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.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Crowdfunding: Ubuntu Finance in South Africa

Source: Moneyweb

Many South Africans dream of getting their concepts off the ground, but they lack the funding to make it reality. Too often their ideas are put on the back-burner for ‘one day’ – when they have accumulated enough wealth; when they finally secure that loan; or when the right investor shows up carrying a suitcase filled with cash.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Making of the ‘World’s First Mobile Money Ready’ Accounting System

Source: PC Tech Magazine

It’s web-based nature facilitates access via a wide range of devices, including smartphones and tablets.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

With $37.5 M Series B Funding, Healthcare Startup Portea Plans Massive Hiring and Acquisitions

Source: YourStory

Entrepreneurs rarely announce funding on a Sunday. But today is an exception. Home focused healthcare platform Portea announced that it has raised $37.5 million Series B round led by existing investor – Accel and International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group; Qualcomm Ventures, and Ventureast.
Tuesday, September 22, 2015 — No Region Specified

Entrepreneurs Are the Current and Future Solution for Sustainable Global Economic Development

Source: Forbes

When drawing up plans to help stimulate the economic development of new and emerging economies, the United Nations previously looked to multinational operations that could open new plants and offices in specific countries. However, with the ongoing changes in the business environment, the realization is that these large corporations are no longer the source for job creation and have recently been focused on lean operations and downsizing staff.
Monday, September 21, 2015 — No Region Specified

Kickstarter Focuses Its Mission on Altruism Over Profit

Source: The New York Times

Many technology start-ups aim to become “unicorns,” the companies that get valued at $1 billion or more on their way to probable vast riches. Yancey Strickler and Perry Chen have no interest in that.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015 — South Asia

Unitus Seed Fund Expands Its India StartHealth Investment Program

Source: India Infoline

Unitus Seed Fund, the leading impact venture seed fund investing in startups innovating for the masses in India, announced that it is doubling down on its StartHealth investing initiative targeting investments of INR 15 crore in 6 new early-stage health technology startups. With partners such as Pfizer, PATH, Manipal Hospitals and Narayana Health, the StartHealth program provides flexible funding, expert support, and mentorship as well as access to healthcare facilities to accelerate the go-to-market path for promising startups. Unitus also announced that Dr. Ashwin Naik, founder of Vaatsalya hospitals, will be joining as a healthcare fund advisor to help support healthcare entrepreneurs invested in by Unitus. Separately, StartHealth participant UE LifeSciences announced earlier this week that it has raised a INR 19.5 crore Series A investment round led by Aarin Capital.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

German Startup Franchises Biogas Bag Business in Africa

Source: Sustainable Brands

German social enterprise B-Energy has developed portable “digester” bags that produce methane gas out of food waste or animal droppings, which can help low-income entrepreneurs in the global South make a living through a franchise model, BBC Newsreports.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

Indiegogo Is Getting Ready for Equity Crowdfunding

Source: Fast Company

When Facebook announced in March 2014 that it was acquiring virtual-reality pioneer Oculus VR for $2 billion, the news caused jaws to drop throughout the tech industry. It also left at least a few of the 9,522 people who had contributed to Oculus’s Kickstarter campaign less than two years earlier grumbling that they should be cut in on the windfall.
Monday, September 14, 2015 — South Asia

A baby box aims to save infant and maternal lives

Source: Harvard School of Public Health

Under a new student-led nonprofit aimed at reducing infant and maternal mortality in South Asia, expectant mothers would receive a free box full of newborn essentials like baby clothes, diapers, and wipes, as well as health-related items such as a clean delivery kit and oral rehydration salts. The caveat: Women would only get the box—which doubles as a portable basket in which babies can sleep or play—if they agree to a prenatal checkup.
Monday, September 14, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Sowing Self-Sufficiency in Africa With Anacostia-Based ‘Hello Tractor’

Source: The Washington Post

For years he had two feet planted firmly on the ground as a corporate investment banker. Now, with a little start-up money, Jehiel Oliver runs a small Anacostia-based company, with a plan to solve a big agriculture problem half a world away.
Wednesday, September 9, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: Why Kickstarter and Indiegogo Won't Go Into Equity Crowdfunding

Source: Entrepreneur

Now that anyone can now buy shares in a private company through an equity-crowdfunding platform, interested investors are wondering who will operate the online share-buying sites. Some observers have suggested that rewards-based crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter and Indiegogo will enter the market, taking advantage of their experience in other parts of the crowdfunding marketplace.
Friday, September 4, 2015 — South Asia

Funding for Indian Startups Won’t Dry Up: Omidyar’s Roopa Kudva

Source: DealStreetAsia

Roopa Kudva, 51, took charge of the India operations of New York-based impact investor Omidyar Network in early July.
Friday, September 4, 2015 — No Region Specified

MasterCard Takes Fintech Incubator Global

Source: Computer Business Review

MasterCard has launched Start Path Global, a globally available partnership programme for retail and fintech start-ups.
Thursday, September 3, 2015 — No Region Specified

Mobile Lender InVenture Raises $10 Million

Source: The Wall Street Journal

InVenture Capital Corp., a provider of small loans by cellphones, has raised $10 million in Series A funding, Yuliya Chernova reports for Dow Jones VentureWire. The company has a mobile app that can be downloaded by users, who then can request a loan. Once the user has granted the app access to their device, the company’s algorithm evaluates the activity on their mobile money accounts, such as how much they deposit and withdraw, the timeliness of their utility bill payments, and thousands of other nuggets of information such as social media, demographic, and communications patterns, to make a loan decision in minutes. The company currently operates in Kenya and Tanzania. Data Collective led the Series A round, which includedLowercase Capital, Collaborative Fund, Female Founders Fund and individual investors.
Thursday, September 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uber Links With Kia to Expand Fivefold in Africa's Biggest City

Source: Bloomberg

Uber Technologies Inc. is negotiating cheaper deals for new vehicles with Kia Motors Corp. to boost its number of drivers fivefold in the Nigerian city of Lagos, Africa’s biggest, to 3,000 by the end of next year.
Wednesday, September 2, 2015 — South Asia

Startups innovate to make payments faster in India - but e-wallets face Ashley-Madison-like threats

Source: Tech in Asia

People are slowly moving towards using digital and electronic payment modes, but payment startups face challenges such as customer awareness, fears about security, and concerns about product or service delivery.
Thursday, August 27, 2015 — South Asia

A Cheap Modular System Will Provide Better Shelter to Indians With Shoddy Metal Roofs

Source: Co.Exist

Much of the world will go to sleep tonight under a corrugated iron roof, a quite bumpy, ill-fitting way to cover a house. They'll get hot in summer, get no insulation in winter, and the thing will probably crack and corrode before too long.
Monday, August 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

5 tech startup ideas that Kenya can export

Source: Capital FM

Having pioneered mobile money solutions like MPesa and crowd-sourcing platform Ushahidi, Kenya’s innovative, resilient and global-looking tech community is working on the next big thing.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

5 African Cleantech Startups You Need To Watch

Source: Forbes

African entrepreneurs and technologists are coming up with solutions to solve their own energy problems.
Monday, August 17, 2015 — No Region Specified

Venture Capital Investing Boom Neglects Startups Tackling Poverty

Source: San Jose Mercury News

The venture capital investing boom has sent billions of dollars to startups that serve the upper crust of society, yet many VCs continue to resist investing in viable businesses bringing toilets, water and electricity to the rural poor.
Friday, August 14, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

With a Billion Africans Set to Shop Online, a New Wave of Start-ups Is Looking to Cash In

Source: Quartz

Africa’s middle class is rising and they have money to spend. About a third of the continent spends between $4 to $20 a day—a group that is expected to grow to 42% by 2060, according to data from the Africa Development Bank (pdf). That’s more than a billion people.
Thursday, August 13, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

A Solar Power-Charging Backpack Made From Recycled Plastic

Source: Forbes

Fledgling social enterprise Rethaka sells backpacks for school kids that do a few things at once: Made from recycled plastic bags, they first of all address the plague of waste from that material. And with a charger powered by solar energy, they provide light for children who lack electricity at home, while also reducing the use of kerosene, which causes a great many accidents and illnesses. Its CEO, 22-year-old Thato Kgatlhanye, founded the company and developed the product, called Repurpose Schoolbags, while attending a university in Johannessburg, South Africa.
Monday, August 10, 2015 — South Asia

Silicon Valley VC firm Social+Capital Partnership lines up over $1B for India by 2025

Source: VC Circle

Four-year-old Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm Social+Capital Partnership plans to invest over $1 billion in Indian companies in sectors such as financial services, energy, infrastructure and agriculture.
Friday, July 31, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Healthcare Start-Up Connects Rural Patients With Global Network of Specialists

Source: How We Made It In Africa

The diagnosis of a serious illness takes heavy emotional and financial toll on the sick and their families. Patients also have to make tough decisions on the choice of medical care. In many African countries, access to second opinion consultations can be challenging since most have a shortage of specialist doctors. And often the few available specialists are stationed in cities hence rural patients must travel long distances.
Thursday, July 30, 2015 — South Asia

Singapore Fintech Out to Empower Asia’s Unbanked

Source: The Establishment Post

For most of us including Singaporeans, not having access to credit and debit cards is almost unheard of. Beyond the Little Red Dot though, citizens in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East continue to transact with cash and coins. They are the world’s unbanked who have minimal contact with banks and financial services. Though the unbanked make up about half of the world’s adult populace today, emerging financial technology startups including Singapore fintech startups are amplifying efforts to bring financial inclusion to the unbanked right at their fingertips.
Thursday, July 30, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Microsoft’s CEO Celebrated the Worldwide Launch of Windows 10 in… Nairobi

Source: Quartz

Of all the 190 countries where Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system launched yesterday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella chose to spend the day in Kenya. His visit came just days after the conclusion of the US-sponsored Global Entrepreneurship Summit and a state visit by president Barack Obama, where he hailed technology for “changing the way Africa is doing business.”
Tuesday, July 28, 2015 — No Region Specified

Chivas Regal's Search for World's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs Splits $1 Million Prize Among Five Enterprises

Source: CNN

The Venture, Chivas Regal's global search for the world's most promising social entrepreneurs, rewarded all five finalists the remaining share of the $1m fund at the final pitch event on Friday evening. The announcement came after the five finalists pitched the potential of their start-up to create transformative social change to an expert judging panel that included actor and social entrepreneur Adrian Grenier. Algramo from Chile was awarded the largest share of the fund, receiving $300,000 to further develop the pioneering food distribution enterprise.
Monday, July 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

AMPION, Merck Launch Africa’s First e-Health Accelerator

Source: Disrupt Africa

African entrepreneurship initiative AMPION and healthcare firm Merck have partnered to launch Africa’s first healthcare accelerator, aimed at fostering the growth of high potential, early-stage e-health startups.
Monday, July 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Startups Grow in Africa, But Ecosystems Need More to Flourish

Source: TechCrunch

Obamania has gripped Kenya as the 44th U.S. president lands in Nairobi, the country’s capital, for a visit. From t-shirts, mugs, and caps with Barack Obama’s name and image to “Obama themed ringtones,” (“Yes we can!”) it will not be hard for the U.S. president to find entrepreneurs in Kenya.
Thursday, July 23, 2015 — No Region Specified

Citigroup Hunts for Fintech Innovators, Will a Bitcoin Firm Succeed?


American banking behemoth Citigroup earlier revealed that it has been looking at the Bitcoin’s distributed ledger technology for the last few years, and has developed three blockchains and a test currency calledCiticoin to pass through them in a bid to create a framework parallel to the Bitcoin and the blockchain.
Monday, July 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

Can a High-Tech Wood Stove Save the World?

Source: Bloomberg

So, this is cool. It's a stove, powered by wood or cow dung or whatever other combustible material you happen to have lying around, that generates an almost smokeless, gas-like flame -- and also enough electricity to light a room or charge your phone.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015 — No Region Specified

Zidisha Helps Connect Lenders With Entrepreneurs in Developing Countries

Source: Forbes

Zidisha is a non-profit startup that acts as an online microlending community connecting lenders with entrepreneurs no matter the distance or disparity. As of right now, Zidisha allows individuals worldwide to lend to tech-savvy entrepreneurs in the slums of Africa and Asia where even a few dollars can go a long way. Over 20,000 people are using Zidisha today. Recently, I spoke with Zidisha founder and CEO Julia Kurnia to learn more about the company.
Wednesday, July 15, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Hong Kong VC Firm Nest Expands to Nairobi to Support Continent’s Talents

Source: Ventureburn

Hong Kong VC and incubation firm Nest has recently announced its expansion into Africa, connecting local talent with Asian investors abroad.
Friday, July 10, 2015 — South Asia

Indian Medtech Startup Gets $10M Injection to Be Facebook for Healthcare

Source: Tech in Asia

Indian healthcare communication platform Lybrate announced today it has secured US$10.2 million in series A funding from Tiger Global Management, Indian business tycoon Ratan Tata, and existing investor Nexus Venture Partners. The company previously received US$1.2 million in seed funding.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015 — No Region Specified

Impact Investing For The Millennial: You, Too, Can Have An Investment Portfolio

Source: Forbes

Impact investing has been catching headlines with major banks like Bank of America BAC +1.48% and JP Morgan developing so-called “impact portfolios.”
Friday, June 26, 2015 — South Asia

A Clean Bag of Water

Source: USA Today

It weighs no more than 11 ounces, fits easily into a backpack and looks like any other plastic bag.
Thursday, June 25, 2015 — No Region Specified

Early Tesla Motors Investors Raise $400 Million Impact VC Fund

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Two early investors in Tesla Motors Inc.TSLA +0.96% teamed up and raised a $400 million venture capital fund to back startups that have a positive social or environmental impact, Venture Capital Dispatch has learned.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015 — South Asia

Banyan: An Endeavour for Gold Standard in Recycled Plastic

Source: Livemint

The bustling metropolis of Hyderabad generates about 4,500 tonnes of solid waste every day. Contrary to popular perception, as much as 70% of the waste is recycled in India, thanks in large part to a network of ragpickers, who scavenge heaps of trash everyday to pick products that can be recycled.
Thursday, June 18, 2015 — No Region Specified

Thread Raises $3.5 Million Round for Clean Textile Innovation

Source: Tech.Co

Thread, a Pittsburgh-based startup dedicated to creating dignified jobs in the developing world, recycles plastic into socially responsible fabric.
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.
Tuesday, June 9, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

5 African e-health startups to watch

Source: Disrupt Africa

Africa’s basic infrastructural challenges – such as poor transport links, and the limited number of medical professionals and clinics – have long hindered the health sector. However, across the continent, Africa’s innovators are looking to leverage technology to ensure quality medical care is universally accessible.
Thursday, June 4, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

This Startup Gives Poor People a Year's Income, No Strings Attached

Source: The Huffington Post

A person whom Teresa had never met showed up at her home one day with a remarkable offer. Teresa and her family would receive what amounted to a year's income, in cash. Nothing was owed in return. She did not have to repay the money, and her family could spend it however they wished.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya’s Miti Health hopes for Unreasonable access to mentors, markets

Source: Disrupt Africa

Kenyan startup Miti Health, which provides chemists with business management and supply chain software on the Android platform, hopes taking part in the Unreasonable East Africa accelerator programme in Kampala this summer will allow it to scope out Uganda as a possible expansion market while also gaining to access to investors and mentors.
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 — No Region Specified

The Three Things I Tell Women in My Social Entrepreneurship Class

Source: Quartz

The future of American economic growth is in the hands of women, but much of their entrepreneurial potential remains untapped. This is not just my opinion, it’s backed up by a 2014 Kauffman Foundation study,which found that women-owned businesses account for just 16% of employer firms. I fall into that minority, even though I myself have four entrepreneurial ventures under my belt.
Thursday, May 28, 2015 — South Asia

Why India’s e-commerce startups are going mobile-only

Source: International Business Times

E-commerce companies in India are ignoring the PC and going straight to mobile in the country’s young, but rapidly growing online marketplace.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

5 African Bitcoin Startups to Watch

Source: Disrupt Africa

Bitcoin is gaining traction worldwide, with the first quarter of 2015 seeing record levels of investment pumped into Bitcoin startups globally. Africa is no exception to the trend, with startups springing up with innovative applications for Bitcoin in the African context – disrupting the remittance market, and making the cryptocurrency available over SMS. Here, Disrupt Africa names the five startups leading the way with Bitcoin in Africa.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

This Startup Pays African Students to Learn How to Code

Source: Co.Exist

Most twenty-somethings in Nairobi are underemployed—and most also can't afford to pay for college to get better jobs. On a trip to the Kenyan capital to give a talk about the future of education, edtech pioneer Jeremy Johnson was asked a difficult question: How is it possible to scale high-quality education if people can't pay for tuition?
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Press Release: Orange Launches the 2015 Orange African Social Venture Prize

Source: Orange

Orange ( is launching the call for applications for the 5th edition of the Orange African Social Venture Prize. This initiative aims to encourage innovative start-up projects which help to accelerate development on the African continent.
Friday, May 22, 2015 — South Asia

Angel Investing 2.0 – Will Angel Investing Go Online in India?

Source: YourStory

The last one year has seen a huge surge in angel investing in the Indian startup ecosystem. As a platform that has now become the largest marketplace for startup funding; we have been witnessing how the ecosystem has evolved over the last 18 months. In early 2013 when LetsVenture was founded, startup funding was traditionally done through offline networks and fundraise was challenging; our intent was to make fundraising faster and efficient for the founders.
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 — No Region Specified

What if Crowdfunding Becomes the Leading Source of Finance for Entrepreneurs or Growing Companies?

Source: Forbes

Can crowdfunding offer a viable source of funding to growth orientated businesses around the world? 2015 promises to be a big year for crowdfunding in terms of the role it may play in getting entrepreneurial ventures off the ground. What might that world look like if it became the leading source of finance for companies starting out? To that end, one has to better understand the phenomenon and its rapid expansion to date.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uber Battles Locals for Future of African Taxis

Source: The Wall Street Journal

In the traffic-clogged, potholed streets of Kenya’s capital city, there is a battle waging for the future of the African taxi ride that is pitting local startups eager to become the “Uber of Kenya” against, well, Uber.
Tuesday, May 12, 2015 — South Asia

How Telecoms And The Indian Government Stop Net Neutrality in Its Tracks

Source: TechCrunch

Hidden under the guise of enabling the Indian population with faster and more reliable services, the major players in telecoms, such as Airtel and Reliance, have adopted new policies that could undermine the basic building blocks of Internet access in India.
Monday, May 11, 2015 — No Region Specified

Eyes on the Prize: Ahmad Ashkar


If you’ve followed social entrepreneurship news even slightly in the past few years, you won’t have failed to witness the unstoppable rise of the Hult Prize.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — No Region Specified

Impact Engine Announces Angel Network for Social-Impact Investing

Source: Chicago Tribune

Chicago-based Impact Engine on Tuesday announced a new angel network as a way to tap into a growing interest in social impact companies among local investors.
Monday, May 4, 2015 — No Region Specified

Kiva Zip and Startup Incorporation Service Join Forces

Source: Forbes

If you’re running a social enterprise–or any startup, for that matter–two of the headaches you face are incorporating and raising early funding.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Native Startup Offers Crypto Remittance Service to Nigerians

Source: CoinTelgraph

Bitstake, a cryptocurrency exchange startup, offers a wide range of solutions to the 178 million people of Nigeria. Unlike most Bitcoin exchanges, which rely on users having access to the Internet in order to serve them, Bitstake has made it possible for its customers to access and use their wallets through SMS.
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.
Monday, April 27, 2015 — No Region Specified

Once Idealistic, Crowdfunding Is Now an Unholy Hybrid of Retail, Investment, and Risk

Source: Quartz

Dave Bogaty is a coffee junkie. He exclusively buys his beans from a small-batch roaster in Brooklyn and scouts out local varieties in every new city he visits.
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 13, 2015 — South Asia

What’s Tripping Healthcare in India and How Startups Are Tackling It

Source: Tech in Asia

Today, in India, banks send alerts on financial risks instantaneously, ecommerce companies use tech tools to coax users to buy, and social networking sites are creating personality profiles of its users. However, hospitals still do not have the technology to predict and alert us about critical health risks. Most of them don’t even have digital systems to capture medical data to create a health history.
Friday, April 10, 2015 — No Region Specified

Wells Fargo Selects Clean Technology Startups for Innovation

Source: 3BL Media

$10 million program to help four winning companies develop energy-efficient smart glass, cooling, battery and smart metering technologies.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015 — North Africa and Near East

MIT Alum Hopes to Spread Tech-Boom Excitement in Young, Increasingly Connected Middle East

Source: BetaBoston

Some of the Middle East’s most promising entrepreneurs and deep-pocketed investors gathered at the Habtoor Grand Hotel here last month for the sixth edition of the ArabNet Digital Summit, one of the largest forums for the Middle East’s burgeoning startup industry.
Tuesday, April 7, 2015 — South Asia

Rajasthan’s Karma Healthcare Bags Funding to Bring Telemedicine to Villages

Source: Tech in Asia

Indian rural healthcare startup Karma Healthcare has raised an undisclosed amount in pre-series A round from impact fund Ankur Capital and an unnamed international VC firm.
Monday, April 6, 2015 — South Asia

10 Impact Investors in India That You Should Know

Source: e27

Out of the total 1.3 billion population in India, around 80 per cent are living in poverty. There are some companies in India — both in the tech and no-tech segments — helping this large segment to address various problems related to irrigation, lending, travel, education, etc., by providing cost-effective solutions. These impact ventures are getting financial assistance in the form of grants or funds from various investment firms, called Impact investors.
Friday, April 3, 2015 — No Region Specified

What Does Social Entrepreneurship Mean to Actor Adrian Grenier?

Source: Fortune

The Entourage actor talks entrepreneurship and his upcoming stint as a judge in a start-up pitch contest.
Friday, April 3, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: Why the Ivy League Needs the Hult Prize

Source: The Huffington Post

How do we get Ivy League students interested in changing the world? Fluorescent pink posters with one simple message: "Do you want to win $1,000,000?"
Friday, April 3, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Source: Voice of America

It’s been declared dead countless times in the West, but in Kenya's start-up scene Bitcoin is all the rage. Kenyan companies have been attracting funding lately to build cheap Bitcoin-based remittance services that some think could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go.
Thursday, April 2, 2015 — South Asia

Alibaba Rival Launches Crowdfunding Site for Startups in China

Source: TechCrunch

China’s largest e-commerce companies are eager to leverage their millions of users and hoards of data for new projects. For example, Alibaba’s other businesses include healthcare management, financial services, and cloud data. Now, its smaller but still formidable rival, is branching out into crowdfunding for startups.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

This Woman Might Be the Most Successful Impact Investor You've Never Heard Of

Source: Entrepreneur

The February ribbon cutting for Gigawatt Global’s new $24 million solar field in Rwanda was an impact investment showcase. More than 28,000 solar panels, arranged in the shape of the African continent, added six percent to the entire country’s electricity production.
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 — South Asia

How Debartha, Ritwik and Jayant Are Revolutionizing Waste Collection Systems in India

Source: SocialStory

“Being good means nothing unless you are willing to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done,” said an angry Abraham Setrakian in the US vampire apocalypse show ‘The Strain.’ And while our planet may not be under threat from vampires, the danger to its environment from the waste-dumping activities of human beings is not just real, it is critical.
Friday, March 27, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Cool Underwear for Hot Climates

Source: WUSA9

A Northern Virginia startup is trying to solve one piece of the Ebola puzzle: How to keep health workers in protective gear from collapsing from heat exhaustion.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigerian Tycoon Shortlists 167 Kenyan Start-Ups for Funding

Source: Business Daily

Nigerian billionaire businessman and philanthropist Tony Elumelu has selected 167 Kenyan entrepreneurs to benefit from his Sh9.2 billion start-up fund targeting 10,000 enterprises across Africa.
Wednesday, March 25, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

South Africa Taps Emocha for Tuberculosis-Fighting Mobile Apps


Johns Hopkins-affiliated health IT startup emocha is marking World TB Day with the launch of a new system in South Africa.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

SA’s Impact Amplifier Catalysed $4.5m in Startup Funding by End of 2014

Source: Disrupt Africa

South African incubator and consulting firm Impact Amplifier has revealed to Disrupt Africa it had catalysed over ZAR55 million (US$4.5 million) in investments into early-stage startups, and aims to close over ZAR100 million (US$8.2 million) of capital deployed in 2015.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uptake Boost for African e-Health Startups

Source: Disrupt Africa

African healthcare providers are gradually recognising the convenience and cost benefits of adopting patient portals integrating financial and clinical data, according to Frost & Sullivan, giving a boost to a number of startups operating in the e-health sector.
Tuesday, March 10, 2015 — No Region Specified

Village Capital Announces Latest Impact Investments

Source: Forbes

Village Capital, a leading venture firm investing in social enterprises, recently announced its latest investments. Operating with a unique model that starts with a cohort of startups in a particular industry, most recently healthcare IT, that actually relies on the startups to choose the companies Village Capital invests in.
Monday, March 9, 2015 — No Region Specified

Viewpoint: Adopting the Lean Startup Approach

Source: Entrepreneur

Most startups fail to take off. The traditional method of starting a business has been to come up with a business plan, get investors to back it, assemble your dream team, get a product in play and push it hard. But this approach often exposes entrepreneurs to risks that blindside them later. The same could be said of the big ideas often touted to help the poor in emerging markets, either with access to cleaner water and sanitation or education.
Thursday, March 5, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Start-Up Hubs Multiply in East Africa

Source: Huffington Post

The African continent has become home to a new wave of creativity and talent, with Nairobi as the hotbed of innovation.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — South Asia

Meet Rangan Srikhanta, the Former Refugee Who Wants to Change the World One Laptop at a Time

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald

He came to Australia barely two months old with his family fleeing war in Sri Lanka. Now 31, the Tamil migrant with a broad Aussie accent acquired in Homebush, NSW, wants to give back.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 — South Asia

Why Bill Gates Is Backing Impact Entrepreneurs in India

Source: Entrepreneur

Will Poole, a top Microsoft executive-turned seed-stage investor, is tapping American and Indian tech entrepreneurs to back some startups in India that are decidedly not tech-related.
Monday, February 23, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tencent Backs Mobile Jobs Startup With Its First ‘WeChat Africa’ Investment

Source: TechCrunch

Tencent has made its first investment in Africa under the banner of its WeChat messaging service. WeChat Africa, a joint venture between Tencent and Naspers, announced an investment in M4JAM (Money For Jam), a South Africa-based mobile job service that connects to WeChat.
Tuesday, February 17, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa Tech Trends: The Age of Start-Up Accelerators

Source: How We Made It In Africa

Start-up accelerators are common in Europe and the United States, where the likes of Y Combinator and Startupbootcamp have emerged as leaders in the model and have offered hundreds of start-ups both equity funding and mentorship to assist them in scaling. But in Africa the concept is still very young, having only really arrived in 2012.
Friday, February 13, 2015 — No Region Specified

Startup Accelerator Scholas.Labs Announced by Pope Francis

Source: The Inquisitr

Startup accelerator Scholas.Labs was announced last week during an education event hosted by Pope Francis. Although one hardly expects to hear “startup accelerator” and “pontiff” in the same sentence, this enterprise is quite real and is aimed at assisting education projects all over the world.
Tuesday, February 10, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Pantera Leads $1.1 Million Funding for African Bitcoin Startup BitPesa

Source: CoinDesk

Kenya-based bitcoin services provider BitPesa has raised $1.1m as part of a new funding round led by hedge fund Pantera Capital.
Friday, February 6, 2015 — South Asia

Villgro Announces Business Pitch Contests in Four Cities in February-March 2015

Source: PR Newswire

Villgro announces Unconvention|L, an event that seeks to unearth and nurture social entrepreneurs, in four cities in the next two months.
Thursday, February 5, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bitcoin's Big Opportunity in Africa

Source: Fast Company

On a Tuesday night at a Nairobi tech incubator, Michael Kimani preaches the virtues of crypto currencies to a small gathering of tech-savvy Kenyans.
Thursday, February 5, 2015 — North Africa and Near East

Dubai's Dumyé Named in World's Best Social Enterprises

Source: Arabian Business

A Dubai-based Arab-American designer turned social entrepreneur has won a chance to compete for a share of a $1 million fund and represent the region at a global finals for social entrepreneurs in San Francisco.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 — South Asia

Jeff Bezos-Backed Startup Remitly Now Offers Money Transfers to India

Source: GeekWire

Remitly wants to make it easier and cheaper for people to transfer money to family and friends in India.
Monday, February 2, 2015 — South Asia

Pfizer, Manipal Hospitals & others join hands to accelerate health tech startups in India

Source: The Economic Times

A group of health care entities, including Manipal Hospitals and Narayana Health, have gotten together with an investor to provide up to $1.6 million in grants and investments to early-stage startups that seek to enhance access to affordable technology-driven health care products and services for low-income masses in India.
Friday, January 30, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

This 'Eco Stove' Does More Than Cook Your Dinner

Source: CNN

In Uganda, more than 28 million people in the country are without electricity. To put that into perspective, the entire population of the beautiful landlocked east-central African nation is less than 38 million people.
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 — South Asia

How One Man Brought Health Care to India's Poorest Populations

Source: Entrepreneur

Shelley Saxena, a mobile technology entrepreneur in Atlanta, had a head start when he launched Sevamob, a distribution system for low-cost preventive health services across India. But that didn’t save him from having to make a few strategic pivots as his new business grew.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015 — South Asia

Bengaluru Start-Up Wins Tata Social Enterprise Challenge

Source: The Hindu

A low-cost medical device invented by a city-based start-up has emerged the winner of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge 2014-15, an initiative of the Tata group and Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta.
Tuesday, January 20, 2015 — South Asia

Villgro Launches Rs 20-Crore Incubation Fund

Source: The Economic Times

Impact investment firm Villgro has announced a Rs 20-crore fund targeted at incubating education startups.
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 — South Asia

Venture Capital Investors Plan $2 Billion New Funds for Indian Startups

Source: The Economic Times

Venture capital investors are on the road to raise nearly $2 billion, or about Rs12,400 crore, in new funds this year to power the next generation of emerging businesses in India's booming startup sector.
Friday, January 2, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Automated Mobile Phone Service Hopes to Stop Spread of Ebola in West Africa

Source: The Guardian

People in rural areas of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea battling Ebola could be helped by an automated phone service that offers advice about how to avoid contracting the virus.
Tuesday, December 16, 2014 — South Asia

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

Source: VCCircle

Bangalore-based startup incubator Khosla Labs has partnered with seed-stage impact investor Unitus Seed Fund to incubate and fund four-six startups working on the Unique Identification Authority of India (Aadhaar) project.
Thursday, November 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: MedCity News

A $10 million micro fund that will make investments in early and growth stage mobile startups, including mobile health, got started this week.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 — South Asia

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

Source: The Washington Post

Frustrated at the lack of interest by the medical establishment in reducing the costs of diagnostic testing, Kanav Kahol returned home to New Delhi in 2011 and built a prototype of a device called the Swasthya Slate (which translates to “Health Tablet”) in less than three months, for a cost of $11,000.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 — South Asia

Mobile payment startup taps into Indian villages

Source: PYMNTs

Ezetap, a mobile payment startup, wants to connect small Indian villages with business and is using its mPoS to do so, Business Standard reported.
Thursday, November 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Mashable

For the past two weeks, ten companies have been consulting with mentors, growing their business models and collaborating with one target demographic in mind: girls in impoverished parts of the world, a population that many say is the most marginalized in the world.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014 — South Asia

Indian start-up to enable bank transactions via kirana stores

Source: Business Standard

Novopay uses Aadhaar biometric scanner for dealings
Friday, October 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

Backed by Gates, Affinivax Ramps up Velcro-like Vaccine Tech

Source: Xconomy

A new startup with backing by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation called Affinivax claims it’s created a vaccine to protect against all 90 strains of pneumococcal bacteria. Now comes the hard part: scaling up, proving it in clinical trials, and making a successful business out of it.
Thursday, October 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Asia-Pacific J&J Innovation Center opens with Shanghai HQ

Source: Pharma Times

Johnson & Johnson Innovation has expanded its global network of research partnering hubs with the opening of the Asia Pacific Innovation Center headquartered in Shanghai with satellites in Singapore, Australia and Japan.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

Venture Capital Firm Invests in Start-Ups With a Social Mission

Source: The New York Times

When the co-founders of SolarCity, Lyndon and Peter Rive, along with their cousin Elon Musk, were raising money for their solar energy start-up in 2007, they called on just one outside investor.
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.
Thursday, October 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

ClearlySo raises £800,000 to help support social entrepreneurs


Big Society Capital and Body Shop co-founder amongst backers of social impact investment intermediary
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 — South Asia

After Winning Hult Prize, MBA Entrepreneurs Seek To Heal Indian Healthcare

Source: BusinessBecause

Manish Ranjan led his business school team to victory in the Hult Prize 2014. Now, the MBA entrepreneur has grand plans to help fix India's healthcare system.
Tuesday, October 14, 2014 — South Asia

Social enterprise is an emerging force in Pakistan

Source: The Guardian

New social start ups tackling water, energy and construction challenges in Pakistan hope to help break the country’s reliance on aid
Thursday, October 9, 2014 — South Asia

IMJ Investment Partners’ Koichi Saito: Bopping to the BoP startup

Source: e27

Koichi Saito, Director, IMJ Investment Partners doesn’t think Manila needs Google Glass
Tuesday, September 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

Bringing Solar Power To Remote Hospitals Is Saving Lives

Source: Fast CoExist

One startup working in Nepal learned that delivering high-quality health care often means having to innovate in unexpected ways--such as building new energy systems.
Thursday, September 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: BusinessWeek

A team of students from the Indian School of Business left a Times Square Sheraton Tuesday night with $1 million to help them improve access to health care in low-income neighborhoods and with this year’s Hult Prize, which former U.S. President Bill Clinton awards annually to a team of student social entrepreneurs.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Major donors launch new fund to support innovation

Source: Devex

For some time now, major bilateral donors have been working independently to fund innovations and support startups, but a group of them announced Tuesday a new fund where they will pool capital to spur creative, pioneering interventions to tackle global development challenges.
Tuesday, September 23, 2014 — South Asia

Tata announces social enterprise challenge

Source: Times of India

The Tata Group has announced the commencement of the Tata Social Enterprise Challenge (TSEC) 2014-15, a joint initiative with the Indian Institute of Management Calcutta (IIM-C), to find India's most promising early-stage social enterprises.
Monday, September 22, 2014 — South Asia

Jumpstarting Indian Startups Serving The Bottom Of The Pyramid

Source: Forbes

There’s a dearth of seed-stage funding for social enterprises in developing countries, a situation known as the “pioneer gap.” That’s why Will Poole and Dave Richards co-founded Unitus Seed Fund about two years ago and, recently, announced an agreement with the U.S. Global Development Lab, a new enterprise within USAID, to jumpstart the early-stage impact startup ecosystem in India.
Friday, September 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: The Next Web

BlackBerry today announced it has acquired Movirtu, a UK startup that allows multiple numbers to be active on a single device.
Thursday, September 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: PR Newswire

Aindra Systems, an early-stage startup, has secured backing by Villgro, the Social Enterprise Incubator focused on funding startups having a social impact.
Thursday, September 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why This VC Firm Thinks B Corporations Are A Good Investment

Source: Fast CoExist

The Collaborative Fund believes that B Corp social good certification is a signal that startups are making decisions that are better in the long term.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014 — South Asia

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

Source: Press Release

September 2, 2014: San Francisco. Today at SOCAP 14, Unitus Seed Fund launched its India Impact Acceleration Program to help improve and accelerate the early-stage impact startup ecosystem across India in three ways: by increasing connections facilitated through “startup scouts” operating across India, working with leading incubators to help create more “venture capital-ready” startups that target low-income populations, and offering financial assistance to startups that make use of our existing Venture Advisor and Catapult Partner networks.
Monday, August 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

‘Nigerian startups will revolutionalise healthcare delivery’

Source: Nigerian Tribune

Q: I understand that Integrated Medics helps improve health care delivery. Specifically, how do you achieve this? A; We achieve this through automation of all the process in the hospital: from record office to front desk, from consulting to admission; from store to pharmacy and from NHIS desk to payment desk. Basically, by fast-tracking the healthcare delivery system.
Thursday, August 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Charlotte Business Journal

Wells Fargo & Co. has established the Wells Fargo Startup Accelerator, designed for startups pursuing innovation in financial services.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

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


UK start-up SimPrints announced it has received a £250,000 grant in funding to develop a fingerprint scanner that some are calling a “game-changer” in global healthcare, according to Cambridge News.
Monday, August 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Collaborative Fund, CircleUp Partner to Invest $4 Million in B Corps

Source: Wall Street Journal

New York City-based venture firm Collaborative Fund, and CircleUp, the fundraising platform for “anything but tech” startups, have partnered to invest $4 million into certified B Corps, said CircleUp co-founder Ryan Caldbeck.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 — South Asia

How far off are drones in the delivery of rural care?

Source: Healthcare Dive

A Silicon Valley startup called Matternet is pioneering a pilot program that uses drones to connect rural care providers with major hospitals in Bhutan.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — South Asia

How 500 Startups-backed SocialCops gets to the bottom of the pyramid with big data

Source: Tech in Asia

India, like most developing countries, struggles to bridge the gulf between authorities and the common man. Even the best of intentions come to naught when the benefits of welfare schemes don’t reach the people who need them the most — and those in high places can’t seem to figure out why.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Top 20 African tech startups, PesaPal, mobile services providers in the lead

Source: Venture Capital Post

Africa today is said to be a mobile continent, according to CNN. As such, a lot of innovative startups concentrate on developing innovative products and systems for mobile applications.
Monday, July 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

Skoll Centre Venture Award winners: Tree-planting Quad-Copters and Farmers’ Transport Logistics

Source: Skoll Centre

Two new social ventures with founding teams from the University of Oxford have been chosen to receive this year’s Skoll Centre Venture Awards. The winners are Biocarbon Engineering, focusing on replanting one billion trees annually through the use of quad-copter technology, and Linkage, which aims to help smallholder farmers in Kenya to improve their selling practises and supply chain using an Uber-like logistics and transport system.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Next Big Thing You Missed: Bigger, Cheaper Fuel Cells Will Eliminate Power Outages

Source: Wired

General Electric has a bright idea for keeping the lights on even when the electrical grid short-circuits. The 122-year-old company wants to bring clean, reliable, affordable energy to the masses with hyper-efficient fuel cells , and in a rare move, is launching a startup to do it.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 — South Asia

A new kind of no-frills bank could kickstart India’s long-awaited mobile money revolution

Source: Quartz

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is one of the few institutions Indians respect (paywall). India’s central bank is known for being clean, sensible, and well-run. It is also extremely cautious
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Unrestricted Funding, Famous Alums Fuel Coveted Fellowship For Social Entrepreneurs

Source: Forbes

Echoing Green. If you’re apt in poetry or if you just Googled the name, you’d know it was the title of a poem by William Blake that begins with “The sun does arise, And make happy the skies.” That theme of embracing a better world translates to another Echoing Green — a nonprofit that empowers social entrepreneurs, in part by offering what have become prestigious fellowships.
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.
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 — South Asia

Impact Investing in India: Poised to Grow?

Source: CFA Institute

Impact investments are expected to increase globally this year, with South Asia and Southeast Asia among the top target regions, according to a recent survey by JPMorgan and Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN). This could bode well, in particular, for India’s nascent impact investment sector, which is one of the most active in the region.
Wednesday, July 2, 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, June 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

Ours To Own Denver Campaign Launches at Clinton Global Initiative America

Source: PRWeb

Calvert Foundation and local partners announce the Ours To Own campaign, enabling Metro Denver residents to invest in their city.
Monday, June 23, 2014 — South Asia

Cisco Investments announces $40 million fund for early-stage firms in India

Source: Economic Times India

BANGALORE: Cisco Investments has set aside $40 million (Rs 240.9 crore) to invest in early stage Indian startups focused primarily on three verticals--connected mobility, big data and internet of things.
Thursday, June 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Nurturing Startups Trying To Reduce Pollution From Plastic

Source: Forbes

The problem of plastic pollution is so vast, it deserves a business accelerator for startups focused only on reducing all that waste. Now there is one.
Thursday, June 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Infuse Ventures, Intellecap Impact Investment Network invest Rs 3 crore in solar startup Surya Power

Source: The Economic Times

MUMBAI: Intellecap Impact Investment Network (I3N) andInfuse Ventures have invested $500,000, or Rs 3 crore, in Coimbatore-based solar-agriculture startup Surya PowerMagic.
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.
Thursday, June 5, 2014 — No Region Specified

Q&A: A Kenyan Startup That Has Bikers’ Back, Literally

Source: AFK Insider

What do you get when an electronics engineer, a certified accountant and an IT guru come together and decide to become social entrepreneurs? CladLight. At least that holds true for the CladLight’s trio founders that comprise brothers Charles and Joseph Muchene and friend Michael Gathogo.
Thursday, June 5, 2014 — No Region Specified

IAN launches new incubator for social start-ups

Source: LiveMint

The programme will be conducted in association with GIZ GmbH and the SIDBI
Wednesday, June 4, 2014 — No Region Specified

IAN partners SIDBI & Germany’s GIZ to launch incubation programme for social enterprises in India


Indian Angel Network (IAN), a national network of angel investors that invests in startups and early-stage ventures, has launched an incubation programme to empower entrepreneurs in building sustainable and scalable businesses in the social impact space.
Friday, May 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

GrowthAfrica invests in five Kenyan agribusiness start-ups

Source: Press Release

Five Kenyan entrepreneurs receive 5,000 USD each to solve problems in the agriculture value chain. Nairobi- Kenya- 22nd May 2014: The Growth Hub; a Nairobi based high impact business accelerator is pleased to announce the five start-ups that have received 5,000USD in funding after a successful 16 week incubation program to develop a prototype, pilot and launch their innovation in the market.
Monday, May 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Kenyan crowdfunding site touts investment for startups

Source: HumanIPO

Kenyan startup Tevat is set to launch a site allowing startups to raise money through crowdfunding by connecting them with investors both in Africa and the diaspora.
Friday, May 9, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Accion Venture Lab Invests in RevolutionCredit

Source: Press Release

Accion, a pioneer and leader in financial inclusion, today announced an investment in the financial capability and behavioral-credit insight company RevolutionCredit, through Accion Venture Lab, a $10 million initiative dedicated to providing seed capital and management support to financial inclusion start-ups.
Friday, May 2, 2014 — South Asia

Harvard Startup Champion Focuses on India's Women

Source: CNN Money

Saathi, a social enterprise startup that provides low-cost sanitary napkins and jobs to women in rural India, took top honors at Harvard's New Venture Competition. Co-founder Amrita Siagal discusses the origins of the project and its path forward.
Thursday, May 1, 2014 — No Region Specified

Online Solar Marketplace Raises $1M In Equity Crowdfunding

Source: Forbes

Levine, a serial entrepreneur, raised $2 million in an angel round in 2011 and $14 million in a second round the next year.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

7 Incredible Health Tech Innovations Changing the Way South Africans Live

Source: Venture Burn

Nowhere is the need for more efficient, more accessible and generally more powerful tools as great as it is in Africa.
Monday, April 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why investors are pouring millions into crowdfunding

Source: Forbes

There is no shortage of evidence testifying to the value of crowdfunding for those seeking to finance a new product idea, company, or even personal need. Just this month, Kickstarter-born Oculus VR was snatched up by Facebook for $2 billion. Smartwatch-maker Pebble sold more than 400,000 of its crowdfunded smartwatches last year. And in March, Kickstarter surpassed $1 billion in pledges made.
Thursday, April 17, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In Developing World Healthcare Market, Low-tech is the New Cutting Edge

Source: Rapid Growth Media

The r(Evolve) Centrifuge, developed by CentriCycle, is a manual hand-crank blood centrifuge that can operate without electricity in rural areas, separating blood for quick and accurate diagnostic testing.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Opinion: Richard Branson on World Health Day

Source: Virgin

This year’s World Health Day is focused on vector-borne diseases.
Friday, April 4, 2014 — No Region Specified

Investors warm up to start-ups with a cause

Source: Live Mint

To outsiders, Vindhya e-Infomedia Pvt. Ltd appears to be just another business process outsourcing (BPO) company. What sets the Bangalore-based company apart is the fact that 80% of its 500 employees comprise women below the poverty line and those with physical disabilities; some are blind, hearing-impaired or autistic.
Friday, April 4, 2014 — No Region Specified

How Ankur Capital is following a different path to impact investment

Source: VCCircle

In 2010, J.P. Morgan estimated the potential capital need for impact investments (targeting the part of the global population earning less than $3,000 a year), which drive not just social impact but also financial returns, to be $400 billion to $1,000 billion over the next 10 years. Fortunately, over the last 20 years, the number of specialised commercial funds in the impact investing space has risen 10 times. Capital committed to impact investing via private equity style active managers alone has risen from $4 billion to $12 billion over the same period.
Friday, April 4, 2014 — No Region Specified

Medtronic and partners are using mobile tech to screen thousands in India for ear infections

Source: MedCity News

In collaboration with a mobile health startup, a design firm and local health clinics, Medtronic is orchestrating a program aimed at improving diagnosis and treatment of ear infections and hearing loss in India, meanwhile supporting its ENT business there.
Thursday, April 3, 2014 — South Asia

Oxfam Vietnam Will Begin Investing in Social Enterprises

Source: Social Enterprise Buzz

Oxfam’s office in Vietnam has launched a new impact investing program to support social enterprises in the country.
Monday, March 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

mHealth startup Telemed secures venture capital from The African Group

Source: ventureburn

Telemed Medical Services is an Ethiopian startup responsible for the country’s popular mobile health and medical consultancy service, Hello Doctor, and has recently announced it’s raised funds from US-based VC group The Africa Group (TAG). The Ethiopian engineering consultancy that, among other things, specialises in mobile health consulting is giving up a 25% stake of Telemed and plans to further address a crucial demand for health-related service delivery.
Monday, March 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

Startup wants West Michigan devices to improve medical care in developing world

Source: MiBiz

Three young entrepreneurs want to leverage the strength of West Michigan’s medical device capabilities to commercialize new products that could help improve care in the developing world.
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
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

Computer Access for the Poorest at $7 a Head

Source: Times of Israel

Israeli start-up Keepod believes it has a low-cost way to bring the billions living in poverty into the digital age.
Monday, March 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

“Early-stage investments harder to make” says Omidyar Network’s Bannick

Source: Times of India

Omidyar Network, the Redwood City, California-based impact investment firm, will allocate $30 million this year across sectors as it looks to pick ventures that cater both to the bottom-of-the-pyramid population as well as the swelling aspirational class in India.
Thursday, March 20, 2014 — South Asia

Aavishkar Hopes to Close $75 M Frontier Fund, Take Impact Investing Model Beyond India

Source: Business Standard

Set to take its impact investing model to Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Pakistan
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Can this tiny startup be the definitive lender for the world's emerging middle class?

Source: CNN Money

A big challenge for people in an emerging middle class who are struggling to find avenues to credit is that they rarely have formal credit histories. They do, however, have social networks -- rich communities of family members and friends who can vouch for their character and credibility. And increasingly, as smartphones open up the Internet's opportunities to growing numbers of people, they have online social networks that mirror their communities.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Is Equity Crowdfunding The Key To More International Startup Hubs?

Source: Forbes

Is crowdfunding the secret to creating more Silicon Valley-like tech hubs around the world? Crowdfunder CEO Chance Barnett argues yes.
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.
Friday, February 28, 2014 — South Asia

Ankur Capital bets on real India, invests in three early-stage rural ventures

Source: Economic Times

NEW DELHI: Impact investment fund, Ankur Capital, has invested in three early-stage ventures that focus on rural markets.
Friday, August 16, 2013 — North Africa and Near East

What you need to know about the Middle East’s new social entrepreneurs

Source: Devex

Many things amazed me in my travels across the growing tech startup ecosystem in the Middle East over the past two tumultuous years.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013 — No Region Specified

Gates Foundation Lures Biotech VC to Work on Global Health Startups

Source: Xconomy

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has people with big Rolodexes that extend into high levels of government, philanthropy, public health, and Big Pharma. Now the organization has hired someone to open doors to biotech entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.
Friday, July 26, 2013 — South Asia

IIM Calcutta setting up incubator for BoP startups


Startup incubators and accelerators have been cropping up across the country in the recent times (which is good news for the domestic startup ecosystem). Now Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta is planning to set up an incubation centre which will focus on social enterprises addressing the problems of people living at the bottom of the pyramid.
Monday, July 15, 2013 — No Region Specified

Eye on Emerging Markets, Firm Invests in Start-Up

Source: The New York Times

As the world awaited the next pope in March, Peter Bale, the vice president and general manager for digital at CNN International in London, wanted to know how Africans would react if the pope were from their continent. Instead of commissioning telephone pollsters or gleaning insights from social media, Mr. Bale used a mobile platform called Jana, which rewards users with free airtime if they take a survey.
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 14, 2013 — South Asia

Yourstory Buys Social Entrepreneurship Platform - ThinkChange India

Source: Deal Curry, the media platform covering startups and early stage deals, has acquired social enterprise platform ThinkChange India.
Friday, May 31, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Selling Solar Panels on the Installment Plan in Africa

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

Some solar startups are addressing the problem with creative financing models.
Thursday, May 30, 2013 — No Region Specified

Maternal Health Startup Makes History As First 'Do-It-Yourself' Benefit Corporation In Michigan

Source: Forbes

A Michigan startup company founded by University of Michigan students has made legal history by becoming the first “do-it-yourself” benefit corporation in the state. Deborah Burand, a law professor at the University of Michigan and co-founder of the International Transactions Clinic (ITC), reports.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013 — South Asia

The “Technology for Impact Accelerator” announces the first batch of 16 startups

Source: Your Story

“Technology for Impact Accelerator” program for business creating social impact is an initiative by CIIE- IIM Ahmedabad and Village Capital. As a part of the first batch, 16 startups have been selected.
Thursday, January 3, 2013 — South Asia

Unitus Seed Fund lands $8 Million for BoP Startups from Leading Early-stage Investors

Source: Press Release

Investment includes backing of Vinod Khosla, Mohandas Pai, Mike Murray and others
Monday, November 5, 2012 — South Asia

Can the 'American Dream' be reversed in India?

Source: BBC

America's Silicon Valley has always been a hub for some of the brightest and best Indian immigrants to start businesses. Now, in a reversal, more people from the US are moving to the sub-continent with their ideas.
Friday, September 28, 2012 — Europe & Eurasia

Deutsche Bank Announces Essential Capital Fund at 2012 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

Source: Daily Finance

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Deutsche Bank announced its Commitment to Action at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting. The commitment was to the structuring of the Essential Capital Fund (the "Fund") which defines an innovative approach to providing early stage high risk money to support the impact investing sector.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 — No Region Specified

DemystData Announces Series A Investment to Help Financial Institutions Grow Through Deeper Customer Data

Source: PR Web

Strategic investment from Accion and Arbor Partners Asia strengthens DemystData's position in the $12 billion big data marketplace.
Monday, August 27, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Innovation in Africa: Upwardly mobile

Source: The Economist

VISITORS to Kenya’s capital are often horrified by the homicidal minibuses called matatu. They swerve around potholes, seldom signal and use their iffy brakes only at the last second. They are therefore an ideal subject for a video game, which is why Planet Rackus, a Nairobi start-up, released “Ma3Racer” last year. Each player uses his mobile phone to steer a matatu down the street. The (unrealistic) goal is to avoid pedestrians. Within a month, a quarter of a million people in 169 countries had downloaded the game.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012 — South Asia

Start-ups like InVenture flourish with technology services for micro finance firms

Source: The Economic Times

BANGALORE: A new wave of start-up companies is building technology enabled services aimed at bridging the communication gap between borrowers and lenders in the embattled microfinance industry.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012 — Latin America

A Look Inside Pipa, Brazil’s First Start-Up Incubator

Source: Fast Company

Pipa (Portuguese for “kite”) is an incubator, or to be more specific an accelerator, focused on supporting entrepreneurs looking to create long-term sustainable value through business. We aim to support these entrepreneurs in their quest to create positive social, environmental and financial impact, something Brazil is engaging with more and more.
Monday, August 6, 2012 — South Asia

Ideas man: professor in quest for India's rural inventions

Source: Hindustan Times

t's 43 degrees Celsius, and Prof. Anil Gupta has been hiking the scorched plains of central India for hours. But he smiles widely as he enters a tiny village in search of another unsung genius. "If you have any new ideas or you have any new inventions, I'm here to promote you," he tells farmers squatting beside a dusty roadside shrine to Lord Shiva.
Thursday, August 2, 2012 — No Region Specified

74 Million Served, and Counting: 10th Annual Class of Global Social Entrepreneurs Coming to Silicon Valley

Source: Market Watch

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Aug 02, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Anuj Sharma's startup company, Sarvajal, has found a way to bring clean water to thousands of households in rural India, who would otherwise have to walk miles or drink disease-causing dirty water. Sarvajal dispenses water from solar-powered, ATM-like machines. Customers pay around $3 a month with their cell phones, and special mobile technology alerts the company if there are problems with any of its 157 franchised machines.
Friday, July 27, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ethiopian shoemaker takes great strides

Source: BBC

Eight years ago Ethiopia's Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu decided to sell cool colourful shoes made of recycled materials, including car tyres.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 — North Africa and Near East

Microfinance Giant Launches Venture Capital Fund For East Africa

Source: Forbes

Accion, an international microfinance and investment firm, has launched Venture Lab, a $10 million investment vehicle which will provide seed capital and management support to financial inclusion startups worldwide, with a particular focus on East Africa and India.
Friday, April 6, 2012 — No Region Specified

Men Start Businesses for the Money: Women for the Social Value

Source: ScienceDaily

A study of the sexes reveals that when it comes to starting a business, women are more likely than men to consider individual responsibility and use business as a vehicle for social and environmental change.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012 — No Region Specified

Accion Launches Venture Lab, a Seed-Stage Investment Initiative for Financial Inclusion Start-ups

Source: Press Release

Accion, a pioneer and leader in global microfinance, today announced the launch of Venture Lab, an initiative dedicated to providing seed capital and management support to financial inclusion start-ups worldwide. The $10 million program will seek out companies that have completed research and development and are at the pilot/first-revenue stage. Investments will typically be in the range of US $100,000-$300,000, invested either as convertible debt or equity.
Monday, March 19, 2012 — South Asia

Start-ups to be Taxed on Funds from Angel Investors


Start-ups raising money from angel investors will have to pay income tax from April on the funds they receive after the national budget on Friday proposed to treat the capital received as income from other sources, if the consideration received for issue of shares exceeds the face value of such shares.
Friday, February 17, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Quiet Revolution in Social Impact

Source: PandoDaily

There are currently 30 million African migrants who have left their home countries to find work elsewhere. They support more than 300 million people in their home countries, remitting essential food and goods, and in aggregate represent more than $10b in annual economic activity. This is an economy without an infrastructure, however, relying on informal channels and bribes to function. South African entrepreneur Suzana Moreira is working to change that. Her startup moWozauses SMS to help African migrants order, pay for, and select a place for parcel pickup.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How Africa Can Extract Big Benefits for Everyone from Natural Resources


As the Natural Resource Charter holds its third annual workshop at the University Oxford, in the UK, this week, the combination of rising commodity prices and falling costs of communication technology presents Africa with an unprecedented opportunity to reduce poverty and fight corruption at the same time. T...
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