Our Staff Writers and Editors offer insights on the latest news, events, interviews and other happenings from the development through enterprise and base of the pyramid universes
Friday, June 26, 2015 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Buyout Firm Vital Plans $500 Million Africa Fund As Demand Booms

Source: Bloomberg

Private equity firm Vital Capital Investments LP is planning a $500 million investment fund that will focus on African industries overlooked by competitors.
Wednesday, May 6, 2015 — South Asia

Affordable Housing: Where Success Favours the Brave

Source: Forbes

Affordable and mid-income housing is a beast like no other. It has a business model that bears little similarity to traditional real estate where developers often rely on price appreciation. Here, the margins are a lot lower, and builders must construct township-like projects quickly. A delay can wipe out profits, while buyers don’t have the ability to pay EMIs if projects are held up. Despite these challenges, three companies—Ashiana Housing, Poddar Developers and Value Budget Housing Corporation (VBHC)—have decided to focus on this segment.
Monday, May 4, 2015 — No Region Specified

Giving Everyone in the World an Address

Source: BBC

Out in the real world, about four billion people on the planet actually live in places that have no street names, no house numbers - in fact, nothing that constitutes a proper address.
Monday, April 27, 2015 — Latin America

Interview: Infonavit CEO, on Reshaping Mexico’s Mortgage Market

Source: World Finance

Mexico is transforming its urban housing policy, and with the help of key names such as Infonavit and its CEO Alejandro Murat Hinojosa, the country is seeking to implement more sustainable solutions.
Friday, January 9, 2015 — No Region Specified

Capitalism Begins at Home

Source: The Economist

Joseph Schumpeter argued that the miracle of capitalism lies in democratising wealth. Elizabeth I owned silk stockings, he observed, but the “capitalist achievement” does not lie in “providing more silk stockings for queens but in bringing them within reach of factory girls.” In most areas of life this miracle has been working magnificently: in America the number of hours of work that it takes to buy a car, or a wardrobe full of clothes, has halved in the past generation. But in three big areas it has singularly failed to operate: health care, education and housing.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 — South Asia

Canada to help India in building smart cities

Source: Business Standard

Canada will help India in building smart cities and achieving its target of housing for all by offering wooden multi-storey housing technology, officials said here Wednesday. In a meeting with Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu here, Canadian Minister of International Trade Ed Fast said his country's "expertise in wood-based housing technology that enables multi-storey construction and India can consider it to meet its ambitious housing targets".
Thursday, July 31, 2014 — Latin America

OPINION: Brazil's Unaffordable Homes

Source: The New York Times

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — I live in Mandaqui, a district six miles from downtown. The nearest subway station is roughly two miles away, or about 30 minutes by bus, since they’re slow and scarce. It’s not the best place to live if you don’t have a car. Even so, the average price per square foot here recently soared to $250. Real estate in prime areas of the city can now cost as much as $465 per square foot.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 — South Asia

Affordable houses, but for whom?

Source: Business Standard

The new launches in the affordable category could just be another marketing gimmick to push sales and mop up money
Friday, February 15, 2013 — Latin America

If you build it

Source: The Economist

A scheme to promote working-class home ownership is off to a good start
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 — South Asia

Accion’s Frontier Investments Group and Saama Capital Invest $4 Million in Mortgage Company

Source: Sacramento Bee

Early-Stage Equity to Help Expand Shubham Housing's Mission to Serve Urban Poor
Monday, November 26, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Enter the iShack, a possible answer to improving Africa’s slums

Source: How We Made it in Africa

For those who aren’t familiar with South Africa’s informal settlements, it is estimated that seven million South Africans live in shacks in the country’s many “squatter camps” located around all major cities.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 — No Region Specified

Habitat for Humanity and the Citi Foundation Unveil Housing Microfinance Toolkit


Habitat for Humanity and the Citi Foundation announced the publication of a new toolkit designed to provide technical training and tools to encourage microfinance institutions to include or enhance housing microfinance products in their portfolios. The Housing Microfinance: Product Development Toolkit is intended to influence the $60 billion global microfinance sector, resulting in small, affordable loans that low-income families can use to improve their housing incrementally.
Monday, October 1, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Habitat for Humanity Canada and The MasterCard Foundation partner to expand access to housing microfinance in Africa

Source: Canada Newswire

ACCRA, Ghana, Oct. 1, 2012 /CNW/ - Habitat for Humanity Canada, Habitat for Humanity International (collectively "Habitat") and The MasterCard Foundation today announced the launch of a $6.6 million, five-year partnership to expand microfinance services to maintain and improve homes for disadvantaged families in three African countries.
Monday, September 17, 2012 — Latin America

12,000 Nicaraguan Families to Benefit From Improved Housing Conditions

Source: Hispanically Speaking News

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a loan of up to $5 million to Nicaragua’s Foundation for the Promotion of Local Development (Prodel), paving the way for the non-profit organization serving the base of the pyramid to expand financing for basic community infrastructure and incremental home improvement projects.
Friday, July 20, 2012 — Latin America

Bamboo Finance Invests R$7 Million (US$3.6M) in Bille, To Build 1200 Affordable Houses in Sao Paulo State

Source: Press Release

Geneva, Switzerland, July 19, 2012 – Bamboo Finance, a leading impact investment firm with a pioneering history of funding growth stage business models that drive economic viability in low-income markets, has invested R$7M (US$3.6M) in Bille, a Special Purpose Enterprise (SPE) created by Crinale, a Brazilian housing developer, for building and selling 1,200 houses in the interior of Sao Paulo State. Bille uses an innovative and efficient business model to build and sell affordable standard houses, reducing the time from development to sale by more than 50%. To date, Crinale has completed six affordable housing projects in five towns, delivering more than 1,100 low-income houses in the interior State of Sao Paulo.
Friday, June 29, 2012 — South Asia

Need for affordable houses

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Mr Om Prakash Bhansali, 32, has a big dream. He wants his own house. This textile worker with a steady job and a monthly income of Rs 12,000 from Ahmedabad has been scouting for a 250-300-sq.-ft house that he can buy with his meagre resources. But he has been unable to find one.
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.
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.
Monday, February 1, 2010 — South Asia

MNCs' Cutting-Edge Research Has a New Address: India

Source: Business Standard

No description provided
Thursday, January 28, 2010 — No Region Specified

Multinationals: Self-Interest Drives New Attitudes to Agriculture

Source: Financial Times

Global agribusiness companies are waking up to smallholder farmers. Long used to buying their produce through intermediaries, companies are now meeting farmers in the fields. Cadbury is committed to making its leading Dairy Milk brand Fairtrade by supporting small cocoa farmers in Ghana. Unilever &nbs...
Tuesday, November 10, 2009 — South Asia

World Economic Forum India Summit to Ponder Over Social Issues

Source: Economic Times

Social issues have never taken up so much corporate and CEO attention since the world wars. Income inequalities, public health, labour unrest, climate change, poverty, ethics, values, the role of business ... all that kind of thing. Suddenly, corporate social responsibility has come to acquire a brand new meaning. It's not about the Gates Foundation any more, it's about bankers bonuses. It's about climate change, green technology, social justice. Developmental and beha...
Monday, September 14, 2009 — South Asia

Danone May Apply Bangladesh Lessons to India

Source: Business Standard

Groupe Danone, the $18-billion French dairy company, is understood to be exploring a strategy for India which will leverage on its experience in Bangladesh. One of the things Danone is studying is to enter with an affordable initiative, what it internally calls a bottom of the pyramid one. Danone has a joint venture with The Grameen Group in that country, from early 2006, with a focus on easily affordable dairy products. The Grameen Danone Foods model relies on the creat...
Monday, August 24, 2009 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Phillips Develops Off-Grid Lighting for Africa

Source: Treehugger

Phillips apparently sees a fruitful market among the nearly 2 billion people who lack access to electricity. The company is rolling out a small line of lighting products specifically designed for the needs of those at the bottom of the economic pyramid. We've seen Phillips' interest in this area before with its smokeless cooking stove, and we've seen what a difference simple lighting technology can make for rural communities. An entrant into this year's Index Award,...
Friday, June 5, 2009 — Asia Pacific

Australian group seeks BoP business opportunities

Source: The Age

A T THE tail end of a business conference in the pretty Papua New Guinean coastal town of Madang late last month, a posse of high-powered Australian suits slipped into tropical mufti, climbed aboard a charter plane and flew deep into the wilds of the Southern Highlands interior. Dropping into remote villages over three days, they visited markets and surveyed crops, talked to tribal elders and field workers. They asked lots of questions about how people were making a livi...
Wednesday, February 25, 2009 — South Asia

Fighting Poverty - One Yoghurt at a Time

Source: The Guardian

The west's beleaguered banking system could learn a thing or two from an illiterate Bangladeshi villager called Sobi Rani. She is a Grameen Lady, one of the thousands of grassroots activists who are the bedrock of the Grameen phenomenon, which, with nearly 30 businesses, is probably the largest financially viable social enterprise in the world. The cornerstone is the Grameen Bank, founded 33 years ago by Muhammad Yunus, superstar social entrepreneur and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner. The ...
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