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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, 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 08, 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 04, 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 04, 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 04, 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 03, 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 07, 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

Source: Techcircle.in

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

YourStory.in, 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 09, 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 03, 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 05, 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 07, 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 06, 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 02, 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 06, 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 03, 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

Source: livemint.com

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

Source: Guardian.co.uk

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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