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Monday, July 31, 2006 — No Region Specified

Cheapest Credit Card in South Africa

Source: Business Day

Excerpt: VIRGIN founder Richard Branson has launched an assault on the second high-fee industry in SA within a week ? ploughing R120m into launching the cheapest credit card in SA yesterday and setting his sights on a full-blown financial services business. This follows Virgin?s launch at the weekend of SA?s fourth cellular company. Virgin?s aggressive move into the banking and cellular sectors promises to bring compet...
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Monday, July 31, 2006 — No Region Specified

'Let business lift Africa out of poverty'

Source: BBC News

Excerpt: Big business has something of a poor reputation when it comes to Africa. Critics accuse multinational oil and mining companies in particular of exploiting local people, damaging the environment and helping to prop-up some of Africa's more odious regimes. It's an unfair charge and one that's all too familiar, argues the former boss of an oil giant who now heads one of the world's biggest mining firms. There is in ...
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Friday, July 28, 2006 — No Region Specified

Tiny Loans Seen as Big Way to Invest in Developing Nations' Poor

Source: LA Times

It was at the end of a long, dusty road in Guatemala that Mike Galgon, a Seattle tech entrepreneur, became a believer. He met a woman who used a $50 loan to buy a simple metal-bending machine, allowing her to increase her daily production of buckets from two to 10. By selling the extra buckets, she was able to buy medicine for an ailing daughter, send several other children to school and purchase a second machine to expand her business. At two buckets, you can't ...
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Wednesday, July 26, 2006 — No Region Specified

Report urges reform of business in Brazil

Source: Financial Times

Excerpt: Bewildering bureaucracy, endless paperwork and one of the world?s most onerous tax systems mean that thousands of Brazilian businesses can only survive by operating illegally, according to a report published on Wednesday. The report by the International Finance Corporation finds wide differences among the 13 Brazilian states surveyed but concludes that Brazil needs to radically simplify procedures in order to compete more effectively with other emerging markets.?There is stil...
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Tuesday, July 25, 2006 — No Region Specified

India's tiffinwalas fuel economy

Source: BBC

Excerpt: Every morning, 65-year-old Dhondu Chaudhary picks up a lunchbox from Arpana Rao's home in the suburbs of Mumbai. Mrs Rao relies on Mr Chaudhary to get her husband's daily lunch delivered to Mumbai's financial district where he works. That is about an hour away from her home - and looking after her new baby means she barely has time for herself, let alone find the time to deliver a tiffin, or lunchbox, to her husband's office. That is whe...
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Monday, July 24, 2006 — No Region Specified

African Farmers try KickStarting Their Farms

Source: National Public Radio

Summary: KickStart is a company hoping to help lift African farmers out of poverty by selling them simple water pumps for their crops. Scott Simon talks with Martin Fisher, co-founder of the non-profit company....
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Friday, July 21, 2006 — No Region Specified

A Little Money Goes A Long Way

Source: Business Week

Excerpt: Ann Brown and Maria Martinez have never met, but last March Brown loaned Martinez $50. It was part of a $400 loan Martinez needed to get her clothing store up and running in Danli, Honduras. She used the cash to buy colorful hairbands, bright shirts, frilly button-downs, and baby onesies. Sales have picked up, and now Martinez is paying Brown back in monthly installments via the Web site on which they found each other, Kiva.org. When I was starting my handbag business, a neighbor ...
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Friday, July 21, 2006 — No Region Specified

Philips keen on SADC region factory

Source: Fin24

Excerpt: Johannesburg - Electronics giant Philips said on Tuesday that it hoped to build a compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) assembly factory in the SADC region - the first of its kind in Africa. Millions of Southern Africans living in both rural and urban households do not have access to electricity, and those that do often struggle to afford quality lighting. Instead, they rely on hazardous paraffin, kerosene or candles which are not only major pollutants, but also often lead to...
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Friday, July 21, 2006 — No Region Specified

Southern Africa: Conference to Explore Affordable Lighting

Source: AllAfrica.com

Excerpt: In a quest to give access to affordable lighting to millions of households in Southern Africa, an electronics company will host a conference to explore the feasibility of building a factory to manufacture Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) in the region. This because the majority of citizens in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region do not have access to electricity while those who use it still struggle to afford quality lighting. Inste...
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Wednesday, July 19, 2006 — South Asia

Tata offers Rs 25 cr annual medical aid to poor

Source:

Excerpt: The Tata Group and three other top business houses have joined hands with the Jharkhand government to ensure medical treatment to the state's below poverty line population. Apart from the Tatas, Birla, Essar and Jindal group have formed the Sarva Swasthya Mission Trust -- which will be the first of its kind private-public partnership in the country. This project will provide health coverage and medical treatment to the poorest of the poor in...
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Tuesday, July 18, 2006 — No Region Specified

Namibia: NA Mulls Property Rights for Communal Areas

Source: The Namibian (Windhoek), Brigitte Weidlich

THE National Assembly has adopted a motion on modernising property rights in Namibia to enable people living in settlements and rural areas to gain ownership titles. This will give them the necessary collateral to qualify for bank loans. A member of the DTA party, McHenry Venaani, tabled the motion and the debate concluded last Wednesday. There exists a need for entrenching property rights to many rural poor as a form of addressing wealth and empowering Nam...
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Tuesday, July 18, 2006 — No Region Specified

S. Africa can show way in selling to new world

Source: Business Day

Excerpt: SIXTY-ONE countries comprising about 40% of humankind are officially classified as low-income countries (LICs) by the World Bank (2005). While many of these countries were ignored as viable destinations for business previously, today the globalisation of markets has focused attention on these ?base of the pyramid? countries. Why would anyone be interested in a group of countries in which per capita gross national income is below $800 a year? The answer is growth and market saturation. L...
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Monday, July 17, 2006 — No Region Specified

Real business ventures are the only way to provide financially self-sustaining solutions to poverty

Source: World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Excerpt: Markets can work for everyone but this requires an innovative approach that unleashes entrepreneurship at the local level, the WBCSD argued at a recent United Nations (UN) hearing. Many of our members are already promoting sustainable and inclusive business activities with partners from the development community and civil society, and we believe there is much more we can do. The objective of the UN General Assembly?s hearing was to create a space where...
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Monday, July 17, 2006 — Latin America

New business in new markets

Source: World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Excerpt: Despite some progress, the Millennium Development Goals remain elusive. The role of the private sector in helping to deliver these goals is increasingly being recognized, and many are urging the business community to mobilize and strengthen its contribution to poverty-reduction strategies. A partnership between the Netherlands' development organization SNV and the WBCSD aims at helping companies in Central America and the Andean regions do more pro-poor business, especia...
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Monday, July 17, 2006 — No Region Specified

Fighting Poverty With $2-a-Day Jobs

Source: The New York Times

Excerpt: Jacqueline Novogratz, a veteran of the Rockefeller Foundation and a former consultant to the World Bank, talks enthusiastically about the development of a company in Africa where some 2,000 women earn, on average, $1.80 a day producing antimalarial bed netting. With the assistance of a $350,000 loan from an American investor, the business started making the nets nearly three years ago and is likely to add 1,000 more jobs within the next year. Ms. Novogratz is not an outsourci...
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Wednesday, July 12, 2006 — No Region Specified

Motorola May See Gains In Emerging Markets

Source: Forbes

Excerpt: Motorola, the number two manufacturer of wireless headsets, could see market share gains in both developed and emerging markets in the second quarter, according to a Monday report by Morgan Stanley. We expect results to demonstrate our thesis of share gains and margin expansion is playing out, said Scott Coleman, the author of the report and an analyst for Morgan Stanley. Guidance will show there is more progress ahead [and] we would be buyers of the stock g...
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Wednesday, July 12, 2006 — No Region Specified

UN and Microsoft for small business in Africa

Source: Bloomberg via IOL

Excerpt: Microsoft, the world's biggest software company, and the UN are forming a partnership to supply information technology (IT) and other support to small businesses in Africa. Microsoft and the UN Industrial Development Organisation plan to set up technology centres in African communities, where entrepreneurs will be able to access business support services, information, training and computers....
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Tuesday, July 11, 2006 — No Region Specified

Rwanda: Rural Areas to Access Solar Energy

Source: AllAfrica.com

Excerpt: The president of Solar Energy Africa, John Ssemanda, has said that the organization has an ambitious project of accessing solar energy to rural areas to boost economic development. He said this to Bugesera residents, last week, while touring a solar energy site that was installed in Maranyondo village in Bugesera District. He noted that solar light Africa project was introduced in Rwanda by the first lady, Jeannette Kagame, the patron for the Solar Light Africa in Rwanda.
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Monday, July 10, 2006 — No Region Specified

Facing global challenges while turning a profit

Source: The International Herald Tribune

Excerpt: Eighteen months ago two veteran business executives, Brian Richardson and Charles Rowlinson, set up a cellphone-based banking company with the sole purpose of serving the estimated 16 million poor people in South Africa who do not have access to basic banking facilities - around 60 percent of the population. ? Today Wizzit employs 800 previously unemployed Wizzkids to promote its product. The company is on target to break even this year. ? Many companies ...
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Monday, July 10, 2006 — No Region Specified

'One lakh' car to roll out from 3-4 places: Tata

Source: The Economic Times

Excerpt: Tata Group Chief Ratan Tata on Friday said the ambitious Rs 1 lakh car will be manufactured from three-four places, including West Bengal and Uttaranchal. It will be in West Bengal, it will be in Uttaranchal. It will be manufactured from three-four places, Tata said here after meeting the Finance Minister. He said, the launch of the car would create a new paradigm in low-cost personal transport, carve out a new market segment and reach a broader base o...
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Monday, July 10, 2006 — No Region Specified

In War-Torn Congo, Going Wireless to Reach Home

Source: The Washington Post

Excerpt: As surely as the light bulb and the automobile before them, the cellphone and text messaging are radically changing the way people live in the developing world. In widespread use for about five years in much of Africa, technology long taken for granted by the world's rich has made life easier, safer and more prosperous for the world's poor. For the first time, millions of Africans are able to communicate easily with people who are beyond shouting distance. Farmers and...
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Friday, July 7, 2006 — No Region Specified

High finance reaches Bangladesh's poor

Source: Reuters

Excerpt: Tiny loans for Bangladesh's rural poor became part of a groundbreaking financial product on Thursday through one of the world's first microcredit securitisations. BRAC, a Bangladeshi anti-poverty non-governmental organisation (NGO), said the securitisation would provide it with $180 million of financing over six years, helping it to make small loans to some of the poorest people in the world. BRAC's deal is the latest example of the microcr...
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Thursday, July 6, 2006 — No Region Specified

The Myth of the New India

Source: The New York Times

Opinion Excerpt: INDIA is a roaring capitalist success story. So says the latest issue of Foreign Affairs; and last week many leading business executives and politicians in India celebrated as Lakshmi Mittal, the fifth richest man in the world, finally succeeded in his hostile takeover of the Luxembourgian steel company Arcelor. India's leading business newspaper, The Economic Times, summed up the general euphoria over the event in its regular feature, The Global India...
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Monday, July 3, 2006 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Small generator aims to empower Africans

Source:

Excerpt: Originally created to give an emergency kick-start to stalled boat engines, the sleek little South African-designed machine, pumped with one foot, can charge a cell phone battery in five minutes or a car battery in 30. The device's creators, who plan to distribute it across swaths of Africa far from the power grid, hope it will energize economic development efforts as effectively as it does dead cell phones. Residents of Musheri Center, fit but fatigued from bicycling lon...
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