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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, October 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Xconomy

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

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

Source: Hindustan Times

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

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

Source: Deseret News

GAVI Alliance believes its five-year plan to vaccinate another 300 million children worldwide will save at least 5 million lives. It will also save billions of dollars now lost to treatment of the preventable illnesses and other costs, like parents' lost wages, members of the alliance said.
Friday, October 31, 2014 — South Asia

Eli Lilly shares MDR-TB drug technology with Shasun Pharma

Source: LiveMint

US drug maker Eli Lilly and Company said on Thursday that it had shared the manufacturing technology for two antibiotic drugs meant for the treatment of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) with India’s Shasun Pharmaceuticals Ltd as part of its ongoing programme to increase access of these medicines in countries including India, China, Russia and South Africa, where drug-resistant TB is most prevalent.
Friday, October 31, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: ITWeb (South Africa)

Schneider Electric South Africa has set itself a target to create access to energy for 20 000 Africans by the end of this year. An ambitious goal, but the energy efficiency giant believes this is achievable due to its solid sustainable development strategy, products and solutions.
TAGS:energy
Friday, October 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Forebes

The Skoll Foundation just kicked off its second annual Social Entrepreneurs Challenge. Open to its 87 awardees, 68 are participating. The competition is taking the form of a crowd-funding campaign, using the services of CrowdRise, which has a fundraising platform for nonprofits.
Thursday, October 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: World Bank Group

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

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

Source: Pharma Times

Johnson & Johnson Innovation has expanded its global network of research partnering hubs with the opening of the Asia Pacific Innovation Center headquartered in Shanghai with satellites in Singapore, Australia and Japan.
Thursday, October 30, 2014 — Latin America

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

Source: WebWire

Banco do Nordeste of Brazil, Tigo from Paraguay, and FOODSANU from Ecuador have won this year’s Inter-American Awards for Financial andEntrepreneurial Innovation for their excellence in supporting financial inclusion, digital finance, and microenterprise in Latin America and theCaribbean.
Thursday, October 30, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

China To Build Liberia Health System

Source: Liberian Observer

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

Tanzania looks to India to set up tele-medicine network

Source: Business-Standard

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

US sends health official to Cuban Ebola meeting

Source: UT San Diego

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

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

Source: FinExtra

Rwanda has joined the Better Than Cash Alliance to help accelerate the adoption of electronic payments in the country as part of a commitment to achieve 80% financial inclusion by 2017.
Thursday, October 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Times of India

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

'Social Impact Bonds' Tap Private Money for Public Health

Source: Govtech.com

More states are considering “social impact bonds” for multiyear projects in health, education and prisoner rehabilitation. Are they a good investment?
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Defying stigma, survivors join the Ebola fight in West Africa

Source: Reuters

The worst outbreak of Ebola on record has killed 5,000 people in West Africa, mostly in Guinea and neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone. But thousands more have survived, ostracised by fearful communities ravaged by the disease.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 — South Asia

Latrines May Not Improve Health of Poor Children

Source: The New York Times

Because of the well-known dangers of open defecation — especially for children’s health — bringing millions of latrines to the poor has long been a goal of public health experts. But now a major study in India has stunned advocates of latrine building by showing that it may do little good.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Devex

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

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

Source: Ventures

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

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

Source: AFK Insider

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

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

Source: Business Standard

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

MBAs Drive Social Impact In Corporate Venture Capital Funds

Source: Business Because

Business school graduates are pioneering corporate venturing – venture capital funds run inside large companies that invest in social enterprises.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Indonesia Has More Smokers Than Bank Account Holders

Source: Global Indonesian Voices

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

OPINION: Taking Bitcoin Beyond the Banked

Source: Coin Desk

Most of the industry development around bitcoin still seems to be run by a collection of people who are decidedly banked. This begs the question: what part do the unbanked play in bitcoin, its use and evolution?
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 — Latin America

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

Source: BNamericas

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

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

Source: The Daily Mail

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

Dusty Tanzania Market Shows Next Step in Mobile Banking

Source: Bloomberg

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

Michael & Susan Dell Foundation Invests In Social Enterprise Kinara Capital

Source: DealCurry

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

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

Source: Inside Philanthropy

The F.B. Heron Foundation is way out front on impact investing, with its goal of putting the foundation’s full endowment into social impact investments by 2017. So how's it going?
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

Business Schools Foster Social Impact And Entrepreneurship

Source: Business Because

Business schools are catering for social entrepreneurs and MBA students who want to make a social impact – through funding, education and start-up incubation.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: Standard Media

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

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

Source: The New York Times

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

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

Source: Biz Tech Africa

Airtel, IBM Research Africa and Kenya's Echo Mobile have joined forces to launch several initiatives to help curb the spread of Ebola in West Africa.
Monday, October 27, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

WHO certification puts Nigerian pharmaceutical industry in global watch

Source: Business Day

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

Booting Up: Tech effort could help fight spread of Ebola

Source: Boston Herald

Despite the prevalence of crowd-sourced data and geolocation technology, global health leaders are missing the opportunity to use mobile technology in the fight against Ebola.
Monday, October 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

Tips to young social entrepreneurs: How to finance a startup

Source: Rappler

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

Zimbabwe's OneWallet posts massive loss as EcoCash thrives

Source: The Independent

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

OPINION: Is social investment bad for the charity sector?

Source: Civil Society

In recent months senior figures in the world of charity have questioned whether social investment is good for the sector. David Ainsworth examines why this new field is facing a backlash.
Monday, October 27, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: The Daily Nation

Airtel subscribers can now pay their taxes through their mobile money platform following a partnership with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), which will also see the telco grow its revenues.
Friday, October 24, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Secret to Nigeria’s success in overcoming Ebola: ORS

Source: Defeat DD

Aggressive use of ORS is being credited with significantly reducing the mortality rate among those who contracted Ebola in Nigeria.
Friday, October 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: The Globe and Mail

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

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

Source: UCSF

A new project aims to train women entrepreneurs to sell liquid petroleum gas (LPG) stoves and provide education about reducing exposures to household air pollution.
Friday, October 24, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: Standard Digital

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

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

Source: Jakarta Post

As part of efforts to open up greater public access to financial services, the Financial Services Authority (OJK) will regulate the implementation of branchless banking, especially for regional development banks (BPD) and sharia banks, a top official says.
Friday, October 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Economic Times

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

Peruvian companies will boost their competitiveness with support from the IDB

Source: Press Release

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved a third policy-based loan of $25 million designed to boost the competitiveness of Peruvian businesses. These resources will help consolidate reforms aimed at improving the business climate, lowering entry and market-access barriers and encouraging innovation.
TAGS:IDB
Friday, October 24, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: UNCDF

UNCDF, the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs),has partnered with The MasterCard Foundation to expand a flagship program that will enable three million low-income clients in Africa to access mobile financial services for the first time.
Thursday, October 23, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Airtel, Apollo to drive telemedicine in Nigeria

Source: New Telegraph

Nigeria’s third largest telecoms firm, Airtel, has partnered one of the largest integrated healthcare providers in the world, Apollo Hospitals, to enhance access to world-class healthcare services in Nigeria.
Thursday, October 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why American Small Businesses Are Singing Microcredit's Praises

Source: Inc.

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

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

Source: MarketWatch

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

EU Offers $1bn Development Capital To Three African Countries

Source: Ventures Africa

European Union (EU) has given three African countries Lesotho, Togo and Zambia over $1 billion for economic development under its National Indicative Programmes (NIP).
Thursday, October 23, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: allAfrica

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

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

Source: Techcircle.in

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

Blackstone’s Steve Schwarzman on Dangote and investing in Africa

Source: How We Made it in Africa

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

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

Source: dna

The RBI is running a pilot project with a group of private payment gateway operators like Oxigen and Airtel Money to facilitate money transfers without the intervention of a bank.
Thursday, October 23, 2014 — South Asia

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

Source: The Rakyat Post

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today announced the eRezeki project to connect Malaysians at the bottom 40% of the income pyramid (B40) with domestic and global digital income.
Thursday, October 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Drugmakers may need indemnity for fast-tracked Ebola vaccines

Source: Reuters

Drugmakers are looking for some kind of indemnity from governments or multilateral agencies against possible losses or claims arising from the widespread emergency use of new Ebola vaccines in Africa.
Thursday, October 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Humanosphere

Today in Seattle, an organization called Global Partnerships celebrates two decades of helping people rise up out of poverty through a variety of initiatives all aimed at empowering the poor – by helping smallholder farmers, improving health, encouraging the use of “green” technologies and through microfinance.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

Drugmakers to join forces to make millions of Ebola vaccine doses

Source: Reuters

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

Liberians have another challenge - marginalization

Source: Catholic News Agency

"How is it that we have again become the marginalized of the earth?" That is what people ask Bishop Anthony Borwah of Gbarnga, in Liberia, the country most affected by the outbreak of Ebola.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 — South Asia

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

Source: The Economic Times

Indian drugmakers and public health activists are deeply worried that sections of the American pharmaceutical industry may use the recently announced Indo-US working committee on intellectual property rights to force changes in Indian patent laws to further their commercial interests at the cost of the domestic industry.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: New York Times

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

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

Source: IT Web Africa

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

Ecuador backs national mobile wallet

Source: Mobile World Live

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

Improving Financial Services for Indonesia’s Underserved

Source: Jakarta Post

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

In Ghana: "Let the Telco war begin"

Source: Ghana Web

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

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

Source: MasterCard Foundation

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

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

Source: The National

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

The Winner of 2014 Nestlé CSV Prize is…

Source: Business Wire

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

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

Source: Asian Tribune

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

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

Source: Press Release

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

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

Source: CSRWire

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

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

Source: Phys.org

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

US Sets New Protocols for Ebola Health Workers

Source: Voice of America News

The United States has tightened guidelines for health workers treating patients with the Ebola virus, calling for new competency training, a buddy system for donning and doffing personal protective equipment, and total coverage of eyes, hair and skin.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Quartz

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

Kenyan mobile money agents apprehensive of new Equity Bank service

Source: Coastweek

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

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

Source: The Washington Post

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

Steroids Are No Boon to World’s Poorer Women

Source: The New York Times

Giving steroids to women who are about to give birth prematurely — a standard lifesaving medical practice in richer countries — may be useless or even dangerous in poor countries where most women give birth at home, a major new study has found.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uganda: Why Do Customers Fear Banks?

Source: allAfrica

In Uganda, many point to the success of mobile money in improving financial inclusion by promoting peer-to-peer money transfer.
Monday, October 20, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

OPINION: Ebola: The dark side of globalization

Source: Fortune

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

3 Ways Empathy Is Driving Successful Innovations In Health

Source: Forbes

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

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

Source: CNN

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

Development Finance Institutions Come of Age

Source: Forbes

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

OPINION: Microfinance in India: To hell and back

Source: Live Mint

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

With Tomato Paste, Harvard Graduates Hope To Empower Farmers

Source: The Harvard Crimson

Although Nigeria leads Africa in oil exports, two recent Harvard graduates are trying to ramp up the West African country’s production of a different natural resource—tomato paste. “It was a pipe dream I’ve had since 2008,” said Mira A. Mehta, a Business School graduate who co-founded the startup “Tomato Jos” with School of Public Health alumnus Shane F. Kiernan earlier this year. The company, a for-profit social enterprise, aims to build up a tomato paste industry in Nigeria by educating local tomato farmers about agricultural techniques and supplying them with seeds and fertilizers. The name Tomato Jos itself means “cute girl” in Nigerian slang, a play on the fact that the tomatoes in the Nigerian city Jos are known to be very sweet and juicy.
Monday, October 20, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: Human IPO

President Uhuru Kenyatta says he is in favor of Equity’s thin-SIM technology and digital migration.
Monday, October 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

Making a smartphone for just $25

Source: Marketplace

Here’s a market you’ll be likely to hear more of in tech: “The Next Billion.” It's shorthand for the next billion people that will become online consumers, and that makes them the target of tech giants like Google, Facebook and Samsung. The next billion live in emerging economies like China, India, Brazil and Africa. Jenna Burrell, a professor at UC Berkeley’sSchool of Information, has been studying one of these markets, namely Ghana, since the early 2000s. She says even back then, it was clear that people who wanted to get online weren’t going to use desktops.
Friday, October 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: UNAIDS

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

Issues continue to dog the testing of Ebola drugs and vaccines

Source: Science MagazIne

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

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

Source: The Conversation

Despite it being nearly six months after the Ebola outbreak was confirmed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), we are still hearing stories of severe shortage of gloves in health facilities in West Africa. Many nurses have been asked to reuse them or merely rub their hands with chlorine after consultations.
Friday, October 17, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa: The Overlooked Hub of Payments Innovation

Source: Payments Source

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

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

Source: TreeHugger

This solar gadget innovator is back with a new model, the WakaWaka Base, which includes either a 5,000 or 10,000 mAh battery pack, and the device is designed to be charged with the company's 7.5 or 10 watt portable solar panel. Along with the solar panel and battery pack module, WakaWaka is also offering two small LED lamps, one of which is powered by plugging it into the Base, and one which has an internal battery that can be recharged via the panel and battery pack.
Friday, October 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Blockchain Ideas Get Play at IMF Panel

Source: Wall Street Journal

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

Tanzania: Mobile Technology to Benefit Local Farmers

Source: allAfrica

CONNECTED Farmer Alliance (CFA), a public-private partnership between Vodafone Group, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and TechnoServe, has announced an agreement to use mobile technology to increase productivity of thousands of smallholder farmers.
Thursday, October 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MTN set to support money transfers between Rwanda and Uganda

Source: Biz Tech Africa

In a move aimed at warding off competition and increasing revenue collection from its mobile money service, MTN Uganda has partnered with MTN Rwanda to deliver cross border transactions between the two countries.
Thursday, October 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Fast CoExist

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

Equity set to offer free money transfer services

Source: The Star, Kenya

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

ClearlySo raises £800,000 to help support social entrepreneurs

Source: Startups.co.uk

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

Equity Bank to issue American Express cards across Africa

Source: 4-traders.com

Equity Bank's deal with American Express gives the Kenyan lender exclusive rights to issue AmEx credit cards across the continent outside South Africa.
Thursday, October 16, 2014 — South Asia

India to enter top two markets for health company Abbott

Source: Times of India

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

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

Source: Inter-American Development Bank

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

A total market for circumcision

Source: PSI

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

IBM Teams on First Watson Application in Africa

Source: eWEEK

IBM and Metropolitan Health of South Africa have teamed to create a new health care customer service service based on Big Blue's Watson cognitive computing system.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

DuPont suits part of battle against Ebola crisis

Source: DelawareOnline

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

Digital doctors: China sees tech cure for healthcare woes

Source: Reuters

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

Profit motive big hurdle for Ebola drugs, experts say

Source: MedicalXpress

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

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

Source: BusinessBecause

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

Canada to help India in building smart cities

Source: Business Standard

Canada will help India in building smart cities and achieving its target of housing for all by offering wooden multi-storey housing technology, officials said here Wednesday. In a meeting with Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu here, Canadian Minister of International Trade Ed Fast said his country's "expertise in wood-based housing technology that enables multi-storey construction and India can consider it to meet its ambitious housing targets".
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: Accion

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

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

Source: Economic Times

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

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

Source: Market Watch

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

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

Source: 4 Traders

Equity Bank's thin-SIM mobile money transfer system faces more hurdles after a data specialist went to court seeking to block its rollout.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 — No Region Specified

SolarAid Releases Second Impact Report on Rural Solar

Source: Press Release

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

How Mobile Technology Can Help End Poverty For Rural Farmers

Source: Huffington Post

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

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

Source: The New York Times

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

Social enterprise is an emerging force in Pakistan

Source: The Guardian

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

Africa: 10 Reasons Why Mobile Rocks in Africa

Source: allAfrica

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

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

Source: The Africa Report

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

Liberian Singers Use The Power Of Music To Raise Ebola Awareness

Source: NPR

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

Coins.ph launches Bitcoin wallet tailored for emerging markets

Source: Tech In Asia

Yesterday, Coins.ph, the Philippines largest Bitcoin exchange, launched what it says is the first mobile Bitcoin wallet designed specifically for emerging markets.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 — South Asia

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

Source: Tech In Asia

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

French bank, Twitter team up for money transfers via tweets

Source: Reuters

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

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

Source: Nigerian Tribune

The Federal Government has said it would leverage the expansive network of the Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST) to reduce the unbanked adult population in the country to 10 per cent by 2016.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 — South Asia

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

Source: Reuters

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

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

Source: MinnPost

West Africa’s Ebola epidemic is a “Black Swan” event that is likely to severely alter how the world approaches future global public health crises — even more so than the AIDS epidemic has done — according to a commentary published Friday in JAMA Internal Medicine by Michael Osterholm, director of the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP).
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

New Calvert chief sees two trends in sustainable investing

Source: Washington Business Journal

John Streur, incoming CEO of Calvert Investments Inc., sees "two broad trends that are really coming together to shape and influence socially responsible investing."
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: MicroCapital

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

A new challenge

Source: The Economist

The Gates Foundation’s Grand Challenges in Global Health programme is a decade old. How has it done, and what should it do in the future?
Friday, October 10, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Here's How Nigeria Beat Ebola

Source: Mother Jones

It took 18,500 interviews, but Nigeria managed to contain the Ebola outbreak.
Friday, October 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Pfenex And PATH Partner On Vaccines

Source: Benzinga

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

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

Source: Triple Pundit

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

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

Source: New York Times

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

RSF Social Finance Makes a Loan to Madécasse

Source: 3BL Media

RSF is pleased to announce a new loan to Madécasse, a social enterprise that makes chocolate and vanilla products in Africa. RSF provided a line of credit that will allow Madécasse to finance their inventory purchases and assist with cash flow gaps throughout the year.
Thursday, October 9, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: UN Dispatch

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

Ebola outbreak: Where are the mHealth apps?

Source: mHealth News

The Ebola outbreak in West Africa and now the U.S. is surely among the most high-profile incidents wherein mobile health technologies could have proven their mettle.
Thursday, October 9, 2014 — South Asia

Branchless banking introduced for poor households in Indonesia

Source: The Jakarta Post

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

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

Source: Yahoo! News

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

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

Source: Detroit Free Press

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

Health insurance reduces mortality among Indian poor

Source: IANS Live

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

Private Equity Fund Leapfrog Exits From Kenyan Insurer

Source: AllAfrica

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

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

Source: e27

Koichi Saito, Director, IMJ Investment Partners doesn’t think Manila needs Google Glass
Thursday, October 9, 2014 — South Asia

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

Source: The Hindu

Stripped-down versions of products meant for the affluent, urban Indian will not work for the financially excluded
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: NPR

Firestone detected its first Ebola case on March 30, when an employee's wife arrived from northern Liberia. Since then Firestone has done a remarkable job of keeping the virus at bay.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ebola Protective Suits Are In Short Supply

Source: NPR

The Ebola outbreak created a demand for personal protective equipment. Clinics can go through hundreds of PPE suits a day. Manufacturers increased production but agencies say there's still a shortage.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 — No Region Specified

Vaccines targeting adults, teens best chance to eliminate TB

Source: Business Standard

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

Ebola Vaccine Trials May Give Placebo to Those at Risk

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

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

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

Source: BizTech Africa

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

OPINION: Here Comes the Internet of Money

Source: Bloomberg View

A new wave of financial innovation is forming, that could sweep over traditional banking, traditional payments systems, even the traditional idea of money.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Fast CoExist

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

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

Source: All Africa

Commercial Bank of Africa and Safaricom have launched a campaign to deepen financial inclusion and access to financial services, targeting M-PESA customers who have yet to start using mobile savings and micro - loan solution M-Shwari.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 — Asia Pacific

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

Source: Microcredit Summit

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

The Rise Of The African Social Entrepreneur

Source: Ventures Africa

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

Table-banking, a booming loan facility among Kenyan women

Source: Shanghai Daily

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

Why India's sanitation crisis needs more than toilets

Source: BBC News

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

Operational difficulties complicate India’s ambitious financial inclusion scheme

Source: The Hindu

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

Entrepreneur aims to eliminate blindness in Mexico

Source: CCTV America

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

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

Source: AllAfrica

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

ideas42 joining with USAID and CGAP to scale up financial heuristics

Source: Ideas42

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

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

Source: LiveMint

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

Delving deep into India’s fast-growing healthcare industry

Source: The Hindu

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

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

Source: Techzim

It’s been reported that the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has pushed through an order compelling Safaricom, Kenya’s largest mobile operator, to share its mobile money transfer agents with the other mobile networks.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 — Latin America

Latin American Business Schools Rise With Social Entrepreneurship

Source: Business Because

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

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

Source: Equilibri

India’s new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and his delegation, who have been visiting the U.S. for the first time, have spent considerable time and energy in courting U.S. business interests.
Monday, October 6, 2014 — South Asia

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

Source: The Economic Times

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

Malawi HIV infections down

Source: Amalawi

The Malawi Ministry of Health said new HIV infections have reduced from 52,000 to 35,000 per year.
Monday, October 6, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: BizTech Africa

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

How Indoor Stoves Can Help Solve Global Poverty

Source: TIME

Clean cooking and better sources of energy can have a domino effect on health and education.
Monday, October 6, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: The Washington Post

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

Socially Responsible Investing Around the Globe Isn’t Easy

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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

Bank of Ghana deadline unsettles microfinance companies

Source: Ghana Web

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

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

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

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

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

Source: IT News Africa

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

The "Celebrity Couples" of Global Health and Development

Source: Huffington Post

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

Facebook planning to step into healthcare: Sources

Source: Times of India

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

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

Source: Finextra

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

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

Source: The Economic Times

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

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

Source: Business Recorder

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

Rockefeller Foundation aims for Impact

Source: BusinessWeek

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

Gates Links Technology, Banking Services for Poor

Source: The Wall Street Journal (Subscription required)

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

Plagues on the Poor: What Ebola Can Learn From Malaria

Source: TIME.com

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

US consumer giant seeks to smash India menstruation taboos

Source: YourHealth

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

Plant-based vaccines challenge big pharma

Source: Health24

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

OPINION: ObamaCare's Anti-Innovation Effect

Source: Wall Street Journal

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

Handling the next pandemic

Source: USA Today

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

GlaxoSmithKline, NewLink working to bring Ebola vaccines online: WHO

Source: Yahoo! News

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

Experiments in development: Time to rethink RCTs?

Source: Devex

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

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

Source: NPR

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

Mobile technology offers option to combat fake drugs in West Africa

Source: PCWorld

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

Shares of Companies Testing Ebola Vaccines Rise

Source: ABC News

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

Developing countries should enroll medical and nursing students from rural areas

Source: MedicalXpress

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

Will There Be Enough ESG Investing Opportunities To Meet Demand?

Source: Financial Advisor Magazine

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

MFI credit bureau on course in Ghana

Source: Ghana Web

Work on a credit referencing system for the microfinance sector is scheduled to be completed by middle of next year, the Ghana Association of Microfinance Companies (GAMC) has said.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Meet The Swiss Tycoon Who Is Funding African Innovation

Source: Forbes

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

Are Toilets and Bank Accounts Connected? In India, Yes

Source: Bloomberg

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

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

Source: Non-Profit Quarterly

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

ExxonMobil fights malaria in Cameroon against backdrop of climate change

Source: Global Post

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

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

Source: Devex

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

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

Source: The Guardian

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

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

Source: Sustainable Brands

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

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

Source: Business Wire

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

Crowdfunding Becomes Global Phenomenon

Source: Forbes

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

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

Source: Economic Times India

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

Green Divestment Movement Still in Its Infancy Despite Rockefeller Coup

Source: Philanthropy

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

How Agent Orange helped spawn the Socially Responsible Investing movement

Source: Green Chip Stocks

Sustainable, socially responsible mutual funds would not exist without agent orange.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Bringing Solar Power To Remote Hospitals Is Saving Lives

Source: Fast CoExist

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

Microfinance Struggling to find its feet in Middle East

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Microfinance has blossomed in recent years, helping fill a funding need for businesses too tiny and risky for traditional banks. Curiously perhaps, while microfinance has been a big hit across parts of Asia and South America, its start in the Middle East and North Africa hasn’t been as auspicious.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: AllAfrica

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

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

Source: The Health Site

Kerala’s largest IT employer UST Global, Monday, announced the release of an advanced telemedicine application, developed in collaboration with Mumbai-based Balabhai Nanavati Hospital’s telemedicine centre and BlackBerry India.
Monday, September 29, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: Newsweek

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

GE eyes expansion of healthcare and energy operations in SA

Source: Business Day

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

Scientists grapple with ethics in rush to release Ebola vaccines

Source: Reuters

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

How the private sector can pitch in to help combat Ebola

Source: Devex

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

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

Source: Press Release

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

Ghana microfinance companies back licence-freeze

Source: Ghana Web

The Ghana Association of Microfinance Companies (GAMC) has backed moves by the central bank to put a limit on the number of operating permits that can be issued to microfinance companies.
Monday, September 29, 2014 — South Asia

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

Source: First Biz

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

India's cooperative banks emerge from technological dark ages

Source: Live Mint

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

Financial Inclusion: Ecobank, MasterCard Enter New Card Deal

Source: Ventures Africa

Sequel to a multi-country licensing agreement made between MasterCard and Ecobank in January, both institutions have signed another deal that will see the use of MasterCard prepaid, debit and credit cards at Ecobank’s Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and Point of Sale (PoS) terminals in 28 African countries.
Friday, September 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: How to Fund the Ebola Fight

Source: Epoch Times

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

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

Source: CBC News

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

At UN General Assembly, global health projects are big business

Source: Global Post

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

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

Source: CSR Wire

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

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

Source: Economic Times

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

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

Source: Time

Climate change activists are pushing for investors to get out of carbon polluters. What are the options for individuals using mutual funds?
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

Walmart Now Offering Low-Cost Mobile Checking Accounts

Source: TechCrunch

Apple Pay what again? Walmart is getting into the mobile banking space, the companyannounced this morning, through a partnership with financial services provider Green Dot Corporation.
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mobile Technology Overcomes Barriers to Financial Inclusion for Women

Source: Huffington Post

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

Experts: Population to Grow from 7 to 11 Billion

Source: Voice of America News

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

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

Source: Asia IIX

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

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

Source: Fast CoExist

The idea of investing both for profit and social good has come a long way in the last few years, but the sector still has enormous potential to grow.
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: The Guardian

From the #StopEbola song to the Aids Fighter Pilot game in India, fun is proving to encourage healthier behaviours
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

Ebola vaccines could be available by end of year

Source: UPI

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

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

Source: BusinessWeek

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

Multinationals reaffirm commitment to BoP business with BCtA

Source: The Guardian

Inclusive business has continued to flourish with the growth of new enterprises that serve the bottom of the pyramid
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — South Asia

Janalakshmi to lead investor rush into India’s microfinance sector

Source: Business Standard

After Janalakshmi's record-breaking deal, Indian MFI sector likely to raise Rs 2,000 crore in FY15
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: ITWeb Online News

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

Red Cross team attacked while burying Ebola dead

Source: Yahoo! News

A Red Cross team was attacked while collecting bodies believed to be infected with Ebola in southeastern Guinea, the latest in a string of assaults that are hindering efforts to control West Africa's current outbreak.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Major donors launch new fund to support innovation

Source: Devex

For some time now, major bilateral donors have been working independently to fund innovations and support startups, but a group of them announced Tuesday a new fund where they will pool capital to spur creative, pioneering interventions to tackle global development challenges.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 — South Asia

Health insurers offer Nano price

Source: The Times of India

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

Ebola drug trials to be fast-tracked in West Africa

Source: Reuters

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

Project to develop room-temperature storage for fragile biologics

Source: Lab Product News

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

IMF unveils results of global financial access survey

Source: The Guardian, Nigeria

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

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

Source: UNEP.org

New York, 23 September 2014 - Bank of America today announced a Catalytic Finance Initiative, designed to stimulate at least $10 billion of new investment into high-impact clean energy projects.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 — Latin America

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

Source: Accion

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

Why the Rockefellers are betting on renewable energy

Source: The Week

Sure, it's mostly symbolic. But the global energy business is also on the cusp of a dramatic transformation.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

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

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

Source: Press Release

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

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

Source: NBC News

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

Use of Thin SIM technology approved in Kenya

Source: HumanIPO

The use of thin SIM technology has been approved in Kenya paving way for new Mobile Virtual Networks Operators (MVNOs) to use them for new services among them mobile money transfer.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: Yahoo! Finance

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

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

Source: Huffington Post

Despite Cambodia's rapid economic growth driven by strong exports, private investment and a growing agricultural industry, nearly one in five Cambodians live below the international poverty line.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

IESE Launches an MBA Elective in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Source: FindMBA

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

Tata announces social enterprise challenge

Source: Times of India

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

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

Source: Indian Express

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

Multinational Companies Court Lower-Income Consumers

Source: The New York Times

When General Electric engineers here wanted to develop a more affordable baby warmer for India’s small, private hospitals, they initially replaced the fat, rubberized wheels standard on high-end models with smaller metal ones. They figured it was a quick, easy way to cut costs.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Press Release

Justine Greening has signed a joint letter of intent with Unilever CEO Paul Polman, committing to a new partnership.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: AllAfrica

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

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

Source: Scroll.in

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

Multinational Companies Court Lower-Income Consumers

Source: The New York Times

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

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

Source: India West

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

Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

Source: Voice of America

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

Jumpstarting Indian Startups Serving The Bottom Of The Pyramid

Source: Forbes

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

JPMorgan Chase to spend $35m on promoting financial inclusion

Source: Finextra

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

Half the world will online by 2017

Source: BizTech Africa

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

Yak's wool social enterprise launched to rival cashmere

Source: The Telegraph

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

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

Source: Standard Digital

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

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

Source: The Jakarta Post

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

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

Source: Economic Times

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

5 Techy Solutions for Health Systems

Source: Impact Magazine

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

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

Source: UN News Centre

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

Wireless sensor warns if vaccines get too hot

Source: SciDev.Net

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

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

Source: Time

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

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

Source: Fast CoExist

“How small can I stay, while still driving big, transformative impact?” It’s an exciting question some social entrepreneurs are now asking themselves as they consider how to turn a good idea into a scalable solution.
Friday, September 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

The Role of Private Sector Investment in Climate Change

Source: Huffington Post

Assuming countries across the world can muster the political will to actually make bold, sustained commitments to ending poverty, providing decent jobs, providing universal health coverage, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, there is still the question of how to pay for it.
Friday, September 19, 2014 — Latin America

MasterCard and Bansefi to drive financial inclusion in Mexico

Source: Finextra

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

The black market for Ebola survivors’ blood

Source: The Washington Post

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

OPINION: Making African Health Care Radically Cheaper

Source: Harvard Business Review

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

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

Source: CPI Financial

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

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

Source: Press Release

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

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

Source: 3BL Media

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

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

Source: The Washington Post

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

Safaricom prepares for battle, sets date for new Mpesa network

Source: Standard Digital

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

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

Source: All Africa

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

The Devastating Economic Impact of Ebola

Source: Undispatch

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

India Must Fix Its Drug Quality Problem

Source: Forbes

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

Orange Money links up with Bank of Africa for mobile banking

Source: Finextra

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

Mobilizing against TB

Source: Phys.org

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

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

Source: EurekAlert!

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

Rwandans Balk at Price of Improved Cooking Stoves

Source: Voice of America

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

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

Source: The Telegraph

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

Malaysia to Send 20M Latex Gloves to West Africa

Source: Voice of America News

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

How Telcos, MTOs and Banks Could Crash over Remittances

Source: PYMNTS.com

Hugo Cuevas-Mohr shares insights gleaned from his work with money transfer professionals from all over the world about the remittance market, the role of traditional players, banks and telcos and who has the edge as this $500 billion industry evolves.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 — South Asia

Foreign investors chasing bigger gains by investing in Indian microfinance institutions

Source: Economic Times

Instead of raising their holdings in companies such as HDFC Bank and IDFC, the infrastructure lender which is turning into a bank, investors are chasing India's profitable microfinance institutions.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

To Grow Impact Investing, Focus on Multilingual Leadership

Source: Huffington Post

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

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

Source: ReCode

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

How Millennials Will Change the Face of Philanthropy

Source: Diplomatic Courier

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