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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
Tuesday, January 31, 2006 — No Region Specified

More schools are developing MBA programs for socially-minded students.

Source: Financial Times

The teaching of social enterprise or entrepreneurship as an option in MBA programmes is putting down new roots in Europe and broadening its focus in its original home, the US. Old assumptions - in particular, that the only way for people to be do-gooders was through a career at a non-profit organisation - are being challenged by 21st century realities. Thus the...
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Tuesday, January 31, 2006 — No Region Specified

Too Poor to Save?

Source: microfinance gateway

Stuart Rutherford reveals the results of the Financial Diaries project and his experiences in the field. Q: Aren't poor people too poor to save? Stuart Rutherford: Too poor to save, too poor not to save, that?s the paradox that faces many poor and very poor people. If you?re poor, your income is not just small, it?s probably irregular and unreliable as well. Most of it is quickly spent on essentials. The result is that when you need to buy anything othe...
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Tuesday, January 31, 2006 — No Region Specified

Too Many Hurdles for Businesses

Source: Public Agenda (Accra), Ama Achiaa Amankwah, and Jonathan Adabre

Ever since President John Agyekum Kufuor assumed office in 2001, he has traveled extensively, about 156 times around the world. Indeed, arguably, he could be described as Ghana's number-one tourist of the century. President Kufuor's explanation for such trips is simple: To woo foreign investors into the country. But while the President gallops over the seas across nations in search for investors to his 'Golden age of business' Ghana, many companies back home are foldi...
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Tuesday, January 31, 2006 — No Region Specified

India Startup Program Debuts

Source: Red Herring

Professionals come together to support the next generation of entrepreneurs. The Bangalore Chapter of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), a global network promoting entrepreneurship, introduced its Entrepreneurship Acceleration Program (EAP) on Tuesday to bring together successful local entrepreneurs with new entrepreneurs to increase their chances of raising institutional funding. Early-stage funding in India has been the bane of would-be entrepreneurs, with starry-eyed ...
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Monday, January 30, 2006 — No Region Specified

World Leaders Commit to Eradicating African Poverty

Source: Agencia de Informacao de Mocambique (Maputo)

Leading figures in the development debate, speaking at the meeting of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort of Davos, have pledged to build on the mountain of good will generated last year, and follow through towards the goal of eradicating poverty in Africa. According to a press release from the Forum, they agreed that top priorities for 2006 should include: getting global trade talks back on track, exposing corruption both by givers and recipients, and investing ...
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Monday, January 30, 2006 — No Region Specified

Energy-Senegal:Theft Casts a Shadow Over Solar Programmes

Source: Inter Press Service (Johannesburg), Abdou Faye

At a time when concerns about global warming and the need for renewable energy sources are grabbing headlines the world over, it seems particularly regrettable that communities would be afflicted by the theft of solar panels. Yet, this is precisely what is happening in rural areas of Senegal, in West Africa. Just as we're trying to improve life for rural populations in the interior of the country, evil-minded individuals are attempting to undermine the substanti...
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Monday, January 30, 2006 — No Region Specified

Mobiles Get Emerging Markets Lift

Source: BBC News World Edition

Global mobile phone shipments grew by 19% last year, helped by strong demand from emerging markets such as India and Africa, according to a study. A record 810 million units were shipped with emerging markets accounting for half of total global sales, research firm Strategy Analytics said. The firm predicted one billion units would be sold in 2007 if the rate of sales in emerging markets continued. 2005 was the year of the emerging market, the compa...
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Monday, January 30, 2006 — No Region Specified

Microsoft Would Put Poor Online By Cell Phone

Source: The New York Times

It sounds like a project that just about any technology-minded executive could get behind: distributing durable, cheap laptop computers in the developing world to help education. But in the year since Nicholas Negroponte, the founder of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Laboratory, unveiled his prototype for a $100 laptop, he has found himself wrestling with Microsoft and the politics of software. Mr. Negroponte has made significant progress, but he has also catalyzed t...
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Friday, January 27, 2006 — No Region Specified

Source: The New Nation

To Anyone familiar with banking in the rich world, the world of microfinance can seem rather odd. The main providers have not been motivated by anything as straightforward as making money, at least until recently. The core of the industry today consists of some three dozen multinational networks of microfinance providers, which despite their superficial similarities and inspirational rhetoric compete fiercely and fight over everything. The main areas of strategic disagreement are whe...
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Friday, January 27, 2006 — No Region Specified

Source: eMediaWire

Grameen Foundation USA (GFUSA) today announced the appointment of Deborah Burand as its new executive vice president for programs. Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) January 26, 2006 -- Grameen Foundation USA (GFUSA) today announced the appointment of Deborah Burand as its new executive vice president for programs. A widely-respected microfinance trailblazer and lawyer, Burand will oversee GFUSA?s Grameen Technology Center, Capital Markets Group and program operations. ?This is a t...
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Friday, January 27, 2006 — Sub-Saharan Africa

City Poor Can't Afford Electricity

Source: The Namibian (Windhoek), Lindsay Dentlinger

A FEASIBILITY study has found that the majority of around 14 000 households in Windhoek's informal settlements will not be able to pay for either electricity connections or consumption if this were to be provided to them. The study commissioned by the City in 46 informal settlements found that the residents wanted a high level of electrical infrastructure, which was beyond their means to pay for. The analysis of the households' income revealed that most households...
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Friday, January 27, 2006 — Europe & Eurasia

IFC to Help Kyrgyz Not-for-Profit Group Reach More Microentrepreneurs

Source: ifc.org

The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, today signed an agreement to provide a $2.2 million financing package to Micro Credit Agency Bai Tushum Financial Foundation, one of Kyrgyzstan?s leading micro lending institutions. Through the package, IFC will support the transformation of Bai Tushum from its present not-for-profit status to a more sustainable, commercially-oriented, deposit-taking financial institution that can serve as a...
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Thursday, January 26, 2006 — No Region Specified

Empowering the poor by improving governance of social service delivery

Source: The Financial Express

World Bank Delivery of essential social service delivery continues to be strengthened with the adoption of programmatic approaches in health and education, sustained emphasis to the sector in the budget, and continued non-government organisation (NGO)-government partnerships that have proved effective in the past. There is a common understanding that the next generation of reforms would need to focus on strengthening the institutional framework for service delivery along with...
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Thursday, January 26, 2006 — No Region Specified

Research Body Develops Modern Solar Fruit Dryer

Source: New Vision (Kampala), Ronald Kalyango

A new highly effective solar dryer for reducing the massive post-harvest losses of fresh produce has been adopted by farmers in Wakiso district. The dryer has been developed by Uganda Industrial Research Organisation with support from the German Technical Cooperation and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development. Farmers in Wakiso are optimistic that their fruit production will increase after several years of making losses. Uganda grows a variety of crops ...
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Thursday, January 26, 2006 — No Region Specified

Experimental Entrepreneurship: Removing the 'Tin Cup Dependencies'

Source: Knowledge @ Wharton

...the Botswana project illustrates a new concept they have developed in a study called Societal Wealth Creation via Experimental Entrepreneurship. The idea is to promote philanthropy which supports business entrepreneurship under a for-profit model that attacks social problems and creates new societal wealth. Based on four experimental entrepreneurial philanthropy programs that are already in progress, including the one in Botswana, the Snider Center hopes to attract phi...
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Wednesday, January 25, 2006 — No Region Specified

It's a Very Small World

Source: Globes Online

Thirty-six people from all parts of the world, including Yoel Sharon, head of Israel's Etgarim (?Challenge?), met at Davos under the auspices of the Schwab Foundation, to discuss social projects that may change the world, just a little. They all have the same aim: to bring about change through local activity. Zafar and the Kashf Foundation manage to contribute financing to large numbers of women, including loans and savings management. But for these services, the women would...
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Tuesday, January 24, 2006 — No Region Specified

Hype And Hope: the Worrisome State of the Microcredit Movement

Source: The Public Agenda (Accra)

Is credit a human right? If these poor people could get small loans at manageable rates, they could break out of the cycle of poverty, or so the theory goes. John Kenneth Galbraith spoke to the point 30 years ago. 'The function of credit in a simple society is, in fact, remarkably egalitarian. It allows the man with energy and no money to participate in the economy more or less on a par with the man who has capital of his own. And the more casual the condition under which credit...
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Tuesday, January 24, 2006 — No Region Specified

Sustainable Farm Practices Improve Third World Food Production

Source: Science Daily

Crop yields on farms in developing countries that used sustainable agriculture rose nearly 80 percent in four years, according to a study scheduled for publication in the Feb. 15 issue of the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology. The study, the largest of its kind to date -- 286 farm projects in 57 countries -- concludes that sustainable agriculture protects the environment in these countries while substantially improving the lives of farmers who adopt the res...
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Monday, January 23, 2006 — No Region Specified

Celebs and business luminaries discuss social change at the WEF, which has a key theme of reaching p

Source: Business Week

While it's all too easy to poke fun at the celeb-ness of Davos, Gere, Jolie, and Stone will be joining the likes of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and C.K. Prahalad, University of Michigan professor of business administration, in serious discussions of how best to promote economic growth and development in Africa, South Asia, and other poor parts of the globe. I'll be moderating two panels: How to Tap the Bottom of the Pyramid and Small Customers...
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Monday, January 23, 2006 — South Asia

Seminar in New Delhi discusses commercial engagement with world?s poorest.

Source: Cool Avenues

FMS, Delhi, in association with Centre of Civil Society organizes a Seminar on Local Entrepreneurship and Global Markets: Corporate Outreach to the Street and Village Entrepreneurs Date: February 4, 2006 Time: 3.45 p.m. Venue: Faculty of Management Studies, University of Delhi Discussion Background The idea that commercial engagement with world?s poorest (the Bottom of the Pyramid, BOP) presents corporations the op...
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Monday, January 23, 2006 — No Region Specified

Far from being the enemy, the global private sector is the one certain way that poverty can be made

Source: The Observer

If business was mentioned at all during last year's vocal Make Poverty History campaign, it was in criticism of the pernicious power of shady multinationals over the livelihoods of the poor. Hilary Benn, the Secretary of State for International Development, thinks it's time to defend business against the fury of the anti-globalisers and recognise that without a thriving private sector no country can free itself from poverty. 'The poor are the private sector,' he says, ...
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Monday, January 23, 2006 — No Region Specified

Africa Post-Gleneagles: threats and opportunities (or "will a year of talk be followed by a year of

Source: Speech by Niall FitzGerald, Chairman, Reuters, to the Inaugural Confederation of British Industry (CBI) New Year Lecture (London

The Romans named the first month of the year after the god Janus, who was depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions. This allowed him to see backward and forward at the same time and at the end of the year, the Romans imagined Janus looking back at the old year and forward to the new. In that spirit, I would like to spend this evening reflecting on 2005- the Year of Africa- and more importantly, looking forward to the challenges for 2006 and beyond. I first e...
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Monday, January 23, 2006 — No Region Specified

The main obstacle to the eradication of malaria lies within Africa itself

Source: The Guardian

Jon Snow Phil Davis runs the insecticide division of the Japanese pharmaceutical multinational Sumitomo. He saw our report from Namasagali and offered to provide nets. Journalists and pharmaceutical companies do not mix easily. Inevitably, motives are questioned, misgivings expressed. But a few days ago, I accompanied him back to Namasagali. Davis and Sumitomo are corporate members of the Global Fund, and are drivers in the new partnership to Roll Back Malaria.
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Monday, January 23, 2006 — No Region Specified

Business skills solving social ills

Source: BBC News

By Guy Robarts ?? ? Kailash Satyarthi has saved tens of thousands of lives by staging dangerous and daring dawn raids on Indian factories where children are brutally enslaved.? His mission is to wipe away the blot of human slavery. In Kenya, Martin Fisher and Nick Moon have helped impoverished families by doubling the yield of local farmers through a low-cost, manual water pump. Meanwhile, a new bank is loaning billions of pounds to the poor thanks to ...
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Monday, January 23, 2006 — No Region Specified

Learning to Listen: Technology And Poor Communities

Source: SciDev.Net (London), Waleed Al-Shobakky

Bernadine Dias, a Sri Lankan-born scientist based at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), United States, admits she wears many hats. Her main focus is robotics, but she also devotes a lot of time promoting innovative ways of using technology in poor communities. In 2004, Dias founded an initiative called TechBridgeWorld to forge collaborations between CMU and developing communities around the world, including poor neighbourhoods in the United States. Dias believe...
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Monday, January 23, 2006 — South Asia

India's mobile giants battle it out in the villages

Source: Reuters

Mobile phone companies are taking cheap handsets and life-time prepaid services to India's hundreds of millions of low-income earners in a bid to expand market share and maintain their break-neck rates of growth. Mobile ownership surged in December -- with a record 4.5 million new users -- after carriers targeted India's poorer citizens with the launch of services that guarantee a number for life for just over $20. In the past, a prepaid number would cease to exis...
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Friday, January 20, 2006 — No Region Specified

Over 14 lakh youths trained-Tk 641 cr loan provided for self-employment

Source: Bangladesh Observer

?The Department of Youth Development (DYD) under the Ministry of Youth and Sports provided self- employment to 1,414,831 trained youths in the country up to October 2005, and 679,101 were given microcredit support of over Taka 641 crore (=6.41 billion Taka, or 96.5 million USD) , reports BSS. The self-employment fields include poultry, fisheries, livestock, goat rearing, food processing, carpentry, tree plantation, nursery, wool knitting, dress making, block a...
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Thursday, January 19, 2006 — No Region Specified

How start-ups are helping countries to catch up

Source: Financial Times

Alejandro Pitashny raised more than a few eyebrows when he left a comfortable job at Deutsche Bank in London to return to his native Argentina to start a business during the worst moment of the country's financial crisis. ? Four years later, the strategy appears to be paying off. Jos?, which Mr Pitashny created with two former school friends, exports luxury tea and herbal infusions to Britain, the US, continental Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Although sales were just $100,...
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Thursday, January 19, 2006 — No Region Specified

Business must take African stand

Source: BBC Online

One of the UK's leading businessmen says companies have a responsibility to actively support fresh efforts to improve the investment climate across the continent. However, Reuters chairman Niall FitzGerald said there was also a need to tackle the stigma of profiteering accusations which many successful companies in Africa now seemed to face. Mr FitzGerald, the former Unilever chairman, told a business audience in London that the case for business growth as the mai...
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Thursday, January 19, 2006 — No Region Specified

Enterprise Uganda to Become Autonomous

Source: New Vision (Kampala)

Ricks Kayizzi ENTERPRISE Uganda, a business development and advisory services provider, will turn into a legal entity, independent from the finance ministry, Charles Ocici, the body's executive director, has said. We shall launch a national legal entity, defined by a wider array of business development solutions, reputable board, competent staff and a wider source of business partners and revenue sources, he said at their Lumumba Aven...
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Wednesday, January 18, 2006 — No Region Specified

Source: OneWorld South Asia

Development analyst Dr Sudhirendar Sharma worked at the World Bank before embarking on development consultancy and independent research. During the last five years or so, he helped set up hundreds of self-help groups in villages. However, realising that the hidden agenda might be different, he started researching the flip side of micro-credit. At the Ecological Foundation, the Delhi-based think-tank, Dr Sharma and his colleagues critique development through research and advocacy.
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Wednesday, January 18, 2006 — No Region Specified

How strategy guru C.K. Prahalad is changing the way CEOs think

Source: Business Week Online

Take a cab ride through Bombay, and these are the scenes that will likely strike you first: raggedly dressed homeless families sprawled on blankets amid shacks. Traffic hopelessly clogged with every manner of soot-belching vehicle and wooden cart. Gaunt hawkers and beggars tapping on your window at red lights. For foreign visitors, such jarring images of pove...
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Wednesday, January 18, 2006 — No Region Specified

Wristwatch fights malaria

Source: Reuters

A South African inventor has developed an antimalaria wristwatch that helps combat one of Africa's biggest killers by monitoring the blood of those who wear it and sounding an alarm when the parasite is detected. Gervan Lubbe said his malaria monitor wristwatch, due to launch next month, could save lives and keep millions out of hospital by heading off the disease before patients even feel ill. It picks up the parasite and destroys it so early that th...
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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 — No Region Specified

Environment Friendly Solar Lanterns for Rural Lighting

Source: New Vision (Kampala), Stephen Ssenkaaba

IN a country where only 9% of the total population have access to electricity, kerosene lamps (tadooba) and wax candles serve as the major providers of light in many households. These, however, bear far-reaching health and environmental consequences, especially in rural areas. But with the recently established project to provide solar lanterns to different parts of Uganda, this risky practice will perhaps be minimised. The project is spearheaded by Makerere University Cen...
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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 — No Region Specified

Malawi: Villages Get Cracking to Become MDG Achievers

Source: UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

The project in Malawi has set up a committee of community members for every MDG in each village. Each committee then identifies the needs of the village, be it more classrooms or teachers in the education sector or certain medicines. The most unique feature of our project is community participation and ownership because, ultimately, they own and run the project, said Kulemeka. The UN Millennium Village Project is giving 11 Malawian hamlets the chance to break free f...
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Tuesday, January 17, 2006 — No Region Specified

Alternative Energy Sources Could Hold the Key to Rural Electrification Project

Source: The Monitor (Kampala), Alfred Tumushabe

UGANDA has one of the lowest per capita electricity consumption in the world despite having abundant renewable energy sources in the countryside. Only about 7 percent of Ugandans have access to electricity and only 3 percent of the rural population access electric power. That means only 10 percent of Ugandans access electricity leaving the rest to use other means including gas, paraffin and wood. Inspite of availability of numerous renewable energy sources in t...
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Monday, January 16, 2006 — No Region Specified

Unselfish Technologists

Source: Red Herring

Six social entrepreneurs bear witness to the fact that profit is not the only driver of innovation. In writing about the technology business, Red Herring urges its reporters to ?follow the money,? and track the investors, sellers, and buyers of products and services. While the confluence of innovation and financing has been the key ingredient in creating centers of technology like Silicon Valley, money is not the only reason that people invest years and thousands of dollars to create...
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Monday, January 16, 2006 — No Region Specified

Rural credit: Local lenders still rule the roost

Source: rediff.com

Surinder Sud Despite a perceptible increase in the flow of rural credit from institutional sources, the share of the informal sector, notably traditional moneylenders and traders, in farmers' outstanding debts remain as high as 43.3 per cent at the all-India level. This share is higher than the national average in several agriculturally progressive states, including Punjab, Andhra P...
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Friday, January 13, 2006 — No Region Specified

FMS Delhi bags Tata Business Leadership award

Source: Indiainfoline.com

FMS Delhi has won the coveted Tata Business Leadership Awards (TBLA) 2006 at the grand finale held on January 4, 2005 at the Tata Management Training Centre (TMTC), Pune. Close on their heels were IIM Bangalore and S P Jain Mumbai, who were declared the 1st National runners up and 2nd National runners up respectively. The three teams emerged victorious after a formidable clash with four other contenders, namely IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Lucknow, IIM Calcutta and XLRI Jamshedpur.
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Thursday, January 12, 2006 — No Region Specified

RBI introduces no-frills accounts for the masses

Source: Deccan Herald

K.V.Rao The New Year is bringing a lot of good news to people desirous of availing banking services. Thanks to the initiative taken by the RBI, commercial banks in India have launched ?no-frills? accounts in response to the RBI?s call for social and financial inclusion of the country?s population, at the bottom of the pyramid. The banks have now understood that it makes sound business sense to open such accounts. ?No-frills? accounts Anybody with a ?zero-bal...
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Thursday, January 12, 2006 — No Region Specified

C.K. Prahalad speaks about the BOP at MLK Symposium.

Source: The Michigan Daily

Most wouldn?t combine the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. with corporate strategy. Business School Prof. C. K. Prahalad used the opening speech of the 19th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Symposium to do exactly that. His research in marketing to low-income consumers in developing countries is intended to give the poor a voice in the elitist business world. ?We have to go from looking at the poor as a problem to looking at them as opportunity,? Prahalad said. Prahal...
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Wednesday, January 11, 2006 — No Region Specified

Afghan women break into a ?man?s world?

Source: Financial Times

Gayle Tzemach When Shahla Nawabi arrived in Kabul to visit her father in 2002, she intended to stay for three months. More than three years later, she is part of an emerging class of women entrepreneurs launching businesses in a nation where women were banned from work and study only five years ago. ADVERTISEMENT ?Coming back home and seeing the situation of the country, there was just so much to do here,? Ms Nawabi says of her decision to leave London, her home since...
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Tuesday, January 10, 2006 — No Region Specified

The writer is Senior Research Associate, Centre for Civil Society

Source: Business Standard

Cell phones are every where, even our maid has one.? These words were to reassure me that the gadgets I was leaving behind in the US were available in India. The most illuminating word was ?even? ? a qualifier that embodies the discrimination inherent in our perception those ?deserving? of high-technology. This discrimination of perception limits entrepreneurial imagination and represents the barrier that must be crossed to tap the social and economic promise of commerce at the ?Bottom of the p...
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Tuesday, January 10, 2006 — No Region Specified

Source: Daily Times

In mismanaged countries a way must be found to change the basic system. Many multinationals have done just this, as a matter of course, while at the same time making the profits upon which their survival depends. Their initiatives not only provide jobs and raise incomes; they also improve education and give individuals motivation to pursue it. Education, after all, requires more than just buildings, teachers and texts. The world?s multinational corporations ? 63,000 of them at ...
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Tuesday, January 10, 2006 — No Region Specified

Ecotourism: Greedy Lover Or Savior?

Source: The New Times (Kigali), Georgianne Nienaber

Part I Ecotourism is a lofty concept-effective zoning and land use planning, responsible stewardship of the environment, a strong, regulated tourism industry-all resulting in economic benefits flowing to local communities. There are, arguably, tens of thousands of articles, funded by NGO's, private institutions, and think tanks on the topic of tourism in Africa. Report after report on sustainable development in the third world argues incessantly about the ...
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Tuesday, January 10, 2006 — No Region Specified

The World; Africans Find a Refuge In Cast-Off 'Big Boxes'

Source: New York Times

Michael Wines FROM her place behind the barred window of the Nonto Tuck Shop in Soweto, Constance Jwara sells lollipops and soda, salt and sugar and plates of meat and pap, an African staple made of boiled cornmeal. To her left is a dry cleaner's. To her right, an older woman sells fruit, vegetables and a sampling of native condiments. As suburban strip malls go, it's not unlike tha...
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Monday, January 09, 2006 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Fair Trade program helps small farmers benefit from global markets.

Source: IC Wales

Thousands of Africans can escape poverty without a penny being given to charity, industry experts were told yesterday. Surging demand for organic cotton is giving farmers in the developing world the chance to enter into fair trade arrangements with western companies. Farmers in Tanzania are supplying cotton for Abaca, an organic mattress and bed specialist based in T Croes, near Ammanford. The relationship will allow farmers who have previously battled poverty ...
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Monday, January 09, 2006 — No Region Specified

Business & Economy: Gifts That Bridge a Gulf

Source: The Reporter (Addis Ababa), Bethlehem Kiros

The name EthioGift might not ring a bell with the majority of Ethiopians who live in this country but it sure does have some value and has a bit of popularity among those in the diaspora. It is valued by them because it is a means that enables them to connect with their family and friends back home here. What EthioGift does is to charge them online through their credit cards for the gifts that will be delivered to whomever they choose. Our gift list consists of flowers, sheep, ...
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Friday, January 06, 2006 — No Region Specified

Ghana: World Bank Supports Micro, Small And Medium Enterprises (msme) Development

Source: World Bank (Washington, DC), Press Release

The World Bank Board of Directors today approved a credit[1] of US$45 million to support the implementation of Ghana's MSME Project which forms part of a broader poverty reduction and private sector development strategies of the country. Most businesses in Ghana fall within the category of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and with an employment capacity of close to 70% of the Ghanaian labor force. They range from farming activities, agri-businesses, light manufacturing, art a...
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Wednesday, January 04, 2006 — No Region Specified

USAID program focuses on local SME development.

Source: Swazi Observer

TechnoServe on December 22 signed an agreement to run an ambitious business development programme financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The five-year Swaziland Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Programme (SWEEP) will be officially launched at an event in Mbabane next month. It will drive economic growth and job creation in the Kingdom of Swaziland by developing and supporting Swazi-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), thus creating emplo...
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Tuesday, January 03, 2006 — No Region Specified

Low-cost lamps brighten the future of rural India

Source: The Christian Science Monitor, Anuj Chopra

KHADAKWADI, INDIA ? Until just three months ago, life in this humble village without electricity would come to a grinding halt after sunset. Inside his mud-and-clay home, Ganpat Jadhav's three children used to study in the dim, smoky glow of a kerosene lamp. And when their monthly fuel quota of four liters dried up in just a fortnight, they had to strain their eyes using the light from a cooking fire. That all changed with the installation of low-cost, energy-efficient lamps that...
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Monday, January 02, 2006 — No Region Specified

Indian government backs banks in drive towards the base of the pyramid.

Source: Business Standard

Several banks have launched 'no-frills' accounts in the recent weeks in response to the Reserve Bank of India's call of social and financial inclusion of customers at the bottom of the pyramid. The central bank believes that with a little innovation, banks can make sound business sense by providing basic banking services. Last year, the Reserve Bank of India had emphasised more than once on the significance of greater financial inclusion - delivery of banking ...
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Monday, January 02, 2006 — No Region Specified

Deutsche Bank increases funding to microentrepreneurs

Source: The Herald

A $75m global consortium led by Deutsche Bank, and featuring Standard Life and the Cooperative Bank, is one of the strongest signals yet that, as the United Nation's 2005 'year of micro-credit' ends, bottom-up funding for micro-businesses in the world's poorest countries could be a new financial market. The consortium, working with the US International Development agency, is the first fund of its kind to tap a wide range of western institutional investors for tiny loans to e...
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Monday, January 02, 2006 — No Region Specified

Source: Newsday.com

BON REPOS, Haiti -- Every morning, Nicolas Jean rises before dawn to milk his cow on his scruffy sliver of land. Then he pours the milk into plastic jugs, saddles up his horse and trots 2 1/2 hours along bumpy back roads to deliver the precious white liquid to a project that inspires hope for Haiti's shattered economy. Jean's destination is a microplant for L?t Agogo (Haitian Creole for Milk Galore), a franchise that makes yogurt and milk drinks. Launch...
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