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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
Friday, September 29, 2006 — No Region Specified

Banks bet on booming remittances

Source: DNA India

MUMBAI: With an increasing number of Indians living abroad, either for work or having settled there, foreign exchange remittances into the country is likely to increase, market players say. India receives the largest amount of remittances in the world, ?getting over 10% of the $230 billion global market, according to World Bank numbers,? says Manish Misra, ICICI Bank?s head of global remittance. He expects the business to grow 15-20% annually in the next 4-5 years. ?It is i...
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Friday, September 29, 2006 — No Region Specified

SMEs measure cost of red tape

Source: Times of Malta

Compliance with government bureaucracy costs Lm1,500 to Lm2,000 a year for the average SME with between five and 10 employees, according to the director general of the Malta Chamber of Commerce and Industry Kevin Borg. Obviously the amount goes up with the size and complexity of the company. We had one survey respondent whose compliance fees amounted to Lm300,000! He was speaking at a business breakfast at the Le Meridien Phoenicia organised by The Malta Busines...
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Thursday, September 28, 2006 — No Region Specified

SEEP Network and Omidyar Network to host ?Microfinance Investor Roundtable? to discuss the poten

Source: MicroCapital

The SEEP Network will host its annual conference this year October 23-27 in Washington D.C. This year?s conference, ?Investing in the Majority?, will draw attention to innovative practices and current issues in microfinance. The event is an opportunity for microfinance and microenterprise development practitioners to exchange knowledge and experiences. According to the SEEP Network, last year?s conference drew over 1,100 participants from over 101 countries. Alongside the conference, ...
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Thursday, September 28, 2006 — No Region Specified

Renewables in Africa

Source: Africa Unchained

Karekezi, S ... surveys (PDF) the dissemination of renewable technologies in Sub-Saharan Africa...and attempts to evaluate the potential for these ...
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Thursday, September 28, 2006 — No Region Specified

Emerging at last

Source: The Economist

IN 1994 this newspaper launched a new emerging-market indicators page to mark ?a fundamental and remarkably rapid change in the balance of the world economy?. Emerging economies were then growing twice as fast as the rich ones, and their stockmarkets were surging. But the timing of the launch was awful. It came at the start of a dismal decade for emerging economies, with crises in Mexico at the end of 1994, Asia in 1997, Russia in 1998, Brazil in 1999, Turkey in 2000, Argentina in 2001 and Venez...
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Wednesday, September 27, 2006 — No Region Specified

10 Businesses VCs are Dying to Fund

Source: Business Today

Fortunately, for the motley gaggle of entrepreneur-wannabes, there's record venture capital, or early stage money, pouring into the country. According to a recent Evalueserve report (it's a research and analytics firm), more than 44 us-based vcs are now seeking to invest heavily in start-ups and early-stage companies in India. These firms, the report reveals, plan to raise $100 million (Rs 470 crore) a pop, or a staggering $4.4 billion (Rs 20,680 cror...
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Wednesday, September 27, 2006 — No Region Specified

Speaking books for health education in low literacy areas

Source: Springwise

Low literacy levels in Africa are part-and-parcel of everyday life, and seriously reduce the effectiveness of health care literature. In association with the South African Depression and Anxiety Group, Books of Hope has designed and produced interactive, multilingual Speaking Books that can be seen, read, heard and understood regardless of someone's reading ability. Each Speaking Book consists of 16 pages of culturally appropriate illustrations supported by straightforward and eas...
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Wednesday, September 27, 2006 — No Region Specified

CHINA: China has over 34 million bloggers

Source: Times of India

Beijing --- The number of blogs in China hit a record 34 million in August, 30 times more than just four years ago when the on-line writing phenomena began to sweep the country. More than 17 million people in China consider themselves blog writers, offering personal insights and opinions on any topic they choose, according to a report on China's blog market, which says 75 million people regularly read blogs. The report also points out that nearly 70 per cent of the blog...
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Wednesday, September 27, 2006 — No Region Specified

Botswana: Business Place Gaborone to Boost SMMEs

Source: All Africa

Lack of management skills by many of Botswana's Small to Medium Enterprises (SMMEs) could be a thing of the past, as the newly established Business Place (Centre) Gaborone will endeavour to address these shortfalls. The centre, which was unveiled to stakeholders last week during the donor presentations, is situated at Maraka House at the Gaborone bus station. The donor presentation gave sponsors a chance to present their pledges and funds, which amounted to over P1 million.
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Wednesday, September 27, 2006 — No Region Specified

Indian SMEs need access to finances

Source: Silicon India

New Delhi: Indian small and medium enterprises (SME) have not kept pace with the country's economic growth because of their inability to access finances, says industry experts. The reasons for the poor growth of SMEs and strategies to put them on a high-growth curve were discussed Tuesday here during the launch of the first publication in the series of 'Emerging Auto Component SMEs of India.' The first of its kind, this series is sponsored by Dun & Bradstree...
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Tuesday, September 26, 2006 — No Region Specified

Africa closes tech gap with flashy phones

Source: NEWS.COM

Rickety minibus taxis weave between corrugated iron shacks, dodging street hawkers and the odd scrawny child with trousers gaping at the knee. Alexandra is one of South Africa's roughest townships, and yet you can switch on your laptop there, slide in a data card and access your e-mail in seconds using the world's most advanced commercial wireless technology. About a decade after mobile phones started to spread across the poorest continent, trailing Europe by several years, wireless t...
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Tuesday, September 26, 2006 — No Region Specified

Corruption still holds emerging markets back

Source: Financial Times

The development of emerging market economies continues to be held back by corruption and poor governance in spite of their increasing influence on the global stage and growing foreign direct investment in other countries. That was the most striking message from a two-day meeting of current and former central bankers, development experts, finance ministers, investors, and presidents of countries such as Brazil, India, and Tanzania.
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Tuesday, September 26, 2006 — Asia Pacific

China's development 'experiment' key to future growth

Source: World Business Council for Sustainable Development

Maintaining a balance between environmental sustainability and the continuing process of urbanisation is a major issue facing the Chinese, write the researchers. Although much of China's biodiversity is being threatened by rapid economic development and human activities, Tang Zhiyao and colleagues report the existence of ten biodiversity 'hotspots' in mountain ranges that remain largely unaffected. Protecting these mountainous areas is critical for cons...
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Monday, September 25, 2006 — No Region Specified

Business in Africa: The flicker of a brighter future

Source: The Economist

Ultimately, doing business in Africa is a gamble on the future?that the continent will make something of the commodity boom that has helped it grow faster in the past three years than at any time in the past few decades and, possibly, ever. If the economy takes off, investors intend already to be there, firmly rooted. Excerpt: Ultimately, doing business in Africa is a gamble on the future?that the continent will make something of the commodity boom that has helped it grow faster in th...
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Monday, September 25, 2006 — No Region Specified

Potential of Doha accord ?has been overstated?

Source: Financial Times

This month?s Singapore meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, and the largely inconclusive meeting of trade ministers that finished on Thursday in Cairns, Australia, rang with the ritual claim that the suspended Doha trade talks had the ability to lift millions out of poverty. But experts note that these claims appear increasingly oversold, amid sharp downward revisions of estimates of the effects of trade liberalisation in reducing poverty. Writing recently i...
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Monday, September 25, 2006 — No Region Specified

APEC seeks ways of promoting small- and medium-sized enterprises

Source: People's Daily Online

Delegates from the Asia-Pacific region are attending the 13th APEC SME Ministerial Meeting and related ones in Hanoi on Sept. 25-29 to facilitate development of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The ministerial meeting, slated for Sept. 28-29, with the theme Strengthening SME Competitiveness for Trade and Investment, will center on business enabling environment for SME, SME capacity building for trade and investment and facilitating linkages for SME. A seri...
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Monday, September 25, 2006 — No Region Specified

India's BIG microfinance revolution

Source: BusinessWeek

ICICI Bank is a big money-center lender that deals with sizable companies in Bombay, Bangalore, and New Delhi. It is also one of India's biggest consumer lenders. So why does Nachiket Mor spend a lot of time in India's economically depressed rural hinterland looking for prospective borrowers? He recently visited a family of five living in a soot-covered hut, getting by at barely subsistence levels in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Mor signed off on a one-y...
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Monday, September 25, 2006 — No Region Specified

Lay emphasis on integration of rural India: PM

Source: Times of India

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday said the state governments should lay more emphasis on integration of rural India with economic development of the country by focusing on agriculture, drinking water and electrification of villages. Expressing concern over current growth rate of agriculture at the inaugural session of a two-day conclave of Chief Ministers of 14 Congress-ruled states, he asked the states to make special efforts to ensure that schemes chalked out under Bharat Ni...
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Friday, September 22, 2006 — No Region Specified

Citigroup in microfinance programme

Source: Financial Times

Citigroup, the US bank, will on Friday announce plans to lend an initial $100m to microfinance institutions in the developing world, underlining the increasing interest in microfinance by mainstream business. ...
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Friday, September 22, 2006 — No Region Specified

Aid: Can It Work?

Source: The New York Review of Books

The conundrum facing the rich countries is that everywhere in the developing world, and particularly in Africa, you see children dying for want of pennies, while it's equally obvious that aid often doesn't work very well. Travel through the third world, and you may see clinics with signs proudly proclaiming that they were built by such-and-such an agency?but no other sign of life. It's easy to build a clinic, but harder to ensure that doctors and nurses actually report for...
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Friday, September 22, 2006 — No Region Specified

D.I.Y. Venture Capitalists

Source: GOOD Magazine

Try connecting two people from opposite sides of the planet-one hoping for a small cash infusion, and one looking to do something productive with their disposable income. Chances are, good things will happen. At least that's the premise of Kiva - a pioneer microfinance website that Matt and Jessica Flannery launched in 2005 - and so far it's working. The first website to link average income lenders to specific business people in developing countries, Kiva makes it possible for...
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Thursday, September 21, 2006 — No Region Specified

Uganda to Cap Interest Rates Charged By Microfinance Institutions

Source:

The Ugandan government capped the interest rate that microfinance institutions may charge. ? According to New Vision Kampala, the new rule sets rates at or below inflation , which sto...
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Thursday, September 21, 2006 — No Region Specified

Bill to regulate microfinance sector on cards

Source: The Economic Times

International venture funds foraying into microfinance will not have to grapple with conflicting rules of operation. The government is preparing a bill to regulate the sector, which is expected to grow to Rs 35,000 crore, by ?10. The big funds planning to make a foray into the sector include, the Maharashtra government promoted VC Fund -Urjankur, UK-based CDC, Unitus P...
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Thursday, September 21, 2006 — No Region Specified

Acumen Investment Gives Fund Stake in Growing Technology Platform Transforming Rural India

Source: Acumen Fund Press Release

Acumen Fund, a leading catalyst for sustainable, scalable solutions addressing poverty in South Asia and Africa, announced today that it has invested $1.6 million (%7ERs.72 million) in Drishtee Dot Com, a rural Information and Communications Technology (ICT) platform operating more than 1000 kiosks in India that provide computer and English education, e-governance and digital photography services. Acumen Fund?s investment of $1 million (%7ERs.45 million) gives it an equity stake in Drishtee and ...
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Wednesday, September 20, 2006 — No Region Specified

TIAA-CREF Creates $100 Million Global Microfinance Investment Program

Source: Yahoo! Finance

TIAA-CREF, the leading provider of retirement savings products and services in the academic, medical and cultural fields, today announced the creation of a $100 million Global Microfinance Investment Program (GMIP) to invest in selected Microfinance Institutions (MFI's) worldwide. Concurrently, TIAA-CREF also announced GMIP's first investment -- a $43 million private equity stake in ProCredit Holding AG, one of the world's leading microfinance companies. NEW YORK, Sept. 19 /PRNewswir...
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Tuesday, September 19, 2006 — No Region Specified

An Interview with Inveneo

Source: WorldChanging

Inveneo.org is a nonprofit that connects the most cut-off people in the world--they provide communication technology to people in developing regions or disaster zones which lack the infrastructure for normal telephone and internet connections. Their connections have helped rural villages spawn business, hurricane victims get aid, even helped the sick cure themselves by talking with doctors. We've mentioned them ...
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Tuesday, September 19, 2006 — Sub-Saharan Africa

India-China Emerge Strong Business Partners Of Africa: Study

Source: Bernama.com

Chinese and Indian firms are increasingly doing business in sub-Saharan Africa, and their interest in the continent extends well beyond a hunt for natural resources, Press Trust of India (PTI) reported Sunday quoting the study titled Africa's Silk Road: China and India's new Economic Frontier as saying. These two emerging economic giants of Asia are at the centre of the explosion of African-Asian trade and investment, a striking hallmark of the new trend in...
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Monday, September 18, 2006 — No Region Specified

Low-cost schools in poor nations seek investors

Source: Financial Times

My recent research has shown that private schools for the poor are superior to government schools ? teachers were much more likely to be teaching when we called unannounced in their classrooms. Private schools were, in general, better equipped with drinking water and toilets. Testing about 24,000 children we found academic achievement was much higher in private than government schools. All of this was accomplished for a fraction of the per-pupil teacher cost. William Easterly dedicates his recen...
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Monday, September 18, 2006 — No Region Specified

IDB calls for tripling microcredit in LatAm - Regional

Source: Business News Americas

Microfinance institutions in Latin America currently only serve about 8% of estimated demand, IDB president Luis Alberto Moreno said at the 9th Microenterprise Forum in Quito, Ecuador. We all know we still have a long way to go to democratize financial services, he said, according to an IDB statement. In reality, most people [in the region] do not have access to formal financial services. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has called on the region'...
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Monday, September 18, 2006 — No Region Specified

Wolfowitz links corruption to poverty

Source: Yahoo! News

We feel very strongly that when there is systemic corruption in a country, to great levels, then the resources do not reach the poor, said Huguette Labelle, president of Transparency International, a private corruption watchdog. There are so many countries that should be very rich today because of their natural resources, but they're not, Labelle told delegates attending the World Bank meetings. Governments, companies and financial institutions must unite...
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Friday, September 15, 2006 — No Region Specified

World Development Report 2007: Development and the Next Generation

Source: The World Bank

The report will focus on?crucial capabilities and transitions in a young person's life: learning for life and work, staying healthy, working, forming families, and exercising citizenship. For each, there are opportunities and risks; for all, policies and institutions matter.? More ab...
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Friday, September 15, 2006 — No Region Specified

Linux v. Microsoft: Third World Showdown

Source: Yahoo! Finance

So, in the brewing battle of Windows vs. Ubuntu, Mark Shuttleworth's stated belief that software should be available free of charge, that software tools should be usable by people in their local languages and despite any disabilities, and that people should have the freedom to customize and alter their software in whatever way they see fit. If you think that's all standard Linux/Open Source talk, you're right. The difference is that instead of trying to convert...
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Friday, September 15, 2006 — No Region Specified

Study: Remittance recipients more willing to invest in LatAm - Regional

Source: Business News Americas

A growing number of remittance recipients in Latin America and the Caribbean are willing to invest in the region, the Inter-American Development Bank's (IDB) Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) said in a study. The main goals of these migrants are to own a home or establish their own businesses in their countries of origin, but only a third of them have made such investments, mostly in real estate. Five years ago, 95% of the migrants polled said they had no investments in their hom...
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Thursday, September 14, 2006 — No Region Specified

Super-rich in move to ease African poverty

Source: The Age

US economist Jeffrey Sachs has been pursuing the strategy since 2004 through his non-profit Millennium Promise group. It aims to tackle myriad problems of poverty all at once by providing villagers with relatively inexpensive technologies and approaches, including mosquito nets to prevent malaria and stoves with chimneys to reduce deadly indoor air pollution. FINANCIER and philanthropist George Soros has offered $US50 million ($A66 million) to support a vast social experiment that aims to help v...
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Thursday, September 14, 2006 — Europe & Eurasia

EBRD signs first Mongolia project, microfinance loan

Source: Yahoo! Asia News

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) signed its first project in Mongolia on Wednesday, a $5 million loan to XacBank, which specialises in microfinance. The funds will be lent on to small and micro-businesses throughout the country. XacBank, licensed four and a half years ago, offers loans ranging in size from $27 to $150,000, according to its Web site (www.xacbank.org). Continue reading ...
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Wednesday, September 13, 2006 — No Region Specified

Kenya aims for own internet cable

Source: BBC News

The announcement comes weeks after Kenya refused to sign up to a 23-nation plan to build an undersea telecommunications cable, East African Submarine Cable System (Eassy), after disagreeing with South Africa about the cost and management of the project. The cable network that will connect East Africa to the rest of the world will also serve Tanzania, Uganda, Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia and Somalia, said the statement, which gave no timetable for the project. Ke...
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Wednesday, September 13, 2006 — South Asia

ICICI Venture mulls 4 specialised funds

Source: Business Standard

ICICI Venture has also tied up with seven of its key investors in its private equity funds that will co-invest with them in acquisitions and buying of stakes in companies. The need for a small-cap fund was felt because ICICI?s current funds are for bigger deals, with an average size of $75 million. The small-cap fund will invest in smaller and emerging companies, which require a fund infusion of between $10 million and $50 million. ICICI Venture is planning to set up four new special...
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Tuesday, September 12, 2006 — No Region Specified

SMEs in Bangladesh

Source: Financial Express

SMEs in Bangladesh produce a multitude of labour intensive goods including toys, consumer items, small tools and paper products for the domestic market. Further development of these industries offers various investment opportunities. Export-oriented production in SMEs has gained momentum in the past few years. Entrepreneurs from Hong Kong, Japan and Korea have taken advantage of Bangladesh's cheap and easily trainable labour and its infrastructure facilities to ...
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Tuesday, September 12, 2006 — South Asia

Pertinent issues on SME finance in Bangladesh

Source: Financial Express

Financial services for the poor have proved to be a powerful instrument for poverty reduction enabling the poor to build assets, increase incomes and reduce the vulnerability to economic stress. Today, access to credit is recognised as a 'right' of people globally. Over the years, there has been phenomenal growth in activities of microcredit in many countries of the world and a transition in the paradigm and modalities of microcredit. Microcedit Summit Meeti...
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Tuesday, September 12, 2006 — No Region Specified

Katalyst in the field of SME promotion

Source: Financial Express

KATALYST is one of the largest projects which work in the field of SME promotion. It started in 2002 and is currently active in more than 30 sectors: manufacturing sectors such as plastics, furniture, agro tools; agricultural sectors like pond fishery, vegetables, maize and poultry and in service sectors, e.g. accounting, marketing and quality management. KATALYST also works with business associations to improve the enabling environment for businesses. The project&#...
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Tuesday, September 12, 2006 — No Region Specified

Women in enterprise development: Bangladesh perspective

Source: Financial Express

Over the last three decades, there has been a dramatic increase in concern with developing and adopting strategies to address the question of feminisation of poverty. Women in Third World countries, like Bangladesh, face many social difficulties and economic deprivation. Social structures and the state environment are not favourable for the social development and economic upliftment of women. Despite several positive interventions and affirmative actions undertaken ...
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Tuesday, September 12, 2006 — No Region Specified

ACCION International and Citigroup Foundation Launch 2006 Microentrepreneurship Awards

Source: Yahoo! Finance

For the fifth consecutive year, global microfinance pioneer ACCION International has joined Citigroup Foundation to honor hundreds of microentrepreneurs in 23 developing countries -- those individuals who demonstrate sustainability, responsibility and creativity in their businesses. The program has been designed to highlight the critical role that microfinance can play in alleviating global poverty and strengthening impoverished communities worldwide. BOSTON, Sept. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- For the fif...
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Tuesday, September 12, 2006 — No Region Specified

Research Consultant Celent Predicts $20 Billion Microfinance Market by 2008

Source: microcapital

The report, released by Boston-based Celent , is titled Microfinance: What Role for Commercial Banks??. ? It sees the microfinance market growing from its current $11 billion to $20 billion by 2008. ? The self-financed study found that commercial banks are most suited to provide microfinance to the poor. ? The reasons...
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Monday, September 11, 2006 — No Region Specified

The bitter cost of ?fair trade? coffee

Source: Financial Times

?No certifier is able to check that at no time are workers paid below minimum wage,? says Luuk Zonneveld, Managing Director of Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) in Bonn. ?This issue comes up everywhere. Poor people struggle to pay their workers fairly.? The FT?s findings cast doubt on the certification process. ?The low pay issue wasn?t picked up in our audit because it wasn?t done at harvest season,? says Chris Wille, Chief of Sustainable Agriculture at Rainforest...
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Monday, September 11, 2006 — No Region Specified

Global mobile phone connections hit 2.5bn

Source: The Register

According to the latest figures, over the four quarters to the end of September 2006, a total of 484m net additions were added to the worldwide total with 41 per cent of new connections coming from Asia Pacific. Eastern Europe and Latin America together accounted for 30 per cent of the growth, while Africa was responsible for 10 per cent of new connections. ?The cellular industry took 20 years to reach one billion connections, three years to reach two billion connections and is on target t...
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Monday, September 11, 2006 — No Region Specified

Rural, thrift banks get guide to SMEs, ?good borrowers?

Source: Sun.Star

IN ITS effort to help provide small and medium enterprises (SMEs), a foreign-funded project has developed a set of directories of SMEs in the Visayas that rural and thrift banks can approach for financial assistance. N ITS effort to help provide small and medium enterprises (SMEs), a foreign-funded project has developed a set of directories of SMEs in the Visayas that rural and thrift banks can approach for financial assistance. The Small and Medium Enterprise Development for Sustaina...
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Friday, September 08, 2006 — No Region Specified

Nokia Sells Handset In India At Lowest Global Price

Source: Cellular News

Finland's Nokia has started selling a CDMA mobile handset model in India at less than INR2,000 ($43), its lowest ever price point globally for the handset. Reliance Communications, India's second-largest mobile phone operator by subscribers, will partner Nokia to market the 1255 handset model in India. NEW DELHI -(Dow Jones)- Finland's Nokia has started selling a CDMA mobile handset model in India at less than INR2,000 ($43), its lowest ever price point globally for the...
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Friday, September 08, 2006 — No Region Specified

Foreign Aid Fails Poor Countries -- Economic Freedom is Key

Source: Cato Institute

Once greater economic freedom is taken into account, poor nations, far from being caught in a poverty trap, grow faster than rich nations. What the research in this edition of Economic Freedom of the World suggests is that economic freedom, rather than foreign aid, does have a powerful positive impact and is a better approach, says co-author of the report, James Gwartney, professor of economics at Florida State University. Economic freedom is unambiguousl...
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Friday, September 08, 2006 — No Region Specified

?The most preferred exit option for SMEs would be through an IPO?

Source: Financial Express

What is the investment philosophy you follow while investing in SMEs? Our investment objective is to identify high-growth sectors with global competencies, select rapidly growing companies within these sectors having sound management and proven, sustainable and scalable business models. We take up significant minority stakes in these companies so as to have a board seat representation to participate proactively in the value building process of these companies over a period of 3 to 5 y...
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Friday, September 08, 2006 — No Region Specified

Rural life insurance rules to be tightened

Source: China Daily

Comparatively high premiums, inflexible payment terms and incomprehensible policy clauses are the major problems, said Zhou Fuping, a researcher at the CIRC, adding most insurers made little or even no changes to policies in rural areas. To give farmers more choices, insurers are encouraged to offer more affordable policies and easy to understand clauses when entering the rural market, said Gong. We will soon embark on a pilot programme that differentiate...
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Friday, September 08, 2006 — No Region Specified

Bra Straps Bootstrap Fair-Trade Business

Source: KiplingerForecasts.com

The operation began last summer, when Styles asked her sister-in-law in Cali, Colombia, to help fix a fashion flub - bra straps that show under tank tops and other shoulder-baring shirts. A master of beadwork, the woman took a half-hour to make two, adjustable beaded straps that could be attached to a strapless bra with built-in tabs. The straps are meant to be shown. Styles had been haunted by Colombia's poverty for years. In Cali, a city of 1.6 milli...
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Thursday, September 07, 2006 — No Region Specified

Unitus Equity Fund L.P. Invests $1,000,000 in Credex

Source: HispanicBusiness.com

We're delighted to be the Unitus Equity Fund's first investment in Mexico, said Credex Founder and CEO Eduardo Gallardo. Since we started in 2002 Credex has achieved tremendous growth. With the Fund's investment, we're in a position to finalize the implementation of our new microfinance methodology and provide financial services to even more of Mexico's working poor and underserved population. That we can attract international financing such as the Unitus Eq...
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Wednesday, September 06, 2006 — No Region Specified

Microfinance: What Role for Commercial Banks?

Source: MicroCapital

In a new report, Microfinance: What Role for Commercial Banks?, Celent analyzes the microfinance industry and provides detailed information on microfinance stakeholders. Better know-how, technology, greater access to funds, and enhanced capacity make commercial banks the most qualified to meet the untapped demand of microentrepreneurs. Profitability, diversification of products and services, and outreach can be done more quickly using new information and com...
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Wednesday, September 06, 2006 — No Region Specified

Bangladeshi who founded bank for poor wins peace prize

Source: Yahoo! Asia News

Yunus, dubbed Banker to the Poor, began fighting poverty during a 1974 famine in Bangladesh. He set up a small bank, Grameen Bank, to give them access to credit. Yunus is the developer and founder of the concept of microcredit for entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans. The Bangladeshi who established a bank for the poor has been named winner of the eighth Seoul Peace Prize. The biennial prize of 200,000 dollars, awarded to M...
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Wednesday, September 06, 2006 — No Region Specified

Nigeria: Govt, Not Business, Can Deliver Services - Oxfam

Source: AllAfrica.com

Only governments can effectively deliver services like health and education to the poorest, development group Oxfam said in a report yesterday critical of groups like the World Bank for hindering poverty programs by pushing private-sector solutions. The report comes a year after industrial nations pledged to double aid to poor countries by 2010, and donors and development groups look closer at how aid can be made more effective in fighting poverty. Only government...
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Tuesday, September 05, 2006 — No Region Specified

HLL, ITC draw up two-pronged strategies to woo customers

Source: The Financial Express

India?s two major FMCG players in rural markets are now extending their reach to woo new consumers. Project Shakti will be operational across all states in India. The company also plans to cover 500,000 villages with 100,000 Shakti Ammas (women entrepreneurs) in the next two years. Competitor ITC Ltd is also planning to set up 50 Choupal Sagars (rural super stores) by the end of this fiscal year. India?s largest FMCG company Hindustan Lever Ltd (HLL)is gearing up to launch its rural...
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Tuesday, September 05, 2006 — No Region Specified

US jeans major, Arvind Mills in JV

Source: Times of India

The $7-billion VF Corporation of US is setting up a joint venture with Arvind Mills to design, market and distribute VF's branded lifestyle apparel in India. Many will recognize Arvind as the company behind Ruf-n-Tuf jeans, a BOP innovation documented by C.K. Prahalad and Stuart Hart in their article, Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid in 2002.?
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Tuesday, September 05, 2006 — No Region Specified

China to bring clean, safe water to all rural residents by 2015

Source: Xinhua News

According to Wang, the central government will increase investment in rural water supply projects and encourage more private investment in rural infrastructure construction. One hundred and sixty million people in China's rural areas will get clean and safe drinking water in the next five years and by 2015 all Chinese rural residents will be provided with safe potable water, Minister of Water Resources Wang Shucheng told Xinhua on Monday. Wang said currently 312 million Chinese ...
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Tuesday, September 05, 2006 — No Region Specified

Source: Ethical Corporation

Excerpt: The seminal work by CK Prahalad, arguing the crucial role of multi-national corporations in alleviating poverty by treating the poor as consumers, has been one of the most influential tracts in recent years. Now, a vigorous attack has been mounted on its underlying assumptions and conclusions. Aneel Karnani, Associate Professor of Strategy at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, has produced a critical analysis that not o...
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Friday, September 01, 2006 — No Region Specified

CSR, MDGs and the bottom of the pyramid

Source: CSR Asia Weekly

To be blunt, governments and their international arms including the agencies grouped under the umbrella of the United Nations, have failed in their attempts to rid the planet of underdevelopment and poverty. Excerpt: At the core of many of the MDGs is the fact that many problems we face are linked to poverty and a lack of access to resources, including education and healthcare. Poverty breeds poverty when people do not have rights to these sorts of resources and lack the empowerment to move o...
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Friday, September 01, 2006 — South Asia

Fighting poverty $1 at a time

Source: CNN

Since its beginning, the micro-finance model of providing small loans to help expand or start a self-sustaining enterprise has helped more than 8.2 million of the world's poorest people -- in at least 115 countries -- to stand on their feet. Excerpt: It all started with $50. In 1988, that's what it took Noni Bala Ghosh to revive her family's business of making sweets to sell in Kholshi, her tiny village in Bangladesh. Family members had given up the business because they c...
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