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
Thursday, October 1, 2015 — Asia Pacific

This Indonesian Microfinance Startup Wants to Put Loan Sharks Out of Business

Source: Tech in Asia

In Indonesia, 203 million people are classified as poor, living on less than US$4.50 per day. This group of consumers is not the section of the economic pyramid that conventional banks and insurance companies tend to prioritize, despite their making up the majority of the archipelago’s population. This is a problem Aidil Zulkifli, co-founder and CEO of UangTeman, hopes to solve.
Friday, September 25, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Microfinance, Health Care Institutions Partner to Improve Maternal Health for 800,000 Women in the Philippines

Source: Press Release

CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI), the Microcredit Summit Campaign, and Freedom from Hunger announced that under the “Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies” program, some 800,000 women have received maternal health education in the past 5 months and 3600 women have received healthcare in the past 12 months. The project aims to improve maternal health alongside their microfinance services in the Philippines, accelerating achievement of UN Millennium Development Goal 5.
Thursday, September 3, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Tapping New Sources to Raise Funds on Healthcare Research

Source: Science and Development Network

Low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have been left out on technology investments in healthcare research due to the huge financial needs and difficulties in sourcing them.
Thursday, August 20, 2015 — Asia Pacific

A Hundred Apps Bloom in China as Millions Bank on Their Phones

Source: Bloomberg

Consumers are skipping straight from cash to mobile finance.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Alibaba Launches Mobile App in China to Lower Entry Barriers to Investing

Source: Bloomberg

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s finance affiliate unveiled a wealth-management app on Tuesday to help less well-heeled Chinese buy into hundreds of funds and track stocks from Hong Kong to the Nasdaq off their smartphones.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Asia Pacific leads the way as mobile payments head towards US $1 trillion

Source: IT Wire

Mobile payments globally will rocket to US$1 trillion in value by 2017, up from an estimated $500 million this year.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Rising Fintech Investment in Asia Suggests Room for Bitcoin Opportunities

Source: News BTC

More and more companies are tapping into the Asian market when it comes to financial technology investment, as the region has seen growth in remittances while some countries have weak banking sectors. This opens up a market gap that could make room for bitcoin opportunities later on.
Monday, August 10, 2015 — Asia Pacific

OPINION: Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank - Much ado about very little

Source: DevPolicy Blog

For the AIIB to be an effective political instrument, it needs to be a successful financial and development institution. That will be very hard to fully pull off.
Thursday, August 6, 2015 — Asia Pacific

China's move to regulate Internet payments sparks concern

Source: The Australian

China is moving to limit the lightly regulated world of internet payments, an initiative that some critics warn could stifle development in one of the most innovative sectors of the economy.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — Asia Pacific

In Global Fight Against HIV, China’s Circumcision Device Makes the Cut

Source: Wall Street Journal

China wants a bigger slice of the global health market and it has a new tactic for getting it: circumcision.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — Asia Pacific

$100 Million for Social Startups in Australia

Source: Pro Bono Australia

Socially and environmentally conscious startups are set to benefit from the creation of the new $100 million Impact Investment Funds - said to be one of Australia’s biggest.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 — Asia Pacific

U.S. startup combines Bitcoin with Islamic microfinance in Indonesia

Source: Gulf Times

Founded in San Francisco and recently moved to Jakarta, a financial startup called Blossom aims at nothing less than shaking up the microfinance sector in Indonesia.
Tuesday, June 16, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Indonesian start-ups helping to broaden financial inclusion

Source: Spy Ghana

A string of innovative financial products from Indonesian start-ups are circumventing the traditional payment and investment system, helping to broaden financial inclusion and challenging the established banks.
Monday, June 15, 2015 — Asia Pacific

How one man wants to lend cash to 500m Chinese and lead a microfinancing revolution

Source: South China Morning Post

Zane Wang Zhengyu, founder and chief executive of lending company China Rapid Finance (CRF), wants to redraw the mainland's credit landscape. Wang hopes to create the mainland version of the San Francisco-based Lending Club, which offers borrowers funds at rates lower than those charged by credit cards. Ideally, the model could help meet the financing needs of 500 million potential mainland customers, many of them borrowing for the first time.
Thursday, June 11, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Indonesia to Unleash Loan Funds as Micro-lending Rates Cut

Source: Bloomberg

Indonesia wants to unleash 30 trillion rupiah ($2.3 billion) of new loans for small businesses and halve some bank micro lending rates to help revive an economy running at its slowest pace in five years.
Thursday, June 11, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Habitat Destruction Is Exposing Us to a Dangerous New Form of Malaria

Source: Pacific Standard

If you’re not a doctor, you probably think of malaria as a single disease. That’s not quite right. There are several parasites that cause what we call malaria—likePlasmodium falciparum, Plasmodium vivax, Plasmodium ovale, and Plasmodium malariae—and each brings a slightly different form of the disease. Now, in a northeastern corner of Malaysia, doctors are concerned about the rapid expansion of yet another malaria-inducing parasite named Plasmodium knowlesi. Incidence of the parasite increased tenfold between 2004 and 2011, and many public-health researchers are worried things are going to get worse.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Impact Investment Fund launches: a new $100 million socially-conscious Aussie start-up fund

Source: Financial Review

The constrained Australian venture capital industry is about to receive a $100 million infusion earmarked for companies that promise to do good for society or the environment.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Can China’s Financial System Become More Inclusive?

Source: The Diplomat

Beijing is trying to make finance accessible to those traditionally denied it, with mixed results.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Foundation Searches for Young Social Entrepreneurs

Source: Sun.Star Cebu

There are many success stories of social enterprises taking off, but most of these are in Manila. Proponents of a contest seeking to award social entrepreneurs hope to find the next success story in the provinces.
Thursday, May 28, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Indonesia Turns to Technology to Build its Banking Sector

Source: Wall Street Journal

Indonesia is hoping to get more of its 250 million citizens using formal financial services, and it’s looking to some of the creative tech startups that are already one step ahead for some assistance.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 — Asia Pacific

World Bank Group President Pledges Up to $11 Billion in Support to Indonesia

Source: The World Bank

World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim pledged up to $11 billion in new financing in the next three to four years to Indonesia, the fourth most populous country in the world.
Thursday, May 7, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Visa Pushes for Financial Inclusion in Philippines

Source: Rappler

There is an opportunity for financial inclusion in the Philippines, and VISA is banking on such potential.
Thursday, April 30, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation pushes microinsurance for disaster mitigation

Source: Rappler

The 21 member-economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is pushing for microinsurance to mitigate the impact of natural disasters.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Blossom Offers Islamic Micro-Financing in Indonesia Using Bitcoin

Source: Tech in Asia

A startup that recently relocated from San Francisco to Jakarta aims to shake up micro-finance in Indonesia.Blossom‘s concept can be said to be breaking ground: it operates onBitcoin and targets the global Muslim community.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Indonesia calls for new global financial order

Source: Reuters

Indonesian President Joko Widodo called on Wednesday for a new global financial order that is open to emerging economic powers and leaves the "obsolete ideas" of Bretton Woods institutions in the past.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 — Asia Pacific

In China, Alipay Wallet follows WeChat with launch of mobile city service payments

Source: Tech In Asia

China’s tech giants are working hard to make sure that consumers use their phones to pay for things. Today Alipay Wallet, the Alibaba-affiliated mobile wallet, announced it now enables Chinese users to fulfill municipal fees in 12 cities.
Monday, April 20, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Under Fire In India, Facebook’s Launches in Indonesia

Source: TechCrunch

Facebook’s ‘free web’ program has expanded into Indonesia, a country with a 250 million population, marking its second largest launch in Asia to date.
Thursday, April 16, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Microinsurance Program Lets People Trade Their Garbage for Free Health Care in Indonesia

Source: Aquila Style

In what is an innovative first for the region, a company in Indonesia is now offering to recycle your trash for two free visits to the doctor. Now, how clever is that?
Monday, April 6, 2015 — Asia Pacific

New Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine 'A Historic Moment for Global Health'

Source: Devex

As I prepare for retirement this month and reflect on my four years as the director of the neglected infectious diseases team here at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the things I am most proud of is to have been part of a global team that has been working to get a new Japanese encephalitis vaccine to the millions of people who need it.
Friday, April 3, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Singapore, Indonesia Lead Growth in Sustainable Investing in Asia

Source: Eco-Business

While Asia still lags Europe and the United States in sustainable investing, the market for funds employing such strategies is healthy and expanding rapidly in the region, with Singapore and Indonesia leading the growth.
Friday, March 27, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Four Major Banks Launch Branchless Banking Program in Indonesia

Source: The Jakarta Post

The Financial Services Authority (OJK), along with four of the nation’s largest banks, launched on Thursday a nationwide campaign on financial services without physical branches to help boost access to the banking system in rural areas.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 — Asia Pacific

28M Filipinos Covered by Micro-Insurance as of 2014

Source: Sun.Star

As of 2014, 28 million Filipinos have micro-insurance coverage, according to the Insurance Commission (IC). The agency sees a continued growth in this segment as more Filipinos turn to micro-insurance for protection and financial security, especially for calamities.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 — Asia Pacific

How Lee Kuan Yew Transformed Singapore From Small Town Into Global Financial Hub

Source: The Conversation

Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father of one of Asia’s smallest but most developed economies, has died. Lee led Singapore after its separation from Malaysia to emerge as one of the world’s most powerful financial centres.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 — Asia Pacific

3 European Powers Say They Will Join China-Led Development Bank

Source: New York Times

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Chinese Phone Giant Xiaomi Tests Mobile Wallet That Pays Interest

Source: Re/Code

Chinese phone giant Xiaomi has introduced a new wrinkle on the mobile wallet: A portable account that bears interest.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Asia Steps Up Efforts to Reach the ‘Unbanked’

Source: Wall Street Journal

Across Asia, governments are experimenting with novel ways to widen access to financial services, from using mobile technology for transfers to allowing retail stores to take deposits in remote areas.
Monday, March 16, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Korean Social Enterprises Go Global

Source: Devex

Social enterprises — businesses that prioritize human and environmental benefits equally to profits — are effective vehicles to achieve development goals as their market-based approaches bring sustainability and scalability that are essential to create long-term impact.
Monday, March 16, 2015 — Asia Pacific

State-Owned Bank Negara Indonesia Prepares to Launch Branchless Banking Program

Source: The Jakarta Post

State-owned Bank Negara Indonesia (BNI) is preparing to expand its electronic money (e-money) service to increase low-cost funds as well as to offer wider banking access.
Monday, March 9, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Viewpoint: Poor Man’s Rich Man

Source: Philippine Star

It looks like fish. It smells like fish. When unsold and unmarketable, it usually rots and goes to waste. But not so in the fisherfolk community in Iligan, where excess catch of fish in season are collected for livelihood. It’s like chicken dung gathered by another community in Naawan, Misamis Oriental, and coconut husks collected from copra farms by a cooperative of former rebels who laid down their arms for life with society. Rotten fish, chicken dung, coconut husks – all biowastes that can be converted to organic fertilizers that communities can sell and make a living out of. For them, it is a way to resist poverty through their own productive work. But this is just half of the story.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — Asia Pacific

As Overseas Money Dries Up, Indonesia Develops Its Own Vaccines

Source: EurActiv

Indonesia is developing its own vaccines to fight infectious diseases because funds from the EU and other development agencies to its health sector are drying up. EurActiv reports from Indonesia.
Thursday, February 19, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Low-Income Filipinos Can Rely on Microinsurance When Disaster Strikes

Source: The Manila Times

The domestic insurance industry posted a stellar growth performance in the past year, registering an estimated 28 million Filipinos protected by microinsurance.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Of Social Business Ventures and Islamic Principles

Source: The Star Online

Interest in the area of social entrepreneurship has gained momentum in recent years. Many studies have been commissioned in this area, including comparative studies to clarify the concepts of conventional entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship, and also social entrepreneurship with not-for-profit activities such as corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, charity and voluntary work.
Friday, February 6, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Japanese Foundation Joins the Public Health Grand Challenge Bandwagon

Source: AAAS

A Japanese foundation will try to discover innovative approaches to neglected infectious diseases with a Grand Challenge.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 — Asia Pacific

New One-Stop Resource Centre for Social Enterprises to Be Launched

Source: The Straits Times

Instead of seeking help at multiple locations, social enterprises will be able to go to a new one-stop resource centre to be launched in the second quarter of the year. Social enterprises are businesses with a social mission.
Wednesday, January 14, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Asian Development Bank Commits to $1.5b in Loans for Indonesia’s Infrastructure Development

Source: The Jakarta Globe

The Asian Development Bank pledged its support for Indonesia’s development plan and is committed to disburse at least $1.5 billion in loans to the country to help fund various infrastructure projects, the multilateral lender’s president said on Tuesday.
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 — Asia Pacific

Japanese Drugmakers Addressing Neglected Tropical Diseases, and Not Just Out of Altruism

Source: The Japan Times

Japanese drugmakers are developing medicines to treat infectious diseases that have been overlooked because there is little financial incentive.
Monday, December 22, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Gates Foundation Donates $4.9m to SK Chemicals' Vaccine Project

Source: The Korea Herald

SK Chemicals Co., a petrochemical unit of South Korea's third-largest conglomerate SK Group, said Sunday it has received a donation of US$4.9 million from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its project to develop a vaccine for typhoid fever.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — Asia Pacific

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

Source: Tech in Asia

Indonesian telco company Indosat, in collaboration with Qatar National Bank (QNB), launched a mobile money ATM card this week, CNN Indonesia reports. The card is integrated with Indosat’s ewallet feature Dompetku, which now claims to be the first mobile money provider in Indonesia with a parallel ATM service feature.
Thursday, December 4, 2014 — Asia Pacific

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

Source: Reuters

Housewife Jenny Orquiza, whose home was damaged by super typhoon Haiyan, did not imagine that the Philippines' biggest natural disaster would lead to her getting something she never had - a bank account.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014 — Asia Pacific

PRESS RELEASE: Grameen China and Launch Crowdfunding Microfinance Project

Source: PR Newswire, Inc. ("" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: JD), China's largest online direct sales company, and Grameen China, the China-based entity of Grameen Trust ("GT"), a non-profit and non-government organization committed to the cause of poverty alleviation, today announced that they have reached an agreement on a strategic partnership in China.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 — Asia Pacific

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

Source: Business Wire

Bima, the leading global microinsurance provider, announced a 5 million USD investment from Digicel Group, the leading total communications and entertainment provider in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific regions. This investment and the resulting partnership will help Bima to deliver access to affordable insurance on a scale never seen before in those regions.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 — Asia Pacific

PRESS RELEASE: China enters the era of social impact investing

Source: PR Newswire

The 13th Social Enterprise Conference at Columbia Business School was on October 31st. The results of a study on social impact investing in China were released for the first time in history. It is the first time that China has formally dispatched a group to attend a social enterprise conference at Columbia University
Monday, November 3, 2014 — Asia Pacific

PRESS RELEASE: Impact Accelerator launched in the Philippines


MANILA, Philippines — Impact Investment Exchange Asia has launched its first Impact Accelerator program in the Philippines, an intensive in-country program designed to accelerate early-stage social enterprises that have high potentials to create positive social and environmental impact at scale.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Indonesia Has More Smokers Than Bank Account Holders

Source: Global Indonesian Voices

Jakarta – Indonesia has a far greater number of smokers and mobile phone users than bank account holders, according to the Director General of Bank Mandiri, Budi Gunadi Sadikin.
Friday, October 24, 2014 — Asia Pacific

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

Source: Jakarta Post

As part of efforts to open up greater public access to financial services, the Financial Services Authority (OJK) will regulate the implementation of branchless banking, especially for regional development banks (BPD) and sharia banks, a top official says.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Improving Financial Services for Indonesia’s Underserved

Source: Jakarta Post

Financial inclusion is about reaching out to the poor and vulnerable in ways that allow them to take part in the world of financial services either for saving or getting credit. There are at least three ways to do this.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Digital doctors: China sees tech cure for healthcare woes

Source: Reuters

There's been a rise recently in digital healthcare, or eHealth, to bridge the chasm between China's developed health services in large cities and its grassroots rural care.
Friday, October 10, 2014 — Asia Pacific

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

Source: New York Times

For almost a year, China has been pitching a big, internationally funded bank that would offer quick financing for badly needed transportation, telecommunications and energy projects in underdeveloped countries across the region. But the United States has not embraced the proposal.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 — Asia Pacific

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

Source: Microcredit Summit

CARD MRI, Freedom from Hunger and the Microcredit Summit Campaign are launching a joint project called “Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies” to improve health knowledge and promote behavior change for more than 600,000 women by December 2015.
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.
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 10, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Nepal's entrepreneurs healing blindness among poor

Source: Shanghai Daily

Many villagers are not aware of how easily cataract can be treated or cured," said Suraj Shrestha, CEO at Anthropose, a Nepal-basedenterprise. Using a market-based approach, entrepreneurs in the Himalayan nation are identifying social problems and creating sustainable and scaleable entrepreneurial solutions to them.
Monday, August 25, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Indonesia falls behind in mobile banking

Source: Financial Times

Mobile phone banking has already transformed the provision of financial services in emerging markets such as Kenya, Mexico and even remote and poverty-stricken Papua New Guinea. But cautious regulators have left Indonesia lagging behind.
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.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Microcredits boost rural financing in China

Source: China Economic Net

Opinions on Development of Financial Services to Farmer, Rural Areas, and Agricultural Production by the General Office of the State Council has proposed "accelerated promotion of microcredits in rural areas".
Thursday, July 3, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Corporate ‘Prizes’ Driving Innovation

Source: Pro Bono Australia

As the global trend for corporate prize winning competitions to drive innovation increases, a new US report offers guidance for the public sector, Not for Profits and philanthropic foundations on cultivating the winning opportunities.
Thursday, June 26, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Asia's social stock exchange poised to list first Retail Impact Bond

Source: The Guardian

The time is ripe to launch a retail impact bond in Asia, says former Wall Street investment banker Durreen Shahnaz
Friday, May 9, 2014 — Asia Pacific

OPINION: New Chinese investment fund aims to rival World Bank and ADB

Source: The Economic Times

If you can't beat them, outspend them. That seems to be the thinking behind a huge new infrastructure investment fund being promoted by China as an alternative to established international lending agencies.
Friday, May 2, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Philippines Using Postal Banks to Advance Financial Inclusion

Source: Philippine Information Agency

The Philippine Postal Savings Bank (Postbank) inaugurated Tuesday this week two branches of its Microfinance Banking Office (MBO) or Bangko sa Nayon in Albay alongside the government efforts to pursue inclusive growth particularly on the countryside.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Microfinance Faces Uncertainty in Bangladesh

Source: The Diplomat

The Bangladesh government should reevaluate its pursuit to regulate and nationalize the operations of the Grameen Bank.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Chinese NGO Aims to Tackle Poverty in Burma Through Microloans

Source: Democreatic Voice of Burma

A Chinese NGO is set to implement micro-finance programs across Burma in a bid to tackle rural poverty.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Saving for Change: How Small Sums Drive Big Advances in Cambodia

Source: The Phnom Penh Post

Many rural villagers cannot access financial services from microfinance institutions (MFIs) despite the growth in the sector.
Friday, March 7, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Mobile Movies Is A Novel Way Of Collecting Data In Off-The-Grid Areas

Source: Tech Crunch

In the late 1960s, the British Ministry of Technology turned buses into mobile cinemas that toured the country and screened films promoting modern production techniques. Half a century later, a Singapore-based startup is reviving the concept to reach rural communities throughout Southeast Asia.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014 — Asia Pacific

As Myanmar opens up, will mobile money emerge?

Source: Giga Om

It’s an unprecedented moment in Myanmar’s history as the country opens up to financing, technology and connectivity. Will mobile payments play a role in transforming the country?
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Fears Of China's Shadow Banking Implosion Are Overblown

Source: Forbes

When China Commercial Credit, Inc. planned its IPO on NASDAQ last August, it had to cut the deal size twice because of weak investor appetite. The company ended up raising $8.9 million, only half of its original target.
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 — Asia Pacific

The Philippines Rolls Out Telemedicine with TV White Spaces

Source: Future Gov Asia

TV White Spaces will tap unused frequencies between TV channels to deliver data connectivity to further support rural broadband, telemedicine, educational content delivery and to enhance the data gathering capability of the government’s sensor networks.
Tuesday, February 11, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Typhoon Haiyan leaves shattered healthcare in central Philippines

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

There have been no major outbreaks of disease in Samar and Eastern Samar provinces, but between Jan. 1 and 20 , there were 84 suspected dengue cases in Ormoc City in Leyte Province, leading to the medical evacuation of at least four international aid workers.
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Innovative off-grid fridges to give a sure chill to vaccines

Source: SciDevNet

The Philippines is set to receive donations of medical refrigerators with an innovative cooling technology that runs without electricity for up to ten days or more, ensuring the viability of vaccines especially in disaster-affected areas, SciDev.Net has learned.
Thursday, January 30, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Pearson announces joint venture secondary schooling investment with Ayala in the Philippines

Source: Press Release

Pearson is the world's leading learning company.
Thursday, January 30, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Microinsurance coverage rises in the Philippines

Source: Business World Online

Over 19 million Filipinos are covered by microinsurance, more than six times the number recorded five years ago, the Department of Finance yesterday reported.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Filipino coffee queen turns into social entrepreneur

Source: Manila Standard Today

Pacita “Chit” Juan, a champion of Philippine coffee brands, has diversified not only to other businesses, but also to other causes, like creating jobs for the poor.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Philippines Works to Freeze Spread of Childhood Diseases

Source: The Wall Street Journal

On Wednesday the Philippine government’s Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, or RITM, will get new walk-in freezer, which will be used to store vaccines for various viruses, measles included.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Crowdfunding Could Change Chinese Politics

Source: TeaLeafNation

Crowdfunding, which allows web users to contribute small sums of money to fund collective projects like concerts and films, is taking off in China — and just how far it will go is more than a business question. By allowing netizens to vote with their renminbi, online crowdfunding could become an economic activity with political effects, bringing closer two separate spheres that rarely overlap in China. As a result, in the future, crowdfunding platforms could do more than make music; they may also help bring political changes to the country.
Thursday, January 9, 2014 — Asia Pacific

What's Holding Back China's Mobile-Money Market?


China further solidified its position as a market that could greatly impact payments in 2013
Thursday, January 9, 2014 — Asia Pacific

P2P lending service Renrendai handed $130 million to get a head start in China’s microfinance sector

Source: Tech In Asia

Renrendai reported it facilitated RMB 1 billion ($165.2 million) in loans as of August 2013, with a 276 percent year-on-year increase in the first half of last year.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Long-term Health Problems After Natural Disasters Strike

Source: US News and World Report

Health obstacles plague communities long after a natural disaster.
Tuesday, January 7, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Spreading hope one box at a time


Over 20 artists share their works to aid victims of typhoon ‘Yolanda’
Tuesday, December 31, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Small loans a big help for typhoon survivors in the Philippines

Source: CNN

The typhoon affected more than 13 million people, including 5 million children, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Even before the storm, nearly 44% of Filipinos lived on less than $2 day and there are now fewer resources than ever to help those in need.
Thursday, December 12, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Philippines' Quezon City and USAID Launch Mobile Money System

Source: USAID

The Local Government of Quezon City, in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy Manila’s United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has launched an innovative mobile money system.
Friday, December 6, 2013 — Asia Pacific

China cracks down on bitcoin

Source: Breaking Views

Regulators have barred the country's banks from trading bitcoin, while denying the pseudo-money legal status and cracking down on anonymous users.
Tuesday, December 3, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Post-typhoon expansion of micro-insurance coverage for the poor sought in the Phillipines

Source: Inquirer News

The recent devastation caused by supertyphoon Yolanda in the Visayas underscored the importance of expanding coverage of micro-insurance to the marginalized communities in the country.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013 — Asia Pacific

GAVI Alliance board to consider new vaccine support

Source: Vaccine News Daily

GAVI Alliance partners gathered in Cambodia this week for a meeting to determine which new vaccines will be added to its portfolio of support, the organization said on Tuesday.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Crowdfunding in China could be $50 billion business by 2025

Source: Quartz

By 2025, crowdfunding in China could explode to $46 -$50 billion—about half the amount expected to be channeled to startups and businesses throughout the world, according to a new World Bank report
Thursday, November 14, 2013 — Asia Pacific

China’s Alipay mobile wallet app users have almost reached 100 million

Source: Global Times

China's largest e-payment company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd's Alipay Wednesday said that users of its "mobile wallet" app have reached nearly 100 million across the nation so far.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 — Asia Pacific

AIDS mobile app to be launched

Source: The Jakarta Post

The Indonesia AIDS Coalition (IAC), an NGO with members from AIDS-affected communities, will launch a mobile application on HIV/AIDS information and services.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Why the banker who helped millions of Bangladeshis out of poverty became his country’s enemy number one

Source: The Independent

Muhammad Yunus is fêted by world leaders, renowned internationally and a national hero at home. All of which makes it harder to explain why the government in his native Bangladesh is trying to destroy him.
Monday, October 28, 2013 — Asia Pacific

In Indonesia, Mobile banking becomes a source of local banks’ revenue

Source: The Jakarta Post

With the sharp increase in the use of smartphones, mobile banking has become an important source of income for Indonesian banks that are now expanding fee-based services to boost their profits.
Monday, October 28, 2013 — Asia Pacific

The Bangladesh poor selling organs to pay debts

Source: BBC News

Millions of rural Bangladeshis, grow up facing a life of hardship. In an attempt to alleviate poverty, countless numbers take on debt with microcredit lenders, only to find themselves in a difficult situation when they are unable to repay the loan.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Alibaba issues China’s first microloan securitization

Source: The Asahi Shimbun

Orient Securities and Alibaba have issued the nation’s first securitized product backed by microloans.
Tuesday, October 8, 2013 — Asia Pacific

World Bank president to open 2013 Microcredit Summit

Source: Sun Star Manila

World Bank president Jim Yong Kim will open the 2013 Microcredit Summit: Partnerships against Poverty on October 9 with a recorded statement urging the nearly 800 delegates from 69 countries to commit themselves to the advancement of microfinance to end extreme poverty.
Friday, September 27, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Philippines central bank in broad Islamic finance push

Source: MSN Money

In what could be one of the most ambitious efforts to facilitate Islamic finance in a non-Muslim country, the Philippines' central bank is pushing several initiatives to develop the sector and encourage financial inclusion of the Muslim minority.
Wednesday, September 4, 2013 — Asia Pacific

ADB, Gates Foundation Partner for Sanitation Innovation in Asia

Source: Devex

As the world’s most populous region continues to grow, innovative solutions to sanitation are more needed than even before in Asia, where many governments still don’t see this Millennium Development Goal as a priority.
Monday, August 26, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Golden Rice: Lifesaver?

Source: The New York Times

One bright morning this month, 400 protesters smashed down the high fences surrounding a field in the Bicol region of the Philippines and uprooted the genetically modified rice plants growing inside. Had the plants survived long enough to flower, they would have betrayed a distinctly yellow tint in the otherwise white part of the grain. That is because the rice is endowed with a gene from corn and another from a bacterium, making it the only variety in existence to produce beta carotene, the source of vitamin A. Its developers call it “Golden Rice.”
Thursday, August 22, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Counterfeit medicine trade targets Africa's poor


"Street medication kills. The street is killing (safe) medication," declares a banner outside a pharmacy in the Cameroonian capital Yaounde, where the dangerous trade is rampant.
Thursday, August 15, 2013 — Asia Pacific

China eyes health research cooperation with Africa

Source: SciDev.Net

China plans to improve the health services it provides in Africa and expand its medical aid there, according to the International Cooperation unit at China's National Health and Family Planning Commission.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Taking the long view on Big Pharma in China

Source: The Globe and Mail

Big pharma’s Chinese dreams are bruised, but not broken.
Thursday, August 1, 2013 — Asia Pacific

The Airborne Infection That Beats Antibiotics: North Korea's Other Crisis

Source: The Atlantic

Throughout history, TB has killed more people than all other pandemics combined.
Friday, July 26, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Bribery Serves as Life-Support for Chinese Hospitals

Source: The Jakarta Globe

Bribery is the lubricant that helps keep China’s public hospitals running, and the health system would struggle to function without illegal payments to poorly paid doctors and administrators, say medical practitioners and industry experts.
Thursday, July 18, 2013 — Asia Pacific

For Global Drug Manufacturers, China Becomes a Perilous Market

Source: The New York Times

Multinational drug companies now employ more sales agents in China than they do in the United States, their largest market. Several, including Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, are making huge scientific investments in the country, including building research and development centers. Within the next few years, China is poised to surpass Japan as the world’s second-largest pharmaceutical market.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013 — Asia Pacific

For Global Drug Manufacturers, China Becomes a Perilous Market

Source: The New York Times

Multinational drug companies now employ more sales agents in China than they do in the United States, their largest market.
Friday, July 12, 2013 — Asia Pacific

China believes in UNIDO, why don't the rest of us?

Source: Devex Impact

The election of China's Li Yong to UNIDO's top slot reveals the country's growing commitment to development.
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Beijing’s Great Leap Forward

Source: MIT Technology Review

One man, Kai-Fu Lee, did more than anyone else to turn the Chinese capital into a technology powerhouse.
Friday, June 28, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Great Potential in China’s Medical Device Market

Source: IMARC

Though the United States and Europe both greatly surpass China's healthcare, China is expected to catch up to Europe by 2020.
Monday, June 17, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Lifestyle changes contributing to ill health in China

Source: The Guardian

Pollution, poor diet and stress are causing health problems in world's most populous country despite health reforms and affordable healthcare
Friday, June 7, 2013 — Asia Pacific

China's Healthcare Choice: Innovation or Access?

Source: Forbes

China today faces a dilemma in healthcare development between the present and the future. A fundamental choice will need to be made between financial incentives for future medical innovation or price controls that broaden present access to care
Wednesday, May 1, 2013 — Asia Pacific

We're Not Prepared For China's Deadly Bird Flu

Source: Forbes

In Asia, more than 120 people have been sickened, and 23 are dead, from a potent strain of bird flu that has the frightening markings of a potential pandemic strain.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Coming, ready or not

Source: The Economist

The threat of a global pandemic is rising again.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Micro loans reverse poverty cycle

Source: The Australian

With an average loan of about $150, more than two million families in India, Indonesia, The Philippines, China and Ghana are leaving poverty behind thanks to Opportunity International Australia.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Product Development Partnerships Applaud Japan’s First Public-Private Partnership to Spearhead Innovation in Global Health

Source: TB Alliance

As Product Development Partnerships (PDPs) dedicated to the discovery, development and delivery of new global health tools, we applaud the official launch of the Global Health Innovation and Technology Fund (GHIT Fund), which was announced today in Tokyo, Japan.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 — Asia Pacific

World experts debate case for new bird flu vaccine; China confident it can control outbreak

Source: Deccan Chronicle

Experts from around the world are in daily talks about the threat posed by a deadly new strain of bird flu in China, including discussions on if and when to start making a vaccine.
Thursday, April 4, 2013 — Asia Pacific

No sign of human transmission in new bird flu appearance-WHO

Source: Alert Net

The World Health Organization says no evidence has emerged to show that a type of bird flu which has killed two Chinese men can be transmitted between people.
Monday, March 25, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Bankers ride boom in social enterprises

Source: South China Morning Post

Putting private capital to public service is booming in Asia, and some investment bankers are quitting their high-profile jobs to support "clean and green" enterprises.
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 — Asia Pacific

IDB's assignment: A proposal to reform private sector operations

Source: Devex

The Inter-American Development Bank’s annual meeting has concluded with a lot of promise for businesses in the region, from the establishment of a new Chinese cofinanced fund to a plan to streamline the activities of the bank’s private sector windows.
Friday, March 1, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Growth and Poverty

Source: Inquirer News

The ten years of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo gave the Philippines a much faster economic growth at around 4.8 percent annually. The only decade-long gross domestic product (GDP) growth higher than this was recorded in the 1950s.
Thursday, February 21, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Q&A: Inovio CEO on DNA Vaccines

Source: The Wall Street Journal

One area of biotechnology that has drawn a lot of attention in recent years is DNA vaccines.
Monday, February 18, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Global Health Threat Seen in Overuse of Antibiotics on Chinese Pig Farms

Source: The New York Times

As Europe continues to recoil at the “horseburger” scandal, focusing minds on the risks in long food-production chains, a new study has found that high use of antibiotics in Chinese pig farms is producing antibiotic-resistant genes that pose “a potential worldwide human health risk.”
Monday, January 21, 2013 — Asia Pacific

China, UK unveil joint global health program

Source: China Daily

The Chinese and British governments are cooperating on a program to improve global health policy for developing countries, with the launch in Beijing on Jan. 16 of a new UK-China partnership.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013 — Asia Pacific

S’pore firm and Mongolian government create ‘Medical Silk Road’ to improve healthcare with mobile technology

Source: SGEntrepreneurs

The Mongolian government has partnered with Singapore’s Borderless Healthcare Group to improve rural healthcare through the use of mobile technology. The initiative is dubbed the ‘Medical Silk Road’.
Tuesday, January 8, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Chinese microcredit firms lend 600 bln yuan

Source: People's Daily Online

BEIJING, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- Chinese microcredit companies reported 600 billion yuan (96.31 billion U.S. dollars) in outstanding loans by the end of last year, up 52 percent year on year, an association head said Tuesday.
Wednesday, January 2, 2013 — Asia Pacific

Getting at the Heart of China’s Public Health Crisis

Source: Council on Foreign Relations Blog

Trying to wrap one’s arms around China today is a significant challenge. It is a global power with a growing economy, rising military, and expanding diplomatic reach.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Education boosts role of local women

Source: China Daily

Women in the Tibet autonomous region enjoy rising social status and are stepping beyond their traditional roles, according to an official at the Tibet Women's Federation.
Friday, November 2, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Businesses urged to take lead in supporting social enterprises

Source: Channel News Asia

SINGAPORE : Acting Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing has said that while the government supports social enterprises, more businesses still need to take the lead in growing the sector.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Micro Benefits to be Recognized at the G20 Summit for Improving the Livelihoods of China's Factory Workers

Source: Market Watch Press Release

SUZHOU, China, Oct 31, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- In collaboration with the G20 Mexico Summit, Ashoka Changemakers(R) has named Micro Benefits one of five finalists in a worldwide social impact competition - the G2012 Mexico Financial Inclusion Challenge: Innovative Solutions for Unlocking Access. More than half the world's population - some 2.7 billion adults - lack access to basic financial services such as affordable credit, savings and insurance products.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 — Asia Pacific

How social enterprise movement can stop acts of terrorism

Source: The Jakarta Post

Nothing is new in the use of social enterprise to promote peace. The phenomenon has won global recognition with Nobel Peace prize awarded to social entrepreneurs like Wangari Maathai of the Greenbelt Movement in 2004, Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank in 2006 and former US vice president and environmental campaigner Al Gore in 2007.
Thursday, October 25, 2012 — Asia Pacific

DBS China launches social enterprise program

Source: China Daily

Development Bank of Singapore (China) announced the launch of a program to support the development of social enterprises in China on Wednesday.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Creating space for social enterprise in Singapore

Source: The Guardian

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" That is probably the most common question I would get from any family member, friends of family and head-patting adults in general. It was a question that I enjoyed answering when I was 10. The possibilities were endless. But I also wondered why adults like asking that question. Was it because they found a need to keep up with our fleeting, fantastic answers, or was it that they like to reminisce on what could have been for themselves?
Monday, October 22, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Earthquake Recovery in Japan: Entrepreneurs to the Rescue

Source: Triple Pundit

“Disaster relief” usually brings to mind images of tents, food and water convoys, and emergency medicine. But since 2011's earthquake, tsunami, and reactor meltdown in the Tohoku region of Japan, a Tokyo-based social entrepreneurship group called ETIC has added a whole new dimension: an entrepreneurial recovery effort.
Monday, October 22, 2012 — Asia Pacific

IIX, SEAS Sign MoU To Promote Growth Of Social Enterprises In Asia Pacific

Source: Bernama

SINGAPORE, Oct 22 (Bernama) -- Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX) and the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS), today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to solidify joint efforts to promote the Social Enterprise (SE) space in the sustainable energy sector.
Thursday, October 18, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Bush Food Gathers Momentum as a Social Enterprise

Source: Pro Bono Australia

The concept of ‘bush tucker’ is uniquely Australian - romanticised by Hollywood as something Crocodile Dundee survived on - but now a group of Indigenous Queenslanders wants to turn the harvesting of native bush foods into a sustainable social enterprise.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Oxfam launches fund to make 'impact investments' in the developing world

Source: Third Sector

The overseas aid charity is linking up with the City of London Corporation and Symbiotics to help small and medium-sized enterprises, with the first investment in Mongolia
Monday, October 8, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Entrepreneur brings color to the desert

Source: China Daily

A man-made oasis in China's seventh biggest desert, Kubuqi, on the southern bank of the Yellow River, has been the backdrop for several international environmental events this year.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Grameen Foundation and eBay Foundation – A Mobile Commerce Approach to Poverty Alleviation

Source: Huffington Post

Recognizing the opportunity offered by this technology, Grameen Foundation and eBay Foundation began working together this summer to build solutions that address market challenges facing microentrepreneurs in Indonesia.
Thursday, August 30, 2012 — Asia Pacific

New Impact Investing Stock Exchange Is Making Steady Progress

Source: Forbes

It looks as though The Impact Exchange Board, or the iX, a ground-breaking publicly regulated social stock exchange, has been making steady progress since it launched about a year ago.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Haircuts Can be Serious Business for Myanmar Women

Source: The Jakarta Globe

Khin May Phyo, 18, fought back tears as she bickered with the barber over the length of her haircut. “If you want to make 20,000 kyat [23 dollars], then it has to be cut here,” said Kay Aye Mon, chopping the girl’s waist-length hair at the base of her neck with her palm.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Rural banks partner with telcos to boost microfinance

Source: The Manila Times

Rural banks will soon have their own set of “killer apps” to better compete with bigger banks and, more importantly, expand their microfinance services in the Philippines.
Friday, August 17, 2012 — Asia Pacific

The size and scale of Chinese social entrepreneurship

Source: Guardian

While the social entrepreneurship field has been around for several decades in some countries, it has only begun to emerge in China in the last decade. So there is little understanding about the current organisational structures, origin, size, scope of work and impact of social enterprises in China.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012 — Asia Pacific

TISS, DBS Bank tie-up to support social entrepreneurship

Source: First Post

Singapore-based DBS Bank and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) joined hands to launch a programme which will support social entrepreneurship.
Tuesday, July 31, 2012 — Asia Pacific

$627M to fund anti-poverty program in 2013

Source: Business Mirror

The government will roll out a $627-million poverty-alleviation program in rural areas by August next year. Dubbed as the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP), the government will seek a loan of $500 million from the World Bank to fund the initiative.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012 — Asia Pacific

More people in Asia making impact investments

Source: Channel News Asia

SINGAPORE: Investing with a social cause has caught on in Asia. Some 400 participants gathered in Singapore for an inaugural forum on impact investing. The forum, co-hosted by Singapore-based social enterprise Impact Investment Shujog and Impact Investment Exchange Asia was supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Asian Development Bank.
Monday, June 25, 2012 — Asia Pacific

The new sexy: Social entrepreneurship

Source: Rappler

MANILA, Philippines - “We want to make social entrepreneurship sexy,” says Karl Satinitigan, the 24-year-old director of Gawad Kalinga’s Center for Social Innovation or CSI, a program that trains aspiring social entrepreneurs.
Thursday, May 31, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Little Impact Seen From China Private Capital Push

Source: Wall Street Journal

SHANGHAI—China's pledge to give private capital real access to the nation's lucrative banking sector has triggered more skepticism than excitement, with analysts saying entry barriers remain firmly in place.
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 — Asia Pacific

The ‘Grandfather’ of Social Enterprise, Steve Lawrence Dies

Source: Pro Bono Australia

The man described as the the grandfather of social enterprise in Australia, Steve Lawrence has died after a long battle with cancer aged 60.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Omidyar Network Executive Forum Unites Business Leaders Investing In Social Change

Source: Huffington Post

One network of top executives is proving that good business means wise investments -- specifically investments in people who have the power to create global change but may simply lack opportunity.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012 — Asia Pacific

5 Clever Hacks for Becoming a Social Entrepreneur

Source: Forbes

Social entrepreneurs create innovative solutions for tackling the world’s most vexing social problems. Whether they’re solving hunger, improving the environment, or fighting for political freedom, these entrepreneurs place social missions at the center of their business activities — aiming to maximize social value instead of profits, though both are important for maintaining a sustainable organization.
Monday, April 23, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Environmental Index Could Save Rural Communities

Source: Phys Org

By creating the world's first long-term record of ecosystem health, Chinese and UK researchers have identified where specific social and economic policies have damaged the environment in eastern China. The work shows that wealth generation over recent decades is damaging essential ecosystem services on which the poorest rely - things like food, fuel, and clean water.
Thursday, April 19, 2012 — Asia Pacific

The Life-Changing Power of a Good Nap—And a Smart Business Plan

Source: GOOD

Yellow Leaf Hammocks, a rising socially conscious lifestyle brand, could have launched fast after its inspiring moment only to crash and burn. Yet smart planning and business sense gave the company the organic, slow-growth start that offers it the best shot at a sustainable future. Howyou run your company is just as important as why.
Thursday, April 12, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Microinsurance in Rapid Expansion Says ILO, Munich Re Report

Source: Insurance Journal

According to the Microinsurance Innovation Facility of the International Labor Organizationand the Munich Re Foundation, “the number of microinsurance schemes worldwide has increased substantially over the past five years and now reaches an estimated 500 million worldwide.”
Friday, March 30, 2012 — Asia Pacific

All Wrong On Poverty & Aid


IT is our claim that the debates on poverty and aid have gone off the rails. On poverty, it is too narrow, quibbling about a few percentage points above or below some historical number.
Friday, March 30, 2012 — Asia Pacific

BoP Boom in Japan Part I

Source: CSR Asia

The year 2009 was referred to as “The first year of BoP in Japan”. Not only did the Japanese translation of the late Prof. Prahalad’s “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid” received much attention, BoP market analyzation that focused on emerging markets in Asia and African countries gained wide recognition too.
Monday, March 26, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Microfinance Experience in PHL Shows the Poor Can Be Insured

Source: BusinessMirror

The Philippine success in extending microfinance credit to the poor shows that this sector at and below the poverty threshold could also become worthy of insurance coverage, the Insurance Commission here said.
Thursday, March 22, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Economists Demonstrate One Size Does Not Fit All for Microfinance Programs

Source: MarketWatch

New Study Reveals Wide Variance in Results from Thai Million Baht Village Fund Large-scale microfinance programs are widely used as a tool to fight poverty in developing countries, but a recent study from the Consortium on Financial Systems and Poverty suggests that they can have varying results for participants and may be the most cost-effective use of funds only in limited situations.
Monday, March 19, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Facebook-style Microcredit Site Helps China Farmers

Source: NewStraitsTimes

BEIJING: Dairy farmer Deligeerma needs 642 to buy fodder for her cows during the harsh winter months in northern China. So far, she has received 149 in pledges from four people around the world.
Friday, March 9, 2012 — Asia Pacific

IFC To Start $100M Microfinance Debt Fund

Source: VCCircle

International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector investment arm of the World Bank Group, along with two other investors, will set up a $100 million debt fund called Micro Finance Initiative for Asia (MIFA), to address the funding needs of microfinance institutions in developing and underdeveloped economies.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012 — Asia Pacific

ADB Plans to Invest $100M in Environment Fund

Source: Inquirer Business

The Asian Development Bank is expected to invest about $100 million in a multinational fund that will be put up to boost investments in environment-related technologies and projects in developing countries like the Philippines.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Alliance Pushes Social Entrepreneurship Bill

Source: Manilla Bulletin Publishing Corporation

An alliance of farmers, workers, community enterprises, business associations and fair trade groups is pushing for the approval of a measure designed to institutionalize social entrepreneurship (SE) nationwide.
Friday, December 9, 2011 — Asia Pacific

IFC Stakes 18.9% Equity in ACCION

Source: Vanguard

ACCION International, parent company of Accion Nigeria and a pioneer in global microfinance, has signed an agreement with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group focused exclusively on the private sector, in which IFC will invest approximately $1 million in ACCION's Chinese affiliate, ACCION Microfinance China (AMC). The investment will enable ACCION to strengthen the operations of AMC, which it launched in December 2009 in Chifeng Prefecture, Inner Mongolia, to deliver financial serv...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 — Asia Pacific

China Raises Poverty Line: Is it Setting an Example for Poverty Alleviation?

Source: International Business Times

China announced a new standard for defining poverty on Tuesday as it seeks to bridge the gap between the country's wealthier and poorer classes. The central authorities have decided to raise the poverty threshold to 2,300 yuan ($362), in terms of a farmer's annual net income, which marks an 80 percent rise from the 1,274 yuan standard in 2010. The 2010 figure was itself the result of marked revision; the standard was 206 yu...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, November 28, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Bringing Online Education to Mongolia, in Wireless Backpacks

Source: Fast Company

As a turbulent snowstorm whips across the vast, desolate Mongolian grasslands, a group of schoolchildren huddle over laptops, their eyes transfixed as the sagacious Sal Khan works through Newtonian physics. But Khan is only reaching these kids because of a bold initiative from another creative edupreneur: Neil Dsouza , age 27, cofounder of , ...
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Indonesia?s Green Prosperity

Source: Brookings

On November 19, 2011, in Bali, Indonesia, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed a new partnership agreement with the Government of Indonesia providing more than $600 million of U.S. aid through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). More than half of these investments are dedicated to "green prosperity"-the sound idea that sustainable natural resource management and clean energy technologies accelerate economic growth and poverty alleviation. What does this mean in practical te...
TAGS:No Tags
Friday, November 18, 2011 — Asia Pacific

China Reports Dramatic Drop in Rural Poverty

Source: CNN

China has reported a dramatic decrease in rural poverty over the last decade. The number of rural citizens living below the national rural poverty line fell from 94.2 million people (10.2% of the rural population) in 2000, to 26.88 million (2.8%) last year, according to figures released Wednesday by China's State Council. The sharp drop occurred despite the fact the national rural poverty benc...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, November 14, 2011 — Asia Pacific

People from India, China Potential Customers for Future: President Barack Obama

Source: The Economic Times

WASHINGTON: Appreciative of achievements made in a short span of time by India and China in areas like poverty alleviation, US President Barack Obama has told top CEOs from the Asia-Pacific region that people of the two Asian giants are "potential customers" for the future. "Whether it's China, whether it's India, these emerging countries, what they're accomplishing in a few short decades -- a...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, October 31, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Bill Gates and the Chinese Government Want to Take On World Hunger

Source: Fast Company

The world's largest charitable foundation and one of the world's more totalitarian governments might seem like odd bedfellows, but both, it turns out, have similar goals. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that they are launching a far-reaching partnership with the Chinese government for international aid work on Wednesday. Over the coming months and years, the Gates Foundation and the Chinese Ministry of Scie...
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, October 27, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Micro Credit Providing a Lifeline

Source: China Daily

Small-business owners are becoming more reliant on non-governmental organizations to provide capital. Chen Jia reports from Shaanxi province. Chinese farmers finding it hard to obtain bank loans are turning to micro-credit organizations to help them launch their own businesses, amid the accelerated expansion of the non-governmental financial system. With savings of only 1,000 yuan ($157) and no other income five years ago, Li Wenqin, a farmer in her 50s, never thought that she wou...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, September 28, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Wealthy Indonesians Start Sharing the Wealth

Source: The Jakarta Post

There are few places in the word where such vast contrasts exist that one can watch a Bentley overtaking a bajaj on city streets, an act that symbolizes the scale of economic inequality throughout the country. However, several determined Indonesians are aiming to take matters into their own hands as a means to provide greater opportunities to those who are less fortunate. Sandiaga Uno, a successful investor and CEO of Saratoga Capital, has found a unique way to link hi...
Wednesday, September 28, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Cambodia: A Place for Pioneer Investors

Source: CNN

Phnom Penh, Cambodia (CNN) - The most common image of Cambodia is the land of ancient temples and budget travelers. There's now something else putting Cambodia on the map: foreign investors. Cambodia's devastating recent history set the country back a generation. From 1975-78, the Communist Khmer Rouge killed intellectuals, destroyed the education system and pushed for an agrarian society that required families to be uprooted and separated. By the end of t...
Thursday, September 22, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Thriving Social Enterprise Empowers Rural Poor in Philippines

Source: Justmeans

Gandang Kalikasan, Inc. of Philippines has emerged as one of the sterling examples of how social enterprises can make a difference while being profitable at the same time. GKI is a unique social enterprise that was established four years ago by two sisters in Philippines, Anna Meloto-Wilk and Camille Meloto. It is now making a meaningful difference to the lives of thousands of rural poor in Philippines, while running an internationally successful business. Sisters Anna Meloto-Wil...
Wednesday, September 14, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Citi Increases its Microfinance Work Across the Region

Source: FinanceAsia

While most banks across Asia seem to be focusing on the high-net-worth market in Asia, some are also concentrating on the promising mass market. Most view licences in China as an opportunity to capitalise on the China Dream; others see microfinance as a means to build long-standing relationships across the region. According to the India Development Foundation, nearly 9 million Indian households that had access to microfinance moved above the $1.25 a day consumption threshold between 199...
Thursday, September 8, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Citi Gives New Funds to Microfinance Group

Source: The Asset

Citi has committed new funding for the Banking with the Poor Network (BWTP), the only pan-Asia microfinance network, as part of its continued commitment to promoting financial inclusion globally. Citi Foundation grants worth USD200,000 will enable the BWTP Network to provide secretariat services to the APEC Business Advisory Council's Advisory Group on Financial Inclusion and also build its capacity to support BWTP members consisting of microfinance institutions, commercial banks, c...
Wednesday, September 7, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Show Me Your Pricing Data: Transparency Helps Philippines Lead Global Microfinance

Source: Justmeans

"The Philippines receives a perfect score...for the way it regulates the microcredit activities of established financial institutions." -- Economist Intelligence Unit,"Global Microscope on the Microfinance Business Environment" [1] The microfinance industry has taken a beating lately. In March, Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunnus was ousted from his position as managing director of the microcredit lender Grameen Bank in Bangladesh, which he founded in 1983, by the ...
Wednesday, August 31, 2011 — Asia Pacific

USD 7.7 Mn Japanese Aid for Nepal to Fight Poverty


Kathmandu: Japan has granted USD 7.7 million to help Nepal reduce poverty and child malnutrition. The Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction has granted the amount for three projects which will be administered by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). The ADB has teamed up with the government of Japan and government of Nepal to help reduce child malnutrition, develop new livelihood opportunity for the poor and provide greater access to clean energy for poor rural woman through ...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, August 29, 2011 — Asia Pacific

When Communities Identify Their Own Poor, Aid Has the Most Effect

Source: Fast Company

When governments and NGOs plan on giving assistance to the most needy, how do they know who needs the most assistance? It's a question people are at great pains to answer, yet social welfare programs around the world are still plagued by error and abuse. That has not deterred the development of programs to help people escape extreme poverty. But because the poor--especially those earning less than $2 or $3 per day--typically hold informal jobs with no official records about their earnings...
TAGS:No Tags
Friday, August 26, 2011 — Asia Pacific

East Asia Invests in Basic Sanitation

Source: Microfinance Focus

A series of reports by the World Bank's Water and Sanitation Program highlights that households that invest in basic sanitation have a better standard of living and thus could increase up to seven fold the return on investment in economic benefits in East Asia. The reports are a follow up to the Economics of Sanitation Initiative (ESI) launched in East Asian countries in 2007. The new reports contain a case study analysis on the costs and benefits of investing in basic improvements ...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Rags2Riches Empowers Impoverished Women to Turn Recycled Scrap into Haute Couture

Source: Fast Company

Reese Fernandez-Ruiz was teaching children math, science, and reading skills in Payatas--one of the Philippines' biggest dump sites--when she noticed something: local mothers were making foot rugs out of scrap cloth that was furnished to them by a group of middlemen, who got the cloth directly from a factory and retrieved the finished products to sell. The mothers made a total of 20 cents per day. Before the middlemen came along, the mothers took the scrap cloth directly from the local du...
Tuesday, August 2, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Rural Chinese Shake Off Poverty Through Self-Development

Source: Xinhua

BEIJING, July 31 (Xinhua) -- On a muggy summer day in Xiuning County of central Anhui Province, Wu Fengfeng still chops wood with a five-kilogram carpenter axe in a workshop of the non-profit Desheng Carpentry School. The 18-year-old boy, who is from a poor rural family in Xiuning, said his only task now is to master the techniques of making the four-sided "immortal eight" table and palace chair -- two types of traditional Chinese furniture -- so that he can "graduate soon and make mone...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, July 13, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Bringing Light to the Poor, One Liter at a Time [Video]

Source: Reuters

A bottled liter of water with a few teaspoons of bleach is proving to be a successful recipe for dwellers in the light-deprived slums of the Philippines. The simple technology is spreading sunlight in places where it has never been, and saving residents money at the same time. Gemma Haines reports. ...
Thursday, June 30, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Nestl? to Continue (BoP) Expansion in Philippines


Consumer goods giant Nestlé Philippines Inc. will be investing more in the country in the coming years, in a bid to offer new products to more markets, particularly consumers on the extreme top and bottom of the economic pyramid. In an interview with the Inquirer on Thursday, Nestlé Philippines chairman and chief executive John Martin Miller said the company, while already serving a wide spectrum of Filipino consumers, still had markets that were largely untapped. "W...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, June 22, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Roads and Rice: How Innovation and Infrastructure Can Feed the World


As a new diplomat in 1968, I was assigned not to the chandeliered ballrooms of Europe (as I had hoped) but to the Mekong Delta of Vietnam , as a rural development adviser. The green revolution was just beginning to spread around the world, and a new "miracle rice", known as IR-8, developed at the International Ric...
TAGS:No Tags
Friday, June 10, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Closing the Loop between Sanitation and Food Security for the ?Base of the Pyramid?

Source: American Chronicle

If consumers in the advanced Western economies have a hard time swallowing the idea of drinking water recycled from sewage, that may be nothing compared with what those in the Philippines have to go through when they consider eating foods raised from fertilizer recycled from human wastes. But that´s exactly what a local foundation based in the boondocks of Mindanao has been advocating, and is now actively looking for "technology off-takers" who are willing to partner with t...
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, May 31, 2011 — Asia Pacific

The Path From Charity to Profit

Source: The New York Times

By Tina Rosenberg On Tuesday I wrote about Kedai Balitaku , a for-profit company started last year by the development group Mercy Corps in Indonesia. Mercy Corps took...
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, May 24, 2011 — Asia Pacific

In ?Food Deserts,? Oases of Nutrition

Source: The New York Times

Poor urban neighborhoods in America are often food deserts - places where it is difficult to find fresh food. There are few grocery stores; people may do all their shopping at bodegas, where the only available produce and meat are canned peaches and Spam. If they want fruits and vegetables and chicken and fish, they have to take a bus to a grocery store. The lack of fresh food creates a vicious cycle; children grow up never seeing it or acquiring a taste for it.&...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, May 11, 2011 — Asia Pacific

IDB Providing $3.3b to Help Indonesia Hit Growth Target

Source: The Jakarta Globe

The Islamic Development Bank on Wednesday agreed to provide as much as $3.3 billion of financing through 2014 to speed Indonesia's economic growth. "We are focusing on poverty, health and infrastructure. In line with IDB's strategic priorities, we are committing to provide soft loans for its member, including Indonesia," bank president Ahmad Mohammed Ali said. The Saudi Arabia-based bank's Member Countries Partnership Strategy program helps its 56...
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, April 19, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Foundation commits $2.2 mill for efforts at Hopkins-Nanjing

Source: The JHU Gazette

The Hassenfeld Family Foundation has committed $2.2 million to the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies to establish a social enterprise competition and fellowships at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies in China. The Hassenfeld Social Enterprise Fund will enable Chinese, American and other international graduate students to work together to develop real-world outcomes through innovative projects, while the Hassenfeld Fe...
TAGS:No Tags
Friday, March 18, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Avon Budgets RM100m Micro Credit Loans

Source: Business Times

Avon Cosmetics (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, the largest direct selling cosmetics company in Malaysia, allocates micro credit loans of RM100 million annually to provide business opportunities, especially for women. "Through the Avon micro credit loans financing, we provide loans of between RM1,000 to RM70,000 to distributors without a deposit or interest," said Avon president Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, Mansoor Wan Abdullah. He was speaking to reporters after ...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, March 14, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Amid Japan?s Earthquake, Entrepreneurship

Source: Forbes

By Elmira Bayrasli 700 times. That's how much stronger, the U.S. Geological Survey says , Friday's 8.9 magnitude earthquake in northern Japan was than the one that hit Haiti at 7.0 last year. Luckily the damage and the loss of life in Japan, though in the hundreds of thousands, was not 700 times larger. ...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, March 9, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Wen Jiabao Vows To Eradicate Chinese Poverty By 2020

Source: Forbes

Chinese authorities have released a series of announcements indicating that they might be beginning to correct their share of the so-called "global imbalances" by channeling domestic spending and revving up imports. While Premier Wen Jiabao announced on Saturday that his administration would look to "actively boost consumer demand," the government-approved China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) announced a record number of Chinese trade delegations would make the...
TAGS:No Tags
Friday, February 4, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Behind the Seams: The Disadvantaged Women Creating Hong Kong Fashion

Source: CNN Go

The founders of Dialog Worldbutik, Malaysian Dong Shing Chiu and New Generation Award winner Cassandra Postema, started their social business after the 2004 tsunami. They sold " Hope Tee " T-shirts for tsunami relief fundraising and expanded into women's handbags and accessories using recycled materials by 2007. "Eco-friendly and fair trade is our trademark and the stories behind our designs are important. But the design...
TAGS:No Tags
Friday, January 28, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Former Lehman Banker Leads Social Ventures in China, Battles Dyslexia in Schools

Source: Fast Company

China's social entrepreneurship scene is not all that well known , but the Hong Kong-based Avantage Ventures is trying to change that by infusing the country with a hefty dose of capital and mentorship. The company is led by founder Yvonne Li, a former investment banker with Lehman Brothers, who has a particular zest ...
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Investing In China's Future One Student At A Time

Source: The Huffington Post

For Calvin Chin , the road to higher education requires just a few hundred dollars at the right moment. Take Winnie, for instance. She was a senior at Guangzhou University when her father had to quit his teaching job because his eyesight started to fail him. He went back to working...
Tuesday, January 18, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Diamond Cab Picks Up Hong Kong's Fledgling Social Entrepreneurship Scene

Source: Fast Company

Social entrepreneurship is a relatively new phenomenon in Hong Kong--and one venture philanthropy startup, Social Ventures Hong Kong (SVhk) , has been at the forefront of the movement, with several investees under its portfolio focused on the elderly and disabled. The group's newest project, Diamond Cab , officially launches next week. "Diamond Cab is the first branded, high-quality taxi servic...
Thursday, January 13, 2011 — Asia Pacific

China's Top Social Innovators to Watch in 2011

Source: CNN Global

By Calvin Chin I firmly believe that China will be a leader in social innovation. But while there is a tremendous amount of dynamism and energy in this newly emerging sector, ...
Thursday, January 6, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Can P&G make money in places where people earn $2 a day?


Despite the growing belief that the billions of poor -- what the late management thinker C.K. Prahalad termed the "bottom of the pyramid" -- can actually make up a viable economic market, most attempts to harness it have failed. Procter & Gamble ( PG ), a $79 billion (in sales) company better known for its middle- and upper-middle-class brands than for its low-end offerings, thinks there's another way to re...
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, January 4, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Harvard Business Review on Reaching India?s ?Vast Middle?

Source: The Wall Street Journal

The meltdown of the microfinance industry in Andhra Pradesh, as we have noted carries big risks not just for an industry designed to serve the poor but for the entire concept that the poor can be profitable customers. That has been an emerging trend in management thinking about emerging markets in the last few years, in part because of the success of microfinance. But since these matte...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, December 20, 2010 — Asia Pacific

Facebook for Farmers: Technology Empowers China's Rural Workers

Source: BBC News

China Mobile's Nongxintong - or farming information service - launched four years ago. The company is currently focusing on expanding its delivery in China's west and south-west regions. "Building the mobile network and covering most of the country's administrative villages, we realised that there was only a network signal. In rural areas, this is not enough," explains Liu Jing, a local manager for the service at China Mobile. "It's like havi...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, December 6, 2010 — Asia Pacific

Unilever Eyes Top and Bottom-end Segments in Developing Markets


SINGAPORE : Consumer goods giant Unilever wants to straddle both the top and the bottom of the economic pyramid in developing markets. This is part of its strategy to tap Asia's growth potential, and compensate for the slack in its European and North America units. And to support this growth, Unilever has been making invest...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, November 29, 2010 — Asia Pacific

Social Entrepreneurs Boost Cooperation to Reduce Poverty in Asia

Source: The Korean Times

Innovative thinkers working for social change converged in Seoul, Monday, in a bid to boost cooperation towards alleviating poverty and other problems in Asia. Some 300 agents of change known as social entrepreneurs - those who apply fresh paradigms to solve pressing human issues - gathered in southern Seoul for the second major gathering of the Asian Social Entrepreneurs Summit. On the first of two days of dialogue at the Kyoyuk Munwha Hoekwan Hotel, tackling pove...
Friday, April 2, 2010 — Asia Pacific

Malaysia: Government Programs to Boost SME Sector

Source: The Star

THE New Economic Model (NEM) unveiled by the Government will take into consideration the needs of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and micro-enterprises which form up to 40% of income earners. This group comprises those in the rural and urban population who are unregistered as SMEs. They have low or no business skills and are unaware of aid, training and financing schemes available to them, which further marginalises them in society. T...
TAGS:No Tags
Friday, March 19, 2010 — Asia Pacific

Guangdong to Raise Minimum Wage by Average of 21%

Source: FinFacts

The minimum wage in South China's industrial heartland Guangdong Province, is to be raised by 21 per cent on average to a range from RMB 660 renminbi to 1,030 ($96 to $ 150) a month from May 1st in a bid to attract migrant workers, local authorities said Thursday. Guangdong, north of Hong Kong, in the Pearl River delta region, which is responsible for a third of China's exports and would rank as one of the world's 10 largest exporters if it were a country, is finding it...
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, March 18, 2010 — Asia Pacific

4,000 Entrepreneurs To Be Created Among Poor Women By 2012

Source: Bernama (Malaysia)

The government targets to create 4,000 women entrepreneurs among the hardcore poor, who are those with a household monthly income of less than RM440, by 2012. Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said this was one of the measures taken to move 44,643 people out of hardcore poverty. She said to date, 1,400 names had been identified for the entrepreneurial programme carried out with the cooperation of 18 ministries and governmen...
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, January 12, 2010 — Asia Pacific

Rural Banks' Service in the Philippines

Source: Manila Times

Rural banks do the nation a great service that people in the cities seldom give a thought to. They serve a market segment big banks don't want to be bothered with. The money of the farmers, rural businesses and agricultural and fishery entrepreneurs that make up that market segment is too small-and therefore too expensive-for the large commercial banks to attend to. Indivi...
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, January 7, 2010 — Asia Pacific

A Fresh Start: Asian Villages Carve Out a New Life

Source: Wall Street Journal

The village of Tmatboey in the northern plains of Cambodia seemed to have little going for it. It lacked clean water; there were no real roads. The people toiled mostly at subsistence farming, barely scraping by. The villagers didn't realize they had a valuable asset -- hiding in plain sight, so to speak: a tourist attraction that a niche group of international travelers would happily pay to see, even if it meant a stay in basic accommodations. And now they're making money...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, December 2, 2009 — Asia Pacific

Singapore Firm Eyes Profit in Cheap Toilet Market

Source: Associated Press

SINGAPORE (AP) - Christopher Ng has a dream: Help alleviate a major global health problem by bringing toilets to the world's poor — at a tidy profit. Ng, managing director at Singapore-based Rigel Technology, hopes to sell his state-of-the-art portable, fertilizer-making, toilets for as low as $30 beginning next year, tapping into a multibillion dollar market for proper sanitation in developing countries. It is among the exhibits at the annual World Toilet Summit in Sing...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, November 16, 2009 — Asia Pacific

Businessweek: A Big Idea for Little Farms

Source: BusinessWeek

In the countryside of Shanxi Province in north-central China, farmer Xie Xin has struggled for years with water shortages. The 47-year-old, who grows tomatoes and cucumbers, had to pay dearly to use the local well, since the region receives an average of only 16.5 inches of rainfall annually. But this year, Xie started participating in an experiment in which farmers use new irrigation equipment to conserve water. The equipment, similar to a garden hose with small holes every foot or so, is ex...
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, November 12, 2009 — Asia Pacific

Vietnam: Fund for Pro-Poor Businesses Debuts

Source: Saigon Times Daily

The Vietnam Challenge Fund (VCF), a new financial instrument to support new business projects that directly benefit the poor was launched Tuesday in Hanoi. With an initial budget of US$3 million for 2009-2011, the fund is a major component of the "Making Markets Work Better for the Poor Phase 2" initiative. It is backed by the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the U.K.'s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), The Saigon Tim...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, November 2, 2009 — Asia Pacific

Welcome to China's "Wild West" of Capitalism

Source: San Jose Mercury News

Not long ago, Tsoi Chun Bun made potato chips. Now he designs and sells millions of mobile phones a year. He is one of hundreds of young entrepreneurs seeking overnight fortunes in Shenzhen Inc. — the Wild West of the mobile-phone industry. Phones made and designed by these Chinese vendors will account for about a third of the 1.1 billion cell phones that will be sold around the world this year.... ...
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, October 29, 2009 — Asia Pacific

The Internet Address Goes Global - with Local Languages

Source: Marketplace (NPR)

Bill Radke: The Internet address goes global. The company that acts as the world's clearinghouse for Internet domains is a California-based non-profit called ICANN. Reporter Kurt Achin says ICANN is about to help the Web speak the local language around the world. Kurt Achin: Up until now, Internet users have had to type out web page URLs using the Roman alphabet. But on Friday, ICANN's board -- meeting here in Se...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, October 7, 2009 — Asia Pacific

Understanding Rural and Low Income Customers in Asia

Source: ADOI Magazine

An important segment that marketers cannot ignore in Asia is the bottom of the pyramid and those Asian consumers living in rural areas. The challenges, marketers face in trying to address these consumers are high and risky due to the fragmented nature of the rural market and the low margins of this trade. There is no denying though that rural consumers want to access brands, if only because they are a promise of quality. For Asian marketers interested in tapping the huge rural markets in Asia...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, August 5, 2009 — Asia Pacific

Emerging Market for Medicines

Source: Financial Times

When Haruo Naito, chief executive of Eisai, the Japanese pharmaceutical company, signalled his continued interest in western markets by inaugurating his company's European headquarters in the UK last month, his mind was already elsewhere. "We have already finished our investments in all major areas in the US and Europe," he says. "Now we are thinking about new areas. We are very interested in emerging markets, especially China, India, the Middle East, Turkey and north Africa."
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, June 18, 2009 — Asia Pacific

Business groups to lend money to SMEs through microfinancing

Source: The Phillippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Businessmen have committed to helping Filipinos affected by the global economic crunch by lending money for capital to small scale entrepreneurs through microfinance activities. “We have pushed corporate social responsibility (CSR) to the corporate sector for many years from the conferences that we have organized. We have seen CSR evolve as a practice and a responsibility in each corporation’s CSR strategy,” Marilou Erni, League of Corporate...
TAGS:No Tags
Friday, June 5, 2009 — Asia Pacific

Australian group seeks BoP business opportunities

Source: The Age

A T THE tail end of a business conference in the pretty Papua New Guinean coastal town of Madang late last month, a posse of high-powered Australian suits slipped into tropical mufti, climbed aboard a charter plane and flew deep into the wilds of the Southern Highlands interior. Dropping into remote villages over three days, they visited markets and surveyed crops, talked to tribal elders and field workers. They asked lots of questions about how people were making a livi...
Monday, May 18, 2009 — Asia Pacific

Moving Beyond the Moving Anecdote

Source: Michigan Ross School of Business

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — For years, groups working on poverty-fighting ventures have used stories, anecdotes, and milestone markers to highlight their work and secure funding. Unfortunately, these things don't actually measure the effectiveness of an organization's effort. Nor do they showcase any unintended consequences, long-term changes, or missed opportunities. But Ross professor Ted London, after several years of field research, has developed a tool that organizations can u...
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, July 15, 2008 — Asia Pacific

In a "wise" move Timorese women venture into business after decades of conflict

Source: UNDP

When Timor-Leste descended into a political crisis in April/May 2006, just five years after the restoration of independence from Indonesia, Mrs. Joaquina Da Silva, a 33 year-old mother of four was among the first group of women displaced from the capital, Dili. She then fled to the safe havens of Baucau which is her ancestral homeland. 'When our house was destroyed in Dili, I came here with my displaced family and just nothing else,' she says, her voice chocking with emotion....
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, May 27, 2008 — Asia Pacific

Reliance in fresh approach to MTN

Source: Financial Times

India's Reliance Communications has made a fresh approach to acquire MTN, reviving its earlier interest in joining up with the South African mobile carrier to create an emerging markets telecommunications giant. News of the move follows the sudden collapse at the weekend of talks between MTN and Bharti Airtel, India's biggest cellular operator by subscriber numbers and Reliance's arch-rival. The talks with Bharti broke down amid differences over how to structure a proposed...
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, May 27, 2008 — Asia Pacific

Reliance takes over wooing elusive target MTN

Source: Financial Times

For India's Reliance Communications, the breakdown of talks between its arch-rival Bharti Airtel and MTN must be a relief. A combination of Bharti, India's number one mobile operator by subscribers, and South Africa's MTN would have created a formidable competitor with 130m subscribers across 22 fast-growing markets in south Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Now, as Reliance pursues its own deal with the South African operator, Bharti's experiences may ho...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, October 31, 2007 — Asia Pacific

ICT has huge role in attracting children: Azim Premji

Source: The Economic Times

Azim Premji shared this thoughts on ICT in education in The Economic Times. An excerpt: One of the few things on which there is consensus across the entire ideological spectrum in economics and politics is that literacy and education are perhaps the most significant drivers of development and democracy. For societies to improve their literacy levels and the quality of their education, multiple complex factors must be worked upon. Information and communication technology (ICT)...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, August 22, 2007 — Asia Pacific

Hope and despair in micro-finance

Source: Business Standard, India

These last few months have been marked by deals in the microfinance industry never witnessed before. With $12.5m into Spandana (of which $10m came from JM Financial), $11.5m in SKS Microfinance (majority from Silicon Valley-based Sequoia Capital) and a whopping $27m in Share (of which $25 m came from Dubai based Legatum Capital), suddenly all MFI CEOs seem to be talking about raising capital and doing it quick lest they miss the bus. But in a nascent industry MFIs large enough (with ...
TAGS:No Tags
Friday, August 17, 2007 — Asia Pacific

Smart money for India?s rural poor

Source: Fortune

India?s Finance Ministry and Planning Commission are looking into ways of using electronic smart cards to transform the distribution of relatively small amounts of government money to India?s 220 million people who live below the poverty line, and maybe to 200-300 million more who are only marginally better off. This would make it much more difficult for bureaucrats, politicians and middlemen to siphon off the funds as they move down the distribution chain. ?We alr...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, August 6, 2007 — Asia Pacific

PM: Find Ways to Tackle Poverty

Source: NST Online

Enough talk, let?s find real solutions to poverty in the world. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said immediate action must be taken to resolve the problem of the poor. Let us, therefore, in the next two days, concentrate on finding solutions to this problem, he told some 400 participants at the opening of the Eighth Langkawi International Dialogue (LID) 2007 here last night. LANGKAWI: Enough talk, let?s find real solutions to poverty in the world.
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, July 19, 2007 — Asia Pacific

Innovate for India's Poor

Source: Wall Street Journal

When the Korean steelmaker Posco decided to invest $11 billion in the bleak hinterland of eastern India, it might have expected to be greeted with flowers. Instead, two Posco executives were recently kidnapped, but later released unharmed, in a protest over government policies to transfer land from struggling farmers to the mega-corporations driving India's modernization. It is only the latest evidence of gathering rage among the hundreds of millions who remain mute spectators to ...
TAGS:No Tags
Friday, June 29, 2007 — Asia Pacific

Microsoft Launches Educational PC In India

Source: Forbes

Microsoft has teamed up with Advanced Micro Devices and India?s Zenith Computers to launch a personal computer aimed at Indian students for 21,000 rupees ($513). The IQ PC will run on AMD Athlon processors and have education software from both Microsoft (nasdaq: MSFT - ...
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, June 21, 2007 — Asia Pacific

Big Boom Coming Soon in India's Small Car Segment

Source: The Times of India

Even as competition has built up to unprecedented levels in the car market, one segment has remained untouched - that of entry-level small cars. But that's all set to change from next year, with a slew of cars priced around Rs 1 lakh revving to get off the blocks. Urban planners might be appalled at what this could mean for traffic congestion and parking, but companies - and consumers - are raring to go. The first launch will be that of Tata Motors' much-talked-about Rs 1 la...
TAGS:No Tags
Saturday, March 24, 2007 — Asia Pacific

Global fin giants to go micro in India

Source: The Economic Times

India?s growing microfinance segment may soon see the entry of global financial services giant, Morgan Stanley and the Switzerland-based Blue Orchard Finance. Both these firms are in talks with the banking regulator Reserve Bank of India to foray into the local microfinance segment. Indian microfinance institutions have already started looking at diversifying their avenues to raise funds as part of the effort to lo...
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, February 15, 2007 — Asia Pacific

PM approves strategy to expand microfinance outreach to 3 mln households

Source: Associated Press of Pakistan

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has approved the strategy to expand microfinance outreach from one million to three million households by 2010. He was chairing a meeting here Wednesday to review the strategy prepared by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to increase the coverage of microfinance sector in Pakistan. The Prime Minister said Pakistan has come a long way in introducing and familiarizing the micro finance concept. However, strategic steps need to be taken and multiple approaches ...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, February 12, 2007 — Asia Pacific

India, Inc. gets back to the basics

Source: The Economic Times

Salvation in a sachet is passe now. Rural India will no longer be the playing ground of the FMCG bigwigs alone. In fact, many sectors such as telecom, IT, retail and education are at various stages of striking a deal with the aam aadmi. According to a recent Assocham report, the per capita income of semi-urban Indians is around Rs 15,000 per annum, whereas it?s Rs 7,000 per annum for rural populace. As per its findings, by 2012, the per capita income of rural population will do...
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, February 6, 2007 — Asia Pacific

Reliance, Bharti may storm microfinance

Source: The Economic Times

Reliance Retail and Bharti, which has joined hands with Wal-Mart, could storm the micro-credit space as they look to establish rural supply chain linkages to service their mega retail forays. According to sources, Reliance Retail is likely to move the RBI seeking permission to set up an NBFC arm that will operate as a microfinance institution (MFI). It may also look at partnering existing MFIs as part of its ambitious supply chain with rural and semi-urban markets for which the co...
TAGS:No Tags
Friday, January 19, 2007 — Asia Pacific

Source: Xinhua

Now that China eased market entry policies for banking institutions in rural China last month, seven commercial banks have applied to set up a subsidiary in rural areas. On Dec. 22, 2006, the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) published proposals to give financial institutions more market access in rural areas. The move was aimed to promote rural development. The CBRC has received applications from Minsheng Bank, Beijing Rural Commercial Bank, Tianjin Rural Cooperat...
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, September 26, 2006 — Asia Pacific

China's development 'experiment' key to future growth

Source: World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Maintaining a balance between environmental sustainability and the continuing process of urbanisation is a major issue facing the Chinese, write the researchers. Although much of China's biodiversity is being threatened by rapid economic development and human activities, Tang Zhiyao and colleagues report the existence of ten biodiversity 'hotspots' in mountain ranges that remain largely unaffected. Protecting these mountainous areas is critical for cons...
TAGS:No Tags
Friday, August 18, 2006 — Asia Pacific

Chinese Take a Turn at Turning a Sub-Saharan Profi

Source: New York Times

Through all the iterations of the world?s engagement with Africa, most of its nations have remained stuck in an economic trap in which they primarily supply valuable raw materials to the developed world while serving as a marketplace for cheap manufactured goods.? But China seems to be offering Africa something new, a straightforward business relationship between equals based on mutual interest and noninterference in the internal affairs of its allies. Excerpts: China, it seems, is sudden...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, June 28, 2006 — Asia Pacific

Small business growth could reduce poverty in Indonesia: World Bank


Excerpt: Small businesses, which employ millions of Indonesians, could become major engines of economic growth in this cash-strapped country and help reduce poverty, the World Bank has said. Indonesia's 15.7 million small enterprises make up more than 90 percent of all businesses and employ up to 60 percent of the workforce, outside agriculture, but their growth is hindered by access to credit and poor infrastructure, the World Bank's Indonesia director said in a report rel...
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, May 18, 2006 — Asia Pacific

Workshop aims to help Vietnam's poor take advantage of markets

Source: Voice of America

An organization called M4P is exploring how poor Vietnamese can escape poverty by taking advantage of the free market. At a recent workshop in Hanoi, experts said that using market forc es to fight poverty is promising, but far from easy.
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, May 2, 2006 — Asia Pacific

Enterprise holds key to booming start-ups


When Wu Shengying's wine-selling business failed in 2003, he abandoned farming in his hilly village in Shandong Province and turned to an idea that he hoped would please Chinese palates as much as KFC chicken wings [...] and after breaking several thousand eggs in experiments, he finally worked out a formula that he believes strikes a perfect balance between temperature and timing to make good roasted eggs. Wu's roasted eggs, with ...
TAGS:No Tags
Friday, April 7, 2006 — Asia Pacific

Hong Kong's initial foray into BOP enterprise development

Source: Xinhua Online

More than 300 participants from various sectors on Thursday attended the Conference on Social Enterprise to discuss new approach to helping the poor. The conference, jointly organized by the Commission on Poverty and the Central Policy Unit of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government, aims to enhance community understanding of social enterprise and explain its relevance to poverty alleviation. The one-day conference was the first of its kind and scale in Hong ...
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, November 10, 2005 — Asia Pacific

'Missing market' a target for rural growth

Source: Fiji Times Online

THE UN Commission Report Unleashing Entrepreneurship: Making Business Work for the Poor is a critical first step in identifying the important role that the private sector must play to ensure that business will work for the poor, Foreign Affairs ministry chief executive Isikeli Mataitoga says. He made the remarks when he launched a Pacific workshop to discuss the report in Suva yesterday. The Report suggests ways for developing and developed countries to develop partnership throug...
TAGS:No Tags
Friday, October 14, 2005 — Asia Pacific

China's Life Insurance Sector Should Tap Rural Areas: McKinsey

Source: Asia Pulse

To strengthen China's emerging life insurance sector the country should make more effort to exploit the huge potential in vast rural regions, suggested a report from McKinsey & Company. According to the report, most insurance companies don't provide sufficient coverage in under-developed areas. New entrants, especially foreign insurers, have concentrated on the wealthiest, most developed areas, leaving vast under-developed areas of the country without recourse to this pow...
TAGS:No Tags
Sunday, April 24, 2005 — Asia Pacific

From aquariums to deminers, NGO spearheads manufacturing in Cambodia

Source: Asia - AFP

New Zealander Phil Elliott was intending to mass-manufacture aquariums for his expanding franchise business in China. But a chance encounter with a non-profit organisation in Cambodia -- a country better known for its war legacy than economic efficiency -- resulted in a change of plans. After a friend hooked him up with Development Technology Workshop (DTW), a charity working with the disabled to build industry in one of the world's poorest countries, the holidaying Elliott hand...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, January 1, 1900 — Asia Pacific

The new sexy: Social entrepreneurship


  • Managing Partners

    William Davidson Institute
  • Sponsoring Partner

    Citi Foundation
  • Content Partners

Subscribe to Our E-Newsletter

For Email Marketing you can trust

Found an Article we're Missing?Found an Article we're Missing?

Submit An Article


Social MediaSocial Media

Facebook Twitter

Story Snapshot