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
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 — 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.
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.
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 — 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.
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.
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 — 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
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.
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 aggregate represent more than $10b in annual economic activity. This is an economy without an infrastructure, however, relying on informal channels and bribes to function. South African entrepreneur Suzana Moreira is working to change that. Her startup moWozauses SMS to help African migrants order, pay for, and select a place for parcel pickup.
Thursday, February 16, 2012 — South Asia

Community Workers Help to Bridge Treatment Gap in Mental Health

Source: The Guardian

Training lay people can play a crucial role in helping to deliver effective care for depression and anxiety in resource-poor, primary healthcare settings
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Truly Local Power: African Wind Turbines Built From Scrap

Source: FastCo.Exist

Wind power isn’t used much in the developing world, since a turbine is much more expensive than a solar panel. But Access:energy is flipping that equation by finding ways to build the turbines in the communities where they’re needed.
Wednesday, February 08, 2012 — South Asia

Indian Eye Clinic Uses Tiered Pricing to Combat Blindness Among Poor

Source: The Guardian

An expanding network of eye clinics has found an innovative way of providing quality, affordable treatment to millions of blind and visually impaired poor people in India
Thursday, February 02, 2012 — No Region Specified

The Real Architects of Social Change: Live from Davos

Source: CSRwire

Everybody seemed to agree that the world is now facing some serious problems: Climate change, persistent poverty and inequality, the failure of financial systems, environmental degradation, the impeding exhaustion of cheap minerals and oil and so on. And everybody seemed determine to provide solutions to these problems. Prominent among these proposed solutions: Social entrepreneurship.
Wednesday, February 01, 2012 — No Region Specified

GSK's Andrew Witty on the Future of Pharma Collaboration to Help Poor Countries

Source: The Guardian

Just before the all-singing, all-dancing launch of the big initiative to control or eliminate 10 neglected diseases – starring 13 CEOs from Big Pharma, the WHO's director general, Margaret Chan, and Bill Gates – I grabbed a few words with Sir Andrew Witty, head of GlaxoSmithKline, who co-chaired the negotiations over the past year with Gates.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 — South Asia

The New Rules of BoP Marketing

Source: Forbes India

About three years ago, PepsiCo drew up a new blueprint for long-term growth in India. It spoke of the need for significantly widening reach, aiming for the new consuming class across urban and rural India — and more importantly, creating a whole new set of locally developed products for the masses.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 — No Region Specified

Microfinance Will Eliminate Severe Poverty – John Hatch

Source: Microfinance Focus

In an exclusive interview with Microfinance Focus, John Hatch, founder of FINCA and creator of Village banking, discusses the future of microfinance industry and FINCA’s efforts to stay committed to its social mission.
Monday, January 30, 2012 — South Asia

Wall Street Journal: Look Beyond India’s ‘Poor Man’s’ Market

Source: Wall Street Journal

PwC defines the “Next 4 Billion” as countries that have an average annual per capita income that ranges between $1,000 and $4,000, and that, together, are home to four billion people – or more than half of the current global population of 7 billion. Apart from India and China, this group includes Indonesia and countries in Latin America and Africa.
Thursday, September 15, 2011 — South Asia

From No Doctor to E-Doctors in Rural India

Source: MIT Technology Review

There aren't too many doctors in the village of Hari Ke Kalan, in the Punjab region of northern India. But for $1, residents who bicycle to a new health clinic in town can get an appointment with a physician who appears on a large-screen television, beamed in over broadband Internet. The clinic, built by a startup called Healthpoint Services, is one of a network of eight "e-health points" that the for-profit company has built in India as part of a growing effort by entrepreneurs to ...
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