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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, December 29, 2005 — No Region Specified

Government Brings PCs to Poor

Source: Red Herring

Excerpts: Plans by governments to help make PCs cheaper for their citizens can help drive market penetration around the globe, but community-shared computers may be best for the world?s poorest regions, analysts said Wednesday. A recent Gartner report said that thanks in part to affordability programs, PC installations in emerging markets could reach 1.1 billion by 2015, representing an increase of 850 million, or 327 percent, from 260 million in 2005. That would mean market penetra...
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Wednesday, December 28, 2005 — No Region Specified

Channeling the Remittance Flood

Source: BusinessWeek

Excerpts: In 2005, migrant workers in the U.S. sent $52 billion back to Latin America and the Caribbean. Now governments are working to leverage that money to promote economic development. The importance of the inflows cannot be exaggerated. Remittances to El Salvador account for 18% of gross domestic product and lately have exceeded the value of the country's exports. Throughout Latin America, the remittances reach poor rural areas that get little development assista...
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Wednesday, December 28, 2005 — No Region Specified

Source: andhra cafe.com

BASIX, a new generation rural livelihood promotion institution, has come out with two new products for the self-help groups (SHGs). One of the products is micro-credit plus capacity building product and the other a health insurance product.? The products were launched at the national conference on ?Emerging opportunities at the bottom of the pyramid ? Transforming the Indian rural economy through profitability?. ? The micro-credit product involves a loan of up to Rs one lak...
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Wednesday, December 28, 2005 — No Region Specified

Source: Financial Express

CHENNAI, DEC 23: With a view to focusing on innovation and product development, some academicians, industrialists and associations have come together to form Product Development & Management Association (PDMA), India. The association, which is claimed to be a non-profit organisation, is going to be affiliated to PDMA, US. President, PDMA, US, Hamsa Thota, said the mission of PDMA India was to improve the capabilities of people engaged in the design and development of new products ...
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Wednesday, December 28, 2005 — No Region Specified

More retailers pursuing markets at the BOP

Source: DNA Money

HYDERABAD/MUMBAI: Call it a mall revolution for the masses. If an idea currently being toyed by retail giants fructifies, India?s huge middle- and lower-class population will have something to cheer. And why not? If retail stores start selling TV sets at Rs 40 per week or, for that matter, kitchen mixers at Rs 10 a week, the hoi polloi are going to be the ultimate beneficiary. For large retailers, catering to the tastes of 45- 60% of a 1.2-billion consumer market makes sou...
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Friday, December 23, 2005 — No Region Specified

In Haiti, If Someone Gets Your Goat, That's a Good Thing

Source: Wall Street Journal

Excerpts: Live Goat: $60; Live Chicken: $7; Live Turkey $28; Live Pig: $180. The barnyard animals aren't actually out back foraging -- they're in Haiti fattening up. But for Haitian expatriates with money earned in the U.S., animals make great gifts -- much warmer than cash -- for the folks back home. Soca says it sells about 10 goats a week. Haitian people eat goats during every festivity, says William Regis, a Soca store manager. We...
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Friday, December 23, 2005 — No Region Specified

Cleantech Gives Power to the Poor

Source: Red Herring

Excerpts: ...serving the more than 1.6 billion people in the world that don?t have electricity or other energy services is a good business opportunity, one that traditional utilities have ignored for far too long. But to provide people in remote areas with renewable energy, utility companies have to completely change their corporate cultures and undo years of approaching problems in a particular way. Knowledge of local markets, say Mr. Rosa and other entrepreneu...
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Thursday, December 22, 2005 — South Asia

BASIX unveils 2 new products for SHGs

Source: Business Standard

BASIX, a livelihood promotion institution, that is into micro-credit, agricultural development services, farmer cooperatives and so on, has come out with two new products for the self-help groups (SHGs), with one being a micro-credit plus capacity building product and the other a health insurance product. The products were launched at the national conference on ?Emerging opportunities at the bottom of the pyramid ? Transforming the Indian rural economy through profitability?. The micro...
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Thursday, December 22, 2005 — No Region Specified

ADB Decries Plight of Ugandan Women

Source: The New Vision

By Aidah Nanyonjo LIMITED access to credit and financial services by women entrepreneurs in Uganda is hindering development of their businesses, Dr Mukaila Ojelade, the resident representative of the African Development Bank (ADB), has said. Ojelade said this during the launch of Growth-Oriented Women Entrepreneurs Country Assessment Report at Hotel Equatoria in Kampala. ?Ugandan women entrepreneurs often fall into the ?missing middle? of the financing ...
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Wednesday, December 21, 2005 — No Region Specified

Provides Lending to 1.5 Million Poor Annually

Source: Press Release

BOSTON, Dec. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- ACCION International today announced that the active loan portfolio managed by its microfinance partners rose above $1 billion in 2005, for the first time in ACCION's history.? In just over three years, ACCION has more than doubled its active loan portfolio and doubled the number of poor entrepreneurs served each year. ACCION has made significant strides in addressing world poverty, reflected Maria Otero, ACCION International president a...
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Wednesday, December 21, 2005 — No Region Specified

We Need Ideas From Immigrant Returnees, Not Petty Handouts

Source: The East African (Nairobi), Charles Onyango-Obbo

This is the time of year when throngs of people converge at airports to welcome back relatives working mostly in Europe and north America. They cast hopeful glances at the luggage of their immigrant sons and daughters. You can detect their faces falling when they notice that the bags are not many and big enough to be carrying presents. African immigrants send back to the continent billions of dollars every year, and in all but a handful of countries, they do more for the people than ...
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Wednesday, December 21, 2005 — No Region Specified

Poverty Growing in Africa, Falls in Asia

Source: The East African (Nairobi), Philip Ngunjiri, Special Correspondent

In many developing economies, the problem is mainly lack of decent and productive job opportunities rather than outright unemployment. The report further notes that people are working long hours under hard conditions for little income because the only alternative is joblessness. Poverty is growing in Africa and Latin America, while it is declining in Asia and Eastern Europe, states a new report released by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). In Africa...
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Wednesday, December 21, 2005 — No Region Specified

The Milkman of Talavera

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

GUYITO, the Inquirer's carabao mascot, would be happy to know that his fellow ruminants have transformed the town of Talavera in Nueva Ecija into a land flowing with milk and milk products. Thanks to the dream and the daring of entrepreneur Danilo V. Fausto, carabao milk is now making a healthy comeback and finding a niche in the market. Another thing to moo about is fresh milk from cows, produced by small farmers' cooperatives, is also finding its way into caf? ...
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Wednesday, December 21, 2005 — No Region Specified

Low-Cost Insurance Products Get the Nod

Source: Business Day (Johannesburg), Stephen Gunnion

Products short-term insurers will offer include so-called shack insurance, covering structures and contents for about R15 a month, and cellphone insurance from about R10 a month. Life companies will offer insurance products that will be more flexible on payments, so that policies do not automatically lapse if payments are missed. THE insurance and collective investments industry will be able to proceed with low-cost Mzansi-style products in the new year,...
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Wednesday, December 21, 2005 — No Region Specified

Abuja Gets N670m First Wireless Internet Network

Source: Daily Champion (Lagos), Erasmus Alaneme

Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Mallam Ahmed Nasir el-Rufai last weekend in Abuja launched the first citywide wireless Internet Network project in Nigeria termed CT Access in conjunction with Suburban Broadband Limited. The project is valued at N670 million. Speaking at the event, El-Rufai who noted the role of technology in modern development said that Suburban would invest an estimated N670million ($5m) in the project representing 80 per cent of the...
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Tuesday, December 20, 2005 — No Region Specified

Locally Raised Solutions: Brazilian small farms cater to a budding organic market

Source: Micro-Enterprise (IADB Magazine)

By Lucy Conger S mall family farms are an endangered species in Brazil, as in many countries of the developing world. Saving farmers from the threat of extinction?or migration to cities where their skills cannot be used and they lose their connection to the land?is the mission of ARCO Contestado, a regional marketing agency based in Mafra, a city of about 50,000 residents and the center of a micro-region of a dozen smaller towns in the sta...
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Tuesday, December 20, 2005 — No Region Specified

Millions to Benefit From Intervet Project in India

Source: Press release from: Akzo Nobel

Akzo Nobel's animal healthcare business, Intervet, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to exclusively supply veterinary products for a special project in India which could benefit more than two million rural families. (CSRwire) Arnhem, the Netherlands ? Akzo Nobel's animal healthcare business, Intervet, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding to exclusively supply veterinary products for a special project in India which could benefit more than two million rural families...
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Tuesday, December 20, 2005 — No Region Specified

Tanzania Receives Assistance for Private Sector Competitiveness Project

Source: World Bank (Washington, DC)

The World Bank Board of Executive Directors today approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$95 million for a Private Sector Competitiveness Project which would support the implementation of Tanzania's National Strategy for Growth and Poverty Reduction which, among other things, aims to transform the country's economy through private sector growth. The Private Sector Competitiveness Project will help generate sustainable conditions for enterprise cre...
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Tuesday, December 20, 2005 — No Region Specified

Thank You for Your Purchase - a Mobile Phone Turns Into a Credit Card Terminal

Source: Balancing Act (London), Russell Southwood

There have been a number of obstacles to increasing e-transactions in Africa, even in those countries visited by large numbers of tourists. Two of the most important have been the cost of the Point of Sale equipment and the other has been the high cost of dealing with relatively small numbers of transactions. South African company iVeri Payment Technology has come up with a solution that tackles both of these obstacles. Isabelle Gross reports on how it works. In South Africa, Namibia...
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Tuesday, December 20, 2005 — No Region Specified

Muhammad Yunus: Microcredit Missionary

Source: BusinessWeek

As a young economics professor at Chittagong University in Bangladesh in 1976, Muhammad Yunus lent $27 out of his own pocket to a group of poor craftsmen in the nearby town of Jobra. To boost the impact of that small sum, Yunus volunteered to serve as guarantor on a larger loan from a traditional bank, kindling the idea for a village-based enterprise called the Grameen Project. It never occurred to the professor that his gesture would inspire a whole category of lending and propel him to the to...
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Monday, December 19, 2005 — No Region Specified

The Honey Bee Network taps grassroots innovations.

Source: Business Standard

Three months ago, at a CII symposium on decoding rural markets where rural marketing gurus spoke of their approach to capturing the largely unaccrued volumes of rural consumption, one person turned the entire focus of the meet on its head. Anil Gupta, executive chairperson, National Innovation Foundation, later said: I was shocked at how little those marketers knew about rural India. All they could talk about was dumbing down their advertising, and redesigning products for thei...
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Monday, December 19, 2005 — No Region Specified

India lays foundation for BOP market expansion

Source: The Telegraph

New Delhi, Dec. 16: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today mooted a ?specific financing window? for the ambitious Rs 1,74,000-crore Bharat Nirman programme. ?We are proposing a specific financing window for Bharat Nirman through Nabard for funding selected components, although most of the resources will come from the government?s development outlays,? Singh told a conference organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The conference, which marks the formal launch...
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Monday, December 19, 2005 — No Region Specified

Insurance Scheme to Help Pregnant Migrant Workers

Source: China Daily

Some female migrant workers and their babies in Guangzhou have died unnecessarily in childbirth because they are treated in illegal hospitals. Migrant women are giving birth to more children than local women yet earn so little they cannot afford to pay regular hospital bills. Plans are afoot to deal with the problem by bringing in a childbirth insurance. It would be ...
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Monday, December 19, 2005 — No Region Specified

Why the Near East Foundation (NEF) Engages Women in Development

Source: alertnet

Countries that promote women's rights and increase their access to resources and schooling have lower poverty rates, faster economic growth and less corruption than countries that do not. Countries with smaller gaps between women and men in areas like education, employment, and property rights not only have lower child malnutrition and mortality, they also have more transparent business and government and faster econo...
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Friday, December 16, 2005 — No Region Specified

Can Technology Eliminate Poverty?

Source: Business Week

Grameen Bank Founder Muhammad Yunus thinks so. And he explains why changing the world is a lot more fun than just making money. As a leading microfinance pioneer and advocate for the world's poor, Muhammad Yunus has continued developing innovative approaches to alleviating poverty since granting his first loan in 1976. Since 1983, Grameen Bank, of which Yunus is founder and managing director, has lent $5.3 million to borrowers in Bangladesh, spawning replicated programs in more ...
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Thursday, December 15, 2005 — No Region Specified

A project originally designed to bring Indian agricultural exporter ITC closer to its rural producti

Source: MIS

So there's little question farmers have gained from the programme, but like any good business, ITC's motives weren't entirely altruistic. The company has invested a significant sum in the eChoupal project, so far installing well over 5,000 kiosks that, including extras like solar panels and batteries as well as additions to the company's back-end architecture, cost an estimated US$5,000 apiece. But a smoother logistics chain and the ability...
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Thursday, December 15, 2005 — No Region Specified

Source: Yahoo Financial News

Robert David STEELE Vivas, CEO of OSS.Net, the international proponent for Open Source Intelligence (OSINT), has today announced a new global campaign to deliver tailored open source information to the poor, as a means of helping them lift themselves from poverty. C.K. Prahalad is a genius, and his book, 'The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid,' is well-deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize. His math is impeccable: 4 billion poor, with $1000 a year to spend on average, is...
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Thursday, December 15, 2005 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Local entrepreneurs drive a major West African water program.

Source: WorldView Magazine

A set of water and sanitation projects implemented by a well-funded water and sanitation program in Ghana, Mali and Niger has gone far beyond boreholes and pit latrines to improve public health. The efforts of 12 entities that have formed the West African Water Initiative broadened their community health goals with a variety of projects. Farmers are selling cat-sized rodents that are popular fare in big-city restaurants; women in fashionable boubous stand guard over standpipes along the roadsid...
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Thursday, December 15, 2005 — No Region Specified

"It is not a fringe business, it is half of the business."

Source: The Times

Squeezed between tenements and a grinding dual carriageway, Unilever is building the future of its global business in the the biggest slum in Sao Paolo. The building is a splash of powder blue in a drab world of corrugated iron and grime. The Omo Community Laundry is a temple of cleanliness in the middle of Heliopolis, a notorious favela, or slum, that is home to 150,000 Brazilians. You could dismiss it as public relations, free washes for the unwashed. But it's a lot ...
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Thursday, December 15, 2005 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile Phone: A Tool For Modern Fishermen In Ghana

Source: mobile africa

by Mawutodzi K. Abissath It is prudent to be guided by some of the thought-provoking African proverbs like this simple one: ?A child who has never traveled before tends to think that only his mother knows how to cook delicious soup.? --------- Long, long ago; and long before the Pyramids of Egypt were built and before Amenhotep IV a.k.a Akhenaton who was the first human being to proclaim monotheism or the concept of One God, passed through transition in 1350 B.C., traditional fi...
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Wednesday, December 14, 2005 — South Asia

Piramal set for intl R&D deals

Source: Business Standard (India)

Andrew Jack And Khozem Merchant / Mumbai One of India's leading pharmaceutical groups is set to sign a series of pioneering research and development agreements with large western groups, say executives. Swati Piramal, director of strategic alliances at Mumbai-based Nicholas Piramal, said senior delegations from leading multinational drugs companies had visited India in the past half-year, and some were set to announce collaborations with the company in a range of the...
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Wednesday, December 14, 2005 — No Region Specified

Quanta to build the $100 laptop

Source: CNET News.com, Michael Kanellos

Taiwan's Quanta, the biggest manufacturer of notebooks in the world, has signed on to the $100 laptop project. The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) organization, which hopes to bring a $100 laptop championed by MIT's Nicholas Negroponte, has selected Quanta to serve as its original design manufacturer, or ODM. ODMs typically manufacture products, but also participate substantially in the final design. Although not many U.S. consumers know the name, many own Quant...
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Wednesday, December 14, 2005 — No Region Specified

Taxation Policies Widening the Digital Divide

Source: The East African (Nairobi), Kezio David Musoke

Governments must recognise that they have an important role in creating the right environment for telecommunications to grow. This study is the first of its kind covering emerging markets and focusing on developing public and private partnerships between the mobile industry and governments to eradicate the digital divide. East Africa has the highest tax burden on the mobile telephone industry in Africa. Uganda, with about 1.3 million mobile handsets, is r...
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Tuesday, December 13, 2005 — No Region Specified

A Fine Mesh

Source: Forbes Magazine

Michael Freedman Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen's textiles make a good profit by doing good. But suppose the funding dries up? For the moment, at least, Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen's company is in the limelight, on the sixth floor of the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan. Frandsen's textiles are on display alongside creations from avant-garde sculptors and industrial designers. An odd forum to show off mosquito nets, the leading product of Vestergaard Frandsen S.A. of Laus...
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Tuesday, December 13, 2005 — No Region Specified

The Best in Class

Source: Time Bonus Section January 2006: Inside Business

Jeremy Caplan Business-school rankings often address how much graduates earn. But two nonprofits, the World Resources Institute and the Aspen Institute, assess M.B.A. programs by their commitment to social responsibility instead. Here are some of the progressive schools that ranked highest this year. See beyondgreypinstripes.org for the full list. ?STANFORD UNIVERSITY The survey's top-rated school offers 30 elective courses on topics like environmental sustainability and...
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Tuesday, December 13, 2005 — No Region Specified

by Rahul Kumar

Source: OneWorld South Asia

New Delhi: Corporates can join hands with the development sector and fill up the void that governments have not fulfilled in meeting the developmental needs of the people. Professionals from the corporate and the development sector at a conference - Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Asia - agreed that corporations in today?s globalised world could respond to societal needs even while making profits. The Business and Community Foundation (BCF) and OneWorld South Asia had organiz...
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Tuesday, December 13, 2005 — No Region Specified

Source: Pantagraph.com

BLOOMINGTON -- From the opulent, over-stuffed Christmas aisles of American big box stores to the tiny Peruvian town of Chucuito high in the frigid Andean mountain plateau is about as far as you can go on this spinning planet. In poverty-stricken Chucuito, families have been knitting since before Incan times. Now, women knit together, watching their children as they work. They produce charming and intricate finger puppets, which they sell to a fair trade group. The money th...
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Tuesday, December 13, 2005 — No Region Specified

by Dr. B. G. Mukhopadhyay

Source: One World South Asia

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become an old hat, which has lost its shape as different authors have used it differently in different context. Even though, I do not fully agree with Milton Friedman?s viewpoint on monetary economics, but his views on corporate social responsibility is quite appealing to me and somewhat seductive. He is of the view that the purpose of the business is to make profit and there is no ambiguity in it. One should do one?s business following the rules of the...
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Monday, December 12, 2005 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Indigenous Trees Feed Rural Families

Source: All Africa

Nicola Jenvey Durban Hundreds of rural families, many of whom are child-headed households, are securing sound incomes by growing indigenous trees from the seeds found in local forests and using the saplings as currency. The project, which aims to help people out of poverty, got a boost yesterday when 100 new bicycles, food, clothing and building materials became the anchor products for a range of stores that will barter trees for...
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Monday, December 12, 2005 — No Region Specified

25 entrepreneurs are solving the world's toughest problems with creativity, ingenuity, and passion.

Source: Fast Company

The entrepreneurial mind abhors a vacuum. Market failures, unmet demand, even the maddening lure of a blank napkin--all beckon as explicit invitations to invent. What defines an entrepreneur (as well as an entrepreneurial organization) is that relentless problem-solving approach, not the specifics of the problem itself. We typically associate such ingenuity with the transformation of problems into lucrative, shareholder-enriching companies. But the entrepreneurs you'll meet in th...
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Monday, December 12, 2005 — No Region Specified

Electricity Grid Construction Benefits Rural Tibetans

Source: Xinhua News Agency

Cuchim Tayai, a villager in Keyu Village in Linzhou County in Lhasa, had used butter lamps like generations of his ancestors. Only after the second-phase of electricity grid construction in Tibet did he come to know electricity for the first time. My daughter now can do her homework without suffering from lamp smoke. We have TV sets, VCDs and electric appliances to make buttered tea, Cuchim Tayai said. Cuchim Tayai is among tens of tho...
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Monday, December 12, 2005 — No Region Specified

Project to fund Mexican micro, small and medium-size enterprises

Source: Press Release

A $2 million grant from the Inter-American Development Bank?s Multilateral Investment Fund will help finance a project to involve Mexican micro, small and medium-size enterprises in ?base of the pyramid? market opportunities to provide better products and services to low-income consumers. The CESPEDES committee of Consejo Coordinador Empresarial (CCE), an association supported by some of the largest corporations in Mexico, will carry out the project, which draws...
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Monday, December 12, 2005 — Sub-Saharan Africa

85bn Cedis Micro-Credit For Rural Poor

Source: graphic ghana

The government has channelled ?85 billion (approx US$9.4 million) through the rural banks for lending as micro-credit to the economically active but poor in the rural areas for them to improve the quality of their lives. The Vice- President, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, announce...
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Friday, December 09, 2005 — No Region Specified

Prepaid Roaming in Africa

Source: Mobile Africa

by David Ajao The case for prepaid international roaming in Africa is very strong indeed. Most subscribers on cellular networks in Africa are on the prepaid platform. What better way could there have been to reach out to this large number of people who form the majority? None. Background According to Wikipedia, Roaming is a general term in wireless telecommunications that refers to the extending of connectivity service in a network that is differe...
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Friday, December 09, 2005 — No Region Specified

Remittances to Africa Overtakes Foreign Direct Investment

Source: United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa (New York), PRESS RELEASE

Remittances from Africans working abroad in the period 2000-2003 averaged about US$17 billion per annum virtually overtaking Foreign Direct Investment flows which averaged about $15 billion per annum during the same period. These figures are contained in a report Resource Flows to Africa: An Update on Statistical Trends just released by the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser on Africa in New York. The report draws on official data from the World Bank, United Nat...
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Friday, December 09, 2005 — No Region Specified

A silent rural revolution in managing microfinance

Source: Daily News & Analysis India

KOLKATA: Call it a business with a good cause. A strong but silent social revolution is taking place beyond urban borders. Surpassing all targets, an overwhelming number of 18 lakh credit-linked ?self help groups? (SHGs), being predominantly women-oriented, are working wonders in rural areas and in managing micro finance matters. Cumulative bank lendings to SHGs have grown to almost Rs 8,000 crore till November 2005. The southern states of Andhra Pra...
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Friday, December 09, 2005 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Cisco Systems Sees Massive Potential in Developing World

Source: Business Day (Johannesburg), Lesley Stones

Many African governments were beginning to spend heavily on telecommunications networks, seeing them as a platform through which to connect communities and start to challenge poverty. Two problems were how Cisco could penetrate so many countries, and the shortage of skills to support its technologies. Networking company Cisco Systems expects to sustain annual growth of 10%-15% for the next few years as the volume of traffic carried on global networks surge...
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Thursday, December 08, 2005 — No Region Specified

Source: Seattle Times

Occasionally, women with ties to Asia and Africa spend an evening with my fiber-arts group unveiling trunks of hand-dyed fabric, mud cloth, intricate beads and batiks. We sip wine, ooh and aah over the items, and haggle for them without mercy. This repositioning of a Third World marketplace into our first-world living rooms is at the core of eradicating global poverty. My friends and I want art-making materials as authentic as they come. We're also attracted to temporarily eclips...
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Thursday, December 08, 2005 — No Region Specified

Does international business investment help or hinder the fight against poverty?

Source: Financial Times

Financial Times, 8 December 2005 - It takes a good deal of courage, some would say foolhardiness, for a multinational company operating in impoverished parts of the world to open its internal documents to scrutiny by campaigners for fairerglobalisation. But that is what Unilever has done in a groundbreaking project with Oxfam that sets out to explore the fraught question: does international business investment help or hinder the fight against poverty? For nearly two years,...
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Thursday, December 08, 2005 — No Region Specified

Selected for Its Work to Alleviate Poverty by Increasing Access to Microfinance, Unitus to Appear in

Source: Yahoo Finance

SEATTLE, Dec. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Unitus, a Redmond, Wash.-based organization that alleviates global poverty by increasing access to microfinance, is among the 25 winners of the 2006 Fast Company/Monitor Group Social Capitalist Awards. ? The program honors non-profits, or social entrepreneurs, across the nation who combine creativity and ingenuity with business solutions to address the most challenging social problems today, ranging from poor healthcare in developing nations ...
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Thursday, December 08, 2005 — No Region Specified

Tiny loans help 66 million of world's poor hoist themselves out of poverty

Source: Globa & Mail

Three years ago, Maria Gamara, 35, and her husband, Gustavo, were barely making ends meet by selling clothing at a city market in Asuncion, Paraguay. They lived with their son and daughter in a tiny house within the market. They had no savings and no plans for the future. That's all changed, said Ms. Gamara, after a $200 (U.S.) so-called microloan from Montreal-based financial services company Desjardins Group and the Canadian International Development Agency let the c...
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Thursday, December 08, 2005 — No Region Specified

Calvert Foundation Wins Fast Company Magazine's 'Social Capitalist Award' for 2006

Source: biz.yahoo.com

Bethesda-Based Organization Selected from 125 Award Finalists; Cited for Exceptional Model of Entrepreneurship in Not-for-Profit Service Sector Calvert Foundation, which is devoted to ending poverty through investments in affordable housing, small businesses, microfinance, social enterprise, and other community-based initiatives, is a winner of the coveted Fast Company magazine Social Capitalist Award for 2006. Selected from among 125 finalists...
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Wednesday, December 07, 2005 — No Region Specified

BANGLADESH: Community radio to play key role in rural development

Source: The Daily Star

Speakers discuss the importance of community radio in South Asia at conference Speakers at a two-day National Consultation on 'Community Radio in Bangladesh' yesterday said community radio will play a significant role at grassroots level for rural development. They said it can focus on issues of agriculture, gender inequality, education, trade and commerce, disaster, weather, natural calamities, poverty and social problems. The speakers said ...
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Wednesday, December 07, 2005 — North Africa and Near East

AMD Intros Minicom PIC to Turkey

Source: The Inquirer (UK)

The cheap box that AMD hopes will allow more people to surf the web was introduced in Turkey today by Dogan Online. AMD said that only nine per cent of people in Turkey have net access. The box Dogan is pushing is bundled with Internet services from e-kolay.net, which is a division of the firm and will be sold through micro financing programmes. It will be sold at 19.95 Turkish New Lire ($14.72) a month. In old Turkish Liras that's 19,993,625....
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Wednesday, December 07, 2005 — North Africa and Near East

IFC's Partnership With CAWTAR Strengthens Research on Women's Entrepreneurship in the MENA Region

Source: IFC (Washington, DC) PRESS RELEASE

The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Tunis-based Center of Arab Women for Training and Research to promote research on women's entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North Africa. This project will help meet demand from development institutions and women's organizations for more research on the importance of women's entrepreneurship for private sector development. It will ...
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Tuesday, December 06, 2005 — No Region Specified

Rural Telecom Firms Gear Up for Rural Foray

Source: Business Week , via Zdnet India

Rajesh S Kurup Global telecommunication giants are gearing up to take a deep plunge into the domestic rural segment, where, they believe, the next battle for telecom supremacy will take place. Handset majors like Motorola and Nokia and infrastructure provider Alcatel, and Indian companies such as Reliance Infocomm and Tata Indicom have already taken the first step to venture into the unchartered territories. Over 70 per cent of India's 1 billion-plus population l...
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Monday, December 05, 2005 — No Region Specified

New insurance options for the rural poor in India.

Source: WebIndia123

Foraying into the rural sector, Bajaj Allianz Life Insurance has tied-up with seven Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) to cater to the insurance and savings needs of the masses in semi-urban and rural areas. ''Understanding the need to provide flexible, affordable and easily available insurance to the masses in the semi-urban and rural areas, the company has tied up with RRBs to get access to the bottom of the pyramid and provide insurance services to the people in these areas,'...
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Monday, December 05, 2005 — No Region Specified

MICROFINANCE: AN ELUSIVE TOOL FOR PALESTINIANS

Source: Adnkronosinternational

Ramallah, 2 Dec. (AKI) - Five years on from the start of the second intifada against Israeli occupation, Palestinians are seeking to rebuild their shattered economy, but access to finance for small-scale entrepreneurs to kickstart development is scarce, says Khalil Shiha, head of development at of the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee (PARC). Currently micro entreprises cover 91 percent of the Palestinian economy; this reflects the importance of the future of microfinance, h...
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Monday, December 05, 2005 — No Region Specified

Automaker eyes underserved rural markets

Source: DNA India

MUMBAI: Ever since management guru C.K. Prahalad spoke about money to be made by tapping the market at the bottom of the pyramid, more and more corporates are succumbing to the collective purchasing power of the not-so-well heeled. And a significant portion of their strategy is directed towards the rural masses. If it was the e-chaupal for ITC and Project Shakti from Hindustan Lever, soon it will be the turn of two- and three-wheeler major Bajaj Auto to step on the gas in rural Bharat.
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Monday, December 05, 2005 — South Asia

Professionals to Unlock Venture Capital Doors for Small Town Entrepreneurs

Source: Good News Magazine India

A group of professionals is unlocking venture capital doors for small town entrepreneurs The story of Aavishkaar is a fine example of sophisticated paying back by educated, affluent Indians spread all over the world. They realise it was India's knowledge-edge that leveraged them to good lives and so they have sought to widen that edge, by funding small town Indians whose innovations can increase productivities and wealth in the countryside. Aavishkaar itself is a notable in...
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Monday, December 05, 2005 — No Region Specified

US Company Expands Access to Aids Drugs in South Africa

Source: United States Department of State, Cheryl Pellerin

In South Africa, where 6.5 million people are HIV positive and more than 500,000 would benefit from immediate anti-retroviral (ARV) therapy, a U.S. company is using private-sector efficiency and information technology to expand access to the life-saving drugs. BroadReach Healthcare, founded in 2002 to increase access to health care around the world, received $4.1 million in 2005 and will receive a similar amount in 2006 from the U.S. President's Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PE...
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Friday, December 02, 2005 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Opportunity International to develop a trans-African network of new commercial banks for the poor

Source: PRNewswire

Opportunity International's efforts in Malawi and Mozambique will provide thousands of poor Africans with financial tools to rise out of poverty and will demonstrate that rural Africa is a viable market for microfinance. Opportunity International, one of the world's largest microfinance organizations, today announced that it received a $2.2 million grant over three years from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that will go toward a project to develop a...
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Friday, December 02, 2005 — No Region Specified

BOTSWANA: YOUNG MAKING A LIVING SELLING AIRTIME

Source: The Reporter (Botswana)

In busy streets and malls, a new breed of vendors loudly announces the prices of its single commodity. The vendors carry the product sticking out of 'purpose built' side of a carton box. The vendors of mobile phone airtime are increasingly becoming a very distinct and conspicuous group of traders around town. Their aggression and persistence is perhaps only second to Combi men and bus touts. A growing number of young people like Mpho Moitaodi are joining the trade. In ...
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Friday, December 02, 2005 — No Region Specified

Women Enterpreneurs Vital for African Development: ADB, ILO

Source: The Daily Monitor (Addis Ababa), Yonas Abiye

Fostering women entrepreneurship in Africa is crucial for the development of the continent, the African Development Bank said on Wednesday. At a workshop organized by International Labor Organization (ILO) and African Development Bank (ADB) Pierre Thizier Seya, Resident Representative of ADB country office in Ethiopia, said: Fostering women entrepreneurship development is crucial for the achievement of Africa's broader objective, including poverty reduction and economic and...
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Thursday, December 01, 2005 — No Region Specified

Solar Power for Better Rural Cellphone Access

Source: AllAfrica

Business Day Lesley Stones Johannesburg SIEMENS Communications has developed a solar-powered base station for cellular network operators operating in remote areas that lack electricity supplies. The first base station, in Chiringa, Malawi, has been supplied to Celtel, which operates in 13 Afric...
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Thursday, December 01, 2005 — No Region Specified

Academic says governments becoming less important

Source: The Hindu

Understand nature, needs of businesses before calling them small. Trading, middlemen no longer factors to be discouraged. India lags in developing new approaches to enterprise development KOCHI: The term `small' used to describe enterprises of a certain size does not help us understand the nature and needs of these businesses, says Malcolm Harper of Cranfield Business School...
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Thursday, December 01, 2005 — No Region Specified

MasterCard Shareholders Approve Proposals for New Ownership and Governance Structure

Source: paymentnews.com

The MasterCard Foundation, which will have two goals - to support young people around the world in gaining the skills necessary to succeed in a diverse global work force, and to provide microfinance programs and services to the financially disadvantaged to enhance local economies and develop entrepreneurs. MasterCard Incorporated has announced that its shareholders voted, at a special meeting of shareholders, to approve a range of proposals to provide MasterCard with a new owne...
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Thursday, December 01, 2005 — No Region Specified

Institute in Rural Power Outreach

Source: The New Times (Kigali), Willy Mugenzi

Rural areas may soon overcome power shortages after the Institute for Scientific Research and Technology (IRST) extends its biogas development project. If we developed biogas, the country would be relieved of rural energy shortage problems, said Ntaganda Jean, a technician at IRST. The institutes' biogas project is meant to be an alternative source of energy to replace crude methods like wood cutting which degrade the environment, according to the official...
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