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
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Facebook Reaches Deal to Beam Internet to Africa From Space

Source: The Telegraph

Facebook has reached a deal to have free internet beamed to some of the most remote parts of Africa via satellite.
Thursday, September 3, 2015 — South Asia

Muhammad Yunus’ Firm in Talks for Social Business JVs in India

Source: The Financial Express

Nobel laureate and founder of Grameen Bank, Muhammad Yunus, is all set to roll out his flagship social business, in a joint venture with corporates in India soon. Yunus’ social business marketing company — Yunus Social Business (YSB) India —is in talks with a slew of corporates in India who can be joint venture partners in the social business venture, a model where profits are ploughed back to the company. These profits can be then used for employment generation and affordable healthcare.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015 — No Region Specified

Will Your Facebook Friends Make You a Credit Risk?

Source: National Journal

It might be time to start unfriending some of your buddies on Facebook.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015 — South Asia

How Companies Should Respond As Social Business Goes Global

Source: EJ Insight

Social business has been known as a systemically defined business practice for tackling poverty and is blossoming in every corner of the globe including China, the world’s second largest economy.
Friday, June 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

Social Media, Messaging Apps Driving Global Mobile Money Adoption

Source: Memeburn

It’s hardly news that mobile is important to emerging economies. Stories of those countries lepfrogging older technologies have been told so many times that they can sometimes seem tired. But when you stop and think about it, even the rise of mobile money and marketing in these markets has been nothing short of remarkable. For instance, the latest report from global trade body Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF), shows that 69% of mobile media users globally carried out a banking activity via mobile in 2015, up three percent year-on-year. But in Indonesia the figure was 80%, in Nigeria 85% and Kenya an incredible 93%.
Friday, May 8, 2015 — No Region Specified

How Social Media Can Be Used to Track Disease Outbreaks

Source: Global Healthcare

A full nine days before Ebola was even recognized by the World Health Organizations as an epidemic there was something else. HealthMap, a software that mines government websites, social networks and local news reports, identified a “mystery hemorrhagic fever” that was going around.
Thursday, May 7, 2015 — South Asia

Drone Pilots, AI, Tweets and Texts Speed Up Relief Efforts in Nepal

Source: Voice of America

They are known as digital humanitarians: the thousands of tech-savvy volunteers from around the world who are both physically and virtually converging on the crisis in Nepal and digging through mountains of data to help humanitarian agencies direct their aid.
Monday, May 4, 2015 — South Asia

Crowdfunding Raises Millions for Nepal Earthquake Victims

Source: CNBC

If you want to measure the constructive power of social media, look no further than the crowdfunding campaigns for Nepal earthquake victims, which have proliferated in the days since disaster struck the nation.
Monday, April 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

The Innovative OS That’ll Bring PCs to the Developing World

Source: WIRED

Much has been made about the mobile “revolution” in the developing world, the way that smartphones have enabled the citizens of so many poorer countries to leapfrog into the 21st century without having to bother with all the awkward technological steps in between.
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.
Friday, April 17, 2015 — South Asia

Here's Why Facebook's Is Crumbling in India

Source: Mashable

A group of Internet companies have withdrawn support from, the buzzy Facebook-backed service that aims to bring people in developing countries online, following a backlash in India over net neutrality.
Wednesday, April 8, 2015 — South Asia

The Social Media Network Saving Lives, No Internet Needed

Source: TakePart

At one of India’s most prestigious tech universities, IIT Delhi, assistant professor in technology for development Aaditeshwar Seth has been spearheading a social media network for the country’s rural and largely poor population—no Internet required.
Monday, March 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Facebook Money Transfer Service Expected to Benefit African Users

Source: ITWeb Africa

Digital finance experts in Kenya say African users will increasingly benefit from the introduction of a money transfer service onto Facebook's instant messaging platform.
Thursday, March 19, 2015 — No Region Specified

Facebook Launches P2P Payments, Denies 'Building Payments Business'

Source: CoinTelgraph

Without a doubt, mobile payment is hot topic these days. Google, Facebook, Apple, Samsung, are only a few that have stepped into the mobile payment battle, determined to create the next killer mobile wallet and payment system.
Monday, March 2, 2015 — South Asia

Hong Kong social enterprises should aim to turn over HK$10b a year

Source: South China Morning Post

The government has been urged to set financial targets for social enterprises as it prepares to pour more money into businesses dedicated to improving people's lives and the environment.
Monday, January 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom Launches Ideas Portal

Source: BiztechAfrica

Safaricom has launched an interactive portal dubbed Zindua Café ( through which external innovators and developers countrywide will be able to share their ideas, applications and prototypes with Safaricom.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

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

Source: TechCrunch

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

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

Source: Wired

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

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

Source: The Hindu

ICICI Bank, India’s largest private sector bank, on Monday announced the launch of banking services on Twitter, the first of its kind service, in India.
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

2014 in Impact Investing: The Big Bang and its Aftermath

Source: The Huffington Post

Impact investing reached and surpassed the tipping point in 2014, ceasing to be an insiders' game.
Monday, December 8, 2014 — No Region Specified

Beyond Profits: Millennials Embrace Investing for Social Good

Source: Los Angeles Times

Once she gets her MBA degree from UC Berkeley in May, Leigh Madeira's dream is to help find funding for young companies devoted to improving the lives of the world's poor.
Thursday, December 4, 2014 — No Region Specified

WEF Offers Impact Investing Road Map for Wealthy Families

Source: Bloomberg

The World Economic Forum has a message for wealthy families thinking about impact investing: don’t just buy on the buzz, do your homework.
Thursday, December 4, 2014 — No Region Specified

How One Investor Is Finding Profit in Social Change

Source: Entrepreneur

Ron Cordes used to get patronizing pats on the head from the traditional financial advisors he once worked with. Now, many of his former colleagues are asking him to help them get smarter about impact investing.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Market Watch

Bank of America’s Global Wealth and Investment Management (GWIM) division today announced that it has signed the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) on behalf of its discretionary asset management businesses. The unit (GWIM) is comprised primarily of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and U.S. Trust.
Monday, November 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Impact Investors Shifting Gears to Accommodate Specific Goals

Source: Pensions & Investments

The trend of impact investing — into companies, organizations and funds with the aim of investing for social and environmental good, as well as a financial gain — is becoming more specific.
Thursday, November 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

U.S. managed assets with socially responsible criteria rise

Source: Reuters

The share of U.S. managed assets invested with environmental, social or similar criteria rose 50 percent over the past two years, a foundation that tracks the field said, because of new disclosure standards and client concern about areas like climate change.
Wednesday, November 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Start a Business - Not a Social Enterprise

Source: Huffington Post

If do-gooder entrepreneurs and innovators aim to have a lasting impact, they should consider skipping over the strict "social" in social enterprise.
Monday, November 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Five products that help the world's poorest people

Source: The Guardian / Business Call to Action

Giving to charity, not shopping for stuff, is the way most of us think about supporting international development. OK, so there’s fair trade, but what else besides? From small social enterprises to big labels, we look at five examples of consumer brands trying to harness the power of High Street to benefit low-income communities around the world.
Friday, November 7, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: The Daily Mail

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

US to partner India in ‘Swachch Bharat’ campaign

Source: Times of India

Taking the US-India joint statement forward, USAID chief Rajiv Shah announced three partnership projects with India on areas close to PM Narendra Modi's heart — "strengthen water and sanitation, expand access to clean energy and increase access to banking services for poor Indians".
Thursday, November 6, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

A chocolate factory with a higher purpose

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

When Shawn Askinosie left a successful law career and founded his bean-to-bar chocolate company in 2006, he set out to make a prize-winning product while helping developing-world farmers and their communities. Today he practices direct trade, meeting face-to-face with farmers to buy their cacao beans at above fair trade prices. And he returns each year to share 10 percent of his profits as well.
Monday, October 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

Tips to young social entrepreneurs: How to finance a startup

Source: Rappler

A social enterprise expert from the Social Enterprise Development Inc gives practical advice on how to overcome challenges in business startups.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: CSRWire

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

The Winner of 2014 Nestlé CSV Prize is…

Source: Business Wire

On October 9th, during the global Creating Shared Value Forum, co-organised by Nestlé and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, it was announced that the overall winner of the 2014 Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize is Honey Care Africa (HCA)!
Tuesday, October 7, 2014 — Latin America

Latin American Business Schools Rise With Social Entrepreneurship

Source: Business Because

Latin American business schools are drawing more international students and launching more MBA programs with a unique focus on entrepreneurship and social responsibility.
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Asia IIX

Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX), a leader in social sector development through impact investing, recently announced its Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action on Women’s Impact Bond (WIB) at the 2014 CGI Annual Meeting.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Huffington Post

Despite Cambodia's rapid economic growth driven by strong exports, private investment and a growing agricultural industry, nearly one in five Cambodians live below the international poverty line.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 — South Asia

A tiffin service that serves a special ‘social story’

Source: The Hindu

Her husband hasn’t spoken to her in three months, but Neetu hopes he will come around. After all, she says, working with Lunchbox 17, a tiffin delivery service in South Delhi, has completely changed her attitude. The social enterprise was launched in May by youth-run NGO Swechha and employs women from Jagdamba Camp, a slum near the organisation’s Khirki Extension offices. The initiative aims to provide employment, and eventually empowerment, to the women, and clean and tasty food to young professionals and students in the area.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

Harvard Business School Appoints Matt Segneri Director of Its Social Enterprise Initiative

Source: Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School (HBS) has named Matthew M. Segneri (MBA 2010) the new Director of its Social Enterprise Initiative (SEI), succeeding Laura Moon, who has become Managing Director of the School’s wide array of Initiatives, which focus on research and course development in specific topics such as leadership, health care, and digital technology.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Crowdnetic and UC Berkeley to partner on Crowdfunding Research

Source: Crowdfund Insider

Over a year ago, Crowdnetic and UC Berkeley began collaborating on the launch of UC Berkeley’s Program for Innovation in Entrepreneurial and Social Finance, headed by Dr. Richard Swart, who serves as its Director of Research at the Coleman Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership.
Friday, July 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Samsung partners in good health for Sub-Saharan Africa

Source: IT News Africa

Samsung Electronics has joined GSMA, an organisation that represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, to partner in initiatives that will see an improved healthcare system.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — South Asia

Social business shows way of development in Myanmar

Source: The Daily Star

Yunus discusses his concept with top ministers of Southeast Asian nation
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

More Impact Investors Are Going 'All In'

Source: Forbes

If you want to keep up with the latest buzzwords in impact investing, here’s an important one starting to hit its stride: “all in”. It means placing your whole portfolio into assets with a positive social and/or environmental impact. Putting your money–all of it–where your mouth is.
Friday, June 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

World Cup Soccer & Social Enterprise: A Hybrid Financing Model

Source: Real Leaders

The potential of hybrid financing strategies to accelerate the growth of the social business sector was one of the topics at the fourth edition of the Impact Economy Symposium & Retreat in Switzerland on June 13-15, 2014.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

D-Lab Scale-Ups Fellowship Applications Open from MIT

Source: MIT News

Applications due April 9 for a 12-month program that provides $20,000 to develop sustainable social ventures
Wednesday, December 4, 2013 — No Region Specified

MBA grads find way to serve and thrive

Source: The Boston Globe

As a Peace Corps volunteer in Lesotho, Siiri Morley watched development workers train women to make crafts without much thought to whether their products would actually sell. Unsold crafts piled up until these businesses and programs inevitably failed, leaving the women without an income, marketable skills, or hope of rising from poverty. This experience taught Morley that even the best-intentioned social programs would not work unless they could operate in the black by adhering to established business practices such as identifying markets for goods and services. Today, with an MBA in hand, she is one of three founders of a successful Boston firm that sells candles made in developing nations and provides a steady income to the women who make them.
Monday, November 18, 2013 — No Region Specified

3 Ways That Business Can Alleviate Poverty

Source: The Huffington Post

Business has become a dirty word. Doing business with the poor seems taboo, shocking, unthinkable. But what if business could improve the lives of the world's poorest people?
Thursday, October 31, 2013 — No Region Specified

Why are more women leading social businesses?

Source: The Guardian

Research suggests that some female traits and experiences may be behind their choice to become social entrepreneurs
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 — No Region Specified

Social Business Finalists Unveiled in the Siemens Stiftung 'Empowering People' Award

Source: Press Release

The Siemens Stiftung organized an international competition to find simple but intelligent technological solutions with the capacity to sustainably improve the lives of people in developing countries. The international jury will announce the top three winners at the Award Ceremony in Nairobi. They will receive prize money of 100,000 EUR in total. From now until October 21st, anyone can take part in the online voting and choose their personal favourite for the special community prize.
Thursday, September 5, 2013 — No Region Specified

Birth Simulator Includes Baby, Blood, Backpack

Source: ABC News

If Resusci Anne and Resusci Andy had a love child, it would probably look like this baby from the MamaNatalie birthing simulator kit. In fact, the kit was conceived — if you’ll pardon the pun — by Laerdal Global Health, the makers of the CPR dummies, for the purpose of training midwives and medical professionals on how to respond to potential complications during childbirth. As the company website explains, “Details such as weight, head articulation, umbilical pulse, as well as the babies’ breath and heartbeat have been simulated as closely as possible, making the subsequent handling of a real-life baby only a minor adjustment.”
Monday, August 12, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa’s Drinking Problem: Alcoholism on the Rise as Beverage Multinationals Circle

Source: Time

In Kenya, depending on whom you ask, John Mututho is either a hero or a villain, but in a country consuming ever more alcohol, he is certainly a household name.
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 — No Region Specified

The Case Against Socially Responsible Business

Source: Foreign Policy Magazine

Last week, a constellation of corporate heavyweights and other worthies came out to launch the B Team, a coalition devoted to changing how companies do business. In the team's new "Plan B," people and the planet receive equal primacy with profits. That sort of triple-bottom-line thinking might work for some companies, but to abandon the pure for-profit model altogether would be a huge mistake.
Monday, June 10, 2013 — South Asia

A social media platform for the rural masses

Source: Mint

Mobile Vaani is an interactive voice response system that enables people to share and create content
Monday, March 4, 2013 — No Region Specified

Sequestration’s effect on US aid

Source: Devex

Since U.S. lawmakers failed to reach a deal on March 1 to avert $85 billion in across-government budget cuts, the global aid community has been nervously awaiting the impact on development business.
Thursday, February 28, 2013 — No Region Specified

The Rise of Social Entrepreneurship in B-Schools in Three Charts

Source: Harvard Business Review

Twenty years ago, on two different business school campuses a continent away, the seeds of social entrepreneurship were planted.
Wednesday, February 27, 2013 — No Region Specified

5 Lessons Between Tech and Social Entrepreneurship

Source: Huffington Post

My company, Smallknot, is propelled by a dash of rage and a spoonful of optimism.
Monday, February 25, 2013 — South Asia

What Nepalese Mountaineers Can Teach You About Business

Source: INC

Sherpas are famous for trekking to the summit of Mount Everest. But one entrepreneur says they have much to teach the business world.
Monday, February 11, 2013 — No Region Specified

Pakistan's social entrepreneurs eager to unlock innovation potential

Source: The Guardian

The social enterprise landscape in Pakistan is nascent but fast-growing. From diverse sectors ranging from dairy farms to educational hubs to micro drip irrigation, early-stage enterprises have the potential of achieving hybrid financial return and social impact. Crucially, they are attracting interest from impact investors and business angels alike.
Monday, October 29, 2012 — South Asia

An entrepreneurial ecosystem is the future roadmap

Source: Times of India

An entrepreneurial ecosystem is the future roadmap. Tirna Ray reports on the fifth edition of the World Entrepreneurship Forum, which was held in Lyon, France, from October 24-27
Thursday, May 10, 2012 — South Asia

New Apps for the Bottom Billion

Source: Technology Review

When it comes to mobile communications, there's still a lot of room for innovation at the bottom. In Bangalore, India, researchers from the University of Toronto and Microsoft are now imagining new business models for the world's poorest phone owners by adapting a little-known protocol that can receive pictures as bitmapped text messages. The technology could readily be used in the roughly 1.5 billion low-end Nokia and Samsung phones in circulation.
Monday, May 7, 2012 — No Region Specified

Accion International launches $10 million investment vehicle, Venture Lab

Source: Economic Times

BANGALORE: In a further boost for social venture investing in India, microfinance and investment firm Accion International has launched its $10 million investment vehicle, Venture Lab, which is focused on providing seed capital to organisations that promote financial inclusion.
Friday, May 4, 2012 — No Region Specified

The Hapinoy Program - Social Development with a Smile

Source: CNN iReport

A multi-awarded program in the Philippines leads the innovation of solutions for the Base of the Pyramid. From the words "Happy" and "Pinoy" (a slang word for Filipino), Hapinoy continues its mission to empower more women micro entrepreneurs - and they do it with a smile.
Friday, May 4, 2012 — No Region Specified

Clinton, Yunus inspire Hult Global Case Challenge competitors

Source: Asian Journal

NEW YORK—“This is such an exhilarating experience. We’re very excited to meet President Clinton and Dr. Yunus. Win or lose, we are already winners,” Abhinav Chanakya, an MBA student representing the Asian Institute of Management in Manila told the Asian Journal while on the sidelines of the Hult Global Case Challenge’s final round of competition.
Friday, April 6, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

A New Silicon Valley? Tech Hubs Spring Up in Africa

Source: FastCo.Exist

Internet access is expanding rapidly across the continent, and with it new organizations are coming to help foster a budding tech startup scene.
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.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 — South Asia

Muhammad Yunus, IIM-A Set to Float Rs 50 Crore Fund to Seed Social Business

Source: The Economic Times

MUMBAI: Professor Muhammad Yunus, the father of microfinance and chairman of the Yunus Centre in Bangladesh, has finally found a taker for his brand of social businesses in India. He is joining hands with the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) to float a Rs 50-crore fund to seed social ventures.
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