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Our Staff Writers and Editors offer insights on the latest news, events, interviews and other happenings from the development through enterprise and base of the pyramid universes
Wednesday, October 01, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Developing countries should enroll medical and nursing students from rural areas

Source: MedicalXpress

Nearly one third of medical and nursing students in developing countries may have no intention of working in their own countries after graduation, while less than one fifth of them intend to work in rural areas where they are needed most, according to a new study.
Wednesday, October 01, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Shares of Companies Testing Ebola Vaccines Rise

Source: ABC News

Shares of some companies that are studying potential vaccines for Ebola climbed after federal officials announced that the first case of the disease has been diagnosed in the U.S.
Wednesday, October 01, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: NPR

Traditional means of containing Ebola aren't working fast enough to get ahead of the epidemic. So the question is: Will giving an experimental vaccine to willing volunteers help contain the disease or put people at greater risk?
Wednesday, October 01, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile technology offers option to combat fake drugs in West Africa

Source: PCWorld

Cholera, malaria and the rapidly expanding threat of Ebola have hit African countries with a related health-care problem: the scourge of fake drugs.
Wednesday, October 01, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MFI credit bureau on course in Ghana

Source: Ghana Web

Work on a credit referencing system for the microfinance sector is scheduled to be completed by middle of next year, the Ghana Association of Microfinance Companies (GAMC) has said.
Wednesday, October 01, 2014 — No Region Specified

Will There Be Enough ESG Investing Opportunities To Meet Demand?

Source: Financial Advisor Magazine

So-called “responsible” investing is gaining cred both with retail investors and institutional investors. But as Cerulli Associates points out in a recent report, the question is whether growing interest in green or responsible investing will translate into more investible opportunities in this space.
Wednesday, October 01, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Meet The Swiss Tycoon Who Is Funding African Innovation

Source: Forbes

Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, a Swiss-Angolan, is a successful entrepreneur and the founder of the African Innovation Foundation (AIF), a Swiss-based organization that promotes innovation and sustainable development for Africa. The African Innovation Foundation mobilizes innovators across the continent to release untapped potential in Africa, enhancing the way Africans live, work, and learn.
Wednesday, October 01, 2014 — South Asia

Are Toilets and Bank Accounts Connected? In India, Yes

Source: Bloomberg

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to develop India includes creating toilet access for all 1.2 billion people and opening a bank account for every adult who doesn’t already have one.
Wednesday, October 01, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: Non-Profit Quarterly

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

ExxonMobil fights malaria in Cameroon against backdrop of climate change

Source: Global Post

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

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

Source: Devex

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

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

Source: The Guardian

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

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

Source: Sustainable Brands

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

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

Source: Business Wire

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

Crowdfunding Becomes Global Phenomenon

Source: Forbes

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

Bringing Solar Power To Remote Hospitals Is Saving Lives

Source: Fast CoExist

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

Microfinance Struggling to find its feet in Middle East

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Microfinance has blossomed in recent years, helping fill a funding need for businesses too tiny and risky for traditional banks. Curiously perhaps, while microfinance has been a big hit across parts of Asia and South America, its start in the Middle East and North Africa hasn’t been as auspicious.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Economic Times India

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

Green Divestment Movement Still in Its Infancy Despite Rockefeller Coup

Source: Philanthropy

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

How Agent Orange helped spawn the Socially Responsible Investing movement

Source: Green Chip Stocks

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

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

Source: AllAfrica

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

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

Source: The Health Site

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

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

Source: Newsweek

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

GE eyes expansion of healthcare and energy operations in SA

Source: Business Day

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

Scientists grapple with ethics in rush to release Ebola vaccines

Source: Reuters

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

How the private sector can pitch in to help combat Ebola

Source: Devex

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

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

Source: Press Release

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

Financial Inclusion: Ecobank, MasterCard Enter New Card Deal

Source: Ventures Africa

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

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

Source: First Biz

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

India's cooperative banks emerge from technological dark ages

Source: Live Mint

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

Ghana microfinance companies back licence-freeze

Source: Ghana Web

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

At UN General Assembly, global health projects are big business

Source: Global Post

Leaders from 140 countries gathered this week at the UN General Assembly in New York City amid a set of global crises that include war in Iraq and Syria as well as Ebola in Africa.
Friday, September 26, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: CBC News

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

OPINION: How to Fund the Ebola Fight

Source: Epoch Times

To combat Ebola and other infectious diseases, the US could impose $3 tax on international air travel.
Friday, September 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: CSR Wire

Handwashing with soap is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce preventable diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia, which are the main causes of child mortality.
Friday, September 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Time

Climate change activists are pushing for investors to get out of carbon polluters. What are the options for individuals using mutual funds?
Friday, September 26, 2014 — South Asia

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

Source: Economic Times

As more Indians step up to make online payments, there is a proliferation of payment gateways and mobile wallets, many of which are facing the risk of being misused by unscrupulous merchants.
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Asia IIX

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

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

Source: Fast CoExist

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

Walmart Now Offering Low-Cost Mobile Checking Accounts

Source: TechCrunch

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

Mobile Technology Overcomes Barriers to Financial Inclusion for Women

Source: Huffington Post

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

Experts: Population to Grow from 7 to 11 Billion

Source: Voice of America News

Our planet is home to about seven billion people. Since the 1990s, population experts have predicted the number would grow to ninebillion before it begins to slow down and possibly decrease.
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: The Guardian

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

Red Cross team attacked while burying Ebola dead

Source: Yahoo! News

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

Ebola vaccines could be available by end of year

Source: UPI

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

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

Source: BusinessWeek

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

Multinationals reaffirm commitment to BoP business with BCtA

Source: The Guardian

Inclusive business has continued to flourish with the growth of new enterprises that serve the bottom of the pyramid
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: ITWeb Online News

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

Janalakshmi to lead investor rush into India’s microfinance sector

Source: Business Standard

After Janalakshmi's record-breaking deal, Indian MFI sector likely to raise Rs 2,000 crore in FY15
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Major donors launch new fund to support innovation

Source: Devex

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

Ebola drug trials to be fast-tracked in West Africa

Source: Reuters

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

Project to develop room-temperature storage for fragile biologics

Source: Lab Product News

A project at McMaster University is receiving $112,000 in seed funding from Grand Challenges Canada ... (to) adapt an existing technology to make vaccines for deadly illnesses more affordable and available for use in resource-poor areas.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 — South Asia

Health insurers offer Nano price

Source: The Times of India

With increased penetration of government health insurance schemes like RSBY ( Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana) coupled with private hospitals building capacity across the country, health insurers are also looking at smaller markets.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: UNEP.org

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

IMF unveils results of global financial access survey

Source: The Guardian, Nigeria

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has unveiled the result of its 2014 Financial Access Survey (FAS), which is aimed at mapping the global financial inclusion strategy.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 — Latin America

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

Source: Accion

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

Why the Rockefellers are betting on renewable energy

Source: The Week

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

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

Source: Press Release

Omidyar Network today announced that Tilman Ehrbeck will join the philanthropic investment firm as a partner. Based in Washington D.C., Ehrbeck will oversee Omidyar Network's Financial Inclusion, Impact Investing, and Property Rights initiatives. Omidyar Network Managing Partner Matt Bannick made the announcement during the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

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

IESE Launches an MBA Elective in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Source: FindMBA

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

Tata announces social enterprise challenge

Source: Times of India

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

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

Source: Indian Express

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

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

Source: Press Release

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

Multinational Companies Court Lower-Income Consumers

Source: The New York Times

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

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

Source: Yahoo! Finance

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

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

Source: Huffington Post

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

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

Source: NBC News

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

Use of Thin SIM technology approved in Kenya

Source: HumanIPO

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

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

Source: AllAfrica

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

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

Source: Scroll.in

The central bank warned last week that a faulty rollout could create more problems than it could fix.
Monday, September 22, 2014 — South Asia

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

Source: India West

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

Multinational Companies Court Lower-Income Consumers

Source: The New York Times

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

Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

Source: Voice of America

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

Jumpstarting Indian Startups Serving The Bottom Of The Pyramid

Source: Forbes

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

JPMorgan Chase to spend $35m on promoting financial inclusion

Source: Finextra

This commitment builds on the efforts of the Financial Solutions LabSM, a separate five-year, $30 million program developed earlier this year by JPMorgan Chase and the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), to identify, test and scale innovative financial products and services to improve financial security.
Monday, September 22, 2014 — Asia Pacific

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

Source: The Jakarta Post

Indonesia's Financial Services Authority plans to set a cap on microcredit rates this year, a move that would put domestic lenders on alert as micro-lending has been seen as the most profitable credit segment.
Monday, September 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

Half the world will online by 2017

Source: BizTech Africa

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

Yak's wool social enterprise launched to rival cashmere

Source: The Telegraph

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

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

Source: Standard Digital

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

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

Source: Economic Times

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

Wireless sensor warns if vaccines get too hot

Source: SciDev.Net

A wireless sensor that sends text message alerts to healthcare workers could help better protect temperature-sensitive vaccines and provide crucial data on storage, transport and distribution infrastructures in developing nations, according to its inventors.
Friday, September 19, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: UN News Centre

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

5 Techy Solutions for Health Systems

Source: Impact Magazine

There's a shortage of doctors, nurses and midwives worldwide, so there's a need to make the most of those currently in the field. Here are several ways to do that.
Friday, September 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Time

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

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

Source: Fast CoExist

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

The Role of Private Sector Investment in Climate Change

Source: Huffington Post

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

MasterCard and Bansefi to drive financial inclusion in Mexico

Source: Finextra

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

The black market for Ebola survivors’ blood

Source: The Washington Post

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

OPINION: Making African Health Care Radically Cheaper

Source: Harvard Business Review

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

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

Source: CPI Financial

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

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

Source: 3BL Media

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

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

Source: The Washington Post

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

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

Source: Press Release

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

Safaricom prepares for battle, sets date for new Mpesa network

Source: Standard Digital

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

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

Source: All Africa

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

The Devastating Economic Impact of Ebola

Source: Undispatch

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

India Must Fix Its Drug Quality Problem

Source: Forbes

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

Orange Money links up with Bank of Africa for mobile banking

Source: Finextra

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

Mobilizing against TB

Source: Phys.org

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

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

Source: EurekAlert!

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

Rwandans Balk at Price of Improved Cooking Stoves

Source: Voice of America

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

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

Source: The Telegraph

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

Malaysia to Send 20M Latex Gloves to West Africa

Source: Voice of America News

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

How Telcos, MTOs and Banks Could Crash over Remittances

Source: PYMNTS.com

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

Foreign investors chasing bigger gains by investing in Indian microfinance institutions

Source: Economic Times

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

To Grow Impact Investing, Focus on Multilingual Leadership

Source: Huffington Post

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

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

Source: ReCode

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

How Millennials Will Change the Face of Philanthropy

Source: Diplomatic Courier

Millennials are expected to be the core beneficiaries of a coming $30 trillion transfer of wealth between generations, according to Accenture’s report on the “Greater Wealth Transfer.” This will impact philanthropy, investments, and possibly even global financial markets.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 — Latin America

Philip Morris Sues Uruguay Over Graphic Cigarette Packaging

Source: NPR

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

Pioneering a New Financial Instrument to Help Combat Climate Change

Source: World Bank

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

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

Source: Huffington Post

National governments and health organizations around the world are scrambling to overcome lapses in leadership and logistical issues to turn around a worsening Ebola crisis in West Africa. According to one aid expert, relief efforts are roughly four months behind schedule.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 — South Asia

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

Source: Reuters

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

Where to, when mobile money reaches critical mass?

Source: BusinessTech

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

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

Source: FirstBiz

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

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

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

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

Bill Gates focused on digital payment for poor

Source: PYMNTS

Though there has been a lot of talk and media coverage about the tremendous potential mobile payments offer to the poor, underbanked and financially disenfranchised around the world–minus a few bright spots (M-Pesa) the progress of mobile in bridging the gap between the banked and unbanked has been slow going.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Amex to Crowdsource Financial-Inclusion Ideas from Academics

Source: American Banker

It's like the opposite of "Not Invented Here" Syndrome.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: The SROI Network

Two of the most established and respected social impact organisations are joining forces to create the largest international social value network in the world.
Monday, September 15, 2014 — No Region Specified

Notts company Eminate aims to improve global health with new ingredients

Source: Nottingham Post

After achieving global success with a salt-reduction product, a Nottingham company is working on new ingredients which could improve health.
Monday, September 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile technology supports frontline health workers

Source: SciDev.Net

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

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

Source: Press release

Johnson & Johnson today announced its affiliate Janssen Pharmaceutica NV (Janssen) has entered into a novel collaboration with Harvard Medical School to address critical gaps in the global struggle against tuberculosis (TB).
Monday, September 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya MPs to rule on Equity Mobile Virtual Network Operator services

Source: East African Business Week

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

Nigeria: Massive Response to Historic Mobile Money Network

Source: All Africa

Hundreds of residents have thronged meetings and training sessions organized for prospective sales agents for the country's first super mobile money network.
Monday, September 15, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: The Economist

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

Morgan Stanley Adds ‘Impact’ Portfolios in Brokerage

Source: Bloomberg

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

USAID is incubating start-ups to tackle poverty problems

Source: The Los Angeles Times

With his nifty PowerPoint slides and carefully crafted pitch, Yashraj Khaitan might be mistaken for any other fast-talking, code-savvy Bay Area millennial boasting that he has hit on the idea to solve a vexing world problem. Yet, in Khaitan's case, some very influential people in Washington think he may be right. The federal government agency charged with easing world hunger and poverty has bet a million dollars on Khaitan's tiny start-up. It is among a handful of companies that the US Agency for International Development is looking to as it seeks to upend the way aid agencies go about trying to improve living conditions in some of the world's most deeply impoverished places.
Friday, September 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

WHO to Start New Global Health Initiative For Needle Safety

Source: TIME

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

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

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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

The Rise And Rise Of Mobile Money

Source: Leadership

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

Millicom debuts automatic m-wallet interest payments in Tanzania

Source: Mobile World Live

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

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

Source: Business Today

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

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

Source: The Next Web

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

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

Source: Oxfam

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

Next generation of microfinance: Leveraging Indonesian experience

Source: The Jakarta Post

The history of microfinance institutions in Indonesia dates back more than 100 years.
Thursday, September 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Three Lessons on Impact Investing: Reflections from Batman and Robin

Source: Forbes

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

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

Source: Market Wired

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

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

Source: PR Newswire

Aindra Systems, an early-stage startup, has secured backing by Villgro, the Social Enterprise Incubator focused on funding startups having a social impact.
Thursday, September 11, 2014 — South Asia

Uber in talks with firms to integrate digital wallet in India

Source: Economic Times India

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

The Man Who Feeds 1.2 Million Kids A Day

Source: Fast CoExist

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

Gates Foundation Commits $50 Million to Fight Ebola

Source: Voice of America News

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

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

Source: Forbes

In a world of limited healthcare resources, we need to make hard decisions that will deliver high-impact outcomes for the most people at the least cost. Giving the WHO an additional half-billion dollars to curb Ebola virus infections would be a poor choice.
Thursday, September 11, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Merck adds to African m-health

Source: ITWeb Africa

Merck, a German-based pharmaceutical company, has added to a growing amount of mobile-health (m-health) programmes across Africa, channelling efforts to boost SMS-based support systems to help diabetic patients manage their condition.
Thursday, September 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why This VC Firm Thinks B Corporations Are A Good Investment

Source: Fast CoExist

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

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

Source: Latin Times

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

Nepal's entrepreneurs healing blindness among poor

Source: ShanghaiDaily.com

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

African Nations Working to Lift Ebola Travel Bans

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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

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

Source: Scroll.in

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

CREO Investors Pledge $300 Million for Environmental Impact

Source: Huffington Post

Nearly a dozen wealthy families are announcing today that they have committed to invest a combined $300 million over five years in commercial ventures in the areas of climate, energy, health, food and sustainability.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya’s BRCK ships over 600 devices

Source: BizTech Africa

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

Globacom’s new direction for mobile money development in Nigeria

Source: Business Day Online

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

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

Source: Reuters

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

Investing to Make a Difference Is Gaining Ground

Source: New York Times

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

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

Source: The Hindu Businessline

Bandhan will start its journey with 600 branches. The microfinance company’s existing 2,016 offices will operate as sub-branches, each having an army of salaried field staff to take banking to the villages.
Tuesday, September 09, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: Standard Digital News

Communications Authority of Kenya ( CAK) has said it will not reverse its decision to allow Equity Bank to introduce mobile money transfer services despite protests from integrated communications service provider, Safaricom.
Tuesday, September 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Fast CoExist

Liter of Light works with women's cooperatives to make solar lights from simple parts, instead of sending them solar lights that don't work the way they want them.
Tuesday, September 09, 2014 — Latin America

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

Source: Vaccine News Daily

Sanofi Pasteur announced last week that it has completed the third phase of its clinical study for a vaccine candidate in Latin America aimed at eliminating dengue fever.
Tuesday, September 09, 2014 — Latin America

Mexico summit pledges to serve microfinance clients better

Source: The Daily Star

The 17th Microcredit Summit held in Merida, Mexico, last week discussed ways to better serve the next generation of clients and promote client-centred microfinance.
Tuesday, September 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Forbes

Necessity is often said to be the driver of innovation. Nowhere is this clearer than with the mobile-phone based money transfer and microfinancing service, M-Pesa, in Kenya, wherein the need to provide financial services to the under-banked population resulted in a truly transformative fintech solution.
Tuesday, September 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: CoinDesk

For mobile payments pioneer and venture capitalist Carol Realini, the financial world is divided into three camps: those who believe in bitcoin, those who don’t understand it and those have yet to consider or study its technology.
Tuesday, September 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

Harvard Receives Largest-Ever Donation

Source: NPR

A $350 million gift pledged to Harvard University's School of Public Health is the largest single donation in the university's long history, officials said, and will help bolster research in several key areas including global pandemics.
Monday, September 08, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Unexpected players entering the telecoms space in Africa

Source: How We Made it in Africa

New developments in Africa’s technology industry show how technology is disrupting the way business is being done on the continent.
Monday, September 08, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom and Equity take Row over Thin SIM to Parliament

Source: Standard Digital

Kenya’s biggest mobile network operator, Safaricom, and biggest bank in terms of customer base and reach, Equity Bank, appeared before a House committee on their push and pull over Equity’s bid to offer mobile money services.
Monday, September 08, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

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

Source: This Day Live

The burden of providing valid means of identification that has alienated some segments of the society from deriving benefits and value from the nation’s financial system and other initiatives will become history with the National Electronic Identity Card, reports Festus Akanbi
Monday, September 08, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nudging towards financial inclusion in India

Source: Financial Express

The Indian government recently launched a massive financial inclusion program with a view to improve access to formal finance. In this context, it is crucial to understand not only the importance of universal access to formal finance, but also the effective ways of achieving the same.
Monday, September 08, 2014 — South Asia

Social enterprise Incubator Villgro invests in three start-ups

Source: Economic Times

Social enterprise Incubator Villgro has invested in three startups, marking its first set of funding this fiscal year. It is targeting to invest in 25-30 more startups by the end of the fiscal year. Ujjeewan Healthcare, Aindra Systems and Scholowiz Educational Solutions, all early-stage companies, have secured funding from Villgro.
Monday, September 08, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Trust.org

Governments need to create policies that help to accelerate the growth of investing for profit and social good, the head of a task force set up by the world's richest nations to boost impact investing said.
Monday, September 08, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Omidyar Network leads Series B funding in Cignifi

Source: Reuters

Cignifi, which has developed a platform to provide credit and marketing scores for people using mobile phone behavior data, has closed a Series B funding round led by existing investor Omidyar Network.
Friday, September 05, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Canada Ebola vaccine shipment to Africa stymied by logistics

Source: Reuters

Canada's experimental Ebola vaccine was stuck in the government lab that developed it as officials puzzled over how to safely transport it, three weeks after it was offered to Africa to fight the deadly epidemic.
Friday, September 05, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwe: Insurers Must Introduce New Products

Source: All Africa

Zimbabwe's Insurance and Pensions Commission (Ipec) has called on players in the insurance sector to be innovative to come up with new products that are suitable for the lower end of the market and grow income in the face of tight liquidity.
Friday, September 05, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

$350,000 mobile money activation project begins

Source: Punch

eTranzact has announced the investment of $350,000 in a mobile money activation project in collaboration with EFInA, a financial sector development organisation. The company told our correspondent on Tuesday that the project was in line with the Central Bank of Nigeria’s cashless policy and would be piloted in North and South-West regions of the country.
Friday, September 05, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

FDA rushes J&J, NewLink Genetics Ebola vaccines to clinical trials

Source: Fierce Vaccines

Another Big Pharma player is joining the hustle toward an Ebola vaccine as the death toll surpasses 1,900 victims, eclipsing the total number of people who died from the disease in all previous outbreaks combined.
Thursday, September 04, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

3 Ways The Internet Of Things Is Revolutionizing Health Care

Source: Forbes

If you or a loved one has undergone medical treatment recently, you’re probably aware of some of the cool new devices that help perform diagnosis and treatment. You may not be aware, however, that some of these devices are connected to the Internet and have become an important part of the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem.
Thursday, September 04, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: The key to healthcare innovation is empowering nurses

Source: Quartz

Sandeep Jauhar argued a few months ago in a New York Times’ op-ed that “Nurses Are Not Doctors” and shouldn’t be given the same responsibilities to care for patients.
Thursday, September 04, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

WHO officials warn that the epidemic is accelerating rapidly

Source: TIME.com

WHO officials warn that the epidemic is accelerating rapidly
Thursday, September 04, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

Microfinance in Jordan isn’t helping to empower women

Source: The Guardian

Foreign donors need to reconsider how their money is being used, as profits are taking precedence over sustainability
Thursday, September 04, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nurturing health innovation in Africa: 13 ways to boost research

Source: The Guardian

What needs to happen to reverse the brain drain and secure funding across the continent? Our panel suggest where to start
Thursday, September 04, 2014 — No Region Specified

Cignifi Inc. Completes Series B Funding Round Led by Omidyar Network

Source: Press Release

Cignifi, which is helping to meet the needs of more than 1 billion people worldwide who have mobile phones but no access to formal financial services, today announced the closing of a Series B funding round. The capital raise was led by existing investor Omidyar Network, a Redwood City, CA-based philanthropic investment firm, established by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, with additional investments from American Express Ventures and other existing investors. Cignifi is based in Cambridge, MA with offices in Sao Paulo, Mexico City and Accra, Ghana.
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Wednesday, September 03, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ebola: Can Global Health Be Sustainably Promoted Without A Framework Convention for Global Health?

Source: All Africa

Few events remind us more of humanity’s shared health vulnerability than the outbreak of an untreatable, highly lethal disease that is resisting efforts to contain it, spreading from community to community, and across borders from country to country – like the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 — No Region Specified

Report: Digital payments bolster economy, promote financial well-being

Source: Cistran Finance

A new report by the World Bank Development Research Group found that incorporating digital payment systems into the economies of emerging and developing countries helps to spur economic growth and individual financial well-being.
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 — No Region Specified

Chemical test device diagnoses without internet

Source: SciDev.Net

A handheld device that performs a range of chemical tests and transmits the results for remote analysis through a standard mobile phone call could be commercially available within 12 months.
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile Money: The Battle for Africa

Source: The Wall Street Journal

As enthusiasm for mobile-phone-based payments grows in Africa, operators are rushing to get a piece of potentially lucrative and ever-expanding markets and to challenge more popular and established mobile-payment services, such as Kenya’s M-Pesa.
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Global health officials warn that window for bringing Ebola under control is closing fast

Source: Washington Post

Leading international health officials said Tuesday that the Ebola epidemic in West Africa is accelerating and the window for getting it under control is closing.
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 — No Region Specified

Final trial confirms efficacy of Sanofi's dengue vaccine

Source: Reuters

French drugmaker Sanofi, developing the first vaccine against dengue fever, said its product reduced disease cases by 60.8 percent in a large final clinical trial. Sanofi has invested more than 1.3 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in the project, undertaking two decades of research on the world's fastest-growing tropical disease.
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 — Latin America

PRESS RELEASE: PepsiCo Unveils New Water-Modeling Tool at World Water Week

Source: Press release

Wednesday at the Stockholm International Water Institute's annual World Water Week, PepsiCo announced the company's latest Water Report and unveiled Hydro-BID, a ground-breaking data management and modeling tool developed in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) that estimates the availability of freshwater in water-scarce regions throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.
Tuesday, September 02, 2014 — No Region Specified

4 tips to implementing effective and efficient microfinance programs

Source: Devex

Despite being in place for more than 20 years, microfinance has yet to achieve its full potential, some experts suggest.
Tuesday, September 02, 2014 — No Region Specified

Nearly Half the World’s Trash Is Burned, and That’s Worsening Climate Change

Source: TakePart

Researchers find that the amount of harmful pollution from such fires may be underestimated by as much as 40 percent.
Tuesday, September 02, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

OPINION: Rwanda: How Energy Can Contribute Towards Poverty Alleviation

Source: AllAfrica

WE LIVE in interesting times when so much is happening in terms of development. However, there are curious contradictions that undermine our journey to the Promised Land; development.
Tuesday, September 02, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

West Africa: Ebola Epidemic

Source: AllAfrica

Socio-Economic Implications of Inadequate Human Resources for Health, and Poor Health Financing
Tuesday, September 02, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: Taking healthcare to India’s remote tribes

Source: The Hindu

The right to good healthcare must be addressed using modern technology, innovative approaches and by involving tribals in developing solutions for their problems
Tuesday, September 02, 2014 — South Asia

Indian-American doctor's formula gives expert AIDS care in rural areas

Source: Times of India

When AIDS first struck, patients simply died as there were no drugs to treat it. Now, drugs bring down the spread of virus but still a large section of rural India is left untreated. The reasons: High costs of treatment and travelling.
Tuesday, September 02, 2014 — South Asia

Unitus raises funds for India from global foundations

Source: Times of India

BANGALORE: Seed-stage impact investor Unitus Seed Fund has raised $7 million in fresh funding from a clutch of institutional and individual investors taking the total fund size to $20 million.
Tuesday, September 02, 2014 — South Asia

Unitus Seed Fund Has Raised USD 20 Million From Investors

Source: Press Release

New investors in India’s most active Micro VC impact fund demonstrate that commercial and philanthropic investors are drawn to impact investing
Tuesday, September 02, 2014 — No Region Specified

Has microfinance lost its moral compass?

Source: Phys.org

The industry that provides financial services for people on low-incomes and without access to traditional banking services is morally reprehensible according to new research from The University of Manchester.
Tuesday, September 02, 2014 — South Asia

Is India’s new financial inclusion strategy already outdated?

Source: The Guardian

Plans to extend the reach of traditional banks seem so old-fashioned. Wouldn’t mobile money be quicker and cheaper?
Tuesday, September 02, 2014 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: At SOCAP 14, Unitus Seed Fund launches its India Impact Acceleration Program

Source: Press Release

September 2, 2014: San Francisco. Today at SOCAP 14, Unitus Seed Fund launched its India Impact Acceleration Program to help improve and accelerate the early-stage impact startup ecosystem across India in three ways: by increasing connections facilitated through “startup scouts” operating across India, working with leading incubators to help create more “venture capital-ready” startups that target low-income populations, and offering financial assistance to startups that make use of our existing Venture Advisor and Catapult Partner networks.
Friday, August 29, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ebola outbreak could infect 20,000 people, WHO says

Source: Reuters

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa could infect over 20,000 people and spread to more countries, the U.N. health agency said on Thursday, warning that an international effort costing almost half a billion dollars is needed to overcome the outbreak.
Friday, August 29, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

ChildFund, MasterCard Foundation, launch nurse-training program for Zambian youth

Source: YahooFinance

Innovative $7.6 million e-learning program will train 6,000 young people to become nurses and midwives and expand capacity of nursing schools in Zambia.
Thursday, August 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

India PM Launches Financial Inclusion Plan

Source: Zee News

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday launched Jan Dhan Yojana, a mega financial inclusion plan under which bank accounts and RuPay debit cards with inbuilt insurance cover of Rs 1 lakh will be provided to crores of persons with no access to formal banking facilities.
Thursday, August 28, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

GSK Announces Commitment to Improving Access to Vaccines With 5-year Price Freeze

Source: Nigerian Bulletin

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced that it will freeze the prices of its vaccines for five years for developing countries that graduate from GAVI Alliance support. By committing to offer GAVI Alliance prices for vaccines against pneumonia, diarrhoea and cervical cancer, GSK will support developing country governments as they transition to financing the full cost of their local vaccination programmes.
Thursday, August 28, 2014 — South Asia

USIBC Concludes Successful Pharmaceutical Mission to India

Source: Market Watch

The U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) has concluded its Pharmaceutical Executive Mission to Delhi, India. The delegation expressed its commitment to the Indian market, called for further dialogue with the government on issues related to pricing and intellectual property, and discussed strategies for expanding greater access to healthcare and health insurance in India.
Thursday, August 28, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

East Africa: Safaricom Gets GSMA Support in Mobile Cash War With Equity

Source: All Africa

Safaricom has received critical support in its bid to stop Equity Bank from using embedded SIM cards for the mobile banking and money transfer service the lender plans to introduce in the Kenyan market.
Thursday, August 28, 2014 — Latin America

Artisanal chocolate shop focuses on education

Source: The Globe and Mail

Introducing Michael Sacco, the founder of ChocoSol, a learning community/social enterprise that focuses on making the ‘food of the gods’ – commonly known as cacao – into fresh, whole food, stone ground chocolate on an artisanal scale.
Thursday, August 28, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Financial Inclusion Game Changer

Source: BBC

Today, MasterCard is launching a ground-breaking program in Nigeria with the cooperation of the Nigerian government. This program uniquely combines a national ID card with electronic payments. Daniel Monehin, MasterCard’s Division President for Sub-Saharan Africa, sat down with MPD CEO Karen Webster to discuss why today is a such significant day in payments for Nigeria and why this program has the potential to be the financial inclusion game changer everywhere in the world.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Redesigning Birth Control in the Developing World

Source: Pacific Standard Magazine

How single-use injectable contraceptives could change family planning in Africa.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

Global Health Investment Fund Leads Investment into Low-Cost Oral Cholera Vaccine for the World’s Poor

Source: GHIF News

South Korean biopharmaceutical company commits to manufacture a new and improved presentation of the vaccine at a target price of $1.00 per dose for public sector buyers.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 — South Asia

In Bangladesh, Floating Schools, Farms, And Health Clinics Help Stay On Top Of Rising Waters

Source: Fast CoExist

Beyond island nations like the Maldives that are quickly getting submerged, no country is more threatened by climate change than Bangladesh. Sitting at the bottom of three huge rivers, much of its surface area is either covered with water, or barely above sea level. Many of its 154 million inhabitants are poor (about a quarter earn less than $2 a day) and Bangladeshis often live in structures unsuited to severe weather. Bangladesh, in short, is a climate disaster in the making. By 2030, rising water could make 20% of the country uninhabitable, forecasts show.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

Can crowdfunding help finance the 'missing middle?'

Source: Devex

What does a social business do when they don’t have a rich uncle to help them go from microenterprise to a small- or medium-sized enterprises? The answer may be crowdfunding.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

Impact investing soars with $12 million green bond sale by Merrill Lynch

Source: Investment News

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management advisers sold $12 million in green bonds issued by the World Bank last week, surpassing what the investment bank expected based on similar issuances a few years ago.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 — South Asia

India telcos agree on mobile banking through SMSs

Source: Times of India

MUMBAI: Mobile companies have been persuaded by the Narendra Modi government to share a slice of their infrastructure to pave the way for basic banking services through cellphones.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 — South Asia

India's MFIs shift focus to urban areas

Source: Business Standard

Microfinance institutions (MFIs), which evolved as precursors of the rural thrift credit market in India, are now shifting to urban areas, with big slums in cities turning out to be cost-effective markets over small villages in far-flung locations.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: Microfinance Sector Soldiers On Despite Burden of Bad Loans

Source: All Africa

Sector experts say there is an urgent need to address challenges facing MFIs, especially by empowering the sector to enhance its capacity and performance.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

Y Combinator Nonprofit Zidisha Changes Microfinance Equation

Source: Wall Street Journal

The nonprofit says it has figured out a way of getting a 90% repayment rate on business loans to the types of people no financial institution would trust–young people in poor African countries without as much as a permanent address.
Wednesday, August 27, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Airtel, Tigo claim mobile money first

Source: Mobile World Live

Two operators in Tanzania launched a service so that subscribers to their rival mobile money services can send and receive cash with one another. Airtel and Tigo claim it is the world’s first cross-network mobile money transfer service.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ghanaian partnership to battle Cholera, Ebola through tech

Source: BiztechAfrica

The Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana (PSGH) has partnered with mPedigree Network and PopOut to launch the PREVENT initiative, which looks to employ technology to crack down on fake and counterfeit medicines.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

The Secrets of Starbucks

Source: PSI Impact

Twenty years ago in Nepal, the first modern example of social franchising for health – the application of commercial franchising strategies to achieve public health goals – began expanding access to quality health services. This year, PSI and Marie Stopes International, two organizations that have long-employed social franchising to improve health outcomes, came together to create an online course on social franchising, with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 — South Asia

Bosch forays into healthcare segment

Source: Deccan Herald

Auto component major Bosch on Monday announced the launch of a locally developed eyecare solution in India. The company’s new eyescreening and detection system offers a combination of hardware and software and provides affordable eyecare.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Michigan Startup Wins Grant to Make Medical Devices for Developing World

Source: Xconomy

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, 80 percent of the world’s medical equipment is designed for only 10 percent of the population. After all, what’s the point of having the latest cutting-edge device if you live in the developing world without a steady source of electricity? However, Grand Rapids, MI-based med tech startup Sisu Global Health is on a mission to help change that statistic.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 — South Asia

A tiffin service that serves a special ‘social story’

Source: The Hindu

Her husband hasn’t spoken to her in three months, but Neetu hopes he will come around. After all, she says, working with Lunchbox 17, a tiffin delivery service in South Delhi, has completely changed her attitude. The social enterprise was launched in May by youth-run NGO Swechha and employs women from Jagdamba Camp, a slum near the organisation’s Khirki Extension offices. The initiative aims to provide employment, and eventually empowerment, to the women, and clean and tasty food to young professionals and students in the area.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

$75,000 Anzisha Prize for Young Entrepreneurs Announces 2014 Finalists

Source: Press Release

For the first time ever, African Leadership Academy and The MasterCard Foundation are delighted to have Anzisha Prize finalists from Togo and Ivory Coast (http://www.anzishaprize.org), revealing strong growth in entrepreneurship activity amongst youth in West Africa. Five young women are among the 12 finalists in the running for the $75,000 prize money that will be awarded on 23 September 2014, and will fly to Johannesburg from DRC, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa and Nigeria.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 — South Asia

Indian PM asks banks to make financial inclusion a national priority

Source: Business Standard

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asked banks to make the opening of bank accounts in 70 million households this year a national priority.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

5 Ways To Ensure Your Money Doesn't Contradict Your Social Values

Source: Forbes

It is possible to redirect your money’s social and environmental ties, even if a lack of understanding too often obscures that fact.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Microfinance as a panacea to Nigeria’s unemployment challenge

Source: Business Day

As credit plays vital role in start-up and expansion of businesses, microfinance has been treated as an important tool for economic development.
Monday, August 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Profit vs non-profit: Why this Ugandan enterprise is no longer an NGO

Source: How We Made It In Africa

Monday, August 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

‘Nigerian startups will revolutionalise healthcare delivery’

Source: Nigerian Tribune

Q: I understand that Integrated Medics helps improve health care delivery. Specifically, how do you achieve this? A; We achieve this through automation of all the process in the hospital: from record office to front desk, from consulting to admission; from store to pharmacy and from NHIS desk to payment desk. Basically, by fast-tracking the healthcare delivery system.
Monday, August 25, 2014 — South Asia

Male Rickshaw Drivers Playing Key Role In Maternal Health Campaign In India

Source: Huffington Post

As the autorickshaws begin lining up inside the compound at 7 a.m., Vijaylakmi Sahu knows she has just 30 minutes to finish her work. Over the next half hour, Sahu works with clockwork precision. She ensures that the temperatures of the vaccines for pregnant women and children are checked before they are packed under her supervision in cold boxes. After that, three to five autorickshaws, known as the Immunization Express, head off to the villages where mothers, children and pregnant women await them.
Monday, August 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Economic Case for Wiping Out Ebola

Source: BusinessWeek

On Aug. 22, the World Health Organization announced a draft strategy to combat the West African Ebola outbreak over the next six to nine months. That’s a sign that the global health body isn’t optimistic about a rapid end to an epidemic that has killed around 1,300 people so far. An extended outbreak of such a feared disease would have mounting economic costs.
Monday, August 25, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: Formal employment remains key to financial inclusion in India

Source: Indian Express

We believe the biggest boost to financial inclusion will come from a push to higher employment in the formal sector, especially regular, salaried employment.
Monday, August 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: How the Gates Foundation’s Investments Are Undermining Its Own Good Works

Source: The Nation

Its vast holdings in the fossil fuel and arms industries subvert the foundation’s battle against disease and poverty, says Charles Piller.
Monday, August 25, 2014 — South Asia

In India, 50% of microfinance institutions could convert to banks, says regulatory body CEO

Source: The Hindu Business Line

About half of the Microfinance Institutions Network’s 49 members could follow in the footsteps of Kolkata-based Bandhan and convert themselves into banks in the next couple of years, according to a top official.
Monday, August 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

America's First Billion-Dollar Social Enterprise?

Source: Huffington Post

It's not just the fact that TOMS received an investment from Mitt Romney's Bain Capital that was so important - it's the fact that Bain's investment now values TOMS, a social enterprise, at $625 million dollars.
Monday, August 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

Bain Capital Buys into Toms Shoes’ Social Enterprise Model

Source: Nonprofit Quarterly

Toms is a well known socially responsible business, a shoe manufacturer that donates a pair of shoes to a needy child for every pair it sells. This business model has attracted an unusual investor: Bain Capital.
Friday, August 22, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Surviving Ebola: Africa cries out for healthcare boost

Source: Reuters

Surviving sickness can make you stronger. So while a western corner of Africa writhes in the deadly grip of the Ebola virus, there are signs this emergency may serve as a wake-up call to strengthen spending and investment on public healthcare in the world's least developed continent. "If anything, I think it is teaching us something," Mustapha Sidiki Kaloko, the African Union's Commissioner for Social Affairs, told reporters in Addis Ababa this month.
Friday, August 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

Nutrition: there's no quick fix for hunger or obesity

Source: The Guardian

“It is worth remembering that nutrition didn’t feature at all in the first set of goals. It was the forgotten MDG,” says Marc Van Ameringen. As the world this week marks 500 days until the end of the millennium development goals (MDGs), I got an interview with the executive director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (Gain).
Friday, August 22, 2014 — South Asia

India's ICICI Bank plans to add more than 1.5 million accounts in FY15

Source: Business Standard

ICICI Bank-India's largest private sector bank-in a move to take ahead its financial inclusion strategy is planning to add another 1.5 million bank accounts in this financial year.
Friday, August 22, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Glo launches Nigeria’s 1st Mobile Money Agent Network - Central Bank lauds initiative

Source: Nigerian Tribune

GLOBACOM, Nigeria’s national telecommunications carrier, has launched Glo Xchange, a Mobile Money Agent Network, aimed at accelerating mobile money revolution and financial inclusion in the country.
Friday, August 22, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How Kenya's mobile money is opening up now middlemen have been set free

Source: ZD Net

A decision made by Kenya's telecoms watchdog could have profound implications for the country's mobile money market.
Friday, August 22, 2014 — South Asia

Bharti Airtel in talks with State Bank of India for mega alliance

Source: Economic Times

Days after the Reserve Bank of India introduced draft norms for small and payments banks to boost financial inclusion, the nation's largest telco and the nation's largest lender are exploring a mega alliance.
Thursday, August 21, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ebola crisis provides glimpse into Samaritan’s Purse, SIM

Source: Washington Post

Samaritan’s Purse and SIM USA were instrumental in the evacuation of two U.S. missionaries from West Africa. These religious relief groups maintain a low profile in the U.S. but are often on the front line of public health crises. Health organizations and leaders of affected areas are also working to contain the deadly outbreak. Here are the key players.
Thursday, August 21, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Glimmer of hope seen in Ebola outbreak

Source: CNN

Three health care workers who were given the experimental Ebola drug ZMapp in Liberia have shown "very positive signs of recovery," the Liberian Ministry of Health said Tuesday. Medical professionals treating the workers have called their progress "remarkable."
Thursday, August 21, 2014 — South Asia

Tata Group donates $15.5M to IIT Bombay to develop low-cost solutions for BoP consumers

Source: TechCircle.in

Indian multinational conglomerate Tata Group has donated $15.5 million (Rs 95 crore) to IIT Bombay (IIT-B) to setup a virtual centre, which would focus on developing low-cost technologies for the bottom of the pyramid (BoP) consumers, says a report in The Economic Times, quoting IIT-B director Devang V Khakhar.
Thursday, August 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

How China And Kenya Are Winning The Payment Wars -- And Why The U.S. Should Worry

Source: Forbes

While many Americans consider alternative payments non-essential, the rest of the world is silently surpassing us.
Thursday, August 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

What's The Future For Impact Investing?

Source: Fast CoExist

The biggest challenge--and opportunity--is to get the 99% involved in investing for social good.
Thursday, August 21, 2014 — South Asia

Reserve Bank of India Deputy Governor asks bankers to be innovative on home loans

Source: The Indian Express

Reserve Bank Deputy Governor R Gandhi today asked lenders to be more financially innovative in designing home loan products and suggested creation of a periodic deposit-linked facility.
Thursday, August 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why social impact investing is going mainstream

Source: PBS Newshour

Social impact investing is taking off, says Pax World CEO Joseph Keefe, not simply because investors care about diversity and sustainability, but because companies focusing on those issues deliver strong long-term results.
Thursday, August 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Wells Fargo creates startup accelerator to get front-row seat on financial innovation

Source: Charlotte Business Journal

Wells Fargo & Co. has established the Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator, designed for startups pursuing innovation in financial services.
Thursday, August 21, 2014 — South Asia

Indian MFIs lap up Narendra Modi's financial inclusion drive, plan major expansion

Source: Economic Times

MUMBAI: Enthused by the Centre's plan to open 7.5 crore bank accounts over the next few years, MFIs and other such financial institutions that are working in rural areas have charted out massive expansion plans.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Power Africa: Ghana To Attract $4bn From America

Source: Ventures Africa

Recently, Ghana signed a Power Compact with the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), making it the current largest American Government-funded transaction of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative.The Ghana Power Compact facilitates the investment of up to $498.2 million for the transformation of Ghana’s power sector while also stimulating private investments. Eventually, the deal is expected to raise more than $4 billion from American and global energy firms.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

SimPrints wins £250,000 from Gates Foundation to develop fingerprint scanner

Source: BiometricUpdate.com

UK start-up SimPrints announced it has received a £250,000 grant in funding to develop a fingerprint scanner that some are calling a “game-changer” in global healthcare, according to Cambridge News.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

Humans give malaria to mosquitoes – we need a vaccine to stop this

Source: The Guardian

On Wednesday, the world marks World Mosquito Day to commemorate the 1897 discovery by British doctor Sir Ronald Ross that malaria in people is transmitted to and from mosquitoes. Ross won a Nobel prize for his discovery, and, since then, mosquitoes have been enemy No 1 when it comes to defeating a disease that takes a life every single minute – most of them children in sub-Saharan Africa. But on this day, let’s focus on approaching malaria in a surprising new way: a vaccine to stop humans from giving malaria to mosquitoes.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Sanford looks to build hundreds of Ghana clinics

Source: The Island Packet

Sanford Health is looking to open more than 300 clinics in Ghana in the next five years to treat millions of patients. The Dakotas-based health network has opened five clinics in the African nation since 2012 and broke ground last week for a sixth.The clinics have treated more than 180,000 patients.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom cuts fees on low and medium value M-PESA transfers

Source: Biztech Africa

Leading integrated communications service provider Safaricom has announced a targeted reduction of transaction fees levied by the operator on its most popular person to person M-PESA transaction bands.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 — South Asia

Financial inclusion in India may remain an unsolved puzzle for now

Source: Business Standard

Days after the PM announced a financial inclusion package, a look at how banks and insurance firms are going about it & what lies ahead.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Toniic Announces Support from Omidyar Network

Source: Toniic

San Francisco, USA and Mumbai, India (August 18, 2014) – Toniic – a global network of over 120 action-oriented impact investors – is pleased to announce the financial support of philanthropic investment firm Omidyar Network.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bharti Airtel & VeriFone to drive Africa’s mobile money evolution

Source: IT News Africa

Bharti Airtel and VeriFone Mobile Money have reached an agreement to offer VeriFone Mobile Money’s merchant enablement applications for mobile Tap n Pay across Airtel’s 17 operating countries in Africa.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Stop charging high interest rates, Bank of Ghana tells MFIs

Source: Ghana Web

Microfinance companies have been urged not to charge high, unsustainable interest rates by the Head of Other Financial Institutions Supervision Department of the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Mr Raymond Amanfu.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Using mobile money to buy water and solar power in east Africa

Source: The Guardian

Mobile phones are facilitating access to utilities in poor rural communities. But do consumers have the faith to go cashless?
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Does emergency nutrition cripple local economies?

Source: The Guardian

Providing emergency nutrition in a way that undermines the capacity of local economies to respond to food insecurity and malnutrition themselves seems a clear violation of the 'do-no-harm' principle.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Liberian Natives Work To Fight Ebola Outbreak From Boston

Source: WBUR

In Boston, some natives of Liberia are working to improve sanitation conditions and train health workers on the ground in their homeland, as the country and two of its neighbors battle a deadly Ebola outbreak.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 — South Asia

Beyond microcredit in Nepal

Source: Republica

For Nepal's microfinance sector, the time has come to look beyond microcredit and find ways and means to turn individual entrepreneurs into small, medium and maybe big entrepreneurs over time.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: A Critical New Role for the World Bank

Source: New York Times

The bank should rise to the challenges posed by remittances — a critical tool in the fight against world poverty.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

New Bank of Ghana rules excite mobile money vendors

Source: Ghana Web

Companies in the mobile money business are in an anticipatory mood for the implementation of a new Bank of Ghana regulation on mobile payment systems, which they contend will help to boost payment transactions using the mobile phone.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ending M-Pesa’s solo story

Source: Mobile World Live

M-Pesa lacks interoperability with any of the rival services run by the country’s three other operators: Airtel, Orange and yuMobile. But Safaricom is now under pressure to change its ways.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 — Latin America

Ericsson to power Mobile Money project for ASBANC in Peru

Source: Telecom Lead

Telecom equipment vendor Ericsson will design and implement the mobile money project, Peru’s largest private initiative for financial inclusion for the National Bank Association in Peru.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwe’s Econet Wireless and the making of Africa’s first cashless society

Source: The Guardian

Will Zimbabwe be Africa’s first cashless society?Strive Masiyiwa, founder of the pan-African telecommunications company, talks about extending finance to the unbanked.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Using mobile money to increase financial inclusion in Indonesia

Source: Jakarta Post

With the rapid growth of the middle-income population and a better-educated demographic bonus, Indonesia is expected to experience a more sustainable economic growth. One of the ways to achieve this is by increasing people’s involvement in the financial sector, otherwise known as financial inclusion.
Monday, August 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile Midwifery Delivers Health to Ghanaian Moms

Source: womensenews.org

One mobile phone app delivers time-sensitive text messages or voicemails to pregnant women and new mothers; the other is for nurses. Together they are doing wonders for maternal and pregnancy health care and raising community awareness at the same time.
Monday, August 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Armed Men Raid Liberia Ebola Quarantine Center

Source: Voices of America

A group of young men armed with clubs, claiming that "there's no Ebola" in Liberia, raided a quarantine center for the deadly disease in Monrovia overnight, prompting about 20 patients infected with the deadly virus to flee, a witness said Sunday.
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