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Our Staff Writers and Editors offer insights on the latest news, events, interviews and other happenings from the development through enterprise and base of the pyramid universes
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — Latin America

OPINION: Brazil's Unaffordable Homes

Source: The New York Times

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — I live in Mandaqui, a district six miles from downtown. The nearest subway station is roughly two miles away, or about 30 minutes by bus, since they’re slow and scarce. It’s not the best place to live if you don’t have a car. Even so, the average price per square foot here recently soared to $250. Real estate in prime areas of the city can now cost as much as $465 per square foot.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africans Open Fuller Wallets to the Future

Source: The New York Times

JOHANNESBURG — Across sub-Saharan Africa, consumer demand is fueling the continent’s economies in new ways, driving hopes that Africa will emerge as a success story in the coming years comparable to the rise of the East Asian Tigers in the second half of the 20th century.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Travel The World And Save It At The Same Time: Serial Entrepreneur Hugh Whalan Explains How

Source: Forbes

Talk about making the world a better place, and you probably won’t find too many naysayers.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 — South Asia

The BRICS new development bank: A historic game-changer?

Source: Eurasia Review

Following two years of intense negotiations, the BRICS leaders agreed on 15 July 2014 in Fortaleza (Brazil) to launch the New Development Bank (NDB).
Friday, July 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

The key to a more productive classroom is more recess

Source: Quartz

More and more US banks are getting out of the money-transfer business, Dealbook notes (paywall). A series of money-laundering scandals, punished by eye-popping fines, has made them cautious: Bank of America, HSBC, Citigroup and JP Morgan have pulled out altogether, while BBVA is reportedly looking to sell off a business unit that handles wire transfers in Latin America.
Thursday, July 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Crowdfunding Leaps Forward Beyond Hype To Solve Big-World Problems

Source: Forbes

Much of the hype around crowdfunding has frustratingly proved to be so much hot air. The United Nations Global Compact and the U.S. State Department are working to change that by bringing crowdfunding forward to finance projects in the developing world, especially projects designed to address the social problems endemic there.
Thursday, July 10, 2014 — South Asia

Building Resilient Communities in the Philippines, Together

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan ravaged Central Philippines, displacing entire communities in its path. The catastrophic destruction drew a tremendous outpouring of support from around the world, and immediate relief efforts ensued.
Thursday, July 10, 2014 — South Asia

Social entrepreneur incubator launched in Taiwan

Source: Taiwan Today

A social entrepreneur incubation platform based on the U.K.’s UnLtd model was launched July 1 in Taiwan, according to program operator Social Enterprise Insights.
Wednesday, July 09, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

Pakistani businesswoman Sadaffe Abid makes it her mission to empower women

Source: The National

Sadaffe Abid is one of Pakistan’s most successful businesswomen. She was the chief executive of the Kashf Foundation, one of the largest microfinance institutions in Pakistan, growing it from a pilot project in two rooms, to serve 300,000 female clients with micro-loans. Ms Abid also co-founded the Buksh Foundation, a Pakistani start-up that enhances financial access to micro entrepreneurs. After 13 years in micro-financing, Ms Abid now splits her time between Dubai and Pakistan, conducting leadership training focused on developing high-potential female professionals and entrepreneurs and emerging talent.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Electrify Africa, Energize Africa and Power Africa: Partnering With Africa for the Long Run

Source: Roll Call

Monday, 30 June, was the first year anniversary of President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, the president’s signature initiative for the continent which seeks to expand electricity to address poverty alleviation and economic growth.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014 — No Region Specified

Clay Fridges That Keep Food Cool Without Electricity

Source: Fast CoExist

This food storage box won't replace a refrigerator. But it'll help keep food fresh for people who don't have one.
Tuesday, July 01, 2014 — No Region Specified

Orissa-based Milk Mantra raises $13M in Series C led by Fidelity Growth Partners

Source: VCCircle

The transaction also had a secondary component where 25 angel investors and an old fund under Aavishkaar have exited.
Friday, June 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

A New Pursuit For Social Entrepreneurship: Profits

Source: Forbes

John Schoch, CEO of Profile Products — a $70 million company that manufactures and distributes products for soil and water management in 90 countries — decided four years ago to direct his company’s expertise to a global crisis: clean water.
Thursday, June 26, 2014 — South Asia

Google announces ‘Android One’ standard for affordable devices, arriving first in India at under $100

Source: The Next Web

Google has revealed a new program called Android One which will specify a set of hardware and software guidelines for device makers to adhere to if they wish to attain official ‘Android One’ status.
Tuesday, June 24, 2014 — South Asia

Save the Children and Ikea tie up to prevent child labour in Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan

Source: Business Standard

The programme is aimed at protecting 790,000 children living in cotton communities in these states
Monday, June 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Citizen Sensors Make India's Complicated Water System A Little Easier To Navigate

Source: Fast CoExist

With the help of simple mobile phone technology, a nonprofit called NextDrop is improving access to water for poor families.
Monday, June 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Cleantech in the developing world: from solar power to refrigeration

Source: The Guardian

For a growing number of companies, cleantech promises innovations and opportunities at the base of the pyramid
Friday, June 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

The U.N. Has Been Undercounting the World's Poor—by 400 Million

Source: The Atlantic

Good news: Economists at Oxford have come up with a better method for measuring global poverty. Bad news: There are way more poor people than previously thought.
Friday, June 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

Rwanda: Tigo, UN Agency Sign Rwf3.5 Billion Deal to Support ICT Developers

Source: AllAfrica

Tigo and One UN Rwanda have signed a multi-million four-year agreement aimed at promoting youth and women employment through Information Communication Technologies (ICTs).
Friday, June 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

Growing ranks of high net-worths committed to social investment

Source: Blue&GreenTomorrow

The number of high net-worth individuals (HNWI), those that have $1 million (£0.6m) or more of investable assets, has grown worldwide by 15% in the last year and the overwhelming majority are seeking to use their money to have a positive social impact.
Thursday, June 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

World Bank Group offers $1.4m to 12 social enterprises in North-East

Source: The Hindu Business Line

The World Bank Group will give $1.4 million to 12 social enterprises in the North-East, working on access to affordable healthcare services, education, water and sanitation services.
Thursday, June 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Staying safe in conflict zones: advice from women social entrepreneurs

Source: The Guardian

Ashoka fellows leading social change in troubled areas talk about how they protect themselves and stay strong for their team
Thursday, June 19, 2014 — Latin America

OPINION: Latin America's Silicon Valley: That would be Colombia

Source: Mercury News

Today, nearly half of the world lives in poverty, including nearly a quarter of Californians. The United States, like every nation, grapples with the challenge of income inequality. Colombia is no different.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

The fashion brands empowering women in developing countries

Source: The Guardian

From providing jobs for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon to offering business training for emerging artisans in Rwanda, fashion has the power to create positive change
Friday, June 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

Vatican Conference examines how impact investing can serve the poor

Source: Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) A two-day symposium in the Vatican this week is examining “impact” investing and how it can serve the poor. Entitled “Investing for the Poor”, the conference (from June 16-17) is being jointly sponsored by the Pontifical Council of Justice and Peace, Catholic Relief Services and the Mendoza College of Business from the University of Notre Dame.
Thursday, June 12, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Social entrepreneur uses innovation to push economic growth

Source: News Day

Social entrepreneur Irene Chikumbo is using technological innovation to accelerate economic growth and social development in Zimbabwe.
Thursday, June 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: What Can Social Entrepreneurs Do for the Future of Indonesia?

Source: The Jakarta Globe

With the upcoming election the question of who we prefer to lead the country has become one of the most discussed topics in Indonesia. But putting aside political debate that we are being exposed to these days, it will be a lot more enlightening to evaluate another type of leader that may profoundly change Indonesia in the future.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Michael Dell And The UN Foundation Join Forces To Promote Entrepreneurship Around The World

Source: Fast CoExist

As the global advocate for entrepreneurship, the tech CEO will spread the gospel of the benefits of startup thinking into developing economies.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Did ‘Social Business’ Sink the Cardboard Bike?

Source: The Federalist

It’s time to retire the term “social business.” Better to run a business that honors agreements and respects the dignity of employees and customers.
Tuesday, June 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

MIGA and OPIC team to unlock investments in African agriculture

Source: Devex

A new partnership between a U.S. government agency, a World Bank Group member and a private equity fund plans to help about half a million small-scale farmers boost yields and improve food security in sub-Saharan Africa.
Monday, June 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

Safaricom softens stance on opening up M-Pesa

Source: ITWeb Africa

Kenya’s largest mobile phone company Safaricom has softened its position on opening up its mobile money system M-Pesa to rivals.
Monday, June 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

Women and Money: Bridging the Financial Inclusion Gender Gap in the Global South

Source: Huffington Post

The urban poor in the Global South lack access to banking and financial services, and women are disproportionately affected. They are less likely than men to hold a bank account, to take out a loan, or to borrow money. This is a detriment to development since women are more likely to spend extra funds on their family, thereby improving food, education, and health. São Paulo, Mexico City, Nairobi, Bangalore, and Dhaka have taken various approaches to bridging the financial inclusion gender gap.
Thursday, June 05, 2014 — No Region Specified

Rwanda: Microsoft Chief Urges Youth, SMEs to Tap Into Online Resources to Drive Productivity

Source: AllAfrica

Increasing youth employment and enhancing small-and-medium enterprises (SMEs) development through Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) to boost the continent's productivity and alleviate poverty were some of the key issues at the just-concluded African Development Bank meetings.
Thursday, June 05, 2014 — No Region Specified

Market solutions to Cambodia's toilet troubles

Source: IRIN News

PHNOM PENH, 5 June 2014 (IRIN) - Having money in your pocket does not translate into a toilet in your home, so Cambodian sanitation campaigners are trying new ways to encourage latrine construction in a country where years of awareness and subsidy campaigns have not been flush with success.
Tuesday, June 03, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Exploring the Millennium Villages Project: has it improved lives in Africa?

Source: Irish Examiner

Two leading global philanthropists, Jeffrey D. Sachs and Bill Gates, debate the impact and progress of the Millennium Villages Project, which aims to improve lives in 20 African countries over the course of 10 years.
Friday, May 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Merck’s Expansion Plans in Africa And its Continental Outlook

Source: Africa Science News

Dr Karl-Ludwig Kley, Merck CEO and Chairman of Executive board is a man who believes in Africa and says Merck is in the continent to stay. Read on as he talks to Africa Science News
Friday, May 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPIC Committed $2.7 billion to High-Impact Sectors in 2013

Source: Business Wire

WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Overseas Private Investment Corporation is proud to release for the first time a detailed picture of its Fiscal Year 2013 commitments in the impact investing space.
Friday, May 16, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: Low-cost Innovation May Transform India’s Healthcare Industry

Source: Business Insider India

In the list of annual honours, released by the Indian government this year, you will find the name of Dr Balram Bhargava from the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). He has been awarded the Padma Shri.
Thursday, May 08, 2014 — No Region Specified

A Coffee Crop Withers

Source: The New York Times

Fungus Cripples Coffee Production Across Central America
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Decade after debt relief, Africa’s rush to borrow stirs concern

Source: Business Day

NEARLY a decade after Nelson Mandela and anti-poverty activists Bono and Bob Geldof persuaded the rich world to forgive Africa’s crushing debts, many countries’ debt levels are creeping up again, which could undermine the region’s growth boom.
Friday, March 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

The World Bank Gets An Overhaul — And Not Everyone's Happy

Source: NPR

The World Bank, the largest international development institution, is undergoing a sweeping reorganization, the first of its kind for the bank in nearly a generation. The bank, based in Washington, has laid out a new set of goals, but they're accompanied by deep budget cuts and the elimination of a whole layer of senior management jobs.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mara Group’s Ashish Thakkar On What Investors Get Wrong About Africa

Source: International Business Times

Thakkar spoke to IBTimes about his new venture, his business style, and what’s ahead for Africa -- a region set to grow at record rates in the next few years.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uganda accuses World Bank of aid blackmail

Source: Business Day

Uganda accused the World Bank of blackmail on Friday after the lender stalled a $90m loan over the east African nation’s adoption of a draconian anti-gay law.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya: M - Lab Wins Impact Economy Innovations Grant

Source: allAfrica

M:Lab East Africa identifies, nurtures and helps build startups in the knowledge economy by providing training, market research, access to finance and infrastructure among many other services.
Thursday, August 15, 2013 — South Asia

Pedaling for progress with cargo bikes

Source: GMA News

For Victoria Holanda, fetching water used to be a backbreaking chore. “Dati ay suson naming mag-asawa ang isang kawayan; ang timba ay nasa gitna naming dalawa,” she recalled. “Inaabot kami ng tatlong oras araw-araw sa pag-igib ng tubig mula sa isang bukal na 500 metro ang layo sa bahay namin.”
Friday, July 19, 2013 — No Region Specified

Scaling social innovation: what is it?

Source: The Guardian

Outsourcing public services may cut costs, but what has it got to do with social innovation and positive social change?
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 — No Region Specified

What will happen when the MDGs expire?

Source: New Internationalist

The UN High Level Panel report has a universal focus USAID, under a CC License
Tuesday, June 18, 2013 — South Asia

Literacy, Not Income, Key To Improving Public Health In India

Source: Eurasia Review

New research suggests public health in developing countries may be better improved by reducing illiteracy rather than raising average income.
Monday, June 17, 2013 — North Africa and Near East

Egypt: World Bank Provides $1.25 Million to Support Job Creation in Upper Egypt

Source: AllAfrica

The World Bank group and its partners are investing more than $1.25 million in the Egypt Development Marketplace program that addresses job creation, poverty alleviation and rural development, said a press release issued by the World Bank.
Friday, June 14, 2013 — No Region Specified

Impact Investing: Lots of Interest, but Where's the Big Money?

Source: Bloomberg

Categories too risky for many investors include women entrepreneurs and agricultural businesses
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 — No Region Specified

India needs to show the world it respects intellectual property rights: Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Source: The Economic Times

India needs to show the world that it respects intellectual property rights if it wants global pharmaceutical firms to invest in India, according to Biocon Chairman and Managing Director Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw.
Friday, June 07, 2013 — No Region Specified

Unfinished Business

Source: Huffington Post

Winston Churchill said it best when he concluded, "democracy is the worst form of government ....except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time."
Tuesday, June 04, 2013 — No Region Specified

Life, Not Death, is Focus of New Health Metrics

Source: Discover Magazine

This maverick researcher wants to replace conventional death statistics with data on how well we live.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 — No Region Specified

Women floriculturists turn entrepreneurs

Source: The Hindu

Defying illiteracy, 420 women floriculturists from Kotha Reddypalem and Patha Reddypalem villages in Machilipatnam have proved that they can be successful entrepreneurs
Monday, April 15, 2013 — No Region Specified

Why Smart Entrepreneurs Aren't Eyeing the First World

Source: Good

Though you may not hear it talked about much in the debates this election or see it on the front page of The New York Times, we are living through the greatest transformation in the history of modern capitalism.
Thursday, March 28, 2013 — No Region Specified

Watch Out, World Bank: Here Comes the BRICS Bank

Source: AP / CNBC

Leaders of the five BRICS nations plan to create a development bank in a direct challenge to the World Bank that they accuse of Western bias.
Friday, March 15, 2013 — South Asia

Rs 5,500-cr India Innovation Fund to focus on job creation

Source: The Economic Times

NEW DELHI: The government today said the Rs 5,500-crore 'India Inclusive Innovation Fund' will focus on generating employment and supporting livelihoods across the country through innovative enterprises.
Monday, February 18, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How social entrepreneurs are inspiring change across Africa

Source: The Guardian

Leadership programmes are facilitating social enterprise projects that could be a viable alternative to aid
Thursday, February 14, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Obama in SOTU: Eradicate extreme poverty in 20 years

Source: Devex

In a Feb. 12 speech focused on improving the lot of the U.S. middle class, Obama also vowed to help stabilize countries such as Yemen, Libya, Somalia and Mali, and help to spread democracy from the Middle East to South-East Asia.
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.
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.
Friday, September 14, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

At UN-backed conference, African officials discuss path to sustainable development

Source: United Nations News Centre

13 September 2012 – Representatives from more than 40 African countries have gathered at a United Nations-backed conference in Arusha, Tanzania, to discuss the region’s strategy to achieve sustainable development and come up with an integrated strategy for the region to encourage environmental initiatives.
Thursday, May 24, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

FXB International Releases Graduate Tracer Study

Source: FXB

(New York, NY) – Today FXB International released a Graduate Tracer Study. Among the exciting results include findings that, from their starting point as the poorest households in their communities, FXB-Village participants in Rwanda and Uganda show greatly increased income and savings. Additionally, the study shows that FXB-Village participants have vastly improved access to clean drinking water and are more likely to own their homes, and children are much more likely to be enrolled in school than they were at the beginning of the program. In each of the three study areas, the results show that the FXB-Village program significantly improves the lives of these participants.
Thursday, May 24, 2012 — Latin America

Brazil's historically poor northeast finally gets its boom

Source: Los Angeles Times

RECIFE, Brazil — The Brazilian state of Pernambuco was once known for its vast plains of parched dirt and roving bandits called cangacos, who robbed from the rich and gave to the poor. For later generations, escaping the widespread poverty of the northeast customarily meant moving to livelier southeastern cities like Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, though many migrants still ended up living in favelas, or slums.
Friday, May 11, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa Progress Panel calls on African governments to drive towards MDGs

Source: The Guardian

African governments and donor countries should launch a "big push" this year towards meeting the millennium development goals (MDGs), according to a high-level panel.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 — South Asia

India's Aadhaar ID Project Turns Nation's Poor into Economic Players

Source: CBC News

Power Shift India: Nation turns to technology to extend a guaranteed identity to its poor
Friday, April 13, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

South Africa: Brazilians to Share Experiences On Beating Hunger

Source: allAfrica

Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini says sharing experiences with Brazil will help South Africa deal with the challenge of hunger.
Monday, April 09, 2012 — No Region Specified

Business Lessons From A Baby Elephant

Source: Fast Company

Vijay Govindarajan is the co-author, with Chris Trimble, of Reverse Innovation: Create Far From Home, Win Everywhere, which hits bookshelves on April 10. A professor at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth University, Govindarajan chatted with Fast Company about $2,000 heart surgery, elephant prostheses, and the need for American businesses to, in essence, study abroad.
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