledge $7.5bn for immunisations of children in poor countries.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 — South Asia

Why 2015 Will Be a Game-Changer for Financial Inclusion in India

Source: Quartz

When it comes to digital finance, India punches below its weight. The 2014 Intermedia Financial Inclusion Insight (FII) Survey of 45,000 Indian adults found that 0.3% of adults use mobile money, compared to 76% in Kenya, 48% in Tanzania, 43% in Uganda, and 22% in Bangladesh.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 — South Asia

The Global Fund in China: Success Beyond the Numbers

Source: The Lancet

In June, 2014, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria completed its support for operations in China.1 The 10-year partnership between China and the Fund measurably improved China's management of the three diseases, but it also created benefits that extend far beyond the metrics usually used to assess public health programmes. These benefits include deeper engagement with civil society organisations, stronger public health systems, and the implementation of innovative approaches for disease management. As China celebrates these achievements, it must also devise a roadmap for continuing its record of success, now that the Fund has left.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Columbia Business School Receives Generous Donation to Establish the Tamer Center for Social Enterprise

Source: Columbia Business School

Columbia Business School today announced the creation of theTamer Center for Social Enterprise. The new center, made possible through a transformative endowment gift from Sandra and Tony Tamer will help develop a new generation of business leaders that understand how management can contribute to, enhance, and impact society and the environment. Additionally, it will serve as the educational, curricular, research, and strategic hub of all social entrepreneurship activities at Columbia.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 — Latin America

Press Release: Better Than Cash Alliance Study Shows Colombia's Digital Payment Tool for Coffee Farmers Is a Model to Replicate

Source: Market Wired

The Colombian Coffee Growers Federation (FNC) Smart Coffee ID Card (CCI), launched in 2006, has become a vital tool for financial inclusion and change in the productive dynamics of Colombia´s rural sector, according to the Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA), a United Nations alliance of governments, companies and the development community committed to the global transition from cash to electronic payments.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 — South Asia

Alibaba Finance Arm Sets Up China Consumer Credit-Scoring System

Source: Reuters

The financial services affiliate of Alibaba (BABA.N) launched on Wednesday a system that will use the e-commerce giant's data trove to assess the creditworthiness of Chinese consumers and businesses with little or no history at traditional lenders.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 — South Asia

How One Man Brought Health Care to India's Poorest Populations

Source: Entrepreneur

Shelley Saxena, a mobile technology entrepreneur in Atlanta, had a head start when he launched Sevamob, a distribution system for low-cost preventive health services across India. But that didn’t save him from having to make a few strategic pivots as his new business grew.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 — South Asia

India Needs Cutting-Edge Technology to Become Global Healthcare Destination

Source: The Economic Times

Dr. Prathap C. Reddy, Founder, Chairman, Apollo Hospitals Group, speaks about NCDs, healthcare challenges and solutions in a conversation with Shivani Arora.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 — No Region Specified

4 Innovations On mHealth and POC Devices

Source: Devex

There has been much talk about innovations in mobile health technologies among the international aid community in recent years. But now there’s a new kid on the block.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ebola Crisis: Oxfam Calls for Recovery Marshall Plan

Source: BBC

Oxfam has called for a multi-million dollar Marshall Plan-type scheme to help the three West Africa countries worst affected by Ebola to recover.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 — South Asia

China Makes First Aid Commitment to Gavi

Source: Devex

Despite Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance’s ambitious $7.5 billion target, donors rose up to the challenge and pledged slightly more than the set goal: $7.539 billion. These commitments are a reflection of donors’ continued confidence not only in the alliance’s capability to deliver results but also to provide evidence of value for money.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: The Aspen Institute Appoints Ida Rademacher as New Executive Director of the Initiative on Financial Security

Source: PR Newswire

The Aspen Institute is pleased to announce today that Ida Rademacher has joined the Institute as the new Executive Director of the Initiative on Financial Security, effective immediately. In this role, Rademacher will lead the Initiative into a new phase of engagement with leaders from the financial services, government, and independent sectors to explore how the rapidly evolving financial system and public policies can work together to improve the financial security and financial well-being of all Americans. Rademacher's work will expand the Initiative on Financial Security's efforts to bring to the national forefront a solutions-focused discussion of how America can address growing wealth inequality and household financial insecurity.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

What’s Next for Philanthropy? More Investment and More Cooperation.

Source: The Washington Post

Washington-area philanthropy is becoming unabashedly business-minded. Practices such as impact investing and public-private partnerships that were experiments after the recession are now expected to be regular giving habits for many do-gooders. And that’s just for starters. Capital Business caught up with a few local philanthropy thought leaders to see what’s next for local giving in the region:
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

Hold the Drug, Go Straight to the Source

Source: The New York Times

Ground-up artemisia plants, from which the anti-malaria drug artemisininis derived, appear to work much better than the refined drug does by itself, according to research at the University of Massachusetts.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

'We Don't Think Charity Is the Way to Resolve Global Inequality' Says Oxfam International Boss

Source: The Independent

The James Ashton Interview: The executive director of Oxfam International, was in Davos last week campaigning to close the huge gap between the world’s haves and have-nots.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 — South Asia

Press Release: New Initiative Announced to Enable Diaspora Investment in India’s Development

Source: USAID

President Barack Obama announced today in New Delhi a new partnership among the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Calvert Foundation and several private financial institutions in India to develop an Indian Diaspora Investment Initiative.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan Promises to Revive the Country’s Microcredit Sector If He wins Re-Election

Source: allAfrica

President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday promised to revive the micro-credit sector of the economy if he wins the February 14, 2015 election.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 — South Asia

Top-Selling Vaccine Made Cheap Shows Challenge to Merck

Source: Bloomberg

Asia’s biggest vaccine maker is working on a string of new low-priced offerings that threaten to undercut brands from the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: U.S. Small Business Administration’s Impact Investment Fund Grows Threefold in Last 12 Months

Source: PR Newswire

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced today that the Impact Investment Fund of the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program has tripled in the last 12 months.
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

How to Leave a Mark: Impact Investing

Source: The New York Times

The big debate during the 20th century was about the relationship between the market and the state. Both those institutions are now tarnished. The market is prone to devastating crashes and seems to be producing widening inequality. Government is gridlocked, sclerotic or captured by special interests. Government is an ever more rigid and ineffective tool to address market failures.
Monday, January 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

Gates Sees 'Miracle' Tools for AIDS by 2030 in Vaccine and Drugs

Source: Reuters

Two new tools to fight AIDS should be available by 2030 in the form of a vaccine and new intense drug treatments, ending most cases of a disease that has killed millions in the past 30 years, Bill Gates said.
Monday, January 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom Launches Ideas Portal

Source: BiztechAfrica

Safaricom has launched an interactive portal dubbed Zindua Café (www.safaricom.co.ke/zindua) through which external innovators and developers countrywide will be able to share their ideas, applications and prototypes with Safaricom.
Monday, January 26, 2015 — South Asia

India Turns to Corner Shops, Mobile Phones for Banking Revolution

Source: Reuters

India is betting that mobile phone vendors, fuel stations and corner stores can help it put basic banking within the grasp of hundreds of millions of its poor people living beyond the reach of traditional bank branches.
Monday, January 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Know What's Killing More People in Nigeria Than Boko Haram? Lack of Drinking Water

Source: Bloomberg

The lack of running water killed more people in Nigeria last year than Boko Haram. While the terror campaign claimed more than 4,000 lives, the shortage of potable water and poor sanitation led to about 73,000 deaths, according to WaterAid, a London-based nonprofit.
Monday, January 26, 2015 — South Asia

Eco-Entrepreneurs Promise Women A Safe Period: Suchismita Pai

Source: The Rising Nepal

Period. While the English dictionary gives several meanings for this rather ordinary word, millions of women around the world associate it with discomfort, pain and embarrassing memories. For hundreds of thousands of girls across India, menstruation means five days of solitary confinement; it’s the one reason behind many being forced to drop out of school and also being subjected to discriminatory social practices. Caught between superstition, ignorance and poverty they end up using anything from straw, ash and tree bark to even cow dung and dirty rags to absorb the flow. Consequently, stories about disease and death are legion.
Monday, January 26, 2015 — South Asia

Barack Obama Commends India’s Financial Inclusion Drive, Calls for Greater Voice for the Country in IMF

Source: Zee News

US President Barack Obama Sunday affirmed his commitment to enhancing India's 'voice and vote' in global financial institutions like IMF.
Monday, January 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

US to Commit $1B to Gavi Until 2018

Source: Devex

The welcome reception to kick off the pledging conference in Berlin, Germany, for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance will be held later tonight, but already the public-private partnership has gained itself one backer: the United States.
Monday, January 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Brandee McHale Named President of the Citi Foundation and Director of Corporate Citizenship for Citi

Source: Market Watch

Today, Citi announced that Brandee McHale has been appointed President of the Citi Foundation and Director of Corporate Citizenship for Citi, effective February 1st. Ms. McHale will succeed Pamela Flaherty, who is retiring at the end of January after 46 years with Citi. Ed Skyler will remain Chairman of the Citi Foundation.
Monday, January 26, 2015 — No Region Specified

Will Unilever Become the World's Largest Publicly Traded B Corp?

Source: The Guardian

After Natura was certified as the first publicly listed B Corp in December, Unilever CEO Paul Polman says his company is considering pursuing the status.
Monday, January 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bank of Zimbabwe Launches $50 Million Fund to Support Smallholder Farmers, Rural Development

Source: Zambia Daily Mail

Bank of Zambia (BoZ) Governor Michael Gondwe has launched a US$50 million Fund under the MasterCard Foundation’s Fund to support smallholder farmers in the rural areas.
Friday, January 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: After Some Teething Troubles, Frugal Innovation Is On the Rise

Source: The Economist

Victor Hugo once said that “nothing can stop an idea whose time has come”. He failed to add that a lousy product launch can delay it. In the first decade of this century it seemed that frugal innovation’s time had indeed arrived: to meet surging demand from new consumers in emerging economies, innovative firms in those countries were stripping products of their fripperies and cutting their cost drastically. The new world had at last produced a big, new management idea.
Friday, January 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

For Youth, By Youth: Creating Jobs, Sustainability and A Future Vision for Kenya

Source: Forbes

Simeon Ogonda’s vision for Kenyan youth is ambitious. He wants to transform young people from job seekers into job creators who build and support sustainable and transparent enterprises. “My vision is to bring up more young people who can develop their own businesses, work hard, and trust that so long as they keep their passion alive, they will not fail in what they’re doing,” he said.
Friday, January 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Gender Inequality Costs Women in Poor Countries $9 Trillion, ActionAid Says

Source: ActionAid

Gender inequality in work costs women in poor countries US$9 trillion each year – more than the combined GDPs of Britain, France and Germany – according to research released today by the international development agency ActionAid.
TAGS:Women
Friday, January 23, 2015 — North Africa and Near East

Cleft Lip Surgical Tool Simulator to Be Showcased at WISH in Qatar

Source: Sowetan LIVE

The recent innovation, that will definitely put a smile to a lot of people’s faces, literally, is the cleft lip and palate and palate surgical tool.
Friday, January 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Card Payments Drop as Mobile Money Use Grows in Kenya

Source: AFKInsider

Payments made using plastic cards dipped by a fifth in 11 months to November last year as mobile phone-based payments ate into commercial banks’ business.
Friday, January 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

Vaccines Alliance Set to Ramp Up Its Work, Hopes to Raise $7.5B

Source: Voice of America

The GAVI global vaccines alliance is seeking to raise $7.5 billion at a funding conference in Berlin next week, as its battle to prevent infectious diseases in millions of children reaches an expected peak.
Friday, January 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

Developing Countries Urged to Produce TB Vaccines Locally

Source: EurActiv

Even though one third of the global population have the microbes that cause tuberculosis (TB), pharmaceutical companies still have little incentive to produce the drugs that can combat the deadly but curable disease.
Friday, January 23, 2015 — South Asia

Choosing an Investment Model for India’s Medical Devices Industry

Source: India Briefing

This year, India’s medical devices industry will be opened up to 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI). The move had been in the works for some time – India’s union cabinet met last year to discuss the reform, while the industry’s regulatory framework has been tweaked several times since it was first introduced in 2005.
Friday, January 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigerian Smart Card Plant Supports Expansion of Financial Services to Poor

Source: ITworld

Responding to banks’ efforts to reach out to people who do not typically use financial services, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan this week inaugurated the first Europay, MasterCard and Visa (EMV) certified smart card manufacturing plant in sub-Saharan Africa.
Friday, January 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

Global Insurers, Brokers Establish Micro Insurance Consortium

Source: Insurance Journal

A group of global insurance companies and brokers took advantage of the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos to announce that they have established a micro insurance consortium and micro insurance venture incubator (MVI).
Friday, January 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In Zimbabwe, All Bets Are On Mobile Money & Data As SMS Declines and Telecoms Shifts

Source: Techzim

Numbers don’t lie, especially in business, and when the right sort of numbers are going up it becomes a celebrated truth.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

Microcredit Does Not Live Up to Promise of Transforming Lives of the Poor, Six Studies Show

Source: Innovations for Poverty Action

Microcredit—providing small loans to underserved entrepreneurs—has been both celebrated and vilified as a development tool. Six new studies from four continents bring rigorous evidence to this debate, finding that while microcredit has some benefits, it is not a viable poverty alleviation tool.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

Canadian Responsible Investments Surpass $1 Trillion Says 2014 Trends Report

Source: The Globe and Mail

The value of Canadian investments managed under “responsible investing” criteria climbed dramatically over two years as money managers increasingly added environmental, social or governance factors to their investment decisions.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: National Advisory Board on Impact Investing Names Darren Walker As New Chair

Source: SYS-CON Media

Today the U.S. National Advisory Board on Impact Investing (NAB) named Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation, as the new Chair, joining the leadership team that includes Matt Bannick, Managing Partner at Omidyar Network, and Tracy Palandjian, CEO of Social Finance US.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

Three Questions with David Aylward, Senior Advisor on Global Health and Technology at Ashoka

Source: The Daily Meal

Food Tank, in partnership with The George Washington University, is hosting the 1st Annual Food Tank Summit in Washington D.C. on January 21-22, 2015.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: AfDB and Mastercard Seek to Broaden Financial Inclusion in Africa Through Digital Finance

Source: allAfrica

On Thursday, January 22 in Davos, Switzerland, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and MasterCard announced a broad collaboration that aims to expand financial inclusion across the African continent. The collaboration seeks to develop solutions that drive inclusive growth in Africa by broadening access and usage of digital financial services.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tampax, Toilets and Shark Tanks

Source: PSI Impact

Inspired by the ABC reality TV show Shark Tank, PSI’s corporate partnerships team recently conducted its own version of the contest. Teams of PSI staffers presented five ideas to three judges, Sumathi Balasubramanian, senior manager, initiatives for girls and women, PSI; Marcie Cook, senior regional director, Asia and Eastern Europe, PSI; and Adeeb Mahmud, director, FSG. The winner was the Tampax for Toilets campaign, submitted by Dan Lawner and Genevieve Kelly of PSI’s East Africa department and Malaria and Child Survival department, respectively. Watch their winning presentation above or read below for more on their idea:
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

Bill and Melinda Gates Want to Fix Another Messy Global Problem: Banking

Source: Quartz

Bill and Melinda Gates have taken on some of the world’s messiest problems, funding projects to improve the design of toilets and condoms and even create urine-powered fuel cells. Now, in their annual letter published today, they’re outlining ambitions to tackle another messy sector: banking.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — South Asia

GAVI Selects India's HMD As Partner for Global Health Project

Source: The Economic Times

GAVI, a public-private global health partnership committed to increasing access to immunisation, has chosen Hindustan Syringes and Medical Devices Ltd (HMD) as one of its knowledge and strategic partners to promote injection safety around the world.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

Opinion: Does the GSMA Code of Conduct for Mobile Money Providers Go Far Enough to Protect Consumers?

Source: World Bank Group

The recently launched GSM Association Code of Conduct for Mobile Money Providers is a welcome initiative. There is increasing recognition of the economic benefits that digital financial services can bring, along with an understanding that achieving ambitious financial inclusion targets may well depend on their rapid rollout. Such targets are being proposed by the World Bank, under the Maya Declaration and in other forums.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Davos 2015: Live Updates From the World Economic Forum

Source: The Huffington Post

Wednesday marks the second day of the 2015 World Economic Forum, also known as the Davos Annual Meeting.
Thursday, January 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

MSF Bends Donation Policy for Pneumonia Vaccine

Source: Devex

After years of refusing vaccine handouts from big pharmaceutical companies, international medical humanitarian group Médecins Sans Frontières is bending its policy to accept donations of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Coinbase’s $75M Raise Shows Investors Still See Gold in Bitcoin

Source: VentureBeat

Coinbase announced a raise today of $75 million, putting the company’s total fundraising just over $106 million. That’s the biggest raise that a Bitcoin company has ever seen, despite the fact that Bitcoin’s value continues to decline. Last week, the coin fell below $200. As of this writing, however, it’s worth roughly $210 per Bitcoin.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

The End of the Silo: What It Means for Today's Global Health Worker

Source: Devex

From large corporations and foundations to the newest of startups, global health players focused on development are finding that success lies with shared values, aligned purpose and mutually reinforcing efforts. Meanwhile, NGOs are seeking new skills in their global health workforce and field partners, which require workers to think beyond established relationships.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Reaching the Hardest-to-Reach: Financial Services for Overlooked Populations

Source: The Huffington Post

The growth of microfinance solutions to address pressing development challenges has brought many of the world's formerly "unbanked" into formal financial systems. However, one group continually remains outside the system -- the poorest of the poor. Even some microfinance programs and deliberately inclusive financial policies remain unaffordable for segments of the population. Across the Global South, a number of initiatives have emerged with the notion that, although access to financial services has expanded in recent years, the remaining need demands innovative actions. We take a look at examples in Lagos, Bogotá, Cairo, and Bangalore.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — South Asia

World Bank to Commit $1 Billion to “Clean India” Program

Source: The Economic Times

World Bank today said it will commit USD 1 billion in the government's Swachh Bharat (Clean India) campaign. World Bank's country director in India Onno Ruhl said the World Bank is considering considerable large sums of financing for that.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MIT-USAID Program Releases Pioneering Evaluation of Solar Lanterns

Source: MIT News

When a person lives on less than $2 a day — as some 2.7 billion people around the world do — there isn’t room for a product like a solar lantern or a water filter to fail. It’s a challenge development agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and consumers themselves face every day: With so many products on the market, how do you choose the right one?
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Vodacom Adds EMV Banking Card to Complement M-Pesa Mobile Money Service in South Africa

Source: Ventures Africa

Leading digital security company, Gemalto has announced the deployment of prepaid EMV banking cards to complement Vodacom’s m-pesa mobile wallet service in South Africa.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Islamic Development Bank Approves Close to US $190 Million in New Development Financings

Source: Zawya

The 302nd meeting of the Board of Executive Directors of the Islamic Development Bank ( IDB ) which started on Sunday, 18 January, 2015, concluded on Tuesday in Jeddah, KSA. Chaired by IDB President Dr. Ahmad Mohamed Ali, the Board reviewed a number of important items amongst them the draft agenda for the upcoming 40th Annual Meeting of the IDB Board of Governors slated for 10-11 June 2015 in Maputo, Mozambique, which is to be attended by Ministers of Finance and Economy of the 56 member countries. The members of the Board also approved US $ 189.4 million worth of new financings for a number of development projects covering important sectors in several member countries as well as a number of Muslim communities in non-member countries.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Growing Global Health Awareness Could Mean Big Business for Manufacturers

Source: Market Watch

The battle against the bulge is a global phenomenon that could translate into real opportunity for manufacturers, according to a new study by Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy. Nearly half (49%) of the global respondents in Nielsen's Global Health & Wellness Survey consider themselves overweight. Obesity rates around the world are accelerating and not just in developed countries. In fact, 62% of the world's 671 million obese individuals live in developing markets, according to the 2013 Global Burden of Disease Study. The study estimated that 2.1 billion people (nearly 30% of the global population) were overweight or obese. Nielsen's study shows that consumers are attempting to take charge of their health—50% are actively trying to lose weight and 88% are willing to pay more for foods with healthy attributes to some degree.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Many Universities ‘Failing to Address Public Health Needs of World’s Poor’

Source: Times Higher Education

Most of the top-funded universities for medical science are not doing enough to address the needs of the world’s poorest people in terms of public health research, according to a new ranking.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — South Asia

Bengaluru Start-Up Wins Tata Social Enterprise Challenge

Source: The Hindu

A low-cost medical device invented by a city-based start-up has emerged the winner of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2014-15, an initiative of the Tata group and Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — South Asia

ICICI, India’s Largest Private Sector Bank, Launches Banking Service on Twitter

Source: The Hindu

ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank, on Monday announced the launch of banking services on Twitter, the first of its kind service, in India.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — South Asia

Villgro Launches Rs 20-Crore Incubation Fund

Source: The Economic Times

Impact investment firm Villgro has announced a Rs 20-crore fund targeted at incubating education startups.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Banks Are Now Handing Out Loans to People They’d Normally Shun

Source: Wired

Before Jeff Stewart could credibly advance the notion that your Facebook friend network could—or even should—help you get a loan, he had to prove the system worked and was reliable. It took a long time. I first met him in 2012, a year after he’d launched Lenddo, pitching it as a new way for people just entering the middle class to qualify for and receive loans. His startup planned to use Facebook data to assess credit risk, and to make loans to well-qualified candidates, starting in the Philippines.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Loans $1.2m to Kenyan Juhudi Kilimo, Uganda Microcredit Foundation (UMF), Uganda’s Encot

Source: MicroCapital

The Grameen Crédit Agricole Microfinance Foundation (GCAMF), a Luxembourg-based provider of financial services to microfinance institutions (MFIs) and other social businesses, recently informed MicroCapital that it has issued the following three loans: (1) EUR 482,000 (USD 555,000) over a two-year period to to Juhudi Kilimo, a for-profit provider of microloans and microinsurance in Kenya; (2) EUR 293,000 (USD 339,000) over a three-year period to Uganda Microcredit Foundation (UMF), a microfinance institution offering financial services to “economically active” Ugandans; and (3) EUR 257,000 (USD 297,000) over a three-year period to Encont, a provider of microloans to rural enterprises in Uganda [1].
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Pooling Public-Private Partnership Best Practices

Source: Devex

Government leaders today have recognized the need to engage the private sector in development. While in the past, federal agencies supplied the majority of funding going toward developing countries, that percentage has continued to decrease over time — it is now down to around 9 percent. With 91 percent of global development funding now provided by nongovernment sources, the private sector has become a major player in the global development effort, and it is becoming increasingly important to find common objectives that garner their investment.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Twitter Confirms Acquisition of India’s Missed Call Marketing Platform ZipDial

Source: TechCrunch

Last week TechCrunch reported Twitter was in final talks to acquire ZipDial for between $30 million and $40 million, and today the company announced the deal has closed. ZipDial allows people to call a special phone number for a business, hang up before they incur a charge, and then receive a phone call or SMS with information about the business. This “missed call” marketing platform allows people to access content for free, which is especially useful in the developing world where many can’t afford data plans.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Schneider Electric Introduces Innovative Solar Street Lights

Source: Thisday Live

Schneider Electric has announced the introduction of a new range of innovative energy efficient maintenance-free Solar Streetlights popularly known as Villaya.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bed Nets and Vaccines: Some Combinations May Worsen Malaria

Source: Medical Xpress

Combining insecticide-treated bed nets with vaccines and other control measures may provide the best chance at eliminating malaria, which killed nearly 600,000 people worldwide in 2013, most of them African children.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Report: Richest 1% Will Soon Own More Than the Other 99 Combined

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

The richest 1 percent of the population will own more than half the world's wealth by 2016, Oxfam International said in a report released as the World Economic Forum begins in Davos, Switzerland.
TAGS:Poverty
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

MSF Slams Expensive Vaccines, Urges GSK and Pfizer To Cut Prices

Source: Reuters

The international charity Medecins Sans Frontieres urged drugmakers GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer on Tuesday to slash the price of their pneumococcal vaccines to $5 per child in poor countries.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Press Release: WorldRemit and MTN Agree to Major Mobile Money Partnership

Source: Yahoo!

Online money transfer service WorldRemit and telecoms operator MTN have signed a global partnership that will enable WorldRemit customers to send remittances instantly to MTN’s Mobile Money customers.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Liter of Light Wins Zayed Future Energy Prize

Source: Zawya

Litre of Light, a project in partnership with PepsiCo that brings cost effective solar lighting solutions to communities in need while recycling plastic bottles, has been honoured as the winning entry in the Zayed Future Energy Prize Non-Profit Organization category.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — South Asia

India’s Financial Inclusion Drive Sets Guinness World Record for Most Bank Accounts Opened in One Week

Source: The Indian Express

As many as 11.5 crore bank accounts have been opened under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, exceeding the enhanced target of 10 crore and covering 99.74 per cent of households, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Indian-Made Vaccine Approved to Fight Meningitis in Africa

Source: The Economic Times

A vaccine against meningitis prepared by an Indian company has been approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO), paving the way for its use to eradicate the disease in sub-Saharan Africa.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Report: Mobile Money Could Be a Silver Bullet for Financial Inclusion in Africa

Source: IT-Online

Mobile money is shaping up to be one of the most exciting areas in mobile communications, and is quickly transforming the way in which consumers and enterprises transact.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — South Asia

India Needs Reliable Data on Basic Healthcare

Source: The Hindu

Founder and Chair of L.V. Prasad Eye Institute G.N. Rao is universally known for his contribution to the introduction of quality and affordable eye care in India. Apart from his work in ophthalmology, Dr. Rao is well-known for his innovative ideas on healthcare in general and his efforts to make healthcare affordable.
Monday, January 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

Vanderbilt Professor Named CEO of Social Enterprise Alliance

Source: The Tennessean

Social Enterprise Alliance, a national organization of purpose-driven businesses, named Vanderbilt University professor Jim Schorr as its new CEO.
Monday, January 19, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Johnson Gets €100m From Europe's IMI to Accelerate Ebola Vaccine Development

Source: Pharmaceutical Business Review

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) through a consortium, which includes research institutions and non-government organizations, is set to receive around €100m ($115m) from Europe's Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) to speed up the development of its Ebola vaccine regimen.
Monday, January 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

The Secret Sauce Behind 12 Successful Impact Investment Funds

Source: Forbes

What makes a successful impact investment fund successful? Where’s the secret sauce? That’s what Cathy Clark, Ben Thornley and Jed Emerson set out to discover. Their new book The Impact Investor : Lessons in Leadership and Strategy for Collaborative Capitalism (Jossey-Bass, Oct, 2014) contains the results of their two years of research, with insights gained from studying 12 long-standing funds with a clear track record that, in total, have raised more than $1.3 billion in impact capital.
Monday, January 19, 2015 — North Africa and Near East

Social Investor, Social Activists and Social Ventures Talk Back: What's Happening in MENA?

Source: Entrepreneur

In analyzing the capital flow for social enterprises, the picture behind this reality around the world adjusts depending on what region you go to. In the western markets such as the U.S. or Europe, capital structures are becoming more inclusive for social enterprises. But what’s happening in regions such as MENA?
Monday, January 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

WHO: Millions Die Prematurely From Non-Communicable Diseases

Source: Voice of America

The World Health Organization (WHO) said 16 million people under the age of 70 are dying prematurely every year from non-communicable diseases (NCDs). A new report is calling for action to reduce these largely preventable deaths.
Monday, January 19, 2015 — South Asia

Why 2015 Will Be Important for Financial Inclusion in India

Source: Business Today

The year 2015 could be a watershed year for India in its quest to provide access to a wide range of financial services to all its citizens.
Monday, January 19, 2015 — South Asia

Launch of DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia 2015

Source:

Into its second year, the DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia (SVC Asia) is offering SGD 150,000 of seed fund to the winners of the challenge, in commemoration of Singapore’s 50th year of independence. The increased funding, from last year’s SGD 55,000, also encourages participants to submit ideas that demonstrate greater scalability and potential for sustainable social impact.
Friday, January 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Fight Against Malaria, At a Critical Juncture

Source: Devex

Lindsey Graham stood at a podium at the festooned Knight Conference Center in Washington’s Newseum in early December and addressed a room full of public health advocates, researchers and politicians gathered for the 2014 Malaria Champions Breakfast.
Friday, January 16, 2015 — South Asia

bKash CEO Discusses the Scope, Growth and Future Prospects of Mobile Banking in Bangladesh

Source: Dhaka Tribune

In a recent interview with Dhaka Tribune, Kamal Quadir, CEO of bKash, discusses the scope, growth and future prospects of mobile banking in our country.
Friday, January 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Accion Microfinance Bank Attains National MFB Status in Nigeria, Gives Out N32bn Loans

Source: Thisday Live

Accion Microfinance Bank Limited has upgraded to the category of a national microfinance bank (MFB). By this development, the bank said, it has surpassed the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) requirements for a national MFB.
Friday, January 16, 2015 — South Asia

Interview: Why India Is At the Hawk Eyes of All Investors, Explains Eric Savage

Source: One India

Eric Savage is a Duke and Harvard-educated American investment banker who chose to leave a high-flying career with Citigroup in Hong Kong to come to Bengaluru in 2008. Here he launched Unitus Capital, a firm that specializes in helping social enterprises to raise funds. Social enterprises apply market approaches to address societal challenges.
Friday, January 16, 2015 — South Asia

India Business Group Urges Laws for ICT Adoption in Healthcare

Source: Enterprise Innovation

The Associated Chamber of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) has suggested the introduction of laws and bylaws mandating the adoption of Information & Communication Technology (ICT) in the healthcare sector.
Friday, January 16, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: Capacity: The Philanthropy Buzzword For 2015 That's Missing

Source: Forbes

In many ways, these are changing times in U.S. philanthropy. The emphasis on data and measuring impact more closely, pushing for scale and large-scale solutions, social investing and performance metrics, crowd-funding and digital networks has created the sense that the social sector – and nonprofits along with it – has reached an inflection point that may soon fundamentally shift the way funds are raised and spent on causes and social change.
Friday, January 16, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Viewpoint: What Africa Really Needs to Fight Ebola and Other Emerging Diseases: Anti-Corruption Efforts

Source: The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

As Ebola’s death toll surpasses 8,000 people, well-intentioned individuals have been suggesting different strategies to contain the crisis. Many of these recommendations have included the use of modern technologies like cell phones, coupled with innovations such as a global rapid response team. But more than anything, what Africa really needs is simply more investment in its people and its basic health care infrastructure, along with reduced corruption—making sure that the money sent to lay the foundations of public health actually goes where it is supposed to.
Friday, January 16, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Arctic Waters Could Hold Secret to Creating Life-Saving Drugs

Source: CNN

It is early afternoon on board the "Helmer Hanssen," and the Arctic sun is already starting to set. Near the back of the ship, two people dressed in orange rain slickers are anxiously waiting. Any minute now, the ship's lines will pull taut, and a green mesh bag will be back up on deck.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

PRESS RELEASE: Unified Signal, Inc's Mobile Wallet Software Solution Chosen to Launch Mobile Payments in Serbia

Source: Market Wired

Unified Signal, Inc. (OTCQB: UNSI), a leading software system in the telecommunications and mobile payments industry, today announced that it has received approval from the Central Bank of Serbia to enable the country of Serbia with its 7+ million population with the company's innovative and secure mobile wallet technology. Once deployed, the technology will allow Serbian expats in the US to move money to people living in Serbia and vice versa. Money will be transferred in real time to the recipient and for a fraction of the cost of industry competitors. The system will also allow for all people living in Serbia to freely pay for goods and services using their mobile phone.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Helios Investment Partners raises US $1 billion African investment fund

Source: Disrupt Africa

Pan-African private investment firm Helios Investment Partners has raised over US$1 billion for a third Africa-focused fund, with the firm claiming the fund is the largest in existence dedicated to African private equity.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: No, Climate Change Is Not the Biggest Risk to Global Health

Source: The Conversation

Climate change will cause all sorts of problems for humans in the future. It could cause mass migration and conflict as people flee flooded homes or arid farmland, and fight over ever more scarce resources. It’ll mean economic slowdown as industries are hit and societies cough up the money required to adapt to the new world. Climate change will even affect your health.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — South Asia

China Approves New Polio Vaccine, Shows Innovative Muscle

Source: Reuters

China has approved a new polio vaccine, the first of its kind to be produced in the country, a month after local authorities gave the green light for a home-grown Ebola vaccine amid Beijing's push to become a world leader in producing innovative drugs.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — Europe & Eurasia

Britain's CDC Invests $48 Million in Narayana Hrudayalaya

Source: The Economic Times

British government-owned development finance institution CDC has invested $48 million in Bengaluru-based Narayana Hrudayalaya hospital chains for a minority share.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — Latin America

MasterCard and Movistar Launch Peru's First Mobile Money Service

Source: Finextra

With the goal of promoting financial and social inclusion in Peru, Movistar, in alliance with MasterCard, has announced the launch of “Your Mobile Money” (Tu Dinero Movil), the first electronic money service in Peru, which will offer users significant savings in their money transfers.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — South Asia

Used Sanitary Napkins Pose Serious Health Hazards

Source: Yahoo!

Women’s menstrual hygiene products are becoming a public health and environmental menace, raising questions on how they can be disposed safely.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Responsible Investors Needed in Weak Microfinance Markets

Source: Forbes

Four years have passed since the launch of the Principles for Investors in Inclusive Finance, a compact signed by 40 global investors in the Netherlands. The introduction to these principles states:
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zambian MFIs Complain of Negative Impact of Bank of Zambia Interest Rates Limits

Source: Zambia Daily Mail

The decision by Bank of Zambia (BoZ) to limit interest rates that licenced non-banking financial institutions can charge customers had a negative effect on micro-finance institutions (MFIs) performance last year.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — South Asia

What's So Different About China's Mobile Payments' Ecosystem

Source: PYMNTS

There’s plenty of differences between the mobile commerce market in the U.S. and the mobile ecosystem seen in China.
Thursday, January 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Bitcoin: A Ponzi Scheme for Redistributing Wealth From One Libertarian to Another

Source: The Washington Post

If Bitcoin were a currency, it'd be the worst-performing one in the world, worse even than the Russian ruble.
TAGS:bitcoin
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