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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, December 19, 2014 — South Asia

Banyan Green raises Rs 1 crore from I3N, other angels

Source: Economic Times

Banyan Green Fuels, a startup that develops customised biofuels for clients, has raised Rs 1 crore from Intellecap Impact Investment Network (I3N) and other angel investors.
Friday, December 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Videos Nominated for the Rusty Radiator Awards 2014

Source: Rusty Radiator Awards

The Rusty Radiator Award goes to the fundraising video with the worst use of stereotypes. This kind of portrayal is not only unfair to the persons portrayed in the campaign, but also hinders long-term development and the fight against poverty.
Friday, December 19, 2014 — South Asia

Triotech Raises $3 Million From Singapore VC Firm Bluehill

Source: The Economic Times

Mobile payment services company Triotech Solutions has raised $3 million (nearly Rs 19 crore) from Singaporebased venture-capital firm Bluehill in its first round of funding.
Friday, December 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Incentive Program May Alter the Economics of Ebola Vaccines

Source: CP24

Earlier this week, U.S. President Barack Obama signed into law a little piece of legislation that may significantly change the economics of making drugs or vaccines to protect against Ebola and other viruses in its deadly family.
Friday, December 19, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile Banking is Not Taking Off as Expected, Banker Warns

Source: BD Live

Mobile phones have been touted as the solution to banking for the poor in Africa, given that phone penetration is so high. However, some bankers warn it is not that simple.
Friday, December 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Are Impact Accelerators/Incubators Targeting Emerging Markets Any Good?

Source: Forbes

Seems every time you turn around, there’s a new impact incubator or accelerator aimed at social enterprises in developing countries. But that doesn’t mean they’re any good.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — South Asia

Is India approaching a perfect storm in digital financial services?

Source: Live Mint

In the use of digital technologies, financial services in India lag behind other sectors. But a perfect storm may soon come and enable technology-led disruption at a far greater scale.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Q&A with Ashoka’s Maria Escorcia: Boosting Entrepreneurship for Social Change

Source: Miami Hearald

Changemakers can come from anywhere, including the corporate world. Just look at Maria Escorcia, director of the South Florida chapter of Ashoka, a nonprofit that supports a network of 3,000 social entrepreneurs around the world.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Home vs. Mobile Clinic-Based HIV Testing and Counseling in Rural Africa

Source: Medical Xpress

Home- and community-based HIV testing and counselling services can achieve high participation uptake in rural Africa but reach different populations within a community and should be provided depending on the groups that are being targeted, according to new research published in this week's PLOS Medicine by Niklaus Labhardt from the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, and colleagues from SolidarMed, a Swiss non-governmental Organization for Health in Africa.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Can Innovation Help the Poor Escape from Payday Lenders? Ford Thinks So

Source: Inside Philanthropy

The Ford Foundation has been working to close the racial wealth gap for over two decades, a gap much in the news these days, and one part of that effort has been to help "unbanked" low-income people escape from the shady world of payday lending and worse, and access the financial services that middle-class people take for granted. To that end, Ford recently gave $1 million dollars to the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI) to continue its work on building financial tools for the underserved.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Simple but Impactful: Transforming Nigeria’s Vaccine Supply Chain

Source: Impatient Optimists

Vaccine supplies and logistics are a fundamental component of any immunization system. In Nigeria, any hope of achieving the goal of 87 percent vaccine coverage by 2015 will remain out of reach unless vaccines and devices reach heath facilities on time and in the right quantity. The greatest difficultly lies in reaching the last mile—getting vaccines to those in the hardest-to-reach corners of Nigeria.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Will Africa’s Mobile Money Revolution Take Hold?

Source: AFKInsider

When mobile network operator (MNO) Safaricom launched its M-Pesa mobile payments system in Kenya seven years ago, few business models were as ripe to explode. With extremely high mobile penetration rates, a high proportion of unbanked households, a regulatory system that allowed telecoms companies rather than banks to lead the way, and a migrant population suffering from expensive domestic remittances, it is little wonder that more than two-thirds of Kenyan adults use the service today.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — South Asia

World Bank commits over $1 billion to Bangladesh

Source: Dhaka Tribune

The fund would benefit almost 36 million people by improving the quality of primary education, building coastal communities’ resilience to natural disaster, and increasing the nutrition and cognitive development of children.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Seven Breakthroughs That Will Transform Global Health

Source: The Guardian

Which major breakthroughs in technology have had a transformative effect on the lives of the world’s poorest? Vaccines for polio and other serious diseases; HIV anti-retrovirals; mosquito bed-nets with powerful insecticide infused into its fabric. All have transformed lives by dramatically reducing disease.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwe Government Moves to Lower Money Transfer Charges and Broadband Prices

Source: Techzim

It looks like we are headed towards cheaper mobile money services and lower broadband prices if the State’s word is anything to go by.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — South Asia

Myanmar anticipating a leap-frog in development through financial inclusion

Source: OECD Insights

An overview of the Financial Access Landscape and the usage of financial services by consumers in Myanmar.
Thursday, December 18, 2014 — South Asia

Nestle-NGO Tie-Up to Provide Adolescent Health Education

Source: India Gazette

In order to inform adolescents about the benefits of proper nutrition and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Nestle India signed an agreement Wednesday with Magic Bus India Foundation, an NGO, a company statement said here.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Q&A: Creating a Mobile Health Platform That “Just Works” for All

Source: PSI Impact

When something “just works”, there’s usually a mini-universe of people, technology and ideas behind it that the rest of us take for granted. Take bar codes for example; they’re ubiquitous, and serve multiple uses for every stage of a product’s manufacture and eventual sale. The tale behind them is an astounding story of vision, foresight, technological progress and, perhaps most importantly, the appropriate wrangling of partners that started with grocers and eventually cut across every industry.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa: More Nations to Receive Tuberculosis-Fighting Drug

Source: allAfrica

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Janssen Therapeutics December 11 that aims to accelerate progress in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria, specifically multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Corporate Commitment to Impact Investing Will Reach Record Heights in 2015

Source: PR Newswire

Madeira Global, a premier New York-based investment and advisory firm servicing qualified investors and institutions in the area of Impact Investing, today released its 2015 Impact Outlook for the marketplace. The firm asserts that corporate commitment to impact investing is set to reach record heights in 2015 due to the combination of heightened corporate social responsibility programs and a return to the laws of fundamental investing into companies with strong environmental, social and governance practices. The milestones seen in 2014, such as Prudential committing to build a $1 billion impact investment portfolio by 2020, will serve as precursors to the 2015 impact investment landscape.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Here’s How Much the Next Ebola Will Cost Us

Source: TIME

The global community cannot withstand another Ebola outbreak: The World Bank estimates the two-year financial burden price tag of the current epidemic at $32.6 billion. Unfortunately, the virus has revealed gaping holes in our preparedness for major infectious disease epidemics. Because of these, plus the urbanization of rural communities and globalization of travel and trade, more of these epidemics are expected.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 — South Asia

State Bank of India to Provide Mobile Financial Services to Underserved

Source: Mobile Payments Today

Amdocs, a provider of customer experience products, today announced the selection of its mobile financial services product in association with Triotech's product, which will enable State Bank of India to offer mobile financial services to India's unbanked and underbanked population, using the mobile network of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited. The solution will be delivered under a five-year services contract, according to a press release.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ebola: UN Says Health Workers in Sierra Leone to Receive Hazard Pay Using Mobile Money

Source: UN News Centre

Response workers battling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa will receive “hazard pay” for the first time in Sierra Leone using mobile money because “unless there is a certain element of incentives, or danger pay, it’s very difficult to attract and retain people,” the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced today.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

2014 in Impact Investing: The Big Bang and its Aftermath

Source: The Huffington Post

Impact investing reached and surpassed the tipping point in 2014, ceasing to be an insiders' game.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

USAID head to step down

Source: USA Today

The administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development says he will step down in mid-February. Rajiv Shah, who has led USAID for five years, said in a statement that the agency is answering President Obama's call to end extreme poverty across the globe.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — Latin America

SunEdison, IFC, OFID, and CABEI Close $146M Financing for Solar PV Projects in Honduras Totaling 81.7 MW

Source: Solar Server

SunEdison Inc. (Belmont, CA, US) on December 15th, 2014 announced the closing of an approximately USD 146 million non-recourse debt financing arrangement with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID).
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — South Asia

Cabs for Women, by Women: Could Ola Succeed Where Others Have Failed?

Source: Firstpost

G-cabs, one of the taxi companies operating in Gurgaon lists the following as a perk of availing their services: "A Panic button, at both the passenger's and chauffeur's end- assuring a safe journey." In the aftermath of the Uber rape case, this seems like an extremely helpful feature for a taxi service to have. However, what it also points out is that some of the solutions women are looking for in terms of safe travel are already available - at least on paper. There are at least four cab operators in the NCR region which offer women-only services - Vira, Priyadarshini, G-cabs, Sakha - however, people still tend to resort to services like Ola and Uber. A report on The Times of India today points out that Ola cabs now plan to make their services more women-friendly by launching a line of 'by women, for women' cabs. The move comes after threats of banning cab aggregating services like those of Uber and Ola.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — South Asia

Khosla Labs & Unitus Seed Fund to Incubate and Back Up to Six Aadhaar-Based Startups

Source: VCCircle

Bangalore-based startup incubator Khosla Labs has partnered with seed-stage impact investor Unitus Seed Fund to incubate and fund four-six startups working on the Unique Identification Authority of India (Aadhaar) project.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: A New Direction for Global Health

Source: Council on Foreign Relations

It is easy to be discouraged about the state of international cooperation today, but global health remains an area in which the world has come together to do significant good. Over the last dozen years, international initiatives have delivered HIV/AIDS treatment to millions, expanded childhood immunization, and spurred a dramatic increase in global support for addressing other health challenges, from malaria to maternal health.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Indonesian Telco Indosat Launches ATM Card to Go with E-Wallet

Source: Tech in Asia

Indonesian telco company Indosat, in collaboration with Qatar National Bank (QNB), launched a mobile money ATM card this week, CNN Indonesia reports. The card is integrated with Indosat’s ewallet feature Dompetku, which now claims to be the first mobile money provider in Indonesia with a parallel ATM service feature.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Global Banking Alliance for Women Announces Partnership to Close Gender Data Gap in Finance

Source: PR Newswire

The Global Banking Alliance for Women (GBA) is proud to announce a partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and Data2X to expand the collection and use of financial data on women in economies around the world. The commitment was announced this morning at an event in New York headlined by speakers Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and Michael R. Bloomberg, during a panel moderated by Chelsea Clinton. The initiative aims to close the gender data gap in the banking sector, leading to greater financial inclusion and empowerment of women.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Survey: In Nigeria, 2.6 Million Adults Have Microfinance Bank Accounts

Source: allAfrica

A survey carried out by Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) Access to Financial Services in Nigeria in 2014 revealed that 2.6 million Nigerian adults representing 2.8 percent, currently have a microfinance bank account.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Survey: 36.9m Nigerians Excluded From Financial System

Source: Thisday Live

Findings from the EFInA access to financial services in Nigeria 2014 survey has revealed that 36.9 million adults, representing 39.5 per cent of the population are financially excluded.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

5 Reasons Today's Leaders Are Focused on Using Wealth and Power to Create Impact

Source: Business Insider

Leaders are migrating from figureheads to action figures. From bureaucrats to disrupters. From managing the established to creating and sponsoring more social impact.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — South Asia

Canadian Funding Supports Creation of Mobile Blood Lab in India

Source: Toronto Star

Grand Challenges Canada, which is funded by the federal government, is providing $1 million toward the development of a smartphone device that will test for diabetes and other conditions.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Cameroon Government, Mobile Operators Launch Service Allowing Tax Payments Through Mobile Money

Source: BiztechAfrica

The Cameroonian government has launched a new tax service called Mobile Tax, in association with mobile operators MTN and Orange.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Underserved Markets Ripe for Insurance Innovation, Swiss Re Americas CEO Says

Source: Insurance Journal

Underserved populations and market niches are ripe with potential for insurance innovators who are willing to take on the challenge of creating opportunities in areas that may seem unprofitable at first glance, says the chief executive of the Americas unit for one of the world’s largest reinsurance companies. And the ability to reach those markets digitally is key.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

A Copper Bedrail Could Cut Back on Infections for Hospital Patients

Source: NPR

Checking into a hospital can boost your chances of infection. That's a disturbing paradox of modern medical care. And it doesn't matter where in the world you're hospitalized. From the finest to the most rudimentary medical facilities, patients are vulnerable to new infections that have nothing to do with their original medical problem. These are referred to as healthcare-acquired infections, healthcare-associated infections or hospital-acquired infections. Many of them, like pneumonia or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), can be deadly.
Monday, December 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: Phone Charging Made Simple

Source: allAfrica

Rwanda's Henri Nyakarundi founded African Renewable Energy Distributor (ARED) to give renewable energy solutions to the public and private sectors in his home country Rwanda after failing to find a place to charge his phone from. However, he never imagined that his idea would ever cross the border.
Monday, December 15, 2014 — No Region Specified

American Express Serve Announces Research Pilot to Encourage Consumer Saving

Source: Market Watch

American Express AXP, -0.91% today announced that it is kicking off a research pilot to study consumer savings behaviors using the Serve software platform. This research pilot can help identify new ways to promote saving and explore whether certain behavioral interventions are effective in increasing consumer savings. This program will also help inform research at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the U.S. government agency charged with making financial markets work for American consumers, to better understand how to promote saving among consumers.
Monday, December 15, 2014 — No Region Specified

Johns Hopkins Team Wins Award for Improved Suit to Fight Ebola

Source: Daily Herald

For health-care workers taking care of Ebola patients in West Africa, one of the biggest logistical problems has been the "moon suits" they must wear to protect against being infected by the deadly virus. The suits are hot. Taking them off is a meticulous, multistep process that can leave no room for error.
Monday, December 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MasterCard Sees Opportunity with Nigerian E-ID Cards

Source: Pymnts.com

There’s a lot of untapped potential in the Nigerian commerce market — which is growing — and MasterCard has discovered a marketing niche with the country’s national high-tech e-ID card pilot project.
Monday, December 15, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: Building India's growth by promoting MSMEs

Source: Money Life

The real drivers of employment and growth in India are not the exalted corporates, but MSMEs, its time to stop giving them a raw deal
Friday, December 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

Off-Grid Solar Companies Closed $64M in 2014: The Start of a Bigger Trend?

Source: Greentech Media

Early-stage investments in off-grid solar companies operating in developing countries reached $63.9 million in 2014, according to a tally from Greentech Media.
Friday, December 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: New Approach on Buying HIV Drugs Will Save $100 Million

Source: The Global Fund

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria is putting into place a new agreement for purchasing HIV medication that will save close to US$100 million over two years, money that can be reinvested in lifesaving drugs and programs all over the world.
Friday, December 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

An Atomic Physicist's Plan to Bring Adjustable Eyeglasses to Developing World Classrooms

Source: Co.Exist

Think about what life would be like if you needed glasses and you didn't have them. You would struggle to study in school, you would be hampered in your work, and much else besides.
Friday, December 12, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

E-Kwanza Mobile Payment Service Launched in Angola

Source: HumanIPO

Angolan Investment Bank (BAI) has launched e-Kwanza a mobile money service that allows users to make transfers and payments for goods and services across the country.
Friday, December 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: OPIC Board of Directors Approves New Financing Commitments

Source: Fox News

The Board of Directors of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) today held a quarterly meeting considering new projects for approval.
Friday, December 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint from Justin Rattner: Five Ways Social Entrepreneurs Use Technology to Increase Their Impact

Source: Forbes

“Technology for the sake of technology is a waste of precious resources. Social entrepreneurs need to understand the deep value that ICT can bring to social change when it is offered in context, with appropriate training, and with the intent of empowering the user. We hope this report inspires many others to take up this challenge in ways we haven’t even begun to imagine.” Justin Rattner, President, Intel INTC -1.2% Foundation.
Friday, December 12, 2014 — South Asia

Baby's Necklace Could End Up Being a Life Saver

Source: NPR

It's traditional for newborns in northern India to wear a black thread necklace as a symbol of good health and good fortune, but Vikram's got a high-tech version. The round pendant on the string is a wearable device called Khushi Baby that carries his vaccination history inside a computerized chip about the size of a dime.
Friday, December 12, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Vodacom has big M-Pesa plans in South Africa

Source: IT Web

Vodacom aims to push the envelope with its revamped M-Pesa in 2015, a year in which it hopes it will emerge as the most disruptive player in the local mobile money space.
Friday, December 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

Impact Investments Show Strong Returns, Survey Says

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

An overwhelming majority of "impact investments" met or exceeded financial and social-benefit goals, according to a survey released Thursday.
Friday, December 12, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Econet jumps back into insurance. What’s their play here?

Source: Tech Zim

It’s no longer called EcoLife, but Econet is back in the insurance game.
Thursday, December 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

We can’t hope to solve global ills without action against poverty

Source: The Conversation

Poverty is still one of the driving forces behind ill health, a lack of access to healthcare and medicines and consistent underdevelopment.
Thursday, December 11, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Orange, USAID announce mHealth initiative for Africa

Source: Telecom Lead

Telecom services provider Orange announced its mobile health (mHealth) development initiative with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) – targeting Africa.
Thursday, December 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

How Selfies Could Detect a Common Deadly Disease

Source: Huffington Post

People might take selfies someday to detect a deadly yet treatable medical condition, according to an award-winning team of medical inventors.
Thursday, December 11, 2014 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: Inaugural “Inclusive Finance India Global Summit” Promotes Financial Inclusion

Source: Business Wire

The first “Inclusive Finance India Global Summit” in Delhi, organized by ACCESS, a national think tank, was inaugurated on Monday (December 8) by Shri HR Khan, deputy governor of Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The two days of deliberations at the Summit covered issues related to Financial Inclusion, Financial Education and Financial Stability, and built a Financial Inclusion Vision 2020. MetLife Foundation is proud to be one of the two principal partners in the Inclusive Finance Summit.
Thursday, December 11, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Why Mobile Wallets Will Be Offered to 120,000 Zambian Farmers

Source: Ericsson

MTN Chief Sales and Distribution Officer Amos Jere told journalists at the Zambia Agriculture Show that MTN Zambia plans to work with 120,000 farmers in the next farming season through the Ericsson Wallet Platform. Quoted by the Lusaka Times, he said that the company is in the process of rolling out our mobile money platform to integrate MTN Mobile Money with all banks in the country and added that some 4,000 subsistence farmers in the country have already been successfully paid through the platform for their cotton sales in Eastern Province.
Thursday, December 11, 2014 — South Asia

Micro Insurance: A Tool for Financial Inclusion

Source: Financial Chronicle

Financial inclusion is now one of the most talked about agendas towards holistic development of the country. With the thrust towards financial inclusion by the Narendra Modi government to achieve all round growth of society, micro insurance is poised to play an important role in it.
Thursday, December 11, 2014 — South Asia

Invest Early in Social Enterprises and Dream Big: Jacqueline Novogratz

Source: PR Newswire

Acumen Founder, Jacqueline Novogratz, discusses the need for 'Patient Capital' and 'leaders who reject the status quo' at UnconventioniL Chennai, organised by Villgro and Tie Chennai.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

MBA's Start-Up Ventures Make a Social Impact in Emerging Markets

Source: BusinessBecause

MBA students prove that entrepreneurs can create a great social impact and develop profitable business models at the same time.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Telemedicine Africa Rolls Out Virtual eHealth Centers in South Africa

Source: eHealth News

Telemedicine Africa has collaborated with Dimension Data and the IDC to set up private telehealth centres in South Africa.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria’s NDIC advocates ‘Pass-Through Insurance’ to mobile money subscribers

Source: Business Day

One of the issues discussed at the just concluded Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) three-day workshop for business editors and members of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) in Katsina State is extension of deposit insurance to mobile money subscribers via Pass-Through Insurance (PTI).
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

The Coming Global Boom in Private Healthcare

Source: Forbes

To many Americans, whose multi-trillion dollar government has just executed a hostile takeover of the healthcare industry, the future of care looks like lawyer-laden socialized medicine in General Motors GM -1.68%-style hospital factories.
Wednesday, December 10, 2014 — South Asia

Xerox Eyes Financial Inclusion, Caters to Banking Sector

Source: Deccan Chronicle

Banking, Financial Services & Insurance (BFSI) is a high-priority vertical for Xerox in India. Vishal Awal, Executive Director, Xerox South Asia spoke about how Xerox India is addressing technology requirements of the banking sector.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How MasterCard Aims to Bring Financial Services to East Africa

Source: PYMNTS.com

There is no shortage of efforts to bring financial inclusion to those in developing economies who lack access to basic financial services. Most have failed for one very important reason – they’ve been unable to scale. The announcement last week of MasterCard’s partnership with The Gates Foundation will address that problem, starting with the launch of an Innovation Lab in the birthplace of the region’s most successful mobile money scheme – Kenya.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

A Magic Wand for Nutrition and Incomes in Mozambique?

Source: Science and Development Network

Smallholder farmers in Mozambique are growing nutritious and lucrative varieties of orange-fleshed sweet potato.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 — No Region Specified

Unilever Helps Lead Coalition to Solve the Global Sanitation Crisis

Source: Forbes

2.5 billion in the world have inadequate sanitation. For businesses, that’s 2.5 billion opportunities to increase sales of infrastructure, plumbing, hygiene and cleaning products. Unilever has recognized the magnitude of the global sanitation crisis, the potential for solving it and helped lead the formation of the Toilet Board Coalition (TBC) to do their part.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 — No Region Specified

Merck's $9.5 Billion Cubist Deal is Really About the Global War on Drug-Resistant Bacteria

Source: International Business Times

Merck & Co. is paying $8.4 billion in cash and assume $1.1 billion in net debt to acquire Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. and join the fight against drug-resistant bacteria — a growing global threat that's slowly fueling a lucrative pharma business.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Business Wire

TriLinc Global Impact Fund announced today that it has approved a total of $11.9 million in trade finance facilities to two companies in South Africa and one company in Argentina, bringing total financing commitments as of November 30, 2014 to $57.9 million for business expansion and socioeconomic development through its holdings in Africa and Latin America.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 — South Asia

What Happens to Money in E-Wallets in India?

Source: Live Mint

Electronic and in-app wallets have emerged as another payment option. Many companies, especially those in e-commerce and telecom services, offer wallets where consumers can preload money and use to pay for services. Here’s a look at the treatment of money stored in various kinds of wallets.
Tuesday, December 9, 2014 — No Region Specified

Financial Inclusion: From Margins To Mainstream

Source: Forbes

Hundreds of millions of the world’s citizens today lack opportunities to join the financial services mainstream. Meanwhile, global financial institutions are missing out on a corresponding number of opportunities to refresh and grow their customer base, create prolific new markets, and develop sustainable demand for a new generation of products and services.
Monday, December 8, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Better Healthcare for Low Income Kenyans

Source: GOV.UK

The Business Call to Action and Private Sector Innovation Programme for Health (PSP4H) on December 4, 2014 co- hosted an event focused on innovative private sector approaches to delivering better healthcare to low income Kenyans. The event brought together chief executives, senior representatives from governments, bilateral donors, civil society and the United Nations.
Monday, December 8, 2014 — No Region Specified

Beyond Profits: Millennials Embrace Investing for Social Good

Source: Los Angeles Times

Once she gets her MBA degree from UC Berkeley in May, Leigh Madeira's dream is to help find funding for young companies devoted to improving the lives of the world's poor.
Monday, December 8, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Cryptocurrencies Can Transform Financial Services

Source: Live Mint

Can an open protocol-based network technology transform a cartelized, oligopolistic and highly regulated industry by transferring power from large corporations to individuals?
Monday, December 8, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PHN Unveils $1m HIC to Address Nigeria’s Suboptimal Health Outcomes

Source: Business Day

As low application of innovation and technology in the healthcare sector remains the biggest drawback in transforming delivery in Nigeria, the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN), a private sector-led coalition, has unveiled $1 million Health Innovation Challenge (HIC) to address suboptimal health care.
Monday, December 8, 2014 — No Region Specified

Tricking People Into Being Healthy

Source: Yahoo! News

As though it heard the Christmas wishes of policy nerds everywhere, the World Bank Group made behavioral economics the theme of its 2015 World Development report.
Monday, December 8, 2014 — No Region Specified

Investing for Good, Not Just Return, Grows to $6.57 Trillion Since 2012

Source: Washington Business Journal

Sustainable and responsible investing assets have grown 76 percent in the last two years, from $3.74 trillion in 2012 to $6.57 trillion at the start of this year.
Monday, December 8, 2014 — South Asia

“Gift-a-Pension” Initiative Helps Maids, Drivers, Cooks Save for Their Retirement in India

Source: The Economic Times

This September, A Mary, 47, got something she never thought she ever could — not a car or a home but a pension. A house help and a mother of two whose husband is a driver, Delhi-based Mary always viewed a pension as something only the affluent could afford — until her employer Kurt Strasser, a senior sector specialist at German development bank KfW, brought it within her reach.
Monday, December 8, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Insurance for Ethiopian Herders Aims to Combat Drought, Conflict

Source: Reuters

Nomadic livestock herders in Ethiopia have received their first payout from an insurance scheme that tracks poor pasture conditions with satellite technology.
Monday, December 8, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tanzania to Get Second Floating Clinic

Source: East African Business Week

The Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic/WAVE non-governmental organization is introducing a floating health clinic on Lake Tanganyika.
Friday, December 5, 2014 — South Asia

India 'Too Reliant' on Chinese Drug Imports, Worries Delhi

Source: BBC

There's loud chatter in Mandarin, Hindi and English - all thrown in a heady mix of business, big numbers, and of course money converted in at least two currencies.
Friday, December 5, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

GSK Opens £4 Million Research Grant on Non-Communicable Diseases

Source: allAfrica

Apparently to find scientific answers to why Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) are rising on the African continent, GlaxoSmitheKline (GSK) has opened a £4m grant initiative to researchers in the region.
Friday, December 5, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The AIDS-Fighting Tampon

Source: The Atlantic

An electrically charged fabric makes for a quick-dissolving delivery vessel for drugs that kill HIV.
Friday, December 5, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Omidyar Network, Pershing Square Foundation Grant Social Finance, Inc. $4 Million for Pay-for-Success Financing

Source: SYS-CON Media

Social Finance announced today, at a White House Pay for Success Summit in Chicago, grant awards totaling $4.0 million from Omidyar Network and The Pershing Square Foundation to support its operations over the next three years. The flexible funds will be used to expand Social Finance's transaction and advisory teams, as well as accelerate the flow of Pay-for-Success (PFS) financing (or Social Impact Bond) transactions in the United States. The grants represent funding renewals from Omidyar Network and The Pershing Square Foundation, which were founding supporters of Social Finance.
Friday, December 5, 2014 — No Region Specified

Timor Leste’s First Mobile Money Pilot Launched to Expand Access to Financial Services

Source: National Journal

BNU, in partnership with Timor Telecom, and with support from the Inclusive Finance for the Under-Served Economy (INFUSE) Programme and MicroSave, launched Timor-Leste's first mobile wallet product called BNU Mobile.
Thursday, December 4, 2014 — South Asia

In healthcare starved Assam, Dholmara health centre sets example of super-effective functioning

Source: The Indian Express

The primary health centre (PHC) in Dholmara village in Kokrajhar is run by Dr Atawor Rehman, who doesn't have an MBBS degree, yet is known for being among the best in the district on the scale of management and service delivery.
Thursday, December 4, 2014 — No Region Specified

Kenya Court to Rule on Thin SIM Case in January

Source: Capital FM

The High Court will determine in January whether a mobile operator associated with Equity Bank should roll out the thin SIM technology. Judge Isaac Lenaola on Thursday said he will deliver his verdict next year after parties in the case made their final submissions.
Thursday, December 4, 2014 — No Region Specified

Drones Are Being Tested in the Fight Against a Tuberculosis Epidemic in Papua New Guinea

Source: Vice News

Drones have been trialled by Medecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to combat a centuries-old disease that has crippled communities in one of the most untamed wildernesses on earth.
Thursday, December 4, 2014 — No Region Specified

Trends in Mobile and Cloud Technology: Redefining Medicine Around the World

Source: Devex

Around the world, shifting demographics are putting more pressure on health systems that are struggling to catch up to changing expectations.
Thursday, December 4, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

United Bank of Africa, Airtel to Launch Mobile Financial Services Across Africa

Source: Ghana Web

United Bank for Africa (UBA) is partnering with telecoms firm, Bharti Airtel to provide mobile-based financial services across Africa through Airtel Money.
Thursday, December 4, 2014 — No Region Specified

How One Investor Is Finding Profit in Social Change

Source: Entrepreneur

Ron Cordes used to get patronizing pats on the head from the traditional financial advisors he once worked with. Now, many of his former colleagues are asking him to help them get smarter about impact investing.
Thursday, December 4, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Firms, Aid Groups Help Filipinos Borrow From Banks Instead of Sharks

Source: Reuters

Housewife Jenny Orquiza, whose home was damaged by super typhoon Haiyan, did not imagine that the Philippines' biggest natural disaster would lead to her getting something she never had - a bank account.
Thursday, December 4, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

A New Technology to Support HIV Prevention

Source: PSI Impact

Trymore Chikwiriro is 29 years old, and his wife gave birth to their first child just this past October. Just like they expected, all of their nights were focused on their new baby– so the time seemed right for Trymore to undergo voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC).
Thursday, December 4, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MasterCard Teams With Gates Foundation to Expand Digital Financial Services in East Africa

Source: IT News Africa

MasterCard has unveiled the launch of MasterCard Labs for Financial Inclusion, a new initiative seeking to impact more than 100 million people globally by developing practical and cost-effective financial tools that expand access and help build stable futures over the long term.
Thursday, December 4, 2014 — No Region Specified

WEF Offers Impact Investing Road Map for Wealthy Families

Source: Bloomberg

The World Economic Forum has a message for wealthy families thinking about impact investing: don’t just buy on the buzz, do your homework.
Thursday, December 4, 2014 — Latin America

PRESS RELEASE: Roundtable on Aging and Financial Inclusion in Latin America

Source: 3BL Media

Over 40 leaders from across Latin America, including the banking, microfinance, academic, and aging advocacy sectors, joined together in Bogota, Colombia for a roundtable on the topic of Aging and Financial Inclusion. This meeting focused specifically on aging demographics in Latin America and the increasing need for access to quality financial services—including pensions, savings, insurance, loans, and payments.
Thursday, December 4, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Citi Announces Top Innovations from Global Financial Technology Challenge

Source: BWW Geeks World

Today Citi announced the top innovations from the Citi Mobile Challenge U.S., a groundbreaking global initiative that invites technology developers to reimagine digital banking and fuel innovation in the financial industry.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In Nigeria Mobile Banking Transactions Hit N430 Billion

Source: allAfrica

Mobile payments system, also known as mobile banking in the country has recorded a total of 15 million transactions since the inception of the scheme in 2012 with 58 million subscribers while the total value of the transactions till date is N430 billion.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 — No Region Specified

Delivering Twice As Many Pharmaceuticals At Half The Cost Is Now A Reality

Source: Digital Journal

Eulysis UK Limited's mission is to revolutionise pharmaceutical delivery globally. The Single Vial System (SVS), their unique storage and reconstitution technology for lyophilized (freeze-dried) pharmaceuticals is just 9 months away from becoming commercially viable.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 — Latin America

Narayana Health Opens Hi-Tech Hospital in the Caribbean

Source: India West

Famed heart surgeon Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, Mother Teresa's personal physician and founder of Narayana Health — an Indian hospital network that is internationally regarded as one of the world's lowest-cost, highest-quality healthcare providers — is bringing his mission of providing affordable, accessible healthcare to America.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 — South Asia

Only 48% of Indian Adults Have Access to Bank Accounts

Source: The Economic Times

Only 48 per cent of Indian adults have bank accounts and nearly half of them lie dormant, says a report. According to a nation-wide survey on financial behaviour, India has the highest account dormancy rate even more than countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Nigeria, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 — South Asia

India's Orissa Halts 'Bicycle Pump Sterilisation Surgery'

Source: CNN

An Indian state has halted mass sterilisations at health camps after a doctor was found using a bicycle pump to inflate women's abdomens.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: Why Impact Assessments Are Good for Non-Profits but Bad for Business

Source: The Guardian

By Erik Simanis: Impact assessments are a powerful – and necessary – part of a non-profit’s tool kit. Rigorously measuring how and how much a program solves a social ill and betters the lives of the poor ensures continual improvement. Impact assessments also serve as a report card back to the funders of non-profits. They assure donors that grant funds are being maximised and used for the purpose intended.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 — Asia Pacific

PRESS RELEASE: Grameen China and JD.com Launch Crowdfunding Microfinance Project

Source: PR Newswire

JD.com, Inc. ("JD.com" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: JD), China's largest online direct sales company, and Grameen China, the China-based entity of Grameen Trust ("GT"), a non-profit and non-government organization committed to the cause of poverty alleviation, today announced that they have reached an agreement on a strategic partnership in China.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Automated Medical Equipment Could Save Many Lives

Source: The Observer

Christine Nabbanja is a 22-year-old, fourth year, biomedical engineering student at Makerere University. She is also part of a group of five innovative students, teamed up to offer global health solutions to the world. Their innovation is an automatic switch for an electrical suction pump. Suctions are used to clear the airway of blood, saliva, vomit or other secretions so that a patient can breathe during respiratory failure or surgery.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Are Smartphones the Right Gift for West Africa’s Ebola Fight?

Source: Politico

Smartphones may not be the smartest solution to fighting Ebola in West Africa. Technology giants including Google, Amazon and Ericsson, and techie charities such as the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation have donated thousands of smartphones for use across the region, where better communication is key to stopping the epidemic.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: Modi’s Financial Inclusion Scheme Is Not As Inclusive As You Might Have Thought

Source: Scroll.in

The government’s ambitious financial inclusion programme is about to get bigger. Last week, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced that the target for new bank accounts under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana had been revised from 7.5 crore to 10 crore by January 26, 2015.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

A New Milk Can for The Developing World, Funded by Bill Gates

Source: Co.Exist

When you buy milk in America, it generally comes from farmers with hundreds of cows. They do their own milking with mechanized equipment, and, generally, their own pasteurization and bottling. In Kenya, it's different. About 80% of the country's milk comes from small-scale farmers with a few cows, who milk by-hand. They don't do bottling and, instead of trucks to get to market, they go by bike or foot.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

UNITAID And PSI Partner to Expand Access to HIV Self-Testing

Source: PSI Impact

Globally, there are an estimated 19 million people who do not know they are living with HIV. Without knowledge of their status, individuals cannot access life-saving HIV care and treatment. To close this gap, UNITAID is investing $23 million to accelerate access to HIV testing through simple HIV self-tests in three high-burden African countries over the next two years. PSI and its partners will lead this initiative to dramatically shift the paradigm of HIV testing in Africa.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 — South Asia

Banks in India Charging 22% to 26% on Microloans to Poor Borrowers

Source: The Economic Times

When it comes to lending to the poor, it is not just the micro finance institutions that charge high interest rates, but even bulgebracket banks such as Axis Bank to YES Bank charge as much as 22% to 26% a year.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 — No Region Specified

Are We On the Road to an HIV Vaccine?

Source: CNN

"It only takes one virus to get through for a person to be infected," explained Dr. John Mascola. This is true of any viral infection, but in this instance, Mascola is referring to HIV and his ongoing efforts to develop a vaccine against the virus. "It's been so difficult to make an HIV/AIDS vaccine."
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 — Latin America

Mercario Partnering With Mimetic Markets to Launch First Bitcoin Exchange in Honduras

Source: CoinTelegraph

Honduran Mercario partners up with American Mimetic Markets to launch the first Bitcoin exchange in Honduras. Hosted by Mimetic Markets, freshly announced trading platform Mercario will allow users to trade Honduran lempiras, Brazilian reals and bitcoins on a robust and scalable system. In a company's announcement, Mimetic Markets CEO Sameer Parekh Brenn stated:
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PHN in $1m Health Innovation Push to Save 1m Lives

Source: Business Day

Nigeria’s healthcare space is set to witness a landmark investment as the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria, a public-private coalition aimed at mobilising Nigeria ‘s private sector to improve health outcomes, unveils a $1 million Health Innovation Challenge (HIC).
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ghana Teams Up With Better Than Cash Alliance In Move Towards Cashless Economy

Source: UN News Centre

The Government of Ghana today took steps towards enhancing fiscal transparency and promoting the financial inclusion of its citizens by committing to a United Nations-backed initiative that supports countries’ transitions to electronic payments.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

OPINION: Africa: The Economics of Pro-Poor Health Policy

Source: allAfrica

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) can learn from the difficulties faced by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in curtailing the spread of Ebola.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 — South Asia

Uber Terms Reserve Bank of India Rules 'unfriendly', but Says Will Comply

Source: The Times of India

Taxi hailing service Uber sharply criticized Indian rules that require two-step authentication of credit card transactions and sought 45 more days to comply with the central bank's directive on the issue.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: African Policymakers Pledge to Financially Include Kids

Source: Daily Exchange

Amsterdam, The Netherlands – On 4-5 December 2014 the Third Child and Youth Finance Regional Meeting for Africa will be held at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The Meeting will bring together Africa’s finest policy makers, educators, research and academic institutions, financial service providers, as well as representatives from various government ministries to develop a common African position on the advancement of a unified financial education and inclusion plan of action for children and youth across the continent.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MTN Launches Mobile Money Cross-Border Remittance Service Between Ivory Coast and Benin

Source: HumanIPO

Telecoms company MTN today launched mobile money cross-border remittance service between Ivory Coast and Benin. It said the service will further enable cheaper and easy movement of money in the West Africa region.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 — Asia Pacific

PRESS RELEASE: Bima Receives $5 Million Investment to Bring Microinsurance to Asia Pacific, Caribbean

Source: Business Wire

Bima, the leading global microinsurance provider, announced a 5 million USD investment from Digicel Group, the leading total communications and entertainment provider in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific regions. This investment and the resulting partnership will help Bima to deliver access to affordable insurance on a scale never seen before in those regions.
Monday, December 1, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Needling Questions On China In Africa

Source: Caixin Online

In a recent agreement, the China-Africa Development Fund and Wuhan-based Humanwell Healthcare (Group) Co. inked a deal to open a pharmaceutical factory in Bamako, Mali, as part of a series of healthcare sector investments in Africa.
Monday, December 1, 2014 — South Asia

MNCs Deprive India Of Vital Drugs Despite Getting Monopoly Rights

Source: The Economic Times

Some multinational companies (MNCs) have been delaying the launch of life-saving drugs in India years after getting monopoly rights, while cheaper generic versions of exorbitantly-priced medicines are going off the shelves under the product patenting law.
Monday, December 1, 2014 — South Asia

Global Health Looks To BRAC and Gates Foundation for Mobile Money

Source: Forbes

Bangladesh is going digital. Not in smart watches, sensor-based clothing or electronic health records, but in money. Mobile money. Money, that according to BRAC and the Gates Foundation could improve the economic and health outcomes of the country, especially of women and children. With a healthy appreciation of the complexities in scaling digitally, faith in innovation at the grassroots level and years of planning, these organizations just might make mobile money the future of finance.
Monday, December 1, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

World Bank Pledges $1.6b for Infrastructure Projects in East Africa

Source: Asia One Business

The World Bank said on Saturday it will loan East African nations $1.2 billion (S$1.56 billion) to improve inland waterways and ports in Kenya and Tanzania, as part of efforts to boost integration in the region.
Monday, December 1, 2014 — No Region Specified

Impact Investing Goes Mainstream

Source: Upstart Business Journal

The idea of doing good while making a healthy profit is rapidly gaining ground, particularly among wealthy Silicon Valley entrepreneurs but also among foundations and pension funds. Social impact investing — for-profit investing for social good —­ has crossed into the mainstream and is driving investment decisions.
Monday, December 1, 2014 — South Asia

India’s New “Payment Banks” Expected to Spur Innovation

Source: Live Mint

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday released the final guidelines for licensing of payments and small banks. These banks are intended to cover the unbanked and underbanked areas and increase banking penetration in the country, stated the circular. Let’s take a look at the changes that these banks are likely to bring in financial services.
Monday, December 1, 2014 — No Region Specified

Vodacom Looking to Expand Use of M-pesa

Source: Business Day

Vodacom is in talks with small and big companies with the aim of getting them to use its mobile payment platform, m-pesa, to pay salaries to employees and allow customers to pay for goods using the system.
Monday, December 1, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria To Invest $1m In Nigeria’s Health Sector

Source: The Guardian

Nigeria's health care sector is to get a major push courtesy of a $1million public-private coalition investment to save one million lives of women and children from preventable diseases such as malaria, malnutrition, lack of access to life-saving commodities and suboptimal supply chain systems, among others.
Monday, December 1, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Savings Groups: An Inclusive Emerging Economy, With Africa in the Lead

Source: The New York Times

At a time when news about Africa has been dominated by Ebola, it’s worth observing that a highly encouraging change has been quietly spreading across the continent. Over the past five years, the number of Africans — mainly women — who have joined village-based savings and loan associations has soared to more than nine million. These groups are now operating in 40 countries in Africa. Globally, it’s estimated that 10.5 million people are members of formally trained savings groups in about 65 countries. (PDF) The big story about these groups, including their surprising success and emerging importance in development, comes from Africa.
Monday, December 1, 2014 — South Asia

Reserve Bank of India Prohibits Airtel, Vodafone & Idea From Using Existing Channels for Payments Banks Business

Source: The Economic Times

The Reserve Bank of India's final rules on payments banks prohibit telecom operators from leveraging their nationwide retailer networks and channels if they enter the new business, but analysts say this is a good opportunity for mobile phone companies to add another revenue stream given their existing consumer connect.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

Roadmap: Microfinance Industry Eyes 10m Customers By 2018

Source: The Express Tribune

Perhaps this is the reason why Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN) Chairman Nadeem Hussain believes that an impressive growth of 20-25% per annum for the past many years has still not made the country’s microfinance industry ‘relevant’ in the fight against poverty.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 — South Asia

Finance Minister Will Have A Golden Moment To End Financial Repression

Source: Live Mint

As I sit down to write this, a letter comes to my desk. Handwritten by a 90-year-old man, the letter seeks help from Mint’s insurance expert in resolving a fraud carried out by an insurance company agent who sold a policy for his grand-daughter, changing her status from a US citizen to a non-resident Indian and promising returns in dollars.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

Finance: Egypt's Small Borrowers Have Big Potential

Source: The Africa Report

A new law permitting non-bank for-profit lending institutions may unleash a revolution in microfinance by allowing more actors and innovators to get involved.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 — South Asia

Banks Get Better Access To Tap Micro Segment

Source: The Jakarta Post

The newly launched branchless banking regulation will enable banks to expand their financial services to disadvantaged and low-income segments at affordable costs, a senior official of the Financial Services Authority (OJK) has said.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 — South Asia

NBFCs say Reserve Bank of India's new rules will work against financial inclusion, drive towards unscrupulous moneylenders

Source: The Economic Times

On a typical day, Rohit Bokhare makes about Rs 800 taking passengers in his Mahindra Xylo between Saki Naka in Andheri and Adlabs Imagica on the Mumbai-Pune expressway in Raigad district. The 51-year-old defaulted on repayment of the loan he took to purchase the utility vehicle for four months, which led his financier to come inquiring. Shriram Transport Finance, the non-bank finance company that financed the vehicle, last week found his Xylo lying in a garage for repair for 20-25 days, blocking his regular cash flow. To top it up, Bokhare had a repair bill of Rs 20,000-25,000. He couldn't pay the EMIs in the previous months because of family exigencies.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya: Equity's SIM Technology to Go Live By March - James Mwangi

Source: allAfrica

EQUITY Bank plans to officially launch its mobile money platform Equitel - the trading brand of its telecoms subsidiary Finserve Africa - next quarter, chief executive James Mwangi said yesterday.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Microloans Help Latinas Become Entrepreneurs In Los Angeles

Source: Fox News Latino

As if it were a sacred ritual, every week Gloria Sánchez meets to talk business with four other Hispanic women who are on their way to entrepreneurship thanks to the system of microloans.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

UAE Fund To Provide $200 Million In Loans To Microfinance Projects In Egypt

Source: Ahram Online

A United Arab Emirates state investment fund announced on Monday it would provide $200 million in loans for microfinance projects in Egypt, a move it said would create more than 120,000 jobs by 2020.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

Bank On Poor Women And Phones To Drive Growth In Africa, Experts Say

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

Mobile phone technology can help to bring financial services to the 80 percent of African women who do not have a bank account and bolster the growth of the world's poorest continent, Nigeria's finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, said on Monday.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

Merck Partners With NewLink To Speed Up Work On Ebola Vaccine

Source: NPR

It's now Goliath versus Goliath in the quest for an Ebola vaccine. Until now, the two leading candidates for a vaccine to protect against the Ebola virus were being led by global pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline on the one hand, and a tiny company in Ames, Iowa, that was virtually unknown, on the other.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

New Policy Could Unlock the Gates Foundation, Bring Transparency to Research

Source: Puget Sound Business Journal

One of the biggest private foundations in the world just took a step toward becoming more open with the research it funds.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 — South Asia

China's War On Malaria: A Tiny Nation Pushed Into A Test-Tube

Source: Forbes

Artepharm, a Cantonese medical drugs laboratory, has been engaged for the past few years in a remarkable venture against malaria, a health scourge that has long plagued humanity and has been responsible for every second human death since the Middle Ages.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 — Latin America

Tunnel Lab: A Social Enterprise that Equips Impoverished Brazilian Youths With Technological and Entrepreneurial Knowledge

Source: Digital Journal

Brazil is the largest country in South America and the fifth most populous in the world, but it provides only a minor fraction of the technological innovation that drives economic growth in other countries. A new social enterprise called Tunnel Lab is trying to change this dynamic by introducing a love for technology in many of the country’s poorest favelas.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

USAID Seeks Help From ‘Maker Movement’ in Ebola Outbreak

Source: The Washington Post

On a recent Friday, several inventors gathered in downtown Washington with suitcases and coolers full of prototypes designed to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust Sign the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment

Source: Market Watch

Bank of America’s Global Wealth and Investment Management (GWIM) division today announced that it has signed the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) on behalf of its discretionary asset management businesses. The unit (GWIM) is comprised primarily of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and U.S. Trust.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

Dubai-Based Social Enterprise Shines Bright For Africa

Source: The National

It started with a plea to help 60,000 orphans in the company’s care. The children, who were being looked after in Zimbabwean orphanages set up by the telecoms operator Econet Wireless, could not study at night because there was no power and lighting, and many were getting sick from breathing in the chemicals emitted from candles.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 — South Asia

Indian M-Wallet Market To Cross Rs 1,200 Crore By 2019: Study

Source: The Times of India

The infant mobile wallet market in India is estimated to grow over threefold to Rs 1,210 crore in the next five years, buoyed by rising smartphone users and entry of newer players into the sector.
Monday, November 24, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Investment in Nigeria’s Pharmaceutical Sector Hits N70 Billion

Source: Business Day

Investment in Nigeria’s pharmaceutical sector has hit N70 billion in the last four years, the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (PMG-MAN) revealed to BusinessDay.
Monday, November 24, 2014 — South Asia

Micro-insurance On the Up Among Insurers and Public

Source: The Jakarta Post

While insurance penetration in general remains low, micro-insurance has seen significant growth as more banks partner with insurance firms to offer micro-insurance products to low-income earners.
Monday, November 24, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

10 Apps That Are Reshaping Healthcare In Africa

Source: Ventures Africa

As mobile penetration and smartphone proliferation continues its unprecedented surge in Africa, its beneficiaries are spreading beyond the confines of social interactions and brand development. The number of health solutions, exploiting this growth, are also on the rise.
Monday, November 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Behind 700% Loans, Profits Flow Through Indian Reservations to Wall Street

Source: Bloomberg

Joshua Wrenn needed money to make the January payment for his Jeep Cherokee. The truck driver and aspiring country singer in Madison, North Carolina, got $800 within minutes from a website he found on his phone. When he called to check his balance a few weeks later, he was told he had electronically signed a contract to pay back $3,920 to a company owned by an American Indian tribe.
Monday, November 24, 2014 — South Asia

Mobile Banking Will Soon Be Possible in India With a Basic Handset and Without Accessing the Internet

Source: The Economic Times

Banking will have a new look with some of the jigsaw pieces slowly falling into place. Almost all dealings between a customer and her bank will be possible with a basic handset and without accessing the Internet.
Monday, November 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Impact Investors Shifting Gears to Accommodate Specific Goals

Source: Pensions & Investments

The trend of impact investing — into companies, organizations and funds with the aim of investing for social and environmental good, as well as a financial gain — is becoming more specific.
Monday, November 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

The Rise of the Young Social Entrepreneur

Source: CNBC

Entrepreneurship is about solving a problem, not starting a company. While this isn't a new idea, today's young entrepreneurs have the advantage of the Internet, which has collapsed time and distance barriers. This means problems solved locally can have immediate impacts globally—and that's good for both people and business. A new generation of entrepreneurs is creating a new generation of technologies that are, quite literally, changing the world overnight.
Monday, November 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Barbara Bush: How Corporate America Can Mold Global Health Leaders

Source: Fortune

The Global Health Corps co-founder argues that the nonprofit health care world needs workers with expertise in business, engineering, and communications.
Monday, November 24, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Financial Inclusion and SMEs Set to Soar in Ghana

Source: The Worldfolio

Financial and insurance activities are expanding at roughly twice the pace of the overall economy and just 30 per cent of the population are formally banked, so industry leaders have good reason to be optimistic about the country’s financial services future.
Monday, November 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE Bank of America Partners with Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves

Source: Market Watch

Bank of America today announced a partnership with the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC) to raise $100 million to help provide clean cooking solutions to millions of households in the developing world.
Friday, November 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Explaining pneumonia’s big global decline on a tiny budget

Source: Humanosphere

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

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

Source: Ventures

LeapFrog Investments and Resolution Insurance announced today, that LeapFrog intends to invest $18.7 million for a majority stake in Resolution Insurance,through its holding company, Resolution Health East Africa Limited.
Friday, November 21, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: Ventures Africa

Nigeria’s fourth largest bank, Access Bank Plc, has signed a deal with Airtel Nigeria that will see its mobile money service run on the network of the mobile operator. The collaboration is aimed at boosting financial inclusion in the country.
TAGS:banking
Friday, November 21, 2014 — Europe & Eurasia

Africa's Mobile Money Makes its Way to Europe with M-Pesa

Source: CNN

Snapchat may be the latest application with a new mobile payment feature launched this week, but the idea that made Snapcash possible was spawned more than seven years ago in Africa.
Friday, November 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Agora Fund

Innovative new social enterprise will work with donors and nonprofits to apply the rigor, transparency and ease of a for-profit investment platform to the world of charitable giving.
Thursday, November 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Press Release

Royal Philips and the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation (http://www.snvworld.org), will be working together to improve access to clean cooking solutions in Africa by introducing clean and efficient household cook stoves to rural communities across the continent. The partnership aims to improve the health and well-being and income of rural populations while having a direct positive impact on the environment and will include research, community education and access to financing for adopting clean cooking technologies.
Thursday, November 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

Gilead Buys Shortcut For FDA Drug Review For $125 Million

Source: NPR

How much is a fast track for the Food and Drug Administration review of a new drug worth? Try $125 million.
Thursday, November 20, 2014 — South Asia

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

Source: VC Circle

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

U.S. managed assets with socially responsible criteria rise

Source: Reuters

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

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

Source: MedCity News

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

Wish Foundation plans to raise $100 mn for health innovators

Source: Business Standard

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

How China is reshaping global development finance

Source: DW

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

10 Things You Need To Know About Social And Environmental Investing

Source: Malaysian Digest

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

MTN Uganda, Ericsson team up on mobile money service

Source: ITWeb Africa

Ericsson has announced that MTN Uganda has deployed the Ericsson Converged Wallet platform, enabling the operator to quickly introduce relevant, new and differentiated mobile financial services offerings for seven million MTN Uganda mobile wallet users and 50,000 agents
Thursday, November 20, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tanzania Leads Africa in Financial Inclusion

Source: AllAfrica

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

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

Source: The Huffington Post

This year, the Foreign Operations Bill proposed by the House of Representatives includes the restoration of $300 million in funding for the successful President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which has been chronically underfunded in recent years.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Guy Who Delivers HIV Medicine On His Bicycle

Source: NPR

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

Telemedicine trend continues with new Nigerian mobile initiative

Source: Business Monitor

A joint telemedicine initiative between Apollo Hospitals and African telecoms company Airtel will expand access to health services for many Nigerian mobile subscribers.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 — South Asia

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

Source: The Washington Post

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

Pakistan turns to biometrics for banking

Source: Planet Biometrics

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

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

Source: Business Wire

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

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

Source: Upaya

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

Cashless payment hopes pinned on developing nations

Source: Euractiv

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

South African Bitcoin exchange debuts mobile wallet

Source: Tech Central

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

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

Source: New York Times

While the Securities and Exchange Commission dawdles, states are rushing to adopt their own crowdfunding rules. Ironically, it may just be the thing that rescues crowdfunding from a regulatory death grip.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: The Shift From Promotion to Pragmatism in Impact Investing

Source: Huffington Post

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

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

Source: Devex

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

G20 vows to reduce cost of transferring remittances to 5%

Source: Economic Times

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

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

Source: Quartz

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

Mobile payment startup taps into Indian villages

Source: PYMNTs

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

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

Source: Daily Times

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

How Rogue Microfinance Lenders Overburden Poor South Africans

Source: AFKInsider

Microfinance, or lending small sums to low-income borrowers or entrepreneurs, was supposed to be a source of development and income growth for the poor in Africa. Has it worked?
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

The one dollar contraceptive set to make family planning easier

Source: BBC News

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

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

Source: FirstBiz

he Narendra Modi government is in dialogues with the Guinness World Records team to bag a record for the government for opening maximum number of bank accounts in minimum number of days, according to persons familiar with the development.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 — South Asia

How technology is checking health corruption in India

Source: BBC News

In 2011 Amarendra Kumar learned that a doctor at one of Delhi's biggest hospitals was pushing for his baby niece to have a heart operation she didn't need.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Villgro Innovations invests in seven social enterprises

Source: Techcircle.in

Social enterprise incubator Villgro Innovations has picked seven new companies operating in the healthcare, energy, agriculture and education sectors for its second set of incubation and funding programme.
Monday, November 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: The Lancet

In January, 2010, an unprecedented step was taken to progress research into diseases of the developing world when global pharmaceutical company GSK announced it was creating the world’s first Open Lab. ... Four years since its creation, the Open Lab model is emerging as a success story.
Monday, November 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Intel unveils new chip for mobility healthcare delivery

Source: Business Standard

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

Race to Make Ebola Vaccine Pits Crazy Timeline Against Maddening Obstacles

Source: Bloomberg

Refrigeration is just one of the myriad challenges for GlaxoSmithKline Plc and other companies racing to create vaccines to fight Ebola. They’re facing issues ranging from packaging the drug in tiny glass vials for distribution, to assembling fleets of trucks and motorbikes to transport it along potholed roads, to monitoring subjects in a Swiss lakeside city to test the vaccine ultimately destined for villages in the African jungle.
Monday, November 17, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: AFK Insider

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

PRESS RELEASE: Unitus Seed Fund adds more prominent investors

Source: Unitus Seed Fund

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

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

Source: The New York Times

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

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

Source: All Africa

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

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

Source: Daily Mail

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

Trillion-Sensor Vision, Results Shared

Source: EE Times

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

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

Source: Quartz

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

SunFunder Completes New Round Of Funding

Source: CleanTechnica

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

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

Source: PR Newswire

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

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

Source: Times of India

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

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

Source: Mashable

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

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

Source: LA Times

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

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

Source: First Biz

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

Can innovation help stop children dying from pneumonia?

Source: Unicef

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

India Post keen to become a universal bank

Source: Economic Times

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

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

Source: Globe Newswire

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

Turning the tap on: Water as a business model

Source: Al Arabiya English

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

India takes action on spurious and sub-standard drugs

Source: The Pharma Letter

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

Mobile technology reduces maternal mortality

Source: All Ghana News

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

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

Source: FirstPost

The sterilization camp that left 13 women dead and many battling for life has exposed the rotten healthcare system in Chhattisgarh, yet again.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

Credit for all: Increasing women's access to finance

Source: Trust.org

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

Bangladesh installs 3 million residential solar systems

Source: PV Magazine

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

OPINION: Financial inclusion in India needs another model

Source: Hindu Business Line

Priority sector targets are met by means fair and foul. Competition in providing credit to the unbanked will work better
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mahindra Comviva builds interoperability between Tanzanian telcos for mobile money exchange

Source: Finextra

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

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

Source: Bloomberg

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

OPINION: Start a Business - Not a Social Enterprise

Source: Huffington Post

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

Why mobile money is so tough to crack in South Africa

Source: TechCentral

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

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

Source: AFKInsider

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

3 tech phenomena you only encounter in the emerging markets

Source: MemeBurn

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

Pre-plan for ebola-style crises

Source: Biz Tech Africa

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

A Smartphone Gadget Pumps Up Breast-Milk Banks

Source: NPR

Tuesday, November 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: The Daily Star

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

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

Source: Devex

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

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

Source: MIT News

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

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

Source: Fast CoExist

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

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

Source: MarketWatch

More than 60 Teams – Chosen from More than 700 Submissions across 62 Countries – to Present Innovations at Events in Silicon Valley, New York and MiamiCiti Mobile Challenge Developer Survey: 88 Percent of Developers See Potential for Financial Innovation in Wearables, but Many Say Banks Are Not Doing Enough to Innovate and Keep Up with Other Industries
Tuesday, November 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Zombies, Colin Farrell Uncover a ‘Trillion Dollar Scandal’

Source: ONE

Ahead of the G20 summit in Brisbane, Australia, The ONE Campaign released a new video today highlighting the fact that at least a trillion dollars is siphoned out of developing and emerging countries through corrupt activity every year. We’re talking about shady natural resource deals, phantom firms, money laundering, and illegal tax evasion.
Monday, November 10, 2014 — South Asia

Sanofi launches paediatric vaccine Shan5 in India

Source: Business Standard

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

Indian hospital shows how mobility can improve healthcare in rural areas

Source: Information Week

By using telemedicine application for mobile devices, Balabhai Nanavati Hospital is demonstrating how mobility can truly transform the way healthcare services are delivered to rural communities.
Monday, November 10, 2014 — South Asia

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

Source: Hindu Business Line

Healthcare providers in India are expected to spend $1.1 billion on IT products and services in 2014, a 5 per cent rise over 2013.
Monday, November 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Five products that help the world's poorest people

Source: The Guardian / Business Call to Action

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

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

Source: Wired

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

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

Source: Nonprofit Quarterly

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

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

Source: The Guardian - Nigeria

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

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

Source: Newsweek

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

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

Source: Economic Times India

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

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

Source: Grist

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

Econet Wireless partners with Western Union in Zimbabwe

Source: New Zimbabwe

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

US to partner India in ‘Swachch Bharat’ campaign

Source: Times of India

Taking the US-India joint statement forward, USAID chief Rajiv Shah announced three partnership projects with India on areas close to PM Narendra Modi's heart — "strengthen water and sanitation, expand access to clean energy and increase access to banking services for poor Indians".
Friday, November 7, 2014 — Latin America

WorldRemit expands mobile money transfer services to Latin America

Source: Mobile Payments Today

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

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

Source: MicroCapital

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

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

Source: Schwab Foundation

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

Pharmaceuticals industry facing fundamental change

Source: BBC News

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

Philippines Leads 12 Asian Nations in Giving Access to Finance

Source: Bloomberg

The Philippines provides the best access to financial services to people among 12 countries in Asia, reflecting the central bank’s efforts to boost inclusion and tackle poverty, an Economist Intelligence Unit study shows.
Friday, November 7, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: The Daily Mail

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

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

Source: Mobile World Live

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

Apollo Hospitals to focus on rural areas

Source: The Hindu Business Line

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

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

Source: The Economic Times

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

Gates Foundation refutes report it fails African farmers

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

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

India's financial inclusion scheme progressing ahead of schedule

Source: Times of India

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

A chocolate factory with a higher purpose

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

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

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

Source: Business Wire

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

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

Source: CSR Wire

The first-ever survey of conservation impact investing reveals a fast-growing market totaling approximately $23 billion in the five-year period from 2009-2013.
Thursday, November 6, 2014 — South Asia

USAID administrator announces financial inclusion commitments in India

Source: India Blooms

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

Can M-Pesa Succeed in India?

Source: Business Today

This case study looks at how M-Pesa, a service that originated in Kenya, was tweaked for India and whether it can succeed.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 — No Region Specified

Airtel joins GSMA's mobile health programme

Source: The Times of India

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

India next on Abbott’s global rebranding map

Source: The Economic Times

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

Bill Gates-Backed Group Weighs Funding for Ebola Vaccine

Source: Bloomberg

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

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

Source: All Africa

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

Germany's GIZ looks to break Islamic microfinance shortfall

Source: Reuters

A series of German-funded studies and pilot projects aims to bridge the gap between Islamic finance and microcredit, to the benefit of communities in developing countries which remain on the fringes of the financial industry.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: PR Newswire

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

Survey: Banking growth has not boosted savings in South Africa

Source: Money Web

The number of banked South Africans has grown to 27.4 million over the past ten years, or about 75% of the total adult population. But this increase has not translated into a higher incidence of saving, with only 20% of banked adult South Africans saving either in banks or non-bank financial institutions.
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 — No Region Specified

An IPO at the Base of the Pyramid?

Source: Impact Alpha

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

Safaricom of Kenya Braces for Competition on Key Cash Earner

Source: Business Week

Safaricom Ltd., East Africa’s biggest cellular-network operator, is bracing for competition in its key mobile-money business that helped boost first-half profit by 30 percent, CEO Bob Collymore said.
  • Managing Partners

    William Davidson Institute
  • Sponsoring Partner

    Citi Foundation
  • Content Partners

    IADB
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