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Our Staff Writers and Editors offer insights on the latest news, events, interviews and other happenings from the development through enterprise and base of the pyramid universes
Thursday, July 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, May 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

Is For-Profit the Future of Non-Profit?

Source: The Atlantic

The troubling allure of turning philanthropy into consumer activity
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Social enterprise takes smart products to rural poor

Source: Reuters

A start-up Indian social enterprise has come up with an innovative solution to one of the country's biggest development challenges - helping the rural poor easily access basics such as clean drinking water and electricity.
Monday, March 03, 2014 — South Asia

USAID and P&G Kick Off Global Development Alliance to Improve Health in Myanmar

Source: YahooFinance

Administrator Rajiv Shah yesterday helped deliver the first liter of clean drinking water under the Global Development Alliance (GDA) between the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and Procter & Gamble (P&G) to improve health in India.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Cook Stove Design Competition Yields Innovative Designs for a Cleaner World

Source: Press Release

The Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at Cornell University announced the winners of its Cook Stove Design Competition, sponsored by Japanese kerosene stove manufacturer, Toyotomi.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

German Firms Seed Web Shopping in the Developing World

Source: The Wall Street Journal (Subscription Required)

The message from his boss on the phone from Germany was straightforward, recalls Hendrik Harren, a former website manager in Africa: "I want you to build the Amazon of Nigeria for me." The caller was Oliver Samwer, an Internet tycoon in Berlin who had already cloned American e-commerce businesses for Europe's market. By 2012, his focus was shifting to the developing world. Mr. Harren found his new assignment daunting. "I had never founded an Amazon," he says.
Tuesday, January 07, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Spreading hope one box at a time

Source: Inquirer.net

Over 20 artists share their works to aid victims of typhoon ‘Yolanda’
Friday, November 22, 2013 — No Region Specified

Four World-Changing Products Dreamed Up by Bill Gates

Source: Wired

This holiday season, Bill Gates wants stuff that doesn’t exist. Not for himself, mind you, but for the developing world. Gates has tons of ideas for products that would improve lives there, if only someone would build them.
Monday, November 11, 2013 — No Region Specified

TOMS Creates E-Commerce Hub for Socially Conscious Shoppers

Source: Entrepreneur

n the world of social innovation, Blake Mycoskie of TOMS is a bit of a rock star. Now, he is using his company’s star power to give other like-minded startups a leg up. TOMS is launching an e-commerce platform called “Marketplace” on TOMS.com that hosts goods from 30 social entrepreneurs who have mission-driven business models, similar in ethos to the “buy one, give one” model that Mycoskie pioneered.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Pyramid scheme: To reach Africa’s poorest consumers, face-to-face contact works best

Source: The Economist

In the past international firms often took a simplistic view that African consumers aspired to a Western lifestyle. But billboard and newspaper campaigns based on that premise lacked impact. Imported television ads dubbed in local vernacular were scorned. Building brand loyalty among low-income shoppers is a job best done by folk who speak the language and know the lives of people they are selling to.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 — South Asia

Why the World's Cheapest Car Flopped

Source: Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

When the Tata Nano, a stripped-down minicar priced at around $2,000, was introduced in 2009, it was marketed as a car that would transform the way aspiring consumers in India and other developing countries got around. But the low-cost automotive revolution fizzled. Selling poorly at home and with exports drying up, the Nano has become a cautionary tale of misplaced ambitions and a drag on sales and profit at Tata Motors Ltd, India's fourth-largest auto maker and the owner of Jaguar and Land Rover luxury vehicles.
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.
Monday, September 23, 2013 — No Region Specified

A Celeb-Backed Apparel Factory in Haiti Goes High-End

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

When apparel brand Boxercraft was searching for a new supplier for its T-shirts and tank tops earlier this year, it didn’t turn to factories that crank out millions on the cheap. Instead, the 120-employee business, based near Atlanta, chose Industrial Revolution II, a garment manufacturer in Haiti. What clinched the deal was more than IRII’s competitive prices and low importing costs: It was the venture’s promise to train unemployed Haitians, pay them more than the minimum wage, and donate half its profits to social programs.
Friday, September 13, 2013 — No Region Specified

Why New iPhone Isn't Really for Developing World

Source: National Geographic

When news of this release first bubbled up, many people—from investors and analysts to customers and app developers—excitedly predicted that Apple could finally bring its high-quality devices to customers all over the world. It looked like good business for Apple and good news for millions, if not billions, of people.
Thursday, September 12, 2013 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Barefoot Power launches new portable, integrated GO systems

Source: http://www.barefootpower.com/index.php/company-news/93-barefoot-go-media-release

Barefoot Power's latest product release, the portable Barefoot GO solar system, launches this month offering an exciting new option for homes and businesses to increase access to renewable energy in developing countries. The Barefoot GO is a portable unit, so it can be used as a torch, ceiling or wall mounted. Barefoot GO lights can also be used as a torch, ceiling or wall mounted. Barefoot Go lights can also be reversed in the
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.
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 19, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Q&A With Chuck Slaughter, Living Goods Founder And CEO

Source: Forbes

Test ideas quickly and cheaply, and remember that widespread social impact cannot be accomplished alone. Those are two pieces of advice from one of Schwab Foundation’s social entrepreneurs of 2013, Chuck Slaughter, the founder and CEO of Living Goods.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 — South Asia

Low-cost warrior CavinKare reboots for better profits

Source: Business Standard

Three years ago when Chennai-based consumer products maker CavinKare decided to shift its focus from low-priced goods to premium products, it was clear the company had embarked on a journey to reinvent itself.
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)
Friday, February 08, 2013 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In Microsoft’s ‘4Afrika’ launch, a surprising game-changer

Source: Devex Impact

In the next three years, the Microsoft Afrika Initiative aims to “help place tens of millions” of smartphones in the hands of African consumers, bring 1 million small and medium-size African businesses and nonprofits online, train 100,000 African university graduates (and find jobs for 75,000 of them), and pilot low-cost wireless broadband in Kenya using “white-space” spectrum.
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.
Wednesday, December 05, 2012 — South Asia

Bartering vegetables for sanitary pads

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Women in rural areas are being convinced of the hygiene benefits of using sanitary pads, now to the extent that “they even barter onions or tomatoes for low-priced pads”, declared A. Muruganantham at the recently concluded TiECon – Chennai 2012.
Thursday, October 18, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Bush Food Gathers Momentum as a Social Enterprise

Source: Pro Bono Australia

The concept of ‘bush tucker’ is uniquely Australian - romanticised by Hollywood as something Crocodile Dundee survived on - but now a group of Indigenous Queenslanders wants to turn the harvesting of native bush foods into a sustainable social enterprise.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 — North Africa and Near East

North Africa: Japan's Unicharm Corp. to Bring Affordable Hygiene Products to 36 Million Low-Income Women

Source: All Africa

New York/Tokyo — Japanese consumer products giant Unicharm Corp. has pledged to bring affordable diapers and sanitary products to 36 million low-income women in the Middle East/North Africa and Asian regions as part of the Business Call to Action (BCTA), a global initiative to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development through the development of inclusive business models.
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.
Monday, September 24, 2012 — South Asia

How the Aakash tablet bounced back

Source: The Washington Post

Internet-connected tablets, as I’ve explained before, have the potential to positively impact billions. Cell phones improved commerce and changed society by allowing, among other things, the poorest villagers in the developing world to connect with one another. The Internet will catalyze the next leap forward by providing those in the developing world access to the same ocean of knowledge as those in wealthier societies. This will transform education and revolutionize commerce.
Thursday, September 06, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How door-to-door business can empower rather than repress women

Source: The Guardian

It's easy to criticise business for expanding into developing countries. But if it helps poor and isolated women, is it all bad?
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 — Europe & Eurasia

Reverse innovation brings social solutions to developed countries

Source: The Guardian

Social entrepreneurship often focuses on finding solutions to problems in the developing world. But, as the European Union battles with the ongoing recession and the US experiences rising levels of poverty, social enterprise solutions are increasingly appropriate in advanced industrial countries as well.
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 — Europe & Eurasia

Unilever sees 'return to poverty' in Europe

Source: The Telegraph

Unilever will adopt marketing strategies used in developing countries in order to drive future growth in Europe, as the head of its European business warned that poverty will rise in the region as a result of the debt crisis.
Friday, August 17, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

A continent goes shopping

Source: The Economist

AFRICAN consumers are underserved and overcharged, reckons Frank Braeken, Unilever’s boss in Africa. Until recently, South Africans who craved shampoo made specially for African hair, or cosmetics for black skin, had little choice besides costly American imports. Unilever spotted an opportunity: its Motions range of shampoos and conditioners is now a hit.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Avon's 'Lipstick Evangelism' Shows Promise in Poverty Fight

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

Lipstick may be the newest weapon in the fight against global poverty. A recent study (PDF) by University of Oxford researchers suggests that selling Avon (AVP) cosmetics have helped women in South Africa become financially independent. Other businesses are mimicking Avon’s model of direct sales as a way to alleviate poverty in developing countries.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Thursday, April 26, 2012 — South Asia

The Cookstove Conundrum

Source: New York Times

Cooking the family meal can be a dangerous business for poor people in developing countries. According to a study by the World Health Organization, indoor air pollution from “primitive household cooking fires” is the leading environmental cause of death in the world. In most rural homes, which lack electricity, a stove can be an open fire and the fuel as basic as wood, dried animal dung or agricultural residue, together known as “biomass” fuels. The result is nearly 2 million deaths a year, worldwide, almost as many as are caused by malaria and tuberculosis combined. What’s worse, cooking with biomass releases carbon dioxide and “black carbon” into the atmosphere and consequently is a significant contributor to climate change.
Thursday, April 19, 2012 — Asia Pacific

The Life-Changing Power of a Good Nap—And a Smart Business Plan

Source: GOOD

Yellow Leaf Hammocks, a rising socially conscious lifestyle brand, could have launched fast after its inspiring moment only to crash and burn. Yet smart planning and business sense gave the company the organic, slow-growth start that offers it the best shot at a sustainable future. Howyou run your company is just as important as why.
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.
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.
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.
Friday, March 16, 2012 — No Region Specified

Need Blind: Vision Spring and Warby Parker Shake Up Eyewear With Impact

Source: GOOD

Social enterprises Warby Parker and VisionSpring are finding innovative ways to bring glasses to people who can’t afford huge markups. VisionSpring, a nonprofit social enterprise, focuses on selling low-cost glasses to people earning between $1 and $4 per day. Warby Parker, a for-profit B-Corp, sells affordable eyewear in the domestic market while donating a pair of frames to VisionSpring for each pair it sells.
Friday, March 16, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Namibia: Chinese Enterprise in the Country - Panelised House Manufacturer

Source: allAfrica

It goes without saying that Chinese companies, be it a trade company, or a construction company or a service provider, or a manufacturer, are one of the contributors to Namibian socio-economic development with respect to poverty reduction, infrastructure improvement, employment creation, business vision, technical know-how, market and commodity competition system and working ethics among others.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 — South Asia

For a New Highway, from Rio to Delhi

Source: The Hindu

Brazil and India can benefit from each other's experience for an inclusive development agenda.
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 — 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, 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.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012 — No Region Specified

Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever: Winning with Purpose - A message to members of Business Fights Poverty

Source: Business Fights Poverty

Business has been a powerful force in improving the lives of millions of people on our planet – whether through product and service innovation, job creation or new opportunities for suppliers and distributors. Yet, I believe business can do so much more.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Training and Mentoring Give Boost to Uganda Clean Cookstoves Producers

Source: GVEP International

A five-year programme rewards entrepreneurship across East Africa by supporting micro-businesses to establish energy services and create employment opportunities in rural areas. Willy Bamwenyena, 25, stands out as a young resourceful entrepreneur, who has been able to identify the energy gap in his community, in rural Uganda, and turned the need into a business opportunity. The GVEP-led Devel...
Tuesday, January 10, 2012 — No Region Specified

Social Entrepreneurship: 1 Approach to Higher Ed Bubble Bust

Source: ASU News

Economists are not alone in their worry of an impending higher education bubble bust. Given the drastic increase in cost and decrease in relevance of a college degree over the past decades, Ashoka U Exchange participants - faculty and students across disciplines, administrators and social entrepreneurs - are united in their conviction that cosmetic changes to their institutions are not enough. Co-hosted by Ashoka, the world's largest...
Tuesday, January 10, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya Has Mobile Health App Fever

Source: Technology Review

Mobile health platforms are fast emerging in Kenya, where one startup's newly launched mobile health platform is attracting nearly 1,000 downloads daily, and the dominant telecom, Safaricom, has forged a partnership that will give its 18 million subscribers access to doctors. A World Bank official sees significant promise from such efforts, pointing to the fact that 50 percent of all Kenyan banking is already done on mobile phones-suggesting that the population is ready to go mobile...
Thursday, December 15, 2011 — No Region Specified

New Legal Structures for 'Social Entrepreneurs'

Source: The Wall Street Journal

You may have noticed the emerging class of "social entrepreneurs" who are creating companies that seek profit but also are devoted to a social purpose, to create long term, sustainable value. But, until recently, social entrepreneurs would find themselves in the position of choosing whether to organize either as a for-profit company or a nonprofit organization. The problem was that sometimes a company would be too much of a business to be a nonprofit. Yet, it also might be too mission-d...
Monday, December 05, 2011 — South Asia

Diary of a Social Entrepreneur

Source: livemint.com

Asister organization of the World Economic Forum, the Schwab Foundation has been awarding social entrepreneurs in South-East Asia for five years. It chose Neelam Chhiber of Industree Crafts Foundation as the India Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 in partnership with the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation (the foundation is the social wing of the Jubilant Bhartia Group, whose promoters are closely related to those of ...
Tuesday, October 25, 2011 — No Region Specified

Unreasonable, Maybe, but It?s on a Social Mission

Source: The New York Times

DANIEL EPSTEIN wants to get one thing straight: He is an unreasonable man. Happily, proudly unreasonable. Entrepreneurs who want to change the world, he says, have got to be a little crazy. And so, to foster some practical zaniness, Mr. Epstein is a co-founder of something called the Unreasonable Institute , in Boulder, Colo. For the last two summers, he has helped preside over this academy for entrepre...
Wednesday, October 12, 2011 — No Region Specified

California Creates New Corporation Types That Reward Doing Good (FAQ)

Source: Venture Beat

Even as Wall Street is being occupied and corporations are reviled, there is a revolution quietly raging across the country that empowers corporations to be a strong force for good. This week, California joined that revolution when Governor Jerry Brown created two new classes of corporations for businesses that seek to pursue both profit and purpose: Benefit Corporations and Flexible Purpose Corporations . These new legal structures are revolutionary in ...
Thursday, September 22, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Thriving Social Enterprise Empowers Rural Poor in Philippines

Source: Justmeans

Gandang Kalikasan, Inc. of Philippines has emerged as one of the sterling examples of how social enterprises can make a difference while being profitable at the same time. GKI is a unique social enterprise that was established four years ago by two sisters in Philippines, Anna Meloto-Wilk and Camille Meloto. It is now making a meaningful difference to the lives of thousands of rural poor in Philippines, while running an internationally successful business. Sisters Anna Meloto-Wil...
Monday, September 12, 2011 — South Asia

India?s 'Biggest Entrepreneurial Event' Set to Take Off Sept 30

Source: Northern Voices Online

New Delhi: The power of entrepreneurship and innovation to transform India into one of the leading economies of the world will be visible in full measure at the TiEcon Delhi 2011. The entrepreneurial event, among the biggest in Asia, begins on September 30 at Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi. The annual flagship event of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Delhi-NCR chapter, will see over 1500 attendees listen to the first CK Prahalad Memorial Lecture, set up in memory of the renowned Michigan Uni...
Friday, September 09, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Surfing the Radio Waves for Sustainable Agriculture

Source: allAfrica.com

While the use of mobile phones is rapidly surging across Africa, access gaps persist between urban and rural users. But a new generation of social entrepreneurs is remedying this problem by combining new and old media to reach rural populations. Twenty-nine-year-old Nnaemeka Ikegwuonu is one of such entrepreneurs who sees the mobile telephony gap as a call to innovate. His organization connects rural farmers with the information they need through a combination of mobile telephony and ra...
Tuesday, August 30, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Indego Africa: Lifting Africa's Women Out of Poverty

Source: Fox News

Promoting access and opporutnity for business-minded African women [ Video ] ...
Tuesday, August 30, 2011 — No Region Specified

Impact Investing and Social Entrepreneurship: A Way Forward

Source: Forbes

Recently, I interviewed Ron D. Cordes, Co-founder of the Cordes Foundation, which he and his wife Marty created in 2006. The primary focus of the Foundation is to utilize social entrepreneurship and impact investing as tools for global poverty alleviation. Ron has enjoyed a 25+ year career in the investment industry, having co-founded and then sold AssetMark Investment Services to Genworth Financial (NYSE:GNW) in 2006. He is currently Co-Chairman of Genworth Financial Wealth Management,...
Tuesday, August 16, 2011 — No Region Specified

Solar Light Bulb Sheds Light on Social Entre?pre?neur?ship Model

Source: The Washington Post

Problems facing the developing world are wide-ranging and include the need for potable water, adequate food and efficient, affordable lighting. Inventor Stephen Katsaros's solar-powered light bulb may go a long way towards fixing the last of those three. Katsaros created a solar light bulb that uses the sun's rays to charge a battery-powered LED light supply for roughly four hours. The battery, which is replaceable, lasts roughly 300-500 charges, while the product itself c...
Thursday, August 11, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Backpack Farms: Targeted Solutions to Help African Farmers Become More Resistant to Drought

Source: Dowser

This is part of a series highlighting innovations and possibilities for action for the famine in Somalia. Most news frames the famine and political conflict as near unsolvable; we're examining the on-the-ground measures that can help - from the large scale and political to the local and preventative. Looking at graphic photos of starving Somalis or reading about the perils of drought in East Afr...
Wednesday, August 10, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Rags2Riches Empowers Impoverished Women to Turn Recycled Scrap into Haute Couture

Source: Fast Company

Reese Fernandez-Ruiz was teaching children math, science, and reading skills in Payatas--one of the Philippines' biggest dump sites--when she noticed something: local mothers were making foot rugs out of scrap cloth that was furnished to them by a group of middlemen, who got the cloth directly from a factory and retrieved the finished products to sell. The mothers made a total of 20 cents per day. Before the middlemen came along, the mothers took the scrap cloth directly from the local du...
Monday, August 08, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Social Enterprise Spotlight: Just Markets For Ghana?s Women

Source: Forbes

Three years ago Danielle Grace Warren had gone fishing. She was part of a mission to build fish farms in Ghana. These farms, it was hoped, would help generate badly needed income and jobs. The literally graceful and ballerina-like Warren, a creative writer, knew from her experience in Haiti where she had worked on economic development projects that income and jobs were the key to lifting the Ghanaians out of poverty. But they needed to be lots of income and jobs. That simply wasn't possib...
Tuesday, July 26, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Southampton Students Bring Solar Lights to Madagascar

Source: BBC

Families in Madagascar are benefiting from solar-powered lighting through a project set up by Southampton students. The University of Southampton's SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) group set up a finance scheme to reduce the cost of the lights for rural families. The Right Light scheme has meant 98 families have reduced their use of kerosene lighting. Student Michael Austin said the scheme showed how students were "creating positive change in the...
Tuesday, July 26, 2011 — Latin America

How a 100-Year-old Tortoise Helped Build a Scalable Social Enterprise

Source: Guardian.co.uk

There is no shortage of people with a vision to change the world. But how? Strategy without the proper execution is simply a dream. When met with environmental and societal issues, organisations tend to use linear thinking (give a man a fish) to identify a solution to the problem instead of taking a circular, sustainable approach (teach a man to fish) by investing in the prevention of certain situations. Take Lonesome George for example. As the last surviving tortoise of its kind, many ...
Tuesday, July 19, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Improving the Quality of Rwanda?s Milk, While Turning a Profit

Source: How We Made It In Africa

Good, quality milk is one of the most nutrient-rich natural beverages available. Containing a healthy dose of at least nine essential vitamins and minerals, milk can be, quite literally, a lifesaver for populations suffering from an extremely nutrient-poor diet in developing countries. Yet in Rwanda , where an estimated 90% of the population is still dependent on agriculture, and ...
Friday, July 15, 2011 — No Region Specified

TED Fellows and Social Entrepreneurship?s Middle Ages

Source: Inc. Tech

Our collective imagination of the European Middle Ages conjures an age of darkness, disease, war, feudalism and feuding. The true story is much more complicated. Indeed, the Medieval era was a necessary period of challenge and experimentation - a period in which political systems evolved and in which understanding of the natural world struggled move from mysticism to science. It was an era that, although challenging, prepared the Western World for Renaissance, Scientific Revolution, and Enlig...
Thursday, July 14, 2011 — No Region Specified

College Students Focus on Social Issues in Dell Challenge

Source: Mother Nature Network

What do you get when you take socially aware, highly motivated and innovative college students and ask them to help solve a pressing social or environmental problem? You get some downright creative and possibly world-changing ideas via the Dell Social Innovation Challenge (DSIC). The Dell Social Innovation Challenge was launched five years ago and in that time, hundreds of thousands have dollars have been awarded to teams of college students to help solve a persistent social or e...
Friday, June 17, 2011 — South Asia

NextWealth: Creating a Next Wave in India's IT and BPO Industry

Source: India Knowledge@Wharton

During the early days of the Indian information technology outsourcing industry, Sridhar Mitta's biggest challenge was convincing American companies that India was a viable destination to send their work. Mitta was with Wipro, at the time a fledging IT division of a vegetable oil company. He was, in fact, the very first employee of the company's IT business and later went on to become its chief technology officer and president of the global research and development business. During Mi...
Thursday, June 16, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Slideshow: Inzozi Nziza, a Social Enterprise, Creates a Market for Ice Cream in Rwanda

Source: Dowser

It's an unlikely place for an ice cream shop, and an even more unlikely batch of people to be running it. Inzozi Nziza, or "Sweet Dreams" in Kinyarwanda, is Rwanda's first and only local ice cream shop. Located in the small university town of Butare, it celebrated its one year anniversary this week. While its struggles have been great, from importing a soft-serve ice cream machine into this tiny landlocked country where only one person knows (kind-of) how to fix it,&...
Thursday, June 16, 2011 — No Region Specified

Embrace Warms Up Premature Babies At the Bottom of the Pyramid

Source: Forbes

A mother living in a rural village outside of Bangalore, India gives birth to a baby two months prematurely. Her family cannot afford to go to the city hospital in Bangalore, so her husband, who raises silkworms that he warms under lamps, decides to care for the baby in the same way. A few day later, their baby dies. Stopping this tragedy - there are 20 million low birth weight and premature babies born each year - is the primary mission of Embrac...
Wednesday, June 15, 2011 — No Region Specified

'Buy Local' Program Aims to Boost Value of Aid to Haiti

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

One week after the devastating quake that struck Haiti in January 2010, journalist Mark Danner wrote a New York Times op-ed that warned the outpouring of international sympathy and support, although remarkable, would buoy unrealistic expectations about the prospe...
Tuesday, June 07, 2011 — South Asia

From Victims to Entrepreneurs

Source: The Times of India

JAIPUR: A 23-year-old victim of domestic violence, Sudha Sharma, (name changed) of Jaipur is learning basics of social entrepreneurship at a workshop organised by an NGO - Centre for Social Development (CSD) in the city. Until a few months ago, she was physically assault by her inlaws but now she lives separately and is planning to open a small tailoring unit here. Like Sudha, there are 29 other ...
Monday, June 06, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Garbage Disposal Innovation Wins Kenyan Firm Sh4.2 Million Award

Source: Business Daily

A local garbage disposal concept has won the Dell Social Innovation Award for 2011, the latest conquest by a Kenyan firm in the world of innovations with high social impact. TakaTaka Solutions, a social enterprise that collects and recycles waste in Nairobi, won the Sh4.2 million top prize in the global competition for its waste management solution, and will use the money to bankroll its recycling programme. "The team exemplifies ingenuity, passion and entrepreneurial spirit. The ...
Thursday, June 02, 2011 — North Africa and Near East

Electrifying Entrepreneur: The Founder of Afriq-Power is Upgrading Mali

Source: Wired.co.uk

Daniel Dembélé wants to electrify Africa . Trouble is, so do foreign multinationals. For the past five years, the 31-year-old Malian social entrepreneur has been trying to keep one step ahead. In 2006, he installed locally produced solar panels in a school in Banko, Mali. With children able to study after dark for the first tim...
Friday, May 20, 2011 — No Region Specified

Gift Establishes Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship

Source: Wesleyan University

Wesleyan University is establishing the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship, which will support students who want to create programs and organizations serving the public good - anywhere in the world. The Patricelli Center and its programs are supported by a generous $2 million leadership gift from the Robert and Margaret Patricelli Family Foundation. Robert E. Patricelli '61 is chairman and chief executive officer of Evolution Benefits and of Women's Health USA and an ...
Thursday, April 21, 2011 — No Region Specified

Bank of America Donates $1 Million for Social Entrepreneurship

Source: The Hoya

The McDonough School of Business announced Tuesday that it will partner with Bank of America to form the Global Social Entrepreneurship Initiative, a program designed to prepare students to conduct successful socially-conscious business. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has donated $1 million dollars to Georgetown to support the initiative. The gift is among the largest donations given to the university from the banking industry, according to an MSB press release. Accordi...
Monday, April 18, 2011 — No Region Specified

Why Many Social Problems are Entrepreneurial Problems

Source: Forbes

All problems that have unknown elements are entrepreneurial problems which means they require entrepreneurial management. However, although we often think of startups as being entrepreneurial, many social problems have elements that are unknown, which means they are entrepreneurial problems . Unfortunately, often people don't recognize social problems as entrepreneursh...
Tuesday, April 05, 2011 — No Region Specified

Clinton Global Initiative U. winners announced

Source: CBS News

Last weekend, a group of college students competed in a tournament with brackets -- but they weren't in Houston or Indianapolis, they were in La Jolla, Calif., or the inaugural Clinton Global Initiative University Commitments Challenge . As the university put it: On Friday, President Clinton opened the fourth annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) by announcing innovative student projects that will improve health ...
Monday, April 04, 2011 — No Region Specified

Social Entrepreneurship: Where Are Its Borderlines?

Source: Fast Company

Social entrepreneurship is a concept that emerged lately all-over the world, following the rise of both entrepreneurship and social responsibility, but what qualifies as social entrepreneurship? Do normal businesses generating employment suffice? Or does it have to be an NGO? How can an NGO insure sustainability? Different definitions came up over the years trying to define the borders of social entrepreneurship as summarized by Mair and Marti (2005) ranging between NGOs and for profit ...
Friday, April 01, 2011 — No Region Specified

Rallying Cries for Yunus Open Skoll World Forum 2011

Source: Socialenterpriselive.com

Outrage at the campaign being waged against Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus burst to the top of the agenda at the opening ceremony of this year's Skoll World Forum on social entrepreneurship. eBay's former president Jeff Skoll, the forum's founder, drew loud applause as he stepped away from the theme of his opening speech - around collaboration - to commit his support to Yunus. Skoll said Yunus, one of the founding fathers of microcredit, stood to be removed from his...
Friday, April 01, 2011 — No Region Specified

Encouraging Social Entrepreneurship - in Pictures

Source: Guardian.co.uk

Social and business entrepreneurs from around the world gathered in Sweden on Saturday for the three-day Ashoka Globalizer summit . The aim of the event was to find ways to expand the entrepreneurs' social innovations globally. We feature some of those taking part. Ashoka is an association of the world's leading social entrepreneurs ...
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 — Europe & Eurasia

Archbishop Desmond Tutu to Give Keynote Address at Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship

Source: Sys-Con Media

OXFORD, England, March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Skoll World Forum is the leading international platform for accelerating entrepreneurial approaches and innovative solutions to the world's most pressing social issues. The theme for the 2011 Forum is 'Large Scale Change - ecosystems, networks and collaborative action.' The programme covers a wide variety of complex global issues such as water, energy, food security, climate change, peace and security, social equity and eme...
Monday, March 28, 2011 — No Region Specified

To Catch A Dollar: Poor Women, Small Business And a Chance to Succeed in America

Source: The Huffington Post

Patricia, a Guyanese immigrant living in Queens, N.Y., had long dreamed of running her own business. An avid baker, she hoped to open a shop where she could sell the cakes and pastries she made on a smaller scale in her spare time. But she lacked the seed money to afford the necessary supplies. And without savings or collateral, she certainly didn't qualify for a loan. Determined to make her vision a reality, Patricia connected with a local branch of ...
Monday, March 28, 2011 — Latin America

Haitian-made Crafts Land at Macy?s

Source: The Globe and Mail

With its tin roof and tiny façade hemmed in with razor wire, the shambling structure sitting on the edge of Cité Soleil - Port-au-Prince's most notorious slum - is not what you'd imagine a toy factory to look like. The one-room shack doubles as the home of Reggie Jean-François, a muscle-bound Haitian man in his mid-30s who has first-hand experience of a U.S. federal prison, the U.S. deportation system and the rehabilitative power of Jesus Christ. Jean-Fran&c...
Thursday, March 24, 2011 — South Asia

Afghan Dressmaker Helps Inspire Other Start-ups

Source: PBS Newshour

Journalist Gayle Tzemach Lemmon arrived in Afghanistan in 2005. She had come to Kabul on an assignment to write an article for the Financial Times about local women entrepreneurs who emerged when the Taliban took control of the city in 1996. Lemmon was not a novice at covering women in war zones. She had worked in Bosnia and Rwanda reporting on female entrepreneurs in post-conflict counties. But in Afghanistan, Lemmon was "a first-timer." When she met her interview subject, she re...
Tuesday, March 22, 2011 — North Africa and Near East

Sa?d Business School: US Marines Call on Social Entrepreneur in Afghanistan

Source: The Financial

When Connie Duckworth received a call from the office of Commanding General of the Marines First Expeditionary Force operating in Afghanistan, she was surprised to say the least. Ms Duckworth is a social entrepreneur working in poor rural communities in Afghanistan well beyond the theatre of war. The Marines, however, had heard about her approach to developing sustainable economic growth within these communities and wanted to learn more. Ms Duckworth's social venture ARZU has been w...
Thursday, March 10, 2011 — Europe & Eurasia

American Expat Helps Hong Kong Startups Find Footing

Source: Fast Company

The Hong Kong social enterprise scene is just getting going --and so is the startup movement. A cofounder of StartupsHK and BootHK , Jonathan Buford, tells Fast Company that it all comes down to one word: community . With the lure of the safety and comforts that come with a hi...
Thursday, February 24, 2011 — North Africa and Near East

Why We Need Social Entrepreneurship in the Middle East

Source: Inc.

The tremors shaking the Middle East have not fully subsided, but the ominous question already looms: What comes next? Much of the media focus has been on political reform, as tyrants are toppled and drama unfolds with the suspense of a Hollywood movie, but the demands of protestors have been clear: They want political and economic reform. Very little attention, as yet, has been paid to the...
Tuesday, February 22, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

From Reeds to Roads: Bamboo Bikes in Ghana

Source: PBS Newshour

When Columbia University professor John Mutter went to Ghana in 2007, he noticed how necessary a reliable source of transportation was to people's livelihoods and wellbeing. "You can't go to any of the poorer countries in Africa and not be struck by how many people get around by walking or bicycling," said Mutter. With roads in generally poor condition, it can take a long time to get from place to place, he said. Even the seemingly simple task of getting cash crops to mark...
Wednesday, February 09, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa's Innovation Generation: Dynamos and Mobile Wiz Kids

Source: National Geographic

Leapfrogging PCs, Africa's burgeoning generation of mobile tech-savvy entrepreneurs is bursting with ideas and practical inventions, from African apps for smart phones to software solutions that address uniquely local challenges. In this installment of Mobile Message, Kenya-based Erik Hersman, a co-founder of Ushahidi , a free and open source platform for crowdsourcing information and visualizing data, writes about ...
Wednesday, February 09, 2011 — No Region Specified

Seeking America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs

Source: Businessweek

Entrepreneurship has always been about solving problems. What distinguishes social entrepreneurs is how much their solutions improve people's lives. They're building companies to lift people out of poverty, improve global health, extend human rights, and protect the environment. They're business people, too, and they take profits as seriously they take their missions. Social enterprises aren't charities-they sustain themselves and grow because their customers pay for the value...
Friday, February 04, 2011 — No Region Specified

Social Entrepreneurship and the Common Brand

Source: Fast Company

As GOOD magazine reported yesterday, Alex Bogusky and John Bielenberg, have launched a new social entrepreneurship platform called COMMON that is part incubator and part creative community that enables collabor...
Wednesday, February 02, 2011 — No Region Specified

Social Entrepreneurs Cross Between 'Richard Branson and Mother Teresa'

Source: news.com.au

In the developed and developing worlds, governments and business have failed to solve many endemic social problems. In response to that failure, social entrepreneurs are using innovative solutions to bring about measurable change. Such social enterprise has arrived in a big way. Bill Clinton advocates it. Billionaires such as Bill Gates and Jeff Skoll fund it. With a growing track record of successful not-for-loss enterprises, social entrepreneurship is an idea wh...
Monday, January 31, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Booting Up Tanzania With Help From Google

Source: Fast Company

When Joshua Stern, a graduate of Stanford with a degree in computer science, served in the Peace Corps in Tanzania from 2006 to 2007, one thing soon became clear. "The major takeaway there," he tells Fast Company , "was that the best development work being done was being done by these local groups, community-based organizations." The small groups were often the most effective--yet they had no web presence, no effective way to communicate with other small NGOs or to raise f...
Friday, January 28, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Former Lehman Banker Leads Social Ventures in China, Battles Dyslexia in Schools

Source: Fast Company

China's social entrepreneurship scene is not all that well known , but the Hong Kong-based Avantage Ventures is trying to change that by infusing the country with a hefty dose of capital and mentorship. The company is led by founder Yvonne Li, a former investment banker with Lehman Brothers, who has a particular zest ...
Thursday, January 27, 2011 — Europe & Eurasia

Local ?Bridge-Maker? Turns Up at Davos

Source: thestar.com

Shawn Ahmed is tweeting gleefully about the white all-access badge he's been handed at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, where politicians and CEOs are meeting this week to try to solve some of the world's biggest problems. The 29-year-old Canadian landed a coveted seat representing the YouTube community after winning an international online competition called the Davos Debates. It's a coup for a guy from Richmond Hill who ditched a graduat...
Wednesday, January 26, 2011 — No Region Specified

Social Entrepreneurship Summit to be Held at Rutgers-Camden on Feb. 18

Source: Rutgers Today

CAMDEN -- A conference examining how investments in social entrepreneurship can help to increase jobs and grow businesses, non-profits, and other organizations will be held at Rutgers-Camden during 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 18 . "Innovation, Social Benefit, and Job Creation: The Potential of Social Entrepreneurship in South Jersey" will explore how new business models and services are helping non-profit and for-profit organizations to diversify their revenue st...
Tuesday, January 25, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Investing In China's Future One Student At A Time

Source: The Huffington Post

For Calvin Chin , the road to higher education requires just a few hundred dollars at the right moment. Take Winnie, for instance. She was a senior at Guangzhou University when her father had to quit his teaching job because his eyesight started to fail him. He went back to working...
Monday, January 24, 2011 — No Region Specified

Business Schools With a Social Appeal

Source: The New York Times

LONDON - Business schools can be cutthroat places. After struggling to gain admission to the top schools, students compete for grades and the best work placements. Meanwhile, the schools themselves jostle for position in the various global rankings, competing in order to attract the most able students. But in the never-ending battle for dominance, one London business school has decided to appeal not to potential students' wallets, but to their consciences. Starting in September, the...
Wednesday, January 19, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

After Sudan's Referendum: A Former "Lost Boy" Turns Entrepreneur

Source: Fast Company

On January 9th, Southern Sudanese voted on whether to become a separate, independent nation. While the results of that vote are still up in the air (though early indications reveal a majority voted for secession from the North ), one fearless entrepreneur, Nico Ajak Bior, already has his sights se...
Tuesday, January 18, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Diamond Cab Picks Up Hong Kong's Fledgling Social Entrepreneurship Scene

Source: Fast Company

Social entrepreneurship is a relatively new phenomenon in Hong Kong--and one venture philanthropy startup, Social Ventures Hong Kong (SVhk) , has been at the forefront of the movement, with several investees under its portfolio focused on the elderly and disabled. The group's newest project, Diamond Cab , officially launches next week. "Diamond Cab is the first branded, high-quality taxi servic...
Thursday, January 13, 2011 — Asia Pacific

China's Top Social Innovators to Watch in 2011

Source: CNN Global

By Calvin Chin I firmly believe that China will be a leader in social innovation. But while there is a tremendous amount of dynamism and energy in this newly emerging sector, ...
Monday, December 20, 2010 — No Region Specified

Social Networks Meant for Social Good, but at a Price

Source: The New York Times

Over the last year or so, there has been an explosion of online intermediaries promising to help nonprofit groups raise money and awareness. ...
Monday, November 29, 2010 — Asia Pacific

Social Entrepreneurs Boost Cooperation to Reduce Poverty in Asia

Source: The Korean Times

Innovative thinkers working for social change converged in Seoul, Monday, in a bid to boost cooperation towards alleviating poverty and other problems in Asia. Some 300 agents of change known as social entrepreneurs - those who apply fresh paradigms to solve pressing human issues - gathered in southern Seoul for the second major gathering of the Asian Social Entrepreneurs Summit. On the first of two days of dialogue at the Kyoyuk Munwha Hoekwan Hotel, tackling pove...
Thursday, October 21, 2010 — No Region Specified

Exit Strategies for Social Entrepreneurs

Source: Inc.

On Tuesday, my husband's company, NetSpend , finally had its IPO . After more than ten years of anticipation, the day came and went surprisingly unceremoniously, culminating not with champagne and a feast but with a frightfully suburban dinner of spaghetti and me...
Tuesday, July 27, 2010 — South Asia

The New India: Social Entrepreneurship as a Family Affair

Source: Huffington Post

BANGALORE -- Neelam Chhiber met her husband Jacob Mathew in graduate school, the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad. Today, with their 19-year-old son Nishant, they are giving me one family's story of the improvisational networking and social entrepreneurship that are all the rage in digital India. It's not all monster business yet, and probably never will be. In the Chhiber-Mathew case...
Friday, August 07, 2009 — No Region Specified

Social Entrepreneurs from around the World Come to Santa Clara

Source: Business Wire

Santa Clara University's Center for Science, Technology, and Society will soon kick off a two-week program as part of its Global Social Benefit Incubator, in which venture capitalists and technology executives trade ideas with social entrepreneurs from around the world. These innovators and entrepreneurs will descend on Silicon Valley August 16-28 for an intensive, two-week residential "boot camp" intended to boost their socially conscious business ventures into the realm of sustain...
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