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
Friday, August 15, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

In Tehran, a Taxi's Metamorphosis Is Kafkaesque

Source: The Wall Street Journal

The husband-and-wife team of Mehdi Yazdany and Sarvenaz Heraner were cruising the streets of Iran's sprawling capital in search of targets.
Friday, August 15, 2014 — South Asia

Mastercard and Indosat give 60M Indonesians access to electronic payments

Source: PYMNTS

Indonesian mobile operator Indosat is making it easier and more secure for Indonesians working abroad to send money back home to family and friends by adding the MasterCard-backed HomeSend service to its offerings, the telco said this week.
Friday, August 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uganda: Airtel introduces mobile money saving solution

Source: IT News Africa

Airtel Uganda, in conjunction with Grameen Foundation, has developed a service that will allow Village Savings and Loan Associations (VSLAs) and other forms of savings groups, such as Chamas or investment clubs, to store their group’s cash as mobile money.
Friday, August 15, 2014 — South Asia

Airtel, Voda, Idea move to cash in on mobile payments in India

Source: Hindustan Times

Till a few years ago, Sachin Dhaval had to visit the collection centre of SUMUL, the Surat-based milk co-operative, to pay cash a day in advance for placing his orders.
Friday, August 15, 2014 — South Asia

Growth of independent India an amazing story; empower it by health investment: Bill Gates

Source: Economic Times India

Today, the prime minister will stand at the Red Fort to address the nation. For a generation, the Independence Day speech has been about India's mind-blowing progress - and today's will be no different.
Friday, August 15, 2014 — South Asia

Cambodia's Orphan Business

Source: Al Jazeera

People & Power goes undercover to reveal how 'voluntourism' could be fuelling the exploitation of Cambodian children.
Thursday, August 14, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenyan corporates commit to supporting health in Africa

Source: ReliefWeb

Corporate leaders and other representatives from the private sector pledged their support for health and health development in Africa at a roundtable meeting organised by Amref Health Africa in Nairobi today.
Thursday, August 14, 2014 — South Asia

Largest transaction in Indian microfinance since 2010

Source: Microfinance Focus

Janalakshmi, a microfinance institution headquartered in Bangalore, announced that it had closed its Series D primary equity raise of INR 3.25 billion.
Thursday, August 14, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uganda, Tanzania latest to welcome Diaspora Mobile Money transfer service

Source: Tech Moran

The Diaspora Mobile money transfer service from Rapid Communications’ is now in Uganda, Tanzania and Senegal only a month after it was unveiled in Kenya.
Wednesday, August 13, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ebola outbreak spreads fear in rural Sierra Leone

Source: Enquirer

Weeks under the strain of bad news, much uncertainty and no direct support are taking a toll on rural towns like Rotifunk, in Bumpeh Chiefdom, the focus of my all-volunteer nonprofit Sherbro Foundation Sierra Leone.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya's mobile money transactions hit KES1 trillion

Source: ITWeb Africa

Statistics from the Central Bank of Kenya indicate that Kenyans transferred over KES 1 trillion between January and June this year.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 — South Asia

Banking correspondents risking lives to bring financial inclusion to India

Source: LiveMint

In Bihar alone, at least 14 attacks on bank kiosk operators have been reported in the last two years
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: Western Union Expands Collaboration with MTN Group; Launches Mobile Money Transfer Service in the Ivory Coast

Source: Market Watch

Consumers Who Subscribe to MTN Mobile Money Can Now Receive a Western Union Money Transfer Transaction on Their Mobile Phones
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 — South Asia

Direct cash transfers will reduce corruption in India, says Reserve Bank governor

Source: Economic Times India

Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan made a strong pitch for direct cash transfers to the poor, saying this would help reduce corruption by breaking the "cycle of dependence".
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Ebola shows the need to rethink global public health

Source: Montreal Gazette

NEW YORK - The horrific Ebola epidemic in at least four West African countries (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria) demands not only an emergency response to halt the outbreak; it also calls for rethinking some basic assumptions of global public health.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 — South Asia

India's Welcome Reform Of Its Ghastly Food Aid Program

Source: Forbes

India is making essential changes to the way that it operates its food aid program for the poor.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

Dengue vaccine is just a year away, researchers say

Source: SciDev.Net

A new vaccine that can halve the number of dengue cases provides a welcome shot to fight a deadly disease that infects around 390 million people every year in the tropics.
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.
Tuesday, August 12, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

WHO backs use of experimental Ebola drugs in West Africa outbreak

Source: Reuters

It is ethical to offer unproven drugs or vaccines to people infected or at risk in West Africa's deadly Ebola outbreak, a World Health Organisation panel of medical ethics experts ruled on Tuesday, but cautioned supplies will be limited.
Monday, August 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

A qualified success for the Peterborough prison social impact bond

Source: ThirdSector

Not everyone is confident about the prospects for replicating what might prove to be a one-off experiment, says Stephen Cook
Monday, August 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Novartis aims to improve healthcare access in developing nations

Source: The Guardian

Novartis has trained more than 500 health educators and supervisors, addressing healthcare issues for remote communities in emerging markets
Monday, August 11, 2014 — South Asia

RuPay cards to replace Aadhaar in welfare scheme authentication in India

Source: Economic Times India

The finance ministry has decided to limit Aadhaar's role in its welfare scheme payments and, instead, use ATM-enables RuPay cards for last-mile authentication to withdraw money.
Monday, August 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

An easier way to manipulate malaria genes

Source: MIT News

New approach to knocking out parasite’s genes could make it easier to identify drug targets.
Monday, August 11, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ebola virus: Liberia health system 'overtaxed'

Source: BBC News

Liberia's information minister has admitted that the country's health care system has been overwhelmed by the spread of the deadly Ebola virus.
Monday, August 11, 2014 — South Asia

Apollo Hospitals to expand footprint with hub and spoke model

Source: Business Standard

Apollo Hospitals Ltd is actively looking at expansion with the hub and spoke model and harnessing the telemedicine technology.
Monday, August 11, 2014 — South Asia

Ideas for a financially inclusive India

Source: Deccan Herald

The Prime Minister is expected to outline a policy on financial inclusion in his maiden speech from the ramparts of Red Fort on August 15, 2014.
Monday, August 11, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ebola virus: Vaccine 'should be ready for 2015', WHO says, as GSK plays down timing

Source: The Independent

An Ebola vaccine should be ready for public use by 2015, the United Nation’s health agency has said.
Friday, August 08, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Why the Ebola Vaccine Won't Be Administered in Africa

Source: Newsweek

The earliest the world can expect a vaccine to curb spreading of Ebola in West Africa is about a year away, scientists say.
Friday, August 08, 2014 — South Asia

India has big plans for healthcare and pharma

Source: PM Live

The rumblings of an Indian healthcare earthquake have been gathering pace for some years but the arrival of a new government with a mandate of progressive reform promises to make the earth move for pharma.
Friday, August 08, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Will Obama’s “New Africa” Deliver on Its Promises?

Source: IPS News

WASHINGTON, Aug 7 2014 (IPS) - As the three-day U.S- Africa Leaders Summit here drew to a close Wednesday, experts across the private, public and non-profit sectors continued to debate the opportunities and obstacles posed by the U.S’ expanding business partnership with Africa.
Thursday, August 07, 2014 — South Asia

Indian Banks to ensure minimum remuneration to business correspondents

Source: Business Standard

Over 220,000 BCs had been appointed by banks after the RBI pushed this as a cost-effective way of extending banking services to the unbanked villages
Thursday, August 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Why Global Health Researchers Should Climb Down From the Ivory Tower

Source: Forbes

In the late 1970s, the Chicago Police Department noticed that the city’s crime rate increased when cops stopped walking the beat and started driving around in patrol cars instead.
Thursday, August 07, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

World Bank Group Commits US$ 5 Billion to Boost Electricity Generation in Six African Countries

Source: World Bank

The World Bank Group today committed $5 billion in new technical and financial support for energy projects in six African countries-- Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, and Tanzania—which have partnered with President Obama’s Power Africa initiative.
Thursday, August 07, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

As America Turns Its Gaze Toward Africa, It Has The Chance To Promote A New Model Of Investment

Source: Huffington Post

This week U.S. investors and African leaders from the African continent will converge on Washington D.C. for the inaugural US - Africa Leader's Summit.
Thursday, August 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

Red Cross experiments with a very different money remittance approach

Source: PYMNTS

When Red Cross workers are helping with disaster relief in the middle of war-torn areas or natural disasters, the last thing they need to deal with are money-transfer headaches to secure critical supplies and services.
Thursday, August 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

PEPFAR and CIFF Launch $200 million Accelerating Children's HIV/AIDS Treatment Initiative (ACT) to Save Lives

Source: PEPFAR

Today, the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), in partnership with the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), launched Accelerating Children’s HIV/AIDS Treatment (ACT).
Thursday, August 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

Meet the Bots That Knew Ebola Was Coming


Online technology has improved the ability to detect and track outbreaks
Thursday, August 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESCRIPTIONS: Health solutions lie in effective partnerships

Source: The Daily Mail

Anyone working in the public health sphere knows that things are looking up when a group of experts deliberating over solutions to diseases go beyond the rhetoric and come up with unique and easily applicable ideas.
Wednesday, August 06, 2014 — No Region Specified

3 Startups Offer New 'Microloan' Options for Entrepreneurs With Big Ambitions

Source: Entrepreneur

In the United States, a whopping 543,000 new businesses are launched each month. Sadly, half of all start-ups aren’t able to keep their doors open for more than five years. The failure of many small businesses is due, in large part, to lack of funding.
Wednesday, August 06, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How other countries are scrambling for Africa alongside the U.S.

Source: The Washington Post

This week in Washington, dozens of African heads of state are converging for a landmark series of meetings with U.S. officials and businesses.
Wednesday, August 06, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

What’s the Real Risk of the West African Ebola Outbreak?

Source: Dalberg

Ebola’s deadly sweep across West Africa has raised global alarm: Nigeria recently became the fourth country affected by the virus when a traveler fell ill and died in Lagos after flying there from Monrovia.
Wednesday, August 06, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

GE Foundation Commits $20-Million to Maternal and Child Health in Africa

Source: Philanthropy

The GE Foundation will spend an additional $20-million over the next five years to advance maternal and child health in Africa, an expansion of its existing global health development program, officials say.
Wednesday, August 06, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Caterpillar Foundation Announces $11 Million in Investments for Africa's Future Through Water, Energy and Women

Source: Market Watch

Foundation's focus on corporate social innovation helps put people on the path to prosperity
Wednesday, August 06, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

U.S. wants Nigeria to take economic leadership in Africa

Source: The Guardian Nigeria

The United States government has expressed the expectation of Nigeria to lead the African continent into economic advancement.
Tuesday, August 05, 2014 — No Region Specified

‘While the US may be late to the party, it has a lot to offer Africa’

Source: HowWeMadeItInAfrica

Africa offers US multinationals a compelling trade and investment opportunity thanks to the rapid economic growth rates being experienced across the continent along with burgeoning population growth and increasing urbanisation, according to South African-based Standard Bank.
Tuesday, August 05, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile Money Grows In Africa But Hurdles Remain

Source: Gulf Business

Industry players say a fragmented and tough regulatory environment is holding the mobile money industry back.
Tuesday, August 05, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile tech on the Africa health frontier

Source: Politico

Billions have been spent to bring AIDS medicines to patients in Africa, but a technology with just as much lifesaving potential can be had for pennies: the text message.
Tuesday, August 05, 2014 — No Region Specified

Meet the Tiny Company Behind the Experimental Antibodies for Ebola

Source: ABC News

The companies manufacturing an experimental drug treating two American Ebola patients aren't among the largest multinational pharmaceuticals in the world. In fact, leading the effort is a small nine-employee firm in San Diego.
Monday, August 04, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Obama's Africa legacy moment?

Source: Devex

U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to three African countries last summer might have been dubbed the “trade not aid” tour.
Monday, August 04, 2014 — South Asia

Will Indian PM Narendra Modi's financial inclusion plan use Aadhaar for authentication?

Source: Economic Times India

NEW DELHI: In less than two weeks, PM Narendra Modi is expected to announce a new Financial Inclusion drive.
Monday, August 04, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

What Vodacom has learned from M-PESA’s initial failure in South Africa

Source: Gadget

Following a disastrous South African launch in 2010, Vodacom has redesigned and re launched m-pesa, the mobile money service that has transformed the Kenyan economy. ARTHUR GOLDSTUCK considers its chances of success.
Friday, August 01, 2014 — South Asia

PRESS RELEASE: New Report on Integrated Health and Microfinance in India Shows the Way Forward

Source: Digital Journal

On July 29, 2014, Freedom from Hunger, the Microcredit Summit Campaign, and the Indian Institute of Public Health, Gandhinagar released a new report titled "Integrated Health and Microfinance in India, Volume II: The Way Forward." The report was released in advance of the South Asia Conference on Policies and Practices to Improve Nutrition Security in New Delhi, India.
Friday, August 01, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: The paradox that is Indian healthcare

Source: The Hindu Business Line

The best and the worst of facilities exist cheek by jowl. This glaring contradiction needs to be addressed
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

5 Bad Reasons to Start a For-Profit Social Enterprise

Source: Harvard Business Review

Should a new social good organization choose a for-profit model or a nonprofit one? This is a question we face each year at my organization, Echoing Green, when we evaluate thousands of business plans from social entrepreneurs seeking start-up capital and support.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

M-PESA’s back: Vodacom relaunches mobile money in South Africa

Source: htxt

Vodacom has announced that it is relaunching its M-PESA mobile money payments system today, with a new look design for South Africans.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: Survival Instinct Takes Over As Banks Partner With Telecoms

Source: AllAfrica

As the fight for customers between banks and telecoms continues to grow by the day, banks have realised that the only way to ease the pressure and also stay competitive is to work with telecoms.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — South Asia

Incofin floats ProPulse Fund to back microfinance cos, targets institutions

Source: VCCircle

Incofin has backed microfinance firms such as Annapurna, Fusion and Grameen Koota in India.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — South Asia

India's battle against unneeded medical care finds World Bank support

Source: Reuters

India needs to curtail excessive medical care that leads to patient overspending as more people get health insurance, the World Bank said on Thursday, adding voice to a growing chorus against overtreatment in the country.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

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

Source: Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School (HBS) has named Matthew M. Segneri (MBA 2010) the new Director of its Social Enterprise Initiative (SEI), succeeding Laura Moon, who has become Managing Director of the School’s wide array of Initiatives, which focus on research and course development in specific topics such as leadership, health care, and digital technology.
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.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Protector Plus 'night campaigns' to promote condom usage in Africa

Source: Bulawayo24

Population Services International (PSI) has ventured into Protector Plus night campaigns in a bid to promote usage of a new brand of condoms, New Man in Town, as the fight against HIV and Aids continues, an official has said.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

EcoCash Launches Africa’s first physical MasterCard companion card in Zimbabwe

Source: Biztechafrica

Econet’s Mobile Money service, EcoCash, has announced a landmark agreement with MasterCard that will significantly assist in reducing cash dependence and increase financial inclusion through the provision of electronic payments in Zimbabwe.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — South Asia

Indian government aims to open 7.5 crore bank accounts by August 15, 2018

Source: Economic Times India

The NDA government has drafted a new financial inclusion plan that aims to open 7.5 crore bank accounts in rural and urban areas and extend financial services to all citizens by August 15, 2018.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

'Pretty Good' Malaria Vaccine Moves Forward

Source: Voice of America News

A “pretty good” malaria vaccine is on track to be the first to market.
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.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — South Asia

Manila Is Building Out A 100,000-Strong Network Of Electric Trikes

Source: Fast CoExist

Giving the city's three-wheeled taxi network an electric upgrade.
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Airtel wins case against Safaricom to open up M-Pesa

Source: HumanIPO

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) has ruled in favour of Airtel after the company accused its rival Safaricom of anti-competitive practice, a move coming weeks after Safaricom had decided to open up the network.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

#BBCtrending: Can social media help prevent the spread of Ebola?

Source: BBC News

West Africa is in the grip of the world's deadliest outbreak of Ebola, and many in the region are using social media to educate each other on the symptoms and prevention methods.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

'No Market': Scientists Struggle to Make Ebola Vaccines, Treatments

Source: NBC News

At least four vaccines are being developed to protect people against Ebola, including one that protects monkeys completely against the deadly virus. Several groups are also working on treatments, but one of the most promising is stuck in safety testing.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

What Nigeria needs to drive mobile money growth

Source: BusinessDay Online

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy by GDP, will require a national accelerator programme to drive the adoption and usage of mobile money services by the vast majority of Nigerians, said Emmanuel Okoegwale, principal consultant at Mobile Money Africa.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 — No Region Specified

5 ways to deliver nutrition through cash crop standards

Source: Devex

Nutrition security is an essential part of improving farmer livelihoods.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Sweden resumes aid to Uganda after suspending it over anti-gay law

Source: Reuters

KAMPALA (Reuters) - Sweden has resumed financial aid to Uganda after suspending some assistance in March over a law widely condemned by donor nations that increases punishment for homosexuals.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Accion’s Frontier Investments Group Invests in Eseye

Source: Accion

Accion, a pioneer and leader in bringing financial services to the underserved, today announced that its Frontier Investments Group has become the first institutional investor in Eseye Ltd, a global machine-to-machine (‘M2M’) technology and service provider, with a participating investment in its $9.0 million Series B financing round.
Tuesday, July 29, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In Sierra Leone, Ebola continues its spread via denial and ignorance

Source: Humanosphere

Standing in line at a small, street side pharmacy just off this port city’s main drag, a well-clad woman is buying a crate of hand sanitizer.
Monday, July 28, 2014 — South Asia

Payment banks to be new revenue stream for India’s telcos

Source: Business Standard

Analysts expect all telcos to join the race; a liberal policy could boost revenues by 7-8% for the sector
Monday, July 28, 2014 — Latin America

PRESS RELEASE: President Peña Nieto of Mexico Expected to Attend 17th Microcredit Summit

Source: Digital Journal

The Microcredit Summit Campaign announced today that President Enrique Peña Nieto is expected to join the delegates of the 17th Microcredit Summit on September 3, 2014, in Merida, Mexico.
Monday, July 28, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

U.S. doctor contracts Ebola in Liberia

Source: Reuters

DAKAR (Reuters) - A 33-year-old American doctor working for a relief organisation in Liberia's capital has tested positive for the tropical disease Ebola, according to a statement from Samaritan's Purse.
Monday, July 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

Technoserve releases annual report highlighting progress on five-year strategic plan

Source: TechnoServe

We work with enterprising people in the developing world to build competitive farms, businesses and industries.
Monday, July 28, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Health insurance comes to Nigeria through mobile phone subscriptions

Source: htxt

Quality healthcare is often out of reach for many living in rural areas, but MTN in Nigeria initiated as program together with Nigeria’s National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to provide affordable healthcare to its subscribers in the country.
Friday, July 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Abia, Ford Foundation, Forward Africa partner on youth health and development

Source: The Guardian Nigeria

EXPANSION of integrated programming to improve the reproductive health and general development of young people in Abia state has taken a new turn in the state capital following the inauguration of a 15-member Technical Working Group (TWG).
Friday, July 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bill Gates: Health, agriculture key to Africa's development

Source: Global Post

Health and agriculture development are key if African countries are to overcome poverty and grow, US software billionaire Bill Gates said Thursday, as he received an honourary degree in Ethiopia.
Friday, July 25, 2014 — South Asia

From food aid to nutritious, locally produced food: A look at fortifying flour in Ethiopia

Source: Devex

Right now in Ethiopia, nearly half of all children under the age of 5 are stunted and anemic.
Friday, July 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

Fund managers hope for more robust socially conscious options

Source: Investment News

Money managers work to build products for younger investors, who are expected to favor values-driven investing
Friday, July 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

IBM, Monitise targets financial sector with mobile money solution in Kenya

Source: Capital FM Kenya

IBM and Monitise have announced a global alliance to deliver cloud-based mobile commerce solutions to help financial services institutions embrace the mobile channel and better engage with customers.
Friday, July 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Samsung partners in good health for Sub-Saharan Africa

Source: IT News Africa

Samsung Electronics has joined GSMA, an organisation that represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, to partner in initiatives that will see an improved healthcare system.
Friday, July 25, 2014 — South Asia

Challenges lying ahead for impact investing

Source: Economic Times India

Having started as an impetus for microfinance nearly a decade ago, impact investing today influences a wide array of sectors and supports innovative business models.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

World Bank conducts Zimbabwe consumer-protection review

Source: News Day

A WORLD Bank mission team is in the country to conduct Zimbabwe’s first Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy (CPFL) Diagnostic Review amid revelations that consumers were being prejudiced by financial institutions.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — South Asia

Social business shows way of development in Myanmar

Source: The Daily Star

Yunus discusses his concept with top ministers of Southeast Asian nation
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — South Asia

Chinese microcredit firms lend around USD $10 billion in first half of 2014

Source: Global Post

BEIJING, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Microcredit companies in China issued 61.8 billion yuan (about 10 billion U.S. dollars) of new loans in the first half of 2014, industry figures showed on Wednesday.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — South Asia

Can India Achieve Financial Inclusion within the Next Few Years?

Source: Huffington Post

The new Government of India has made financial inclusion one of the corner stones in its modernization aspirations for the country.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

The global impact of the female condom

Source: Daily Life

When Debby Herbenick met a friend and former colleague for lunch at the end of last year, it was only natural the conversation would turn to sex.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Solar energy technology for those with no access to electricity

Source: The Guardian

With 1.7 billion people living without access to mains electricity, we look at five solar-powered products that could ease the problems of those 'off the grid'
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — South Asia

Lax antibiotic controls raise fears of killer disease

Source: Economic Times India

NEW DELHI: A pharmacist swiftly pulls white boxes of powerful antibiotics from neatly stacked shelves behind him, and hands them over the counter without asking for a doctor's prescription.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — South Asia

The Promise of 100% and Finding Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid

Source: Forbes

“100%, yes I am telling you…100%. The deal is ours. 100%!”
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria: Doctors Strike - Hospitals Take to Free Medicals

Source: AllAfrica

An ongoing nationwide by doctors has prompted private practice and nongovernment agencies to step into healthcare to bridge gulfs let wide open when doctors walked out July 1.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya's Airtel sticks to its case against Safaricom

Source: Mobile World Live

Kenyan operator Airtel has pledged to continue its case against larger rival Safaricom over what it charges for access to its M-Pesa mobile money transfer service, said Business Daily.
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

d.light Reaches 500,000th Pay-As-You-Go Customer, Launches Access Initiative

Source: Business Ghana

Company announces strategic focus to scale solar through financing globally
Thursday, July 24, 2014 — South Asia

CAMTech India's “Jugaad-a-thon” spurs promising innovations for maternal and child health

Source: Pharma Biz

CAMTech India along with Glocal Healthcare and GE Healthcare organised ‘Jugaad-a-thon’, an event to test creativity in medical design which brought to the table 34 new solutions ranging from new tools for antenatal care to disruptive technologies for newborn asphyxia.
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 — 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 — Latin America

Financial Inclusion in Paraguay: New Mobile Money Regulation

Source: GSMA

The opportunity to increase financial access in Paraguay is massive.
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).
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 — South Asia

iClinic Healthcare looks to raise Rs 25 cr to fund expansion

Source: Business Standard

Online healthcare provider iClinic Healthcare is in talks with investors to raise Rs 25 crore to fund its expansion in India.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 — South Asia

India's new government vows clampdown on healthcare graft

Source: Reuters

India's health minister called for tougher laws on Tuesday after a media report alleged that laboratories had offered kickbacks to doctors who referred patients to their diagnostic centres.
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 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

3 Essential Elements To Increase The Viability Of Your Social Venture

Source: Fast CoExist

Every social entrepreneur discovers the same pitfalls on their way to creating impact. But you can avoid them, if you know what to expect.
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.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — South Asia

Norms on small banks fail to impress micro lenders

Source: Business Standard

The Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) draft guidelines for licensing of small banks has failed to impress microfinance companies.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — No Region Specified and Grameen-Jameel launch initiative to stimulate individual lending for microfinance

Source: CPI Financial

Kiva and Grameen-Jameel Microfinance Ltd. have partnered to launch “Change is in Your Hands” campaign.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Leveraging economic supply chains for extending health solutions to the Bottom of Pyramid (BoP)

Source: Sankalp Forum

Products and services that are of relevance to public health need a supply chain to reach the bottom of the pyramid (BoP). They need to reach the last mile with the least transaction cost and in a sustainable manner, irrespective of the type of money that is involved (investor capital, grant etc). These services and products also need a channel. Establishing a channel for them, with least cost and long term viability has been the challenge to date in a country such as India. It is in this context that it becomes relevant to look at existing market mechanisms that are already reaching large BoP populations in rural and semi-urban areas, where some level of aggregation has already taken place.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — South Asia

Price caps on drugs hurt Indian units of global pharma firms

Source: Livemint

Widening of price controls adds pressure on the local units of global manufacturers to boost sales volumes
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

More Impact Investors Are Going 'All In'

Source: Forbes

If you want to keep up with the latest buzzwords in impact investing, here’s an important one starting to hit its stride: “all in”. It means placing your whole portfolio into assets with a positive social and/or environmental impact. Putting your money–all of it–where your mouth is.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Philips introduces innovative ultra-mobile ultrasound system ‘VISIQ’ in Nigeria

Source: Business Day

Royal Philips unveiled its new ultra-mobile ultrasound system to the Nigerian market during the Lagos leg of its annual pan-African Cairo to Cape Town Roadshow.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

3 Essential Elements To Increase The Viability Of Your Social Venture

Source: Fast CoExist

Every social entrepreneur discovers the same pitfalls on their way to creating impact. But you can avoid them, if you know what to expect.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Strawberry flavoured condoms a hit

Source: The Standard Zimbabwe

NEW flavoured Protector Plus condoms with a sleeker and more stylish packaging have been introduced on the market, replacing the old Protector Plus condoms.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — South Asia

India PM Modi to unveil comprehensive financial inclusion schemes on Aug. 15 - here’s a sneak peek

Source: FirstBiz

Mumbai: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to give a big boost to the ongoing financial inclusion drive by unveiling a comprehensive programme, to be announced at the Red Fort in his address to the nation on the Independence Day.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — South Asia

World Bank Group (WBG) Loans $500m to Government of Indonesia for Financial Sector Reform

Source: MicroCapital

World Bank Group (WBG) Loans $500m to Government of Indonesia for Financial Sector Reform, Including to Boost Financial Inclusion
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — South Asia

Arun Jaitley says India needs to create productive environment for investors

Source: Business Standard

Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, said here on Saturday thatIndia needs to create such a productive environment for investors, that makes them feel that doing business in India is profitable.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — South Asia

India's youngest bank Bandhan to empower women, rural folk

Source: Business Standard

Innovative microfinance company Bandhan will operate as a bank from October next year and focus on empowering women and rural people, says its chairman and managing director Chandra Shekhar Ghosh.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa


Source: GrowthAfrica

Scaling innovative products and services to solve huge challenges in Kenya’s agriculture sector
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — Latin America

Prudential Funds NCLR Research that will build on The Hispanic American Financial Experience

Source: Market Watch

The $850,000 grant will focus on the financial education needs of U.S. Hispanic population and dig deeper into Hispanics’ knowledge, access and use of financial products to achieve long-term financial security
Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

Rise of social enterprises in Singapore prompts calls for greater regulation

Source: The Straits Times

The proliferation of so-called "social enterprises" here is prompting calls for greater regulation of this emerging sector.
Friday, July 18, 2014 — South Asia

India misses key health targets, but shows improvement

Source: Business Standard

India is lagging considerably behind its key human development index targets, including population control, infant mortality rate (IMR) and maternal mortality rate (MFR), according to figures given by Health Minister Harsh Vardhan in Lok Sabha today.
Friday, July 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The virus detective who discovered Ebola in 1976

Source: BBC News

Nearly 40 years ago, a young Belgian scientist travelled to a remote part of the Congolese rainforest - his task was to help find out why so many people were dying from an unknown and terrifying disease.
Friday, July 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

McKnight Foundation adds director of impact investing

Source: Pensions&Investments

Elizabeth McGeveran was named impact investing program director at the $2 billion McKnight Foundation, Minneapolis, spokesman Tim Hanrahan said.
Friday, July 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

International Reform Activists Dissatisfied by BRICS Bank

Source: Inter Press Service

FORTALEZA, Brazil, Jul 17 2014 (IPS) - The creation of BRICS’ (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) own financial institutions was “a disappointment” for activists from the five countries, meeting in this northeastern Brazilian city after the group’s leaders concluded their sixth annual summit here.
Friday, July 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: Why Farmers Are Loyal to Micro-Finance Institutions

Source: AllAfrica

Rwandans have hailed the role of micro-finance institutions just as Kigali is hosting a global financial inclusion summit starting today.
Friday, July 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Hampered by Cost, Zimbabweans Skip Contraceptives

Source: Voice of America News

New research suggests thousands of women in Zimbabwe get pregnant each year because they cannot afford proper birth control methods.
Friday, July 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

On Capitol Hill, a brief simulation of what poor Americans go through each day

Source: The Washington Post

U.S. Rep. Daniel Kildee (D-Mich.) had just finished voting on highway construction funding before he was rushed to a meeting room and thrust into the anxiety-ridden world of Ann and Albert.
Friday, July 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa: Cheap Nasal Spray May Save Snakebite Victims

Source: AllAfrica

Curitiba — Snakebites are a highly neglected health problem despite causing up to 84,000 deaths a year globally - but a novel, nasal spray-based approach may help reduce the toll, according to researchers.
Thursday, July 17, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom move to open up M-pesa agent network seen to aid mobile money services

Source: PC Advisor

Safaricom's move last week to allow agents for its M-pesa mobile money service to work for rival operators is broadly being viewed as having the potential to further fuel the growth of such services.
Thursday, July 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

High School Student 3D Prints Innovative Syringe Which Could Expand Vaccination Possibilities

Source: 3D Print .com

While some high school students were worrying about their school portraits or who might take them to the prom, Park City High School senior Peter Bermant was worrying about the problems with distributing vaccines in developing countries.
Thursday, July 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

5 things you need to know about the New Development Bank

Source: The Straits Times

At the 6th BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, on Tuesday, the New Development Bank was created.
Thursday, July 17, 2014 — South Asia

RBI spells out draft norms to set up payments banks, small banks in India

Source: FirstBiz

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Thursday spelled out draft norms to set up payments banks and small banks in India that will give a major push for financial inclusion, or the process of spreading banking services in the un-banked segments, in Asia’s third largest economy.
Thursday, July 17, 2014 — South Asia

Indian government to set up credit guarantee fund to support Rs 40,000-crore Financial Inclusion Mission

Source: Economic Times India

NEW DELHI: The government will set up a credit guarantee fund to support its over Rs 40,000-crore new Financial Inclusion Mission, which envisages to give a Rs 5,000 overdraft facility to around 8 crore new account holders.
Thursday, July 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Tech Entrepreneur Priya Haji, Founder And CEO Of SaveUp, Has Passed Away At 44

Source: TechCrunch

Priya Haji, a Silicon Valley tech entrepreneur known for her focus on socially-minded ventures in both the for-profit and non-profit spaces, most recently as CEO and co-founderof personal financial savings app SaveUp, passed away unexpectedly of natural causes on July 14th at the age of 44.
Thursday, July 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

A Supply Chain Overhaul To Boost Coffee Farmers' Income 400%

Source: Forbes

This is about a social enterprise on a mission to reinvent the coffee supply chain, giving farmers a bigger and more equitable piece of the action.
Thursday, July 17, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Gemalto, GSMA drive African mHealth initiative

Source: Biztechafrica

Gemalto has announced its partnership with (global System for Mobile Communication Association (GSMA1) to drive the pan-African mHealth Initiative (PAMI).
Thursday, July 17, 2014 — South Asia

Lessons from India for Africa’s healthcare entrepreneurs

Source: HowWeMadeItInAfrica

Access to high-quality, low-cost healthcare services is a big challenge in many African countries. There are few public hospitals in most areas and those available are often under-staffed, under-funded and lack basic facilities. Low-income earners and people residing in rural areas face even greater difficulties accessing the most basic care.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Telecel Zimbabwe launches mobile money credit card

Source: ITWeb Africa

Zimbabwe's second largest telco by subscriber numbers, Telecel, on Wednesday launched a credit card for its mobile money system Telecash.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: Five reasons why Modi government’s grand financial inclusion plan won’t work

Source: FirstBiz

The Modi-government has somewhat bought the idea of universal bank accounts, something first proposed by the Nachiket Mor panel in January, 2014. The plan will finally come up with a little bit of 'Modi'-fication. Instead of one full service bank account for every adult citizen by January 2016—the idea proposed by the Mor panel—the government plans to offer two bank account for every household within the next year.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Motivating Corporations to Do Good

Source: The New York Times

Is it naïve to expect corporations to assist in addressing the social, economic and environmental challenges of the day?
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 — South Asia

Rollout strategy is key to battling India's TB epidemic, researchers find

Source: EurekAlert!

A new study led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers suggests that getting patients in India quickly evaluated by the right doctors can be just as effective at curbing tuberculosis (TB) as a new, highly accurate screening test.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Focus on Poverty: More nutrition science or political will?

Source: SciDev.Net

The second Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index (HANCI) has just been launched, providing detailed evidence on efforts to reduce hunger (ten indicators) and undernutrition (12 indicators) in 45 developing countries.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Could HIV self-testing be a game changer in Africa?

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

In Africa, where fewer than half the people know their HIV status, HIV self-testing is being explored as a way of encouraging more individuals, particularly in high risk groups, to know their status as a first step to seeking treatment, an AIDS charity said on Monday.
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.
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

World Bank review shows flaws in social, environment safeguards process

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - The World Bank has systemic defects in its procedures to ensure that people and the environment are not harmed in development projects, according to an internal review obtained by Reuters.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 — No Region Specified

TPP: Still a Terrible Deal for Poor People's Health

Source: Huffington Post

When the intellectual property (IP) chapter of the U.S.-led Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement was leaked late last year, it confirmed everything public health watchers had warned about for years.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya mobiles step up rivalry

Source: East African Business Week

NAIROBI, Kenya - Kenya’s lucrative mobile money transfer market is set for unprecedented competition following the entry of three additional telecoms operators with intention to have a piece of the sector’s billion shillings pie.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

mHealth initiative to curb infant and maternal fatalities in Kenya

Source: Africa Science News

In a bid to reduce the glaring rates of child and maternal deaths annually estimated at 6.6 million and 260,000 respectively, Sub Saharan-African states are set to launch a mobile phone text messaging service to educate masses on better health care and nutrition.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Profiting from poverty: Do some companies benefit from twisted images of Africa?

Source: HowWeMadeItInAfrica

In recent years there has been a change in thinking and narrative when it comes to Africa’s representation in western media. A good example of this is The Economist’s special report last year that referred to Africa as the “Hopeful Continent”, a mere 13 years after publishing the front cover that dubbed it the “Hopeless Continent”.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 — No Region Specified

Nearing A Deadline, Is The World Going To Meet The Millennium Development Goals?

Source: Fast CoExist

The latest UN appraisal shows progress, but in some areas, such as child mortality and biodiversity loss, we're falling short.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

New Contraceptive Shot Being Released in Africa

Source: The New York Times

An easy-to-use new form of the injectable contraceptive Depo-Provera was introduced last week in Burkina Faso, the first of four African countries in which it will be rolled out this year.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPIC: Let’s leverage impact investing to make aid funding sustainable

Source: Devex

Much of the impact investing field has been driven by public sector actors, which have an important role to play both in the way they deploy their capital and the work that they can do to build the industry.
Friday, July 11, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwe's high interest rates, multiple borrowings and growing debts

Source: The Africa Report

Zimbabwe's microfinance institutions (MFIs) doled out $170 million worth of loans to clients in the first quarter of the year with the bulk of the funds going towards domestic consumption.
Friday, July 11, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Incentives to lift mobile money uptake

Source: ITWeb

Airtime can be used as an incentive to drive the uptake and usage of mobile money services in countries where its growth has been sluggish.
Friday, July 11, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Fraudulent Mobile Money Transactions by Staff Cost MTN Uganda Billions

Source: Tech Moran

Mobile telecoms operator MTN Uganda has a history of losses resulting from internal misappropriation of funds. In a number of cases, former employees — mainly trade developers, mobile money agents and cleaners of contracted cleaning agencies — have faced convictions for defrauding the company.
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.
Friday, July 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

What if everything we know about poor countries' economies is totally wrong?

Source: Vox Media

As China and India continue their fairly rapid paces of economic growth, a greater and greater share of extreme poverty is going to be concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa. But if we're going to make progress there, we need to have good numbers about how various economies are faring, how income is distributed within them, and so forth.
Thursday, July 10, 2014 — South Asia

Setting a High Bar for Poverty in India

Source: The New York Times

NEW DELHI — It is not uncommon for Indians to stand in a line to receive alms from a politician as he gives away clothes, pots and laptops that would make Apple laugh. This is a custom that has survived from a time when the theater of charity was enough to make the poor feel grateful. But they have since come to regard such alms as political buffoonery and now expect substantial assistance from the government.
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 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom and Kenya Commercial Bank Partner to Counter Equity's Mobile Money Plan

Source: AllAfrica

KENYA Commercial Bank has partnered with Safaricom to offer a new product that converges financial and communication services to take on Equity Bank's planned mobile virtual network operation business.
Thursday, July 10, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria Launches National Bank Verification Scheme

Source: Ventures Africa

VENTURES AFRICA – As part of the financial inclusion policy of the Financial Sector Strategy (FSS) agenda of ensuring Nigeria becomes one of the top 20 largest economies in the world by 2020, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has advised bank customers in Lagos to register and obtain their Bank Verification Number (BVN).
Thursday, July 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Big Three Credit Rating Agency Courts Impact Investing at Right Moment

Source: Student Reporter

NEW YORK — It’s not without rhyme or reason that a credit rating agency like Moody’s Investors Service suddenly takes an interest in the impact investing field. For Mark Tulay, founder and CEO of Sustainability Risk Advisors and Sustainability ROI, this institution has good reasons to do so. “Credit raters see that climate change could, or likely will, lead to an environmental crisis that will create the next economic crisis,” said Tulay at the TBLI CONFERENCE USA 2014.
Wednesday, July 09, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Safaricom finally agrees to open up M-Pesa agent network

Source: ITWeb Africa

Mobile network Safaricom, which runs M-Pesa, has unexpectedly agreed to open up its agency network across the country to its rivals.
Wednesday, July 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

Brainlab Announces Launch of Right.Brain Foundation To Advance Global Healthcare

Source: Digital Journal

MUNICH--(Business Wire)--In a continued effort to expand global access to and consistency of healthcare, Brainlab today announced the launch of the Right.Brain Foundation, which will provide medical technology and education to selected hospitals and public institutions in Southeast Asia, Africa, Central and South America.
Wednesday, July 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

What's next for impact investing: Definitions, measurement and rising expectations

Source: Devex

Impact investing represents a potential additional funding stream for development, but the field is still evolving and those working in it warn we may be expecting too much, too soon.
Wednesday, July 09, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: Bank accounts for all won’t bring financial inclusion to India

Source: First Post India

Financial inclusion, the buzzword that Manmohan Singh government used quite freely during his term in office, is likely to be part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s lexicon as well. But the question is, how will he implement it?
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

Public-private partnerships: A 'win-win' for global health?

Source: Global Post

Forged partnerships between the public and private sectors are gaining prominence, raising questions about their transparency and precise impact in the world.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nine African countries win renewable energy development funding

Source: pv magazine

The low-income nations were awarded new funding and operational support at the semi-annual Climate Investment Funds governing body meeting.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Going the Extra Mile for Health

Source: Huffington Post

In the distant corners of Africa, entrepreneurs deliver goods and services across bumpy roads, crossing brimming rivers and rickety bridges, climbing steep hills and descending treacherous valleys. It is a classic story of conquering odds to reach the unreached.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tanzania: Better Credit Facility in Pipeline

Source: AllAfrica

MEMBERS of the public may soon start accessing credits on competitive terms, thanks to the Credit Reference Bureau (CRB), that commercial banks have embraced amid optimism that the data base will help to extend financial services to more people, a new study has shown.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Equity Bank, Safaricom in clash that could affect Mpesa’s future

Source: Standard Digital

Kenya: The black swan theory provides an interesting way of looking at the business world. But for many entrepreneurs and corporate leaders, this theory — which describes an event that comes as a surprise and has a major effect — is yet to be ingrained in their way of life. And this is despite the fact that innovations that turn the world of business upside down often, if not always, come from “unexpected” quarters.
Tuesday, July 08, 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.
Monday, July 07, 2014 — South Asia

Adarsh Credit Co-op Reaches India's Rural Poor With Mobile Tech

Source: Forbes

Mobile phones are a key way to expand financial inclusion to rural areas across emerging markets, as M-Pesa has demonstrated in Kenya. In India, Adarsh Credit Co-operative Society reaches one million members through 800 branches and more than 100,000 financial advisors who travel through villages taking deposits or disbursing money by linking to the bank through their mobile phones.
Monday, July 07, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

South Africa’s cashless future relies on localisation, not innovation

Source: memeburn

South Africa’s perceived ‘failure to launch’ in respect to mobile money needs to be put into a global context. In the latest MasterCard Mobile Payments Readiness Index, only four countries – Singapore, Canada, the US and Kenya – score higher than 40 out of a possible 100. The inflection point, according to the report, sits at 60, highlighting the fact that in most cases mobile payments has been a solution looking for a problem.
Monday, July 07, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Injecting healthcare into Nairobi’s slums

Source: New Internationalist

What is the significance of seven seconds?
Monday, July 07, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya's mobile innovation brings digital money closer

Source: BBC News

Kenyan financial services heavyweight Equity Bank is planning to roll out mobile banking services in July, using innovative paper-thin SIM technology.
Monday, July 07, 2014 — Latin America

Social Enterprise In Haiti Transforms The Lives Of Peanut Farmers

Source: Forbes

The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership recently announced the launch of its latest social enterprise. Called Acceso Peanut Enterprise Corp., it’s aimed at the more than 12,000 small holder peanut farmers in Haiti.
Thursday, July 03, 2014 — South Asia

Rural education firm Hippocampus raises $2.4M from ADB, Unitus, Khosla Impact

Source: VCCircle

Hippocampus operates 128 learning centres in Karnataka with a student base of over 7,500.
Thursday, July 03, 2014 — No Region Specified

Impact investing: What’s in it for your nonprofit?

Source: Devex

Are you a nongovernmental organization wondering how to benefit from impact investors?
Thursday, July 03, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda working on cross border mobile money platform

Source: HumanIPO

East Africa will soon have a common mobile money platform that will enable users to send money from one country to another without any difficulty under exchange rates approved by central banks.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ugandan banks look to expand reach through agents

Source: The Observer

At least six banks have expressed interest in using agents to reach out to people outside the formal banking institutions, Bank of Uganda has said.
Wednesday, July 02, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Tanzania: Missing Link Between Economic Growth, Poverty Reduction

Source: AllAfrica

THE much celebrated economic growth in Tanzania and other African countries that are said to make good progress can only have a meaning if there will be myriad poverty alleviation indicators.
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.
Friday, June 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

Echoing Green Announces The Next Generation Of Social Entrepreneurs

Source: PR Newswire

Today Echoing Green announced its 2014 class of Fellows including Global, Black Male Achievement and Climate Fellows.
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 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mobile Money Revolution Rises Cyber Security Risk In Africa

Source: AFK Insider

Africa is celebrated as the birth place of mobile money revolution, piloting the initiative that has seen more people come into the financial fold in many countries in the region and front running developed nations with much advanced form of financial inclusion.
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

Who Wants to Be a Trillionaire?

Source: Huffington Post

Imagine what the world would look like if impact investing had the same mainstream acceptance as value investing?
Thursday, June 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

This Credit Union in Disguise Is Helping Poor Latino Communities

Source: National Journal

Low-income Latinos often rely on predatory payday loans and high-priced check-cashing services. Savings accounts can change that.
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 — South Asia

World Bank to offer transition support of $3.5 billion to India for infrastructure, education initiatives

Source: Economic Times India

NEW DELHI: The World Bank will continue its concessional lending meant for poorer countries to India and has also significantly upped the country's single-borrower limit, looking to provide a helping hand to the new government in taking forward its agenda on infrastructure, skilling, river cleaning and tourism.
Monday, June 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: 4 Ways to Invest With a Conscience

Source: Wall St. Cheat Sheet

For many people, investing has become more than just a way to make money or plan for long-term financial security.
Monday, June 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

GravityLight: Doing More With Less- Designing For The Bottom Of The Pyramid

Source: Business Fights Poverty

Globally, 1.3 billion people do not have access to electricity. Millions more are ‘under-electrified’, with unreliable and sporadic supply. Instead they typically rely on kerosene for lighting. Hazardous, expensive and polluting, there is a real need to replace kerosene with a safer, sustainable and affordable light.
Monday, June 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

Fighting Financial Exclusion: How To Serve 88 Million Americans Who Have No Bank

Source: Forbes

“Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor,” the great American author James Baldwin wrote in 1960.More than half a century later, his words ring true to the 46 million Americans who live below the poverty line and to the millions more who are struggling to stay above it.
Friday, June 06, 2014 — No Region Specified

Ten Days in Kenya With No Cash, Only a Phone

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

Even farther into the country, a few miles from the Ugandan border in a town called Bungoma, I find Gertrude Wamalwa working her farm plot, a rust-colored scarf tied across her forehead and a machete in her leathered hands. Wamalwa and her Bungoma neighbors don’t appear to have any connection to mobile money.
Thursday, June 05, 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.
Wednesday, June 04, 2014 — South Asia

Ending poverty and growing markets: brass tacks for business - live chat

Source: The Guardian

Selling to - and serving - the 'base of the pyramid', or the world's poorest people, is easier said than done. What will it take to get it right? Join our live chat at noon ET/5pm BST on 10 June
Monday, June 02, 2014 — No Region Specified

CITADEL takes a look at 3S, the social enterprise that manufactures, cleans and services portable toilets for the urban poor

Source: Citadel

In a globalized nation where connectivity is the norm and gadgets rule, the most basic toilet facilities are not available to a staggeringly huge number of people. This picture has been changing enormously as people have been availing assistance for an improved quality of life.
Monday, June 02, 2014 — No Region Specified

In India, Telcos Ride Piggy Back on Migrant Workers, Bet Big on Mobile Money

Source: The New India Express

KOCHI: If the initial responses are any indication, the ubiquitous mobile phone is set to become a tool for financial inclusion in Ernakulam district.
Friday, May 30, 2014 — No Region Specified

TriLinc Global Impact Fund Makes Impact Investment in Peru

Source: Business Wire

TriLinc Global Impact Fund approves a new $3.0 million revolving trade finance facility to a Peruvian insulated wire company, bringing total financing commitments as of May 28, 2014 to $28.7 million for business expansion and socioeconomic development in Latin America and Southeast Asia
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

World Bank offers Angola $1 billion to fund infrastructure, agriculture

Source: The Africa Report

The World Bank will offer $1 billion in financing to help Angola rebuild infrastructure and develop its agriculture, an official at the Washington-based lender said on Monday.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

Chilasa Invests in Indian green building products manufacturer Ecoway Bricks

Source: Chilasa Venture Philanthropy

Chilasa Venture Philanthropy, a pioneer in small enterprise growth in poor communities, today announced a new investment to support the expansion of Ecoway Bricks PVT LTD, a manufacturer of environmental building products made from rice husk ash.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

The base of the pyramid: will selling to the poor pay off?

Source: The Guardian

The concept of serving the world's poorest four billion or so people has been popular since CK Prahalad introduced the idea a decade ago. But so far, profits remain elusive
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

How Equity plans to take on Safaricom in mobile payments

Source: Standard Digital

Kenya: This Monday, Equity Bank will reveal its entry strategy into the telecoms industry. Analysts say this could be a turning in Kenya’s telecoms market. “ Equity Bank will on Monday, May 26, 2014 hold an investors’ and media briefing to unveil its MVNO strategy, report on progress of preparedness and rollout plan,” read an invite.
Friday, May 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

The base of the pyramid: will selling to the poor pay off?

Source: The Guardian

When CK Prahalad's book, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, was published in 2004, the book made an immediate splash. Its argument was irresistible: The world's poorest people are a vast, fast-growing market with untapped buying power, Prahalad wrote, and companies that learn to serve them can make money and help people escape poverty, too.
Friday, May 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Terminology Torture: What the Heck Qualifies as a Social Enterprise?

Source: Nonprofit Quarterly

NPQ has written quite a bit lately about the notion of social enterprise, and much of it reflects a combination of excitement about alternate economic arrangements and concern about a sort of vagueness in definitions and accountability schemes and an overselling or fetishization of some boutique forms.
Thursday, May 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

Bill Gates, on why Jeffrey Sachs matters

Source: Economia

Bono calls economist Jeffrey Sachs “the squeaky wheel that roars.” To me, Sachs is the Bono of economics – a guy with impressive intelligence, passion, and powers of persuasion who is devoting his gifts to speaking up for the poorest people on the planet
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

Vodafone India completes pan-India M-Pesa rollout in Q4-FY14

Source: Media Nama

Vodafone India which operates the mobile payment service M-Pesa through its wholly owned subsidiary Mobile Commerce Solutions Ltd (MCSL), has completed the pan-India rollout of the service in March 2014, about one year since its India launch and about 16 months after the initial announcement.
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

Agent Banking as a Tool for Financial Inclusion in Bangladesh

Source: The Financial Express

After Independence, Bangladesh has come a long way in ensuring inclusive growth.
Monday, May 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Smart, Citi tie-up for e-payments


MANILA, Philippines—The mobile money unit Smart Communications is partnering with Citibank Philippines, allowing clients to settle bills using mobile platforms, a statement showed.
Friday, May 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Polio vaccinations administered under army cover in Pakistan

Source: India Today

Here's yet another example of how ugly terrorism can get: Health workers in Pakistan's restive Khyber tribal region are administering polio drops to children below 10 years of age under army protection.
Friday, May 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why Government Should Help Poor People Get Bank Accounts

Source: Governing

The former head of consumer affairs in New York City explains why helping the poor manage money more wisely would also help government manage their money more wisely.
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Selling energy as a service meets the poor's needs and generates profits

Source: The Guardian

Rather than trying to sell energy products with high up-front costs, innovative businesses are selling energy services
Friday, May 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

10-year-olds can open and operate a bank account alone, says Reserve Bank of India

Source: The Times of India

Children older than 10 years will no longer need the help of their parents or guardians to open and operate a savings bank account. To boost financial inclusion, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Tuesday said that banks were at liberty to allow minors above 10 years to independently open and operate savings bank accounts.
Friday, May 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

7 Things We've Learned About Impact Investing in 7 Years

Source: Huffington Post Impact

Today, our new e-book, The Power of Impact Investing: Putting Markets to Work for Profit and Global Good, hit the digital shelves. This e-book has been in the making since 2007, when the term "impact investing" was first coined at a convening hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation at our Bellagio Conference Center. Seven years later, we are proud that impact investments are punching bigger than the weight of those two words, providing a vibrant and viable option for investors looking to generate both financial return and make social or environmental impact.
Thursday, May 08, 2014 — No Region Specified

Housing for the base of the pyramid in Brazil: a future without slums

Source: The Guardian

7 key themes and messages to generate innovative and holistic approaches to making slums in Brazil a thing of the past
Thursday, May 08, 2014 — No Region Specified

A Coffee Crop Withers

Source: The New York Times

Fungus Cripples Coffee Production Across Central America
Thursday, May 01, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bottom of the Pyramid Business Strategy in Nigeria

Source: New Telegraph Online

The BOP concept champions new thinking and new ways of doing business in the world’s poor markets.
Monday, April 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

Jobs at bottom of the pyramid will get automated: Wipro

Source: The Financial Express

Wipro, India?s third-largest IT services exporter, added just 241 people to its total headcount in FY14 with focus on automating mundane processes and hiring individuals with specific, rather than generic, skills. Saurabh Govil, senior VP ? HR, in an interview with Sayan Chakraborty, said that in a fast-changing technology environment, there is a lot of stress on reskilling employees.
Monday, April 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

10 technologies for the bottom of the pyramid

Source: CNBC

The bottom of the financial pyramid, a term reportedly coined by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt in 1932, refers to the world's lowest income-level group, one that spans more than 4 billion people worldwide.
Monday, April 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Google Acquires Titan Aerospace, the Drone Company Pursued by Facebook

Source: Tech Crunch

Google has acquired Titan Aerospace, the drone startup that makes high-flying robots which was previously scoped by Facebook as a potential acquisition target (as first reported by TechCrunch), the WSJ reports. The details of the purchase weren’t disclosed, but the deal comes after Facebook disclosed its own purchase of a Titan Aerospace competitor in U.K.-based Ascenta for its globe-spanning Internet plans.
Friday, April 04, 2014 — No Region Specified

C S Ghosh: Tied to the bottom of the pyramid

Source: Business Standard

Chandra Shekhar Ghosh has come a long way - from Tripura to Bangladesh to West Bengal to now the national scene. The microfinance organisation Bandhan, which he founded in 2001 and helped grow, has won the right to become a full-fledged commercial bank that can and will have its branches from Srinagar to Thiruvananthapuram in the not too distant future.
Wednesday, April 02, 2014 — No Region Specified

Marketing to the bottom of the pyramid

Source: SME South Africa

The informal economy is Africa’s new frontier for growth. Previously forgotten and disregarded the informal economy on the continent is alive and growing into a significant contributor to the bottom line for many businesses. This is where the next surge of expansion is and if you are not playing in this space then you’re missing out.
Friday, February 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Goldman Sachs, Mitsui PEs invest Rs 315 cr in Global Beverages

Source: The Financial Express

Global Beverages & Foods (GBF), promoted by fomer Godrej group head A Mahendran, has raised Rs 315 crore from Goldman Sachs and Mitsui Global Investment to build a large, fast-moving consumer goods platform.
Thursday, February 20, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Home Financiers Strike Deal for Bottom of the Pyramid in Kenya

Source: The Star Kenya

“Over the years, the country has accumulated a housing deficit of over three million, which has led to demand for housing exceeding supply and proliferation of slums. Now we are telling people to stop renting houses and move to their own homes.”
Friday, February 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

Brics countries must climb the value chain to be big brands

Source: Economic Times

Two concepts — Bric, an economic and investment concept, and bottom of the pyramid (BoP), a business philosophy concept — changed the relation between rich and poor countries, the structure of organisations, and delivery of products and services in the last decade. One would not have been successful without the other.
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 — North Africa and Near East

Israeli hackers with a conscience

Source: Haaretz

Tel Aviv hackathon aims to show that technology can help the world's poorest people - and make a profit.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Finally, Micro-insurance Takes off in Nigeria

Source: This Day Live

Nigeria has joined the nations that are determined to protect its poor and vulnerable by means of micro-insurance, writes Nnamdi Duru.
Monday, November 18, 2013 — No Region Specified

3 Ways That Business Can Alleviate Poverty

Source: The Huffington Post

Business has become a dirty word. Doing business with the poor seems taboo, shocking, unthinkable. But what if business could improve the lives of the world's poorest people?
Monday, November 11, 2013 — No Region Specified

Eight keys to ending poverty

Source: Devex

There are eight keys to applying zero-based design to the conceptualization and implementation of a business that will market essential products or services to people living on $2 a day or less and be profitable enough to attract the capital necessary to reach global scale. By employing these principles in an integrated, bottom-up design process, you can fashion an enterprise that will truly help millions of severely poor people move out of poverty.
Monday, October 21, 2013 — No Region Specified

Lighting the path of profitability for base-of-the-pyramid enterprises

Source: devex

It’s every small business’s dream to be profiled not only by mainstream media flagships like the New York Times and The Economist but also trendsetting outlets like “The Colbert Report” and Fast Company. And by this measure of media attention, d.light design, provider of solar light and power products for the developing world, is a resounding success. But as any enterprise knows, generating buzz about your product is not the same as having customers actually buy it. d.light represents that most ambitious of social enterprises: One that aims to turn a profit while solving a social problem. Dubbed “hybrid” organizations by Harvard Business School professor Julie Battilana, these businesses differ from other social enterprises, who often rely on grant-based funding, rather than revenue, to sustain operations.
Monday, October 21, 2013 — No Region Specified

A Social Entrepreneur's Inspiration For Solar-Powered Lighting

Source: Forbes

Solar-powered light bulbs for the poor: A growing number of social enterprises are selling such technology to bottom of the pyramid households in Africa, India and other countries. One of the first to do so, Denver-based Nokero (for No Kerosene) just introduced its next generation of products, as it works to make the company’s management more professional–and able to grow the enterprise even more. A little more background on the issue: Around 1.3 billion of world’s population lacks access to reliable electricity. Most of them use kerosene lamps, which are very very very expensive compared to incandescent lamps, (people spend as much as 30% of their income on kerosene-based fuels, according to Nokero), cause deadly fires (If you live without electricity, you’re seven times more likely to die by fire than someone with electricity, according to Katsaros), and contribute to air pollution. They don’t produce a whole heck of a lot of light, either
Thursday, October 10, 2013 — South Asia

Bottom of Pyramid Market in Philippines Worth $33.4 billion — ADB

Source: Rappler

The Philippine private sector must consider a $33.4 billion-worth market not yet fully tapped in order to further inclusive growth in the country, the Asian Development Bank pointed out in a study.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 — No Region Specified

The Grocers’ Great Trek

Source: The Economist

A sluggish home market is pushing South Africa’s big retail chains northward.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 — South Asia

BASF to develop 'base of pyramid' products at India R&D unit

Source: DNA

At a time when foreign investors are shunning India due to uncertain economic scenario, BASF, world’s biggest chemical company, is still bullish on the country. The company is setting up its research and development (R&D) hub in the country to develop products for lower income segments as well as emerging middle class, or the ‘base of pyramid’. It sees a market potential of of 100 million euros, or Rs 850 crore, by 2020 for the products developed at the R&D hub.
Thursday, August 08, 2013 — South Asia

Financial Inclusion is an Opportunity: BR Shetty

Source: Forbes India

The chairman of the UAE Exchange wants to improve financial literacy among those in the bottom of the economic pyramid
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 — South Asia

Bottom of the Pyramid and Beyond

Source: Forbes India

Stuart Hart on the idea that revolutionized management thinking
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.
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 — No Region Specified

Corporations and the fight against hunger: why CSR won't do

Source: The Guardian

There is an opportunity for the private sector to lead in tackling chronic malnutrition, but seeing it as corporate social responsibility or charity is damaging.
Thursday, July 18, 2013 — No Region Specified

Will Impact Investing Take Off?

Source: Forbes/Skoll World Forum

I live on airplanes – typically hopping from one impact investing conference to another. So, if you will forgive the aviation analogy, I believe the impact investing sector is clearly moving down the runway.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013 — No Region Specified

Coca-Cola's Real Overseas Problem--How To Tap Into Neglected Markets

Source: Forbes

Coca-Cola has an overseas problem. Its global sales volume barely grew last quarter, disappointing markets expecting a 3.3 percent growth. Europe sales volume dropped 4 percent. China’s volume was unchanged; and North America volumes fell 1 percent.
Monday, July 15, 2013 — No Region Specified

Are social stock exchanges the great equalizer of development finance?

Source: Devex

This past June, the world was introduced to two social stock exchanges.
Friday, July 12, 2013 — South Asia

Indian Angel Network launches IAN Impact for social enterprises; to invest up to $333K in 6 firms per year


Indian Angel Network (IAN), a national network of angel investors investing in startups and early-stage ventures, has formed a sub-group called IAN Impact, which will focus on social enterprises addressing the problems of people living at the bottom of the pyramid.
Friday, July 12, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Capturing the bottom of the pyramid: big brands target South Africa’s marginal consumers

Source: The South African

According to a CNN report, South Africa’s emerging middle class have quickly matured as a retail market. To reach them, corporates have adopted an entirely new, uniquely African, platform.
Monday, July 08, 2013 — No Region Specified

How To Profit From Neglected Markets Around The Globe

Source: Forbes

Neglected markets are potential customers for a company’s existing products which managers and marketers routinely overlook or write off altogether, as these markets are either too small in terms of revenue potential or too costly in terms of the operation expenses required to tap to them. Or at least, so it was thought at the time the decision to write off these customers was made.
Thursday, June 27, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Solar energy: African economies' secret weapon

Source: CNN Money

In recent years, the continent has become a haven for renewable energy, spearheaded by small, tech savvy companies keen on capitalizing off of the global south's hunger for energy.
Wednesday, June 05, 2013 — No Region Specified

How did the global poverty rate halve in 20 years?

Source: The Economist

POVERTY is easy to spot but hard to define.
Monday, June 03, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

From base of social pyramid, only way is up

Source: The Japan Times

Firms serving Africa's poorest paving way for mutual growth
Thursday, May 30, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Energy access for all in Africa: does enterprise hold the key?

Source: The Guardian

Local companies, international groups and charities are all using business approaches to improve access to clean, safe energy
Thursday, May 30, 2013 — No Region Specified

15 Young Go-getters You'll Want to Meet

Source: PBS

Over the last six months, the PBS NewsHour's Agents for Change series has profiled the work of highly motivated social entrepreneurs, under the age of 40, who are starting to make their mark on the world.
Monday, May 06, 2013 — South Asia

Unilever Wagers Billions on India Economic Revival

Source: Bloomberg

In 1888, when Queen Victoria ruled India, the company that would become Unilever (UNA) decided the country was the future. More than a century on, it’s staking $5.4 billion that it still is. The Anglo-Dutch maker of Dove shampoo and Lipton tea, successor to one of the first multinationals in India, plans to spend as much as 292 billion rupees ($5.4 billion) to increase its control over Indian unit Hindustan Unilever Ltd. (HUVR)
Thursday, March 28, 2013 — South Asia

Investors commit over Rs 400 crore for funding new ventures for the poor

Source: The Economic Times

BANGALORE: Investors have committed at least Rs 400 crore to a government-backed fund that will provide capital to new ventures serving the needs of India's low-income communities. The fund, whose eventual size is envisaged at more than Rs 5,000 crore, is the first such by the government, which is taking increasing interest in venture capital investing.
Wednesday, January 09, 2013 — North Africa and Near East

Where social problems and business solutions meet

Source: Jerusalem Post

Israeli entrepreneurs seek to lure companies into the nascent field of development technology.
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 — Latin America

New Partnership to Develop Business Models for Providing Basic Services to the BoP in Latin America

Source: IDB Press Release

IDB’s MIF, OMJ to provide grants and technical assistance for businesses seeking to provide health care, education, energy and water for poor and low-income communities
Monday, January 07, 2013 — South Asia

NIC to launch Rs 5,000 cr VC fund for innovation: Pitroda

Source: Business Standard

The fund will support enterprises which drive change at the bottom of the economic pyramid
Monday, January 07, 2013 — South Asia

Lok Capital buys minority stake in social enterprise Drishti


Firm will use funds to service underserved geographies of Karnataka
Thursday, January 03, 2013 — South Asia

India's shift to inclusive innovation is 'a model to follow'


A leading Indian scientist and policymaker is calling on developing countries to adopt an "emerging paradigm" of affordable, less complex and inclusive innovation to promote development and cut poverty.
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
Thursday, December 20, 2012 — No Region Specified

5 development innovations to watch in 2013

Source: Devex

Although this year had welcome news about poverty rates falling across the globe, almost two and a half billion people still get by on less than $2 a day. Innovative solutions for tackling global poverty are needed as much as ever. Here are five development innovations to watch in 2013:
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

IFC Announces Partnership to Increase Access to Affordable Sanitation in East Africa

Source: WebWire

Nairobi, Kenya — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to catalyze the market for improved sanitation and accelerate access to more affordable sanitation solutions for low-income households in East Africa.
Friday, December 14, 2012 — No Region Specified

Mobile Technology a Game Changer in Developing World

Source: CIO

As much disruption and upheaval as the Internet age has brought to far-flung industries like education, energy and finance, the emergence of mobile computing has a much greater potential for change on a global scale, a group of experts said on Thursday.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Reshaping the Future of Cocoa in Africa

Source: New York Times

Seventy percent of the world’s cocoa now comes from West Africa, where family-run farms have proliferated across the landscape in recent decades. Yet in a paradox, the spread of these nonnative cocoa trees often contributes to deforestation.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012 — South Asia

Panasonic lanterns 'to regain market'

Source: BDNews24

Osaka, Dec 10 ( – Electronics giant Panasonic will launch solar lanterns for un-electrified areas in developing countries by early next year as it shifts its businesses to eco-technologies to bring back the losing markets by 2018, its 100th anniversary.
Monday, November 19, 2012 — South Asia

‘We are now treading cautiously on lending’

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Dena Bank Chairperson and Managing Director Nupur Mitra, who is due to retire on December 31 this year, feels that customers at the bottom of the pyramid offer lot of opportunities for banks to expand business.
Monday, November 19, 2012 — Europe & Eurasia

Unilever's Hygiene Brand Domestos To Break Taboo Of The Loo

Source: CSR Wire

LONDON And ROTTERDAM, Nov. 19 /CSRwire/ - Unilever, through its leading hygiene brand Domestos, today – World Toilet Day - announced new initiatives to raise awareness for the global sanitation crisis. ‘Toilets for Health’, a white paper by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Domestos, gives new insights in the sanitation crisis.
Friday, November 16, 2012 — South Asia

Intellecap, Villgro Enter Strategic Partnership to Build a Comprehensive Ecosystem for Social Entrepreneurship

Source: Press Release

Intellecap and Villgro today announced a strategic partnership that will leverage the extensive experience and networks of both organizations to better assist social entrepreneurs developing innovative business models across India. This synergy of resources and expertise will promote a broader national-level collaborative plan to identify and support competitive enterprises focused on creating market solutions for the Base of the Pyramid.
Monday, November 12, 2012 — South Asia

Final Frontier: Firms Flock to Newly Opened Myanmar

Source: Wall Street Journal

YANGON, Myanmar—For Tim Love, a vice chairman of advertising giant Omnicom Group, it was an opportunity too good to pass up: an entire country, off the map for most Western investors for decades, embracing foreign investment in a place with untapped energy resources and 60 million people.
Tuesday, November 06, 2012 — South Asia

Goonj founder this year’s top social entrepreneur

Source: Hindustan Times

Almost 13 years ago an idea then considered a ‘non-issue’, fructified into an NGO — Goonj, got recognised on Tuesday evening, as its founder Anshu Gupta was adjudged the ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year India 2012”.
Monday, October 29, 2012 — South Asia

An entrepreneurial ecosystem is the future roadmap

Source: Times of India

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

P Chidambaram urges banks to lend more to the poor

Source: Times of India

By saying banks need to lend more to the poor, Union finance minister P Chidambaram is on the right track. There is no denying that India continues to be a significantly under-banked country. Around 41% of the population is unbanked, with the figure touching as high as 61% in rural areas.
Monday, October 22, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bottom of the Pyramid Business Strategy Holds Sway

Source: Business Day Nigeria

The BOP strategy is right here with us and it is holding sway, but many probably do not know. This is what the case is with several economic practices we get involved in day-in-day-out, which we are oblivious of what esoteric names the intellectuals of this world call them..
Friday, October 05, 2012 — No Region Specified

The VisionSpring Model: Creating Markets And Players Instead Of Empty CSR

Source: Forbes

Earlier this month, the Schwab Foundation announced its 2012 “class” of outstanding social entrepreneurs. Among them was Dr. Jordan Kassalow, the founder of an organization called VisionSpring that works to ensure that everyone in the developing world has access to eyeglasses.
Monday, October 01, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Accenture and VSO Give Entrepreneurship Award to Shoemaker from Sierra Leone

Source: Daily Finance

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 1, 2012-- Accenture and VSO today announced that Umaro Kargo, a shoemaker from Makeni, Sierra Leone, is the winner of the Making Markets Work for the Poor: Entrepreneurship Award.
Friday, September 28, 2012 — South Asia

Unilever takes HUL strategies like small packs, cheaper variants to developed markets

Source: Economic Times

MUMBAI: During a 2009 India visit, Paul Polman, CEO of Anglo-Dutch consumer goods major Unilever, couldn't conceal his delight with the Indian subsidiary's strategy of offering brands with multiple price and packaging options, helping consumers trade down or up depending on the state of the economy.
Thursday, September 27, 2012 — South Asia

Using Innovative, Low-cost Solutions to Provide Safe Drinking Water in India

Source: India Knowedge@Wharton

P.Venkatesh, a resident of Boduppal village in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, is a carpenter of modest means. The ever-increasing price of essentials has forced him to cut corners to save each paisa as he struggles to look after his family of four. But despite all odds and after much deliberation, three months ago he decided to make provision for yet another non-negotiable in his monthly budget -- drinking water.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 — South Asia

Danone plans national launch for its yoghurts next year

Source: The Economic Times

MUMBAI: French dairy major Danone today said its new business unit here which is dedicated for developing products for the masses, will be rolled out to other cities by next year.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 — South Asia

Dow Corning Offers Workers Cold Showers With Bugs to Build Sales

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

When Brad Fogg did volunteer work in India, the adventure came with unwelcome insects and other discomforts, as well as a chance to benefit the country and find opportunities for his employer, Dow Corning Corp.
Monday, September 10, 2012 — No Region Specified

The 2012 Social Entrepreneur Awardees

Source: World Economic Forum Blog

When Klaus Schwab and I created the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship back in 2000, no one knew what social entrepreneurs were. They were uncommon and unsung heroes in their respective countries and communities, working in relative obscurity to test out new approaches to tackle profound market failures. When they came to Davos, few participants attended the session ‘Meet the Social Entrepreneurs’. Their voices – and the voices of the bottom billion of humanity, the poor people they serve – were often not heard.
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Oando seals pact with LAPO on access to cooking gas

Source: The Guardian Nigeria

Following its plan to switch millions of Nigerians from biomass to a clean and sustainable cooking gas, Oando Marketing Plc has entered into an agreement with Lift Above Poverty Organisation Microfinance Bank (LAPO) to provide soft loans for low-income households in Nigeria to purchase Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 — South Asia

Institute for sustainable enterprise takes off

Source: Business Standard

An innovative concept to promote green technology and support entrepreneurs to build a sustainable business on this much needed space has taken shape in Bangalore. Indian Institute for Sustainable Enterprise (IISE), promoted by some well known global and Indian personalities has kicked off its operations and is set to launch its post-graduate certificate programme in sustainable enterprise shortly.
Monday, August 27, 2012 — South Asia

Is a Youth Revolution Brewing in India?

Source: The New York Times

Among the world’s major countries, India has the youngest population, and the oldest leaders. A startling four-decade gap between the median age of India’s people and that of its government officials most recently reared its head with a heavy-handed and widely-maligned crackdown on free speech on the Internet.
Monday, August 20, 2012 — No Region Specified

SolarKiosk: Mobile Modular Power for Really Remote Areas

Source: GOOD

For those who’ve grown up constantly plugged into the power grid, it’s almost impossible to think of life without an endless supply of outlets, power cords, and technology. But for an estimated 1.5 billion people around the world, power—from cutting and burning firewood to lighting kerosene lamps, paraffin, and candles—doesn't come easy.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 — No Region Specified

Bill Gates Thinks About Poop - And You Should Too

Source: Forbes

On Tuesday and Wednesday, engineers, philanthropists, media and more from around the world will gather at the the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle for the “Reinvent the Toilet Fair,” a $3 million project funded in grants by the Foundation that will showcase revolutionary new toilets that don’t need water, electricity or even a connection to a sewage system. The goal of the project is to help improve the lives of the 2.6 billion people in the third world who do not have access to a toilet.
Friday, August 10, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Boyd's power play a ray of light for world's poor

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Almost every entrepreneur says they want to "change the world", but for Australian Boyd Whalan, the phrase is more than just a cheap cliche.
Friday, August 10, 2012 — South Asia

‘Innovation must happen spontaneously’

Source: The Hindu Business Line

R. Gopalakrishnan, Director, Tata Sons, on Thursday said that innovation is not just about being first in the market or taking big bets. Innovation is rather something that happens spontaneously.
Monday, August 06, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Helping Africa manufacture its own emergency and disaster relief supplies

Source: The Guardian

In the current humanitarian emergencies in South Sudan, Somalia, Niger and Kenya, the strong likelihood is that tarpaulins – one of the most basic relief items – will have come from China.
Thursday, August 02, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

U-M researcher deals with hope, not charity, in far corners

Source: Detroit News

On the east side of Nairobi, in a slum called Mukuru, Ted London went looking for outhouses and found a Steve Yzerman hockey jersey.
Thursday, August 02, 2012 — No Region Specified

US intelligence predicts poverty plummet by 2030


ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — Poverty across the planet will be virtually eliminated by 2030, with a rising middle class of some two billion people pushing for more rights and demanding more resources, the chief of the top U.S. intelligence analysis shop said Saturday.
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 — Latin America

Digital Money, Mobile Wallets and Latin America

Source: Huffington Post

A recent wave of global and regional announcements regarding mobile wallets and payment systems has casual and close followers alike asking some the same questions.
Wednesday, August 01, 2012 — North Africa and Near East

Building a New Pyramid

Source: Forbes India

Today, more than a year after the downfall of the Mubarak regime, Egypt needs to build a new pyramid -- a huge task involving parallel processes of political, economic and social reform. It needs leadership that can inspire the nation. Can Egypt find the leadership it needs?
Tuesday, July 24, 2012 — South Asia

Rural market, an incredible opportunity: Manwani

Source: The Hindu

Rural India is a powerhouse waiting to emerge and presents an incredible opportunity of potentially adding $1.8 trillion to the Indian economy which is equal to the current GDP, according to Harish Manwani, Chairman, Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL).
Thursday, July 19, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya’s CNN ‘hero’: Africa’s high growth rates not felt at bottom of the pyramid

Source: How We Made it in Africa

Evans Wadongo shot to international fame after he was named one of the top ten CNN Heroes in 2010. His project replaces kerosene lamps with solar-powered LED lanterns across villages in rural Kenya. CNN Heroes honours everyday people changing the world. Born in rural Kenya, the 26-year-old electronic and computer engineering graduate is the executive director of Sustainable Development for All Kenya (SDFA-Kenya) where he literally lights up people’s lives. How we made it in Africa’s East Africa correspondent Dinfin Mulupi chats with Wadongo to find out what makes this social entrepreneur tick.
Friday, June 29, 2012 — No Region Specified

Fighting for the next billion shoppers

Source: The Economist

A TRIP to Paris is not usually a miserable way to celebrate your birthday, but so it was this year for Bob McDonald. On June 20th, as he turned 59, the chief executive of Procter & Gamble (P&G) for the past three years gave a faltering and apologetic speech at a conference there hosted by Deutsche Bank, in which he predicted lower-than-expected profits in the coming quarter for the world’s largest maker of household and personal-care products, and confessed to deep-seated problems at his firm both in innovation and the broader execution of its strategy.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012 — No Region Specified

One billion smartphones by 2014. Bottom-of-the-pyramid market never looked better

Source: Anthill Online

It’s been a while since bottom of the pyramid — famously enunciated by the late management guru C.K. Prahlad — has been perceived to be an attractive market.
Monday, June 18, 2012 — No Region Specified

G20 Announces Winners of the IFC-Managed G20 Challenge on Inclusive Business Innovation

Source: Press Release

Los Cabos, Mexico, June 18, 2012—The Group of 20 today announced the winners of the G20 Challenge on Inclusive Business Innovation, a global competition managed by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group. Ambassador Rogelio Granguillhome, Executive Secretary of the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation and Chair of the G20 Development Working Group, presented the awards at a ceremony here.
Tuesday, June 05, 2012 — South Asia

Reduction in ST on black tea: leading brands welcome government decision

Source: Business Recorder

Leading tea brands in Pakistan, Lipton, Brooke Bond Supreme, Pearl Dust and A1 welcomed the bold decision by the Government of Pakistan to stem smuggling of tea and provide relief to consumers. As per SRO 608(I) 2012, General Sales Tax on black tea has been reduced from 16 percent to 5 percent.
Tuesday, June 05, 2012 — South Asia

Will invest US $ 1 bn in India for inclusive growth and climate change: Karin Finkelston

Source: Business Standard

A member of World Bank Group, International Finance Corporation (IFC) has chalked out its investment plans for India focusing mainly on the renewable energy sources and targeting the bottom of the pyramid. Karin Finkelston, vice president, Asia Pacific talks to Rutam Vora on IFC's investment plans in India during the current year. Edited excerpts:
Wednesday, May 23, 2012 — South Asia

Reality Check at the Bottom of the Pyramid

Source: Harvard Business Review

Most companies trying to do business with the 4 billion people who make up the world’s poor follow a formula long touted by bottom-of-the-pyramid experts: Offer products at extremely low prices and margins, and hope to generate decent profits by selling enormous quantities of them. This “low price, low margin, high volume” model has held sway for more than a decade, largely on the basis of Hindustan Unilever’s success in selling Wheel brand detergent to low-income consumers in India.
Thursday, May 17, 2012 — South Asia

Lok Capital and Acumen Fund announce Rs. 7 crore investment in Hippocampus Learning Centres

Source: Acumen Fund Blog

Bangalore, May 2012: Lok Capital, one of the largest dedicated funds in India for businesses focused on serving the lower income and base of the pyramid (BOP) customer segments and Acumen Fund, a pioneering nonprofit global venture firm addressing poverty in South Asia, East and West Africa, today announce Rs. 7 crore investment in Hippocampus Learning Centres (HLC), a for-profit rural education service provider in India. This is Lok Capital’s and Acumen’s first investment in Education and marks the launch of their respective education portfolios. Based in Karnataka, India, HLC provides affordable, quality education by employing and training local female teachers who coach students between the ages of 3-12 in both pre-school and primary instruction.
Friday, May 11, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Emerging markets forecast to drive dairy industry boom

Source: BusinessDay

AT A time when SA’s dairy industry is losing milk producers because of the sector’s limited viability, an international index has forecast growth for the industry from an expected rise in prosperity and buying power among consumers in emerging markets including Africa.
Friday, May 04, 2012 — No Region Specified

The Hapinoy Program - Social Development with a Smile

Source: CNN iReport

A multi-awarded program in the Philippines leads the innovation of solutions for the Base of the Pyramid. From the words "Happy" and "Pinoy" (a slang word for Filipino), Hapinoy continues its mission to empower more women micro entrepreneurs - and they do it with a smile.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Buy More and Better Bednets for the Money, Says New Report

Source: The Guardian

On World Malaria Day, a new report analysis the anti-malarial bednet market and concludes that we could get better value, more innovation and even more nets from the same amount of funds.
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
Tuesday, April 24, 2012 — No Region Specified

Get an MBA, Save the World

Source: Foreign Policy

If you want to work in international development, go work for a big, bad multinational company.
Monday, April 23, 2012 — No Region Specified

(Bottom of the) pyramid selling

Source: The Economist

IS THERE anything more prestigious than business?” What would sound tin-eared from the mouth of Mitt Romney reads very differently when attributed to a woman of long-standing poverty, discussing her newly found self-respect. The quotation comes from a recent paper by a trio of female researchers from Oxford University's Saïd Business School—Catherine Dolan, who lectures in marketing and corporate social responsibility; Mary Johnstone-Louis, a doctoral candidate; and Linda Scott, of the Oxford Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The researchers studied a sales programme that employs Bangladeshi women at the proverbial bottom of the pyramid, run by the Bangladesh arm of CARE, an NGO. Its Rural Sales Programme (RSP) focuses on women who are destitute due to abandonment by their family or the deaths of their husbands. CARE calls the women aparajitas (a Sanskrit term meaning “she who cannot be defeated”) and offers them jobs selling household goods, such as soap, household goods, even saris. Begun in 2005, RSP now employs more than 2,400 women across Bangladesh and has partnerships with companies such as Unilever, Danone and Bic.
Friday, April 20, 2012 — No Region Specified

Global Sanitation Target Under Threat

Source: The Guardian

UN high-level meeting is expected to call on world leaders to support the 57 countries currently most off-track to achieve their millennium development goal targets for sanitation.
Thursday, April 19, 2012 — No Region Specified

How the Poor Cope with Crisis

Source: The Guardian

A study incorporating many grassroots voices examines how poor people in developing countries coped with the recent shock of higher food and fuel prices.
Friday, April 13, 2012 — No Region Specified

Investors Can Rid the World of Slums

Source: MarketWatch

Approximately 180,000 people are added to the urban grid each day, according to the United Nations. That means, according to other estimates, that nearly 100,000 housing units are needed — every day, all around the world.
Thursday, April 12, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Can Coffee Kick-Start an Economy?

Source: The New York Times

When he set out to wedge his coffee onto supermarket shelves in England and America, Andrew Rugasira didn’t start by making phone calls from his home in Kampala, Uganda. He didn’t begin by sending e-mails. The distance seemed too great for that. At one end of his business were farmers who, until he came along, thought their beans were purchased and carried off to make gunpowder. At the other were buyers at the corporate headquarters of chains like Waitrose and Sainsbury’s, Whole Foods and Wal-Mart. If he was going to succeed, he felt he would have to do it physically; it was as if he believed he could stretch himself to span the divide between the two worlds. So he got on a plane to London, without trying any advance contact.
Thursday, April 12, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Microinsurance in Rapid Expansion Says ILO, Munich Re Report

Source: Insurance Journal

According to the Microinsurance Innovation Facility of the International Labor Organizationand the Munich Re Foundation, “the number of microinsurance schemes worldwide has increased substantially over the past five years and now reaches an estimated 500 million worldwide.”
Wednesday, April 11, 2012 — No Region Specified

Intel Releases Rugged Education Tablet for the Developing World

Source: Mashable

Intel has launched the latest device in its line of classroom computers: a tablet, Intel studybook. The Intel studybook is built to be both a rigorous education tool and a sturdy playmate. It comes loaded with Intel’s Learning Series software, including an interactive ereader and LabCam applications.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Why Designers Need To Stop Feeling Sorry For Africa

Source: FastCo.Design

Taking a patronizing approach to investing in Africa undermines both the country’s people and entrepreneurial promise, argue Jens Martin Skibsted and Rasmus Bech Hansen.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 — Latin America

Study: OLPC Fails Students as a Tool for Education


The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) program of low-cost laptops for developing countries has not led to any measurable impact in academic achievement, according to a recent report.
Monday, April 09, 2012 — Latin America

Daniel Izzo on Brazil's First Impact Investing Venture Capital Firm

Source: Forbes

Recently, the Opportunities for the Majority (OMJ) Initiative of the Inter-American Development Bank hosted Daniel Izzo, co-founder and partner of Vox Capital, Brazil’s first impact investing venture capital firm, which focuses on high potential businesses that serve the Brazilian low income population through products and services with the potential to improve their lives.
Monday, April 09, 2012 — South Asia

Micro-health Insurance Scheme for Poor on Test


A microfinance institution has started piloting a micro-health insurance scheme as an 'alternative' mode of health financing for the Bangladeshi poor to help them overcome the cruel cycle of poverty and illness.
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.
Friday, April 06, 2012 — South Asia

Government's Heavy-handed Regulation of Microfinance Will Kill It and Bring Back Moneylenders

Source: The Economic Times

Among many Bills stuck in the legislative process is the Micro Finance Institutions (Development and Regulation) Bill. This is a 2011 Bill. An earlier 2007 Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha, but lapsed with the lower House's dissolution in 2009. Financial inclusion shouldn't mean only credit.
Thursday, April 05, 2012 — South Asia

Innovation Comes Home to Go Global

Source: The Times of India

Innovation in India used to be largely about developing products for personal consumption and cheaper no-frills versions of existing devices. Now the products are targeted at the domestic consumer and for those at the bottom of the pyramid.
Wednesday, April 04, 2012 — South Asia

Japanese Professor Shoji Shiba Helping India Inc Breakthrough

Source: The Economic Times

Dhobi Ghat, the washermen's hub in Mumbai, is a dingy neighbourhood of clotheslines, discoloured pools of water and rows upon rows of wash pens. But it presents an array of socio-economic groups among the 10,000-odd washermen who live and work here-from smaller washermen thrashing clothes on flogging stones to better-off cleaners who run Laundromats. It's a thriving ecosystem and a perfect case study for how people at the bottom of the pyramid impact an economy.
Tuesday, April 03, 2012 — Latin America

In Chile’s Slums, A Lesson in How to Make Apps for Social Good

Source: The Washington Post

How many of the hundreds of thousands of mobile phone applications seek to do truly great things, such as lift people out of poverty or improve health care for the poor?
Monday, April 02, 2012 — No Region Specified

Infographic: 2.6 Billion People Don’t Have A Safe Way To Poop

Source: FastCo.Design

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation doesn’t mince words (or pictures) when it comes to feces.
Friday, March 30, 2012 — Asia Pacific

BoP Boom in Japan Part I

Source: CSR Asia

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

World Bank Chief in India, Focus on Poverty Alleviation

Source: Business Standard

World Bank Group President Robert B Zoellick begins an official visit to India tomorrow, to see what more it can do to support government efforts to overcome poverty, as India embarks on its 12th five-year Plan and global recovery remains fragile.
Monday, March 26, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Microfinance Experience in PHL Shows the Poor Can Be Insured

Source: BusinessMirror

The Philippine success in extending microfinance credit to the poor shows that this sector at and below the poverty threshold could also become worthy of insurance coverage, the Insurance Commission here said.
Monday, March 26, 2012 — No Region Specified

How the Developing World is Using Cellphone Technology to Change Lives


In Nigeria, a young girl can ask questions about sex discretely through SMS and get accurate information. After the earthquake in Haiti, survivors in remote towns could receive money for food straight to their cellphone. In Senegal, election monitors sent updates on polling stations through their mobile phones, revising an online map in real time with details about late openings or worse. Projects like Learning about Living in Nigeria, MercyCorps in Haiti and Senevote2012 in Senegal are just a few examples of how the rapid spread of mobile technology has changed life in the global south.
Friday, March 23, 2012 — South Asia

Omidyar Network Backs Two More Indian Firms


Omidyar Network started funding projects in India about two years ago with plans to invest up to $200 million in five years
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 — Latin America

Tigo Helps Remittances Go Mobile

Source: Fast Company

In countries like Guatemala, remittances from migrant workers in the U.S. are critical to the economy. Tigo, an international telecom, has a unique plan to use mobile banking to simplify a trying process.
Monday, March 19, 2012 — No Region Specified

Jeff Raikes, CEO, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation: A Message to Members of Business Fights Poverty

Source: Business Fights Poverty

We spend a lot of our time trying to convince skeptics that they should care about development. Bill Gates made the case very convincingly in his report to the G20 delivered last November. He argues from the supply side: successfully developing countries can keep the price of key commodities low by boosting production – important in ensuring food security. And he argues from the demand side: successfully developing countries can keep markets humming by boosting consumption. In the U.S., exports to developing countries are growing six times faster than exports to developed countries.
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 — No Region Specified

Selling to the World's Poor Offers Huge Potential

Source: Canadian Business

It might seem counterintuitive, but setting your sights on the world’s four billion poorest people can be remarkably lucrative. Just ask Suneet Singh Tuli. The CEO of wireless-device manufacturer DataWind Ltd. says his Montreal-based company’s revenue could soar from less than $10 million last year to more than $300 million next year, thanks to the stripped-down tablet computer it developed to sell in India: “It’s an astonishing rate of growth.”
Monday, March 12, 2012 — South Asia

Interest-free Microfinance Hope for Poor Muslims

Source: The Times of India

Making headlines in the recent past for crushing interest rates claiming lives of debtors, microfinance is now being offered with a more humane approach. The Human Welfare Foundation will now offer loans in the form of interest-free microfinance to the poor across the country including Hyderabad, said vice president of Jamat-e-Islami Hind Prof K A Siddique Hassan here on Saturday.
Monday, March 12, 2012 — No Region Specified

The Right Entry Point for Emerging Markets

Source: Bloomberg

Scott Anthony recently participated in a spirited panel discussion with Bruce Brown, Procter & Gamble's Chief Technology Officer, and Erich Joachimsthaler, Vivaldi Partners' managing director and CEO. The topic — part of a series on innovation sponsored by Singapore's Economic Development Board and coordinated by Harvard Business Review — was "What's the Right Entry Point for Emerging Markets: Target Customers at the Bottom or the Middle of the Pyramid?"
Friday, March 09, 2012 — South Asia

Using Microfinance to Bring Clean Water to India's Poor

Source: The Huffington Post

A unique public-private partnership involving private sector giants like Unilever and Heinz is improving the health of Indian children. Two hours outside India's tech hub Bangalore is Krishnagiri the Integrated Village Development Project (IVDP) is using interest-free microfinance loans to increase access to products people could not afford on their own.
Thursday, March 08, 2012 — No Region Specified

How Mobile Technology Can Help BoP Women Get Ahead


“Portraits: A Glimpse into the Lives of Women at the Base of the Pyramid,” a report released at last week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, is the first to survey the wants, needs, aspirations and mobile uses of women living at the base of the pyramid (BoP), defined as those living on less than $2 a day, according to the GSM Association.
Thursday, March 08, 2012 — No Region Specified

SC Johnson and Cornell Kick Off New Business with a WOW!

Source: Press Release

Cornell University's Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise and SC Johnson today announced the launch of a new product concept developed in partnership that hopes to generate a "WOW" from rural consumers in developing markets. Recently unveiled in the village of Bobikuma, Ghana, WOW™ is a membership-based club whose products and services help low-income homemakers care for their homes and families.
Tuesday, March 06, 2012 — No Region Specified

Why the Global Economy Needs Businesses to Invest in Women

Source: The Daily Beast

Businesses are starting to understand what development experts have long known: investing in women pays dividends. Women are more likely than men to put their income back into their communities, driving illiteracy and mortality rates down and GDP up.
Friday, March 02, 2012 — South Asia

Pathbreakers: Harish Hande, MD of Solar Electric Light Company (SELCO)

Source: Economic Times

Unable to ignore the poorest of the poor who live in abject darkness, Harish Hande decided to put his Master's in solar power to good use. Today, the 44-year-old MD of Solar Electric Light Company or SELCO, retains the same inclusive elan while reminiscing how his company continues to light up lives at the bottom of the pyramid.
Friday, February 24, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya: Total's Solar Kits Target Poor Households

Source: allAfrica

Total Kenya is banking on portable solar kits for lighting and charging of mobile phones to break into the Kenyan renewable energy market.
Friday, February 24, 2012 — No Region Specified

The EzyStove Improves On Man’s Greatest Invention, Fire

Source: FastCo.Design

Can designers build a better fire? For developing countries, they had to.
Friday, February 24, 2012 — South Asia

Micro-lender's Own Probe Links It to 200 Suicides

Source: The Seattle Times

First they were stripped of their utensils, furniture, mobile phones, televisions, ration cards and heirloom gold jewelry. Then, some of them drank pesticide. One woman threw herself in a pond. Another jumped into a well with her children.
Thursday, February 23, 2012 — No Region Specified

The State and Future of Impact Investing

Source: Forbes

In a recent interview with Antony Bugg-Levine, CEO of Nonprofit Finance Fund, we discussed his new book about the impact investing sector, emerging trends and ideas in this space, challenges and opportunities moving forward, what the world would look like if the potential of impact investing were to be realized, and advice to traditional investors interested in becoming an impact investor.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Alliance Pushes Social Entrepreneurship Bill

Source: Manilla Bulletin Publishing Corporation

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