NewsFeedNewsFeed

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, November 30, 2006 — No Region Specified

Father of micro-lending Akula is 'Social Entrepreneur 2006'

Source: Indian Express

Author of the Indian microfinance success story Vikram Akula, founder of SKS Microfinance Pvt Ltd, believes that even though microfinance is not an answer to the agriculture crisis in Vidarbha, it can supplement incomes for farm families. After 150 branches all over the country, he moved into Vidarbha recently. His three branches have 1,000 borrowers in 21 villages. It is this pragmatism that has made him India's most successful micro-financer. On Monday, he was honoured as 'S...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, November 29, 2006 — No Region Specified

Motorola kicks off price war in handsets

Source: Financial Express

The world?s second largest phone maker Motorola on Tuesday launched a new phone priced at about Rs 1,600. The strategic pricing is aimed at enhancing its leadership in the sub-Rs 2,000 handset market where it is already the leader in the Rs 14,400 crore entry level segment of the Rs 24,000 crore handsets industry. It competes with Chinese players like Haier and Bird who sell their products starting Rs 1,200 a handset. Nokia, the largest player in the domestic handsets market, offers its entry le...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, November 29, 2006 — No Region Specified

Nokia and Motorola Ready to Rumble in Emerging Markets

Source: Investor's Business Daily

With mobile phone shipments expected to slow next year, Nokia and Motorola are set to slug it out in emerging markets with low-cost, ultraslim phones. Nokia on Tuesday forecast 10% global unit sales growth for cell phones in 2007, about half the rate of this year's growth. About 970 million cell phones will be sold in 2006, Nokia estimates. Research firm Gartner says cell phone unit sales rose 21.5% worldwide in the third quarter. Cell phone demand next year ...
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, November 28, 2006 — No Region Specified

AMD takes new road to PCs for developing countries

Source: EE Times

Advanced Micro Devices is changing both its products and business model in its plans to address low cost PCs for developing countries. The moves are part of a new direction in the wake of cancelling earlier this month its Personal Internet Communicator (PIC), a low cost PC in a sealed case aimed broadly at developing countries. AMD plans to roll out to systems makers in the next two months multiple low cost PC reference designs based on its Geode processor and tailored to specific mar...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, November 27, 2006 — No Region Specified

South Africa: No Second-Guessing Value of Informal Job Creation

Source: Business Day

The informal sector -- officially defined as businesses that are not registered in any way -- currently accounts for some 2,9-million jobs. Official statistics on the size of its contribution to total employment have fluctuated wildly over the past decade, from 11% in 1996 to a peak of 29% in 2001, then down to 19% in 2004 before climbing to 23% this year. THE government appears to be changing its attitude to the so-called second economy. Speaking earlier this year about t...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, November 27, 2006 — No Region Specified

Bharti AirTel, Wal-Mart Sign Tie-Up Deal

Source: Inside Bay Area

Indian telecommunications company Bharti Airtel has signed a tie-up deal with Wal-Mart to open a chain of retail stores across the country, Sunil B. Mittal, Bharti Airtel's chief executive officer, said Monday. Mittal declined to divulge the financial details of the deal, but said it would be a huge investment involving hundreds of stores in India. It is going to be a large investment. There will be stores across the country. We are going to be a big player in ...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, November 27, 2006 — No Region Specified

Apax Partners to Invest in India

Source: IndiaTimes

Apax is looking for long-term investment and buyout opportunities in the fast-growing technology, telecom, retail and consumer, media, healthcare and financial services sectors. It also has several companies in its portfolio that may interest Indian firms as they scout for foreign assets to expand their reach and size. Indian entrepreneurs' increasing appetite for foreign companies is drawing private equity firms with saleable companies in their portfolio to set up shop in India. London-base...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, November 27, 2006 — No Region Specified

GrameenPhone: A Solution to Rural Connectivity

Source: IndiaTimes

But there was a twist: while the company would have direct subscribers like regular cellular companies, local entrepreneurs in villages would buy phones, rent them out ? with airtime ? to neighbours and friends who wanted to make calls. Iqbal Quadir found his exposure to Wall Street fascinating. One particular phenomenon caught his eye: People were buying unglamorous companies cheap, investing in them and selling them high. The process helped the companies, the consumers and made these investors...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, November 22, 2006 — No Region Specified

Internet Extends Reach of Bangladeshi Villagers

Source: The Washington Post

Villages in one of the world's poorest countries, long isolated by distance and deprivation, are getting their first Internet access, all connected over cellphones. And in the process, millions of people who have no land-line telephones, and often lack electricity and running water, in recent months have gained access to services considered basic in richer countries: weather reports, e-mail, even a doctor's second opinion. Cellphones have become a new bridge across the digi...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, November 22, 2006 — No Region Specified

USAID and IFC Join Forces to Help Developing World Businesses

Source: Yahoo! Finance

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), part of the World Bank Group, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding which opens the way for these organizations to jointly support a range of new grassroots business development projects in the developing world. Poverty alleviation has become a primary objective of development efforts, and this new collaboration will help to build and maintain democratic states that support improved and su...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, November 22, 2006 — No Region Specified

Aneel Karnani: Jobs, not microcredit, is the solution

Source: Business Standard

Some clients of microcredit are certainly true entrepreneurs, and have created thriving businesses?these are the heart-warming anecdotes. But the vast majority of microcredit clients are caught in subsistence activities with no prospect of competitive advantage. Most studies suggest that microcredit is beneficial but only to a limited extent and the reality is less attractive than the promise. ? The Nobel Peace Price for 2006 was awarded to the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and its founde...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, November 22, 2006 — No Region Specified

A More Powerful Path

Source: Fast Company

But unlike the chaos-theory butterfly, business is not an uncalculating force of nature. It can behave with intention. Indeed, we have left the era in which business leaders were expected to treat their companies as mute, dumb giants, merely swinging pickaxes in a profit quarry. We are waking to the idea that if business inevitably shapes the future, it has a responsibility to choose what that future will be. Business changes the world--at every moment, in myriad ways, for good and ill. Decision...
TAGS:No Tags
Friday, November 17, 2006 — No Region Specified

AMD drops low-cost PC effort

Source: EE Times

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (AMD) has dropped its line of low-cost PCs that were geared for developing nations, according to a filing by the company. AMD (Sunnyvale, Calif.) dropped the Personal Internet Communicator (PIC), a device that cost $249 for the computer and a 15-inch monitor, according to the filing. It sold the device in China, India, Mexico and Russia, but the company lost $16 million in the first nine months of 2006 on the product. ''Revenue from sales...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, November 15, 2006 — No Region Specified

In Mexico, Banco Wal-Mart

Source: BusinessWeek

For years, Wal-Mart has tried to get into banking in the U.S. But so far it has come up empty-handed as everyone from rival banks to unions rose up in opposition. South of the border, though, the world's biggest retailer may soon receive a banking license, paving the way for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to offer checking and savings accounts, loans, credit cards, and more across its network of 863 outlets in 130 Mexican cities. Why is Mexico willing to give the green light while the U....
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, November 15, 2006 — No Region Specified

SC Johnson Funds Startups in Africa

Source: CNN Money

SC Johnson's experiment will test a theory about doing business at what's called the base of the pyramid. That's where the 4 billion poorest people live. At the top of the pyramid are the 600 million people earning more than $15,000 a year, where most big companies do business. In the middle are the 1.4 billion earning $1,500 to $15,000 a year. Do the slum-dwellers of Nairobi, Kenya, really want Windex and Ziploc bags? You might not think so. But SC Johnson ...
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, November 14, 2006 — No Region Specified

Microvending in Kenya

Source: Marketplace

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: Microlending is when small amounts of money are loaned to budding entrepreneurs. MicroVENDING is when small business owners sell tiny amounts of their product. This idea is taking off in the impoverished African nation of Kenya. From the Marketplace Entreprenuership Desk, Kitty Felde reports. ??? NAOIMI WAMBUGE: This is our oven. It has assisted us for a long time, that's why it is wearing out. KITTY FELDE: The kitchen equipment at Nairobi's Cor...
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, November 14, 2006 — No Region Specified

Vikram Akula, Founder & CEO of SKS Microfinance

Source: CNN

Vikram Akula is on an economic mission: to empower India's poor. His drive to fight poverty led to the birth of the Hyderabad-based SKS in 1998. It is a microfinance company that lends small amounts of money, typically $100, to impoverished women. The cash is used to buy everything from animals to irons so clients can start their own homegrown ventures. SKS started out as non-profit but later changed its status and is now one of the fastest growing microlenders in the w...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, November 13, 2006 — No Region Specified

What's Wrong With Profit?

Source: The New York Times

THIS year, as never before, the line between philanthropy and business is blurring. A new generation of philanthropists has stepped forward, for the most part young billionaires who have reaped the benefits of capitalism and believe that it can be applied in the service of charity. They are ?philanthropreneurs,? driven to do good and have their profit, too. Among them are eBay?s founder, Pierre Omidyar, who wants to use investment capital as well as donations to expand the microloan i...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, November 13, 2006 — No Region Specified

Acumen's New Model for Third-World Aid

Source: BusinessWeek

Acumen's founder is Jacqueline Novogratz, a former banker with an infectious magnetism and a melodic voice that delivers a constant call to action. Under her leadership, the fund manages $20 million in investments that fall within three portfolios: health, water, and housing. But Acumen's goal is far larger than successful companies. Says Novogratz: We're creating an overall design for how you provide goods and services to poor people. Travel northeast out of New Delhi, a...
TAGS:No Tags
Friday, November 10, 2006 — No Region Specified

Getting to the Bottom of Bottom-Up Approaches

Source: Brookings Institution

Now that Muhammad Yunus was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for developing and promoting microfinance banking to help the poor, the media spotlight will shine on his pioneering model. The Grameen Bank success in Bangladesh with bottom-up aid in the form of small loans deserves lavish praise. What's not to like? Countless disempowered people, primarily women, have been lifted out of poverty through the opportunity to become small entrepreneurs and access financial service...
TAGS:No Tags
Friday, November 10, 2006 — No Region Specified

ICICI Seeks 25 Million Rural Clients to Lift Growth

Source: Bloomberg

ICICI Bank Ltd., India's biggest by market value, plans to lend to 25 million rural clients in five years to sustain record loan growth as the government curbs credit to customers in the cities. The bank will use branches, franchises, telephone kiosks and automated teller machines to lift its rural customer base eightfold, Deputy Managing Director Chanda Kochhar said in an interview in Hyderabad, southern India. Mumbai-based ICICI aims to screen borrowers and approve loans of as l...
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, November 09, 2006 — No Region Specified

New Report Reveals Potential for the World's Poor to Bank Through Mobile Phones

Source: CSR Wire

Vodafone Group, with the permission of The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), today publishes a report that reveals the economic and social benefits being created by mobile banking (m-banking) amongst the world?s poorest communities. The report, titled Economic Empowerment through Mobile, is the third in a series of Corporate Responsibility Dialogues produced by Vodafone and includes the results from three independent research projects. Vodafone partnered with Th...
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, November 09, 2006 — No Region Specified

Micro health insurance hedges risk for India's poorest

Source: Christian Science Monitor

Nandakumar Rajeshirke was suspicious of health insurance when he first heard about the idea three years ago. He had trouble understanding why it made sense to gamble on an unforeseen illness or accident when there was no guarantee he would ever see any money in return. But his insurance provider, a network of nongovernmental organizations called UpLift India Association, had already earned his trust by supplying him with reliable microcredit to fund his stone carving business in the c...
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, November 09, 2006 — No Region Specified

Mobile Phones Offer New Banking Opportunities for the Poor

Source: Cellular News

The Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP), United Nations Foundation (UN Foundation), and The Vodafone Group Foundation (VGF) have released the first public findings on how low-income individuals in South Africa use mobile phone banking (m-banking). The findings show that m-banking can be up to a third cheaper for customers than the current banking alternatives, and users value the service for its security and easy use. However, this study shows more needs to be done to address...
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, November 09, 2006 — No Region Specified

Credit will cut rural poverty in India

Source: Financial Times

Microfinance in India, -currently focused on small loans for the rural poor, is growing fast enough to make an impact over the next -decade, according to a new report. However, the sector must focus on transparency and governance, training local partners, and developing a more diverse menu of services, says the report, released yesterday at a microfinance conference in New Delhi. Microfinance serves about one fifth of poor households in India and has helped to widen the rea...
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, November 09, 2006 — No Region Specified

Visa encourages banks to partner with microfinance institutions

Source: AME Info

Microfinance can provide tangible commercial opportunities for banks in the region notably if they partner with a microfinance institution, said Debbie Arnold, VP of Emerging Markets at Visa International, the world's leading provider of electronic payments. Local commercial banks can benefit in various ways from commercial microfinance opportunities. They gain access to a new customer segment, can cross-sell non-competitive products and also benefit from new deposits and ne...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, November 06, 2006 — No Region Specified

Investment climate boosts telecom industry robust growth

Source: The Guardian

Ramadhan Chorogondo, 31, an industrious fish dealer, always nurses the headache caused by the ghost called time. First bother, he must monthly service a USD20, 000 bank loan that helped him secure motorized fishing boats. The second anxiety is the harshest: How and when to know his nocturnal fishermen have netted profitable fish loads and when to advise transporters to collect them from his Indian Ocean landing site. The headache about time essentially hinges on ...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, November 06, 2006 — No Region Specified

Tech Firms Woo Next Billion Users

Source: Wall Street Journal

Intel hopes to work with local companies and governments to replicate the setup in hundreds of other villages in China, and is helping deliver computers and Internet access to rural health clinics and schools. It is also rolling out similar initiatives in India. Dressed in a red turban and shawl, Mr. Barrett inaugurated a high-speed wireless network in the rural town of Baramati on Thursday. The goal for Intel, which makes the chips that run most of the world's PCs, is to hook a new part of ...
TAGS:No Tags
Friday, November 03, 2006 — No Region Specified

How The World Works: The Difference Between Calves and Cows

Source: Salon.com

On the same day that Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank and chief apostle of the church of microcredit, received the Nobel Peace Prize, the Center for Global Development (CGD), a Washington nonprofit, published a study by David Roodman and Uzma Qureshi with the title Microfinance as Business. Microfinance is generally taken to mean the provision of small loans -- microcredit -- and other financial services to very poor people, and Yunus is widely acclaimed as the ...
TAGS:No Tags
Friday, November 03, 2006 — No Region Specified

Phoney Finance

Source: The Economist

LIFE is now easier for Andile Mbatha, who owns a hair salon in Soweto. Gone are his days of trekking to his bank, which could take two hours by minibus, to send money to relatives. Nor does he keep piles of cash in his salon any more. Last year, he opened a bank account with Wizzit, an innovative provider of financial services. He now sends money to his sister in Cape Town whenever he wants, from wherever he wants, using a simple menu on his mobile phone. Half his customers no longer pay cash fo...
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, November 02, 2006 — No Region Specified

India has most innovative social entrepreneurs

Source: Hindustan Times

India is a key country to look for leading social entrepreneurs, says Klaus Schwab, executive chairman and founder of the World Economic Forum (WEF), as his Schwab Foundation prepares to shortlist a winner for the Indian Social Entrepreneur Award for the second year. India has some of the most advanced and innovative social entrepreneurs. We believe and already see that many of the models developed in India, for instance rainwater harvesting for schools pioneered by Barefoot Col...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, November 01, 2006 — No Region Specified

Engaging India: Rural Technology

Source: Financial Times

What does giving small loans of less than $100 to India?s poor have to do with mobile phones? The potential in this answer could help more of India?s 75m very poor households lift themselves out of poverty while adding momentum to the world?s fastest-growing mobile phone market. Let?s start with telecommunications. India recently overtook China as the fastest growing mobile phone market in terms of new monthly subscribers. More than 6m new mobile phone subscriptions were logged in Sep...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, November 01, 2006 — No Region Specified

Call for caution over migrants' cash

Source: Financial Times

The World Bank will on Tuesday urge policymakers to take a more cautious approach towards the development potential of remittances, the multi-billion dollar financial flows sent home by migrant workers in North America, Europe and Asia. In a report analysing their significance in Latin America and the Caribbean, bank economists argue that remittances are not ?manna from heaven?, that the benefits have been ?overestimated? and that associated social and economic costs in developing cou...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, November 01, 2006 — No Region Specified

Migrants' Money is Imperfect Cure for Poor Nations

Source: Wall Street Journal

It's the sort of scene that many development economists believe could transform some of the world's most impoverished regions, by putting cash directly in the pockets of the poor. With tens of millions of migrants around the globe sending remittances home, the flood of money has grown immense -- $167 billion last year, according to the World Bank. This lively mountain town survives on money sent from its sons and daughters living in the U.S. On days payments arrive, lines at the lo...
TAGS:No Tags
  • Managing Partners

    William Davidson Institute
  • Sponsoring Partner

    Citi Foundation
  • Content Partners

    Ashoka
  • Content Partners

    IADB
  • Content Partners

    MercyCorps
Subscribe to Our E-Newsletter

Email:  
For Email Marketing you can trust

Found an Article we're Missing?Found an Article we're Missing?

Submit An Article

TrendingTrending

Social MediaSocial Media

Facebook Twitter

Story Snapshot

CLOSE