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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
Wednesday, October 31, 2007 — No Region Specified

In India's Boom, Its Farmers Suffer

Source: Wall Street Journal

By SAMEER MOHINDRU and PRASENJIT BHATTACHARYA India's push to lend more money to farmers has coincided with a rise in agricultural output, supporting claims the funds are helping improve the quality of fertilizers and seeds while cushioning farmers from the impact of higher costs. But farmer suicides , long seen as emblematic of the malaise in Indian agriculture, also continue, illu...
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Wednesday, October 31, 2007 — No Region Specified

VenturEast launches $150mn VC fund

Source: Business Standard

VenturEast, previously APIDC Venture Capital, today announced a $150 million VenturEast Proactive Fund that will invest in both early stage companies building new technologies as well as growth stage companies using technology to build growth. A significant focus of the fund will be to invest in businesses that address the needs of the digital divide/bottom-of-the pyramid markets and the needs of SMEs. Continue reading ...
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Wednesday, October 31, 2007 — Asia Pacific

ICT has huge role in attracting children: Azim Premji

Source: The Economic Times

Azim Premji shared this thoughts on ICT in education in The Economic Times. An excerpt: One of the few things on which there is consensus across the entire ideological spectrum in economics and politics is that literacy and education are perhaps the most significant drivers of development and democracy. For societies to improve their literacy levels and the quality of their education, multiple complex factors must be worked upon. Information and communication technology (ICT)...
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Wednesday, October 31, 2007 — South Asia

If I.T. Merged With E.T.

Source: New York Times

By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN Well, here?s something you don?t see every day. I was visiting an Indian village 350 miles east of Hyderabad and got to watch a very elderly Indian man undergo an EKG in a remote clinic, while a heart specialist, hundreds of miles away in Bangalore, watched via satellite TV and dispensed a diagnosis. This kind of telemedicine is the I.T. revolution at its best. But what struck me most was that just underneath the TV screen, powering the whole endeavor, were 16...
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Tuesday, October 30, 2007 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Technology Giants Push to Alleviate African Poverty

Source: Voa News

Some of the world's leading information technology corporations are in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, for what organizers are calling a historic summit focusing on Africa's growing IT sector. Representatives of tech giants are calling for business solutions to alleviate poverty. Noel King has this report from Kigali. Industry leaders say chronic poverty in Africa will be alleviated by investment in information technology, rather...
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Tuesday, October 30, 2007 — No Region Specified

In India, Poverty Inspires Technology Workers to Altruism

Source: New YorkTimes

Manohar Lakshmipathi does not own a computer. In fact, in India workmen like Mr. Manohar, a house painter, are usually forbidden to touch clients? computers. So you can imagine Mr. Manohar?s wonder as he sat in a swiveling chair in front of a computer, dictating his date of birth, phone number and work history to a secretary. Afterward, a man took his photo. Then, with a click of a mouse, Mr. Manohar?s page popped onto the World Wide Web, the newest profile on an Indian Web site cal...
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Monday, October 29, 2007 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Connecting Africans to Web potential

Source: Marketplace

Today, technology experts are meeting with leaders of 10 African countries in the Rwandan capital of Kigali. It's the Connect Africa Summit . The goal is to increase the continent's access to the Internet, and attract investment opportunities for economic growth. Gretchen Wilson reports from rural South Africa. On the side of the road, 20-year-old Esther Tlou sells plastic gas c...
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Monday, October 29, 2007 — No Region Specified

Aye, aye, C@ptain - Brave young DesiCrew sets sail as the tide turns in favour of rural outsourcing

Source: The Hindu Business Line

At the age of 23, when many women are waiting for their knights in shining armour or catching a flight to a plush university overseas, Saloni Malhotra was busy nurturing her dream of a technologically empowered rural India. Today, at 25, she heads DesiCrew , a rural Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company with 10 centres and 60 employees. And it?s growing, she says happily. It all began when Saloni was listening in rap...
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Monday, October 29, 2007 — No Region Specified

Ghosn bets big on India; emerging markets pay off

Source: livemint.com - The Wall Street Journal

(...) In India, Nissan has a marginal presence; it sells 250 cars a year from the two high-end models it imports. Renault sells around 2,500 Logans a month from its joint venture with Mahindra. That may be a start, but it is a small one in a market of 1.4 million pas...
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Wednesday, October 24, 2007 — No Region Specified

Kassalow: Eyeglasses for the Developing World

Source: Council on Foreign Relations

Eyeglasses have been around for hundreds of years but millions of people in the developing world still suffer from poor vision, degrading their ability to learn and work. Jordan Kassalow , cofounder and chairman of the Scojo Foundation and former CFR fellow for global health policy, says the scope o...
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Wednesday, October 24, 2007 — No Region Specified

New eBay site lets people finance the world's poor

Source: Reuters UK

By Jonathan Stempel EBay, the world's largest online auctioneer and payments company, launched on Wednesday a Web site allowing ordinary investors to buy securities aimed at improving conditions in the world's poorest countries. MicroPlace , located at http://www.microplace.com, will allow people to invest as little as $100 (48.83 pounds) to support development in impoverished areas. So-called microfinance is...
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Wednesday, October 24, 2007 — No Region Specified

EBay: The Place for Microfinance

Source: BusinessWeek

On the online auction giant's new MicroPlace site, investors can lend as little as $50 to would-be small business owners around the globe. By Catherine Holahan Tracey Pettengill Turner doesn't want to give handouts to poor people. But she does want to make investments in them. So on Oct. 24, Turner is launching MicroPlace.com , a Web site that lets small investors provide low-interest micro loans...
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Monday, October 22, 2007 — No Region Specified

Private Sector and International Development - Part II

Source: eGov Monitor

The growing acceptance that the private sector has a key role to play in international development raises some major challenges for the traditional actors in this sector, argues Director of the Shell Foundation Kurt Hoffman. International development is experiencing an exciting and relatively new trend ? a growing acceptance that the private sector has a key role to play in poverty alleviation. Bill Clinton is e...
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Monday, October 22, 2007 — No Region Specified

For Intel, the business side of doing good

Source: CNET News.com

Former Stanford University professor turned technology executive, Craig Barrett believes that it's the duty of every large company to give back to society in some way. As chairman of Intel , the largest chipmaker in the world, he not only helps define the vision and strategy of Intel, but h...
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Friday, October 19, 2007 — No Region Specified

Unserved by banks, poor Kenyans now just use a cellphone

Source: Christian Science Monitor

By Matthew Clark With a click of a cellphone key, Bernard Otieno makes the transfer ? sending funds instantly from his residence in a sprawling Nairobi slum to his wife, who holds down their rural family farm some 250 miles away. Mr. Otieno, a security guard who works the night shift, used to risk carrying cash on infrequent, slow trips to his hometown or pay high rates to send money through the post office. Now, he's one of a growing number of Kenyans t...
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Friday, October 19, 2007 — No Region Specified

Fantasy Philanthropy Baseball - Compete for Capital!

Source: Slate

By Douglas K. Smith Over the past 15 years, new philanthropies (the Skoll Foundation ) as well as long-established ones ( Pew ) have challenged the nonprofit sector to act like the for-profit one. The payoff has been impressive. Yet one aspect of a market-based system remains elusive: access to capital based on competitive performance. When...
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Friday, October 19, 2007 — No Region Specified

Loans, not gifts, the way to end poverty: aid agency

Source: ABC News Australia

By Mark Colvin Opportunity International is aiming to raise nearly $1 billion in the next four years to lend to millions of poor entrepreneurs in India. While anti-poverty campaigners call for an increase in Australia's foreign aid budget, there is also a debate about whether aid in the form of money, training or goods is the way to go. Opportunity International is an Au...
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Friday, October 19, 2007 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Drug Delivery

Source: Forbes.com

How do you get basic care to the remotest villages in Africa? One clever idea is to borrow tactics from retail chains like McDonald's and Subway --operate an easy-to-replicate, owner-operated franchise system focusing on health care. Minnesota lawyer and businessman Scott Hillstrom started HealthStor...
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Thursday, October 18, 2007 — No Region Specified

Finding Profit in Servicing the Poor

Source: The Times of India

If someone were to do a poll of the Top 10 breakthrough ideas in management in the decade gone by, the concept of the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) would without doubt be somewhere at the top of the list. The idea?that there is a huge untapped opportunity for companies in creating value for and serving the 4 billion people comprising the world's poor?has captured the imagination of companies across the world. Overnight, multinationals like Unilever and SC Johnson launched initiatives in this d...
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Thursday, October 18, 2007 — No Region Specified

Western Union And GSMA To Create New Global Mobile Money Transfer Service

Source: GSM Association

The GSM Association (GSMA), a global trade association representing over 700 GSM mobile phone operators, and The Western Union Company (NYSE:WU), a global leader in money-transfer services, today announced an agreement to facilitate the development of cross-border mobile money transfer services. Western Union and the GSMA are developing a commercial and technical framework that mobile operators can use to deploy services that enable consumers to send and receive low-denomination, high...
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Thursday, October 18, 2007 — No Region Specified

Migrants Sent $301 Billion Back Home in 2006, Study Finds

Source: Miami Herald

No description provided
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007 — No Region Specified

CGAP Newsflash: Implementing Social Performance

Source: CGAP

Many microfinance institutions aim to help poor people, but can they prove they are helping? While most MFIs report on their financial performance, few report on their social performance as they feel that social performance is too vague and difficult to report on. Now the Social Performance Task Force has developed a common reporting framework that will help. The framework is a set of indicators that institutions with a social mandate can use to report on their social performance.
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007 — No Region Specified

CDC to Boost Microfinance Fund With $30m

Source: Financial Times

By David Wighton in New York. CDC Group , the UK government-owned emerging markets investor, will today announce it is putting $30m into a new microfinance hedge fund, underlining the increasing commercial interest in microfinance. The hedge fund, called Minlam Microfinance Offshore Fund, has raised just under $40m, including money from John Muse, founder of Hick...
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007 — South Asia

BiD Challenge India 2007: Awarding Entrepreneurship for Development

Source: BusinessWire India

Jointly organized by the Business in Development (BiD) Network Foundation and Intellecap , the BiD Challenge India 2007 business plan competition awarded six amazing entrepreneurs who are making a difference and rewriting the rules for running profitable enterprises for development.
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007 — No Region Specified

Banking Revolution's Father Lends his Ideas on How to End all Poverty

Source: Seattle Times

Inside a private conference room at Microsoft, top executives leaned around the table, eyes and ears fixed on a small, soft-spoken visitor from Bangladesh. He might not be recognized on the street, but to people dreaming up the next great idea to change the world, Muhammad Yunus is a rock star. One year after he won the Nobel Peace Prize, Yunus came to the Seattle area Tuesday to share his vision for uniting technology and business with a social mission. He calle...
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007 — No Region Specified

Father of Microloans Sees end to Poverty

Source: Seattle Post Int.

Envision a world with poverty museums -- places where children would go to learn of a dismal way of life extinct, of malnourishment, illiteracy and premature death. When 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus mentioned the concept Tuesday in speeches at the Microsoft campus and later at the University of Washington, he got chuckles from the audiences. But Yunus was serious. We can create this day very soon. It doesn't have to be a pipe dream. It c...
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007 — No Region Specified

Mother of Kenyan Microcredit Expands into Health Insurance, Housing for Poor

Source: Embassy Canada

She feels all the work she's done in her life has been preparation for what she is doing now: giving hope to the thousands of poor people living in slums around the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. But Ingrid Munro says it's the most important job she's ever held in her life, though it isn't exactly an easy job, as it entails convincing the desperately poor that there is a way out of the poverty trap. They don't believe in tomorrow; to them everything is now, s...
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007 — No Region Specified

Social Entrepreneurs Make a Difference

Source: NDTV Profit

Bringing water to the parched fields of Brij Wasan right on the outskirts of Delhi, is a project that has converted dry patches of land to acres of fertile soil. And with it changed the lives of over 450,000 farmers. All is happening out of a posh south Delhi office of Amitabha Sadangi, CEO, International Development Enterprises. It's one of the many projects by India's social entrepreneurs that's using the international interest in the Indian economy to effect ...
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007 — South Asia

UN Launches Project For Micro Entrepreneurs in B`desh

Source: Zee News - India Edition

A new United Nations backed development project has been launched to help nearly 120,000 Bangladeshi micro entrepreneurs, 90% of whom are women, expand their small enterprises and develop new ones. The UN International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) will provide USD 35 million of the estimated USD 60 million finance for enterprise development and employment creation project. A new United Nations backed development project has been launched to help nearl...
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007 — No Region Specified

Shuttleworth plugs open source for Africa

Source: Tectonic

Ubuntu founder and IT entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth tells Computing SA that picking open source software was not only good for South Africa but also important for the rest of the African continent. Shuttleworth says the goal for any country, including SA, should be sustainable economic growth, part of which is derived from the contribution made from a technology perspective. In this context it is wealth creation that matters, since the former will potentially generate high-qual...
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007 — No Region Specified

Social entrepreneurship: When Go-Negosyo Went Flat

Source: The Manila Times

FOR THOSE of you who?ve retired from employment, and plan to start a business and at the same time ensure handsome points in the pearly gates of heaven, I have two words for you?social entrepreneurship. Basically, it means the application of entrepreneurship principles to create, manage, and operate a business directed at solving a social problem, like poverty for instance. Unlike traditional businesses, the key result area of social entrepreneurship is not profitability,...
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007 — No Region Specified

Little Enthusiasm Over Anti-Poverty Campaign

Source: IPS

The enthusiasm among social groups in Mexico and Central America for the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP)is not reflected by the general public, which has displayed scant interest in this week's event. In Mesoamerica, made up of Mexico and the countries of Central America, there will be street demonstrations, academic and student forums, and a variety of cultural activities. However, large crowds are not expected to gather, as they regularly do for political rallies a...
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Tuesday, October 16, 2007 — No Region Specified

Unleashing Little India?s Natural Enterprise

Source: Sify News

The pick-up of GDP growth in our country during the last 15 years has been truly remarkable; it has lifted about 250 million people from abject poverty. The renaissance of our economy has been driven by the deregulation of the organized sector and the liberation of the people in 1,200 larger cities (population over 50,000). Little India, a term I will use to refer to the over 600,000 small towns and villages with a population less than 50,000, has not experien...
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Monday, October 15, 2007 — No Region Specified

New Rices for Africa

Source: NY Times

A decade after their introduction in Africa, strains of rice that are resistant to drought, pests and disease have still spread to only a tiny fraction of the land in West Africa, where they could help millions of farming families escape poverty. Scientists call these wonder seeds New Rices for Africa, or Nericas. One place where the seeds are being used is in Guinea's Faranah province. Last year, a member of a women's collective there carried Nerica rice to be threshed. Neric...
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Monday, October 15, 2007 — No Region Specified

Accra Conference - Business Leaders to Brainstorm On Poverty

Source: Calibre

Private and public sector leaders arriving in Ghana for the 5th African Business Leaders Forum have underlined the urgent need to define new solutions to the challenges created by widespread poverty on the continent. The three-day high profile event which takes place at the Accra International Conference Centre from October 17 to 19, 2007 will open with a presidential debate aimed at finding ways that the private and public sectors can work together to 'Conquer Poverty for Good&#...
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Monday, October 15, 2007 — No Region Specified

Microfinance to the Rescue of the People at the Bottom

Source: Asian Tribune

No description provided
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Monday, October 15, 2007 — No Region Specified

IBM Partners with Grameen Foundation to Expand Its Open Source Microfinance Banking Platform And Hel

Source: CSR Wire

IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Grameen Foundation today announced a collaborative project to help microfinance institutions (MFIs) better serve poor communities around the world by expanding Mifos, Grameen Foundation's ground-breaking open source microfinance software platform. The project will build additional functionality and robustness into the Mifos application and give MFIs around the world access to new, world-class software that streamlines the lending process and significantly reduces operatio...
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Monday, October 15, 2007 — No Region Specified

At Microsoft, Seeking the Next Billion Computer Users

Source: Cnet news

Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer got Microsoft its first billion customers. It's Will Poole's job to get the next billion. Poole, who co-leads Microsoft's emerging-markets push, is chartered with enabling the company's goal of allowing 1 billion more people to access computing technology by 2015. The company has a number of efforts under way in the area, from the Starter Editions of Windows XP and Vista, to shared computers for classrooms, to research into turning a cell p...
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Monday, October 15, 2007 — No Region Specified

Una fundaci?n socialmente rentable

Source: Dinero

La Fundaci?n Social gan? este a?o el premio al Emprendimiento Social, entregado por la Revista Dinero y la Fundaci?n Schwab, que para esta edici?n tuvo como aliados al PNUD y a la CAF. La estrategia: anticiparse en llegar a la base de la pir?mide. A principios del siglo pasado, cuando las teor?as sobre el desarrollo empresarial y la creaci?n de riqueza en la base de la pir?mide ?los mercados compuestos por personas de menores recursos? no estaban en la agenda de negocios, ni de planeaci?n y crec...
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Monday, October 15, 2007 — No Region Specified

The Best Recipe for Ending Poverty is Homemade

Source: The Huffington Post

Alleviating poverty remains a core issue on the global agenda--rightfully so--but serious consideration should be invested in new approaches. The long-tested methods familiar to government and donors simply have not proven themselves up to the challenge. ? While some trumpet the great strides that the world has made toward achieving the UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which range from halting the spread of HIV/AIDS to providing universal primary education by 2015, others...
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Monday, October 15, 2007 — No Region Specified

Internet Revolution Reaches India's Poor

Source: International Herald Tribune

Manohar Lakshmipathi does not own a computer. In fact, workmen like Manohar, a house painter, are usually forbidden to touch clients' computers on the job here. BANGALORE: Manohar Lakshmipathi does not own a computer. In fact, workmen like Manohar, a house painter, are usually forbidden to touch clients' computers on the job here. So you can imagine Manohar's wonder as he sat dictating his date of birth, phone number and work history to a secretary who entered them into a ...
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Monday, October 15, 2007 — South Asia

Wheels of Misfortune

Source: Central Chronicle

Small cars have had it good for quite a while, but the market could undergo a drastic transformation with the advent of ultra-cheap, small cars led by the Tatas' Rs 1 lakh model. The Tata car, the stuff of dreams millions of potential vehicle owners haven't yet dared to dream, is slated to roll out of its factory in Singur, West Bengal, in 2008. The state government has done everything in its powers to facilitate the project, from land acquisition to fiscal breaks. At t...
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Friday, October 12, 2007 — No Region Specified

Faculty, Students to Develop Plan to get Clean Water in Poorer Homes

Source: Huliq

Faculty and students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are setting out to discover whether applying business principles to public health problems can result in solutions that will save lives in developing countries with limited access to safe drinking water. The Carolina Global Water Partnership has been established to bring together experts from UNC?s School of Public Health, Kenan-Flagler Business School and Kenan Institute-Asia. They will focus on increasing the ...
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Friday, October 12, 2007 — No Region Specified

Poverty Must Not Be Ignored

Source: Business Report

First, the concept of a government-wide programme to tackle poverty needs to be expanded to a nationwide programme to change the profiles of our poorest communities. Second, the engagement of business and other organs of civil society in a war on poverty needs to be actively encouraged. This must go beyond social investment. It must align funding with charter requirements, the active pursuit of bottom of the pyramid opportunities and with the government's responsibility for gover...
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Friday, October 12, 2007 — No Region Specified

Revving Up: How Globalisation and Information Technology are Spurring Faster Innovation

Source: The Economist

IF YOU want a motorcycle, go to Chongqing. Although this dusty central Chinese city of drab office buildings and perpetually grey skies is better known as the gateway to the enormous Three Gorges Dam, it is also the two-wheeler capital of the world. Led by the region's pioneers, China now makes half the world's motorcycles. But more important than the numbers produced is the way these motorcycles are made?especially the way designers, suppliers and manufacturers have organised themselves...
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Thursday, October 11, 2007 — No Region Specified

Doing Business with the World ? The New Role of Corporate Leadership in Global Development

Source: WBCSD

Poverty remains the main challenge facing the countries that will be the home of 85% of the world's population in the decades to come. Some 2.7 billion people worldwide continue to subsist on less than US$2 per day. The challenge facing the global community is to eradicate extreme poverty and to foster economic development that benefits all while preserving natural habitats and biodiversity. Business is a core human activity, and it will be instrumental in bringing about sustainable developm...
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Thursday, October 11, 2007 — No Region Specified

Unitus Announces New Partnership with MokshaYug Access

Source: PR Web

Partnership will help MYA to reach 1,000,000 of India's working poor by 2010. The microfinance expertise of Unitus and their ability to integrate it into innovative business models will help MYA develop a supply chain model which leverages microfinance to vastly improve the livelihoods of India's rural poor. MYA is delighted to be a Unitus partner.? Redmond, WA (PRWEB) October 10, 2007 -- Unitus, Inc., a worldwide leader in scaling innovative solutions to global poverty, today announc...
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Wednesday, October 10, 2007 — No Region Specified

For Home Business Entrepreneurs: The Business of Beating Poverty

Source: Power Home Biz

Elizabeth Abiebhode is a married mother of four who lives in one of the poorest countries in the world, but it seems as if somebody forgot to tell her that. Elizabeth is a retailer in one of Nigeria?s largest bustling open-air markets. There, she spends her days selling fresh produce trying to earn enough money to support her family. October 10, 2007 ( PowerHomeBiz ) - Toronto, Ca ---? Elizabeth Abiebhode is a married mother of four who lives in one of the poorest countries in the world, but it ...
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Wednesday, October 10, 2007 — No Region Specified

Good for Business, Good for Society?

Source: Cnet news

Corporate social responsibility has become a buzzword as multinational companies focus not only on increasing their bottom lines, but also on issues of social importance, such as education, health and combating poverty. Cisco Systems' CEO John Chambers is at the forefront of these efforts. Earlier this month, he was one of four recipients honored with the Inaugural Clinton Global Citizen Award. The award was presented by President Bill Clinton as part of the Clinton Global Initiat...
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Wednesday, October 10, 2007 — No Region Specified

In Africa, Prosperity From Seeds Falls Short

Source: New York Times

The seeds are a marvel, producing bountiful, aromatic rice crops resistant to drought, pests and disease. But a decade after their introduction, they have spread to only a tiny fraction of the land here in West Africa where they could help millions of farming families escape poverty. HERMAKONO, Guinea ? The seeds are a marvel, producing bountiful, aromatic rice crops resistant to drought, pests and disease. But a decade after their introduction, they have spread to only a tiny fraction of the la...
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Wednesday, October 10, 2007 — No Region Specified

No Room for Entrepreneurs

Source: Wall Street Journal

Economist Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950) may be best known for his innovative work showing the link between entrepreneurial discovery and economic progress. But as Carl Schramm, president of the Kauffman Foundation of Entrepreneurship has pointed out, Schumpeter's insights about risk-takers didn't make him an optimist. In a speech last year to European finance ministers in Vienna, Mr. Schramm explained Schumpeter's fears: He worried that entrepreneurial cap...
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Wednesday, October 10, 2007 — No Region Specified

New Business?NGO Partnerships Help the World's Poorest

Source: International Trade Forum

Innovative approaches to reduce poverty through trade are bringing business, NGOs, government and aid agencies together in new ways. We believe that the leading global companies of 2020 will be those that provide goods and services and reach new customers in ways that address the world?s major challenges ? including poverty, climate change, resource depletion, globalization and demographic shifts. This statement does not come from a United Nations (UN) conferen...
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Tuesday, October 09, 2007 — No Region Specified

Millions of Indians still Lack Modern Sources of Energy

Source: One World South Asia

Seven hundred million Indians still do not have access to modern and commercial sources of energy and 220,000 villages are yet to be electrified, said Mr Surya P Sethi, Principal Advisor (Energy), Planning Commission, while chairing a seminar on Energy conservation and Renewable Energy. India has been growing at a rate of 8% but its energy consumption has grown by only 4%. Although the country has 70% of the world's population it only contributes 4% of the world'...
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Tuesday, October 09, 2007 — No Region Specified

Legatum invests Rs 34 cr in Intellecap

Source: Business Standard

Legatum, a firm that invests in initiatives that support social development, today announced an investment of $8.4 million (Rs 34 crore) in Intellecap, a provider of business advisory services for investors and companies that seek both a financial and sustainable social return on investment. Philip Vassiliou, senior vice president, Legatum, said: Intellecap is an innovative and entrepreneurial company that has created a unique niche, intermediating financial capital into develop...
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Tuesday, October 09, 2007 — No Region Specified

Growth Must Trickle Down to Bottom to be Sustainable

Source: Indian Express

Even as the debate on equitable growth rages on, commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath on Monday warned that the bubble of 9 per cent economic growth can burst if the benefits do not trickle down to the bottom of the pyramid and to every person in every part of the country. The 9 per cent economic growth will not be sustained till it touches everybody, even at the bottom of the ladder. I am afraid this could be a bubble waiting to burst if we do not c...
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Tuesday, October 09, 2007 — No Region Specified

Siemens Launches Competition for Innovative Indian Entrepreneurs

Source: Machinist

Siemens Venture Capital (SVC), the corporate venture organization for Siemens AG, announces the launch of a unique business plan competition known as the India Innovation Program to reach across to Indian entrepreneurs. Mumbai: Siemens Venture Capital (SVC), the corporate venture organization for Siemens AG, announces the launch of a unique business plan competition known as the India Innovation Program to reach across to Indian entrepreneurs. ?The program focuses on promoting i...
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Tuesday, October 09, 2007 — No Region Specified

Microfinance Rescues People at the Bottom

Source: Sunday Times

A top banker called on the commercial banks to downscale to the 'Bottom of the Pyramid' for sustainable economic development ? sustenance of the poor and stressed the great importance of banking with the poor.The plea was made by Chandula Abeywickrema, Deputy General Manager, Banking and Network Management, HNB during a presentation at the recently held Annual Convention of the Association of Professional Bankers, Sri Lanka. He said Commercial Banks can successfully down scale...
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Tuesday, October 09, 2007 — No Region Specified

How Safaricom Gives Voice to Africa

Source: Financial Times

To Michael Joseph?s frustration, his customers keep flashing. At all times of the day. For no more than a second but long enough to catch each other?s attention. In Kenya, where his company Safaricom is the dominant mobile phone operator, it has nothing to do with indecent exposure. To flash is to call a mobile and hang up before the call is answered, a cost-free way of letting the owner know you want to be called back. People do it because they are low on pre-paid credit, or because ...
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Monday, October 08, 2007 — No Region Specified

Profit Motive

Source: Central Chronicle

Asset managers are trying to take environmental and social issues into consideration when selecting companies to invest in. Mutual fund managers were originally bound by law in the US and in Europe to invest in what will bring the highest return. However, as consumer consciousness started changing, mutual funds have been pushed to review their priorities. In 2000, the UK government introduced a law requiring pension funds to disclose how they incorporate social responsibility aspects ...
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Monday, October 08, 2007 — No Region Specified

Small Fish, Big Catch

Source: The Indian Express

Unreached.' 'Unbanked.' 'Unelectrified.' 'Unserved.' These are the new keywords for business leaders, who are working overtime to tap into the poor consumer market in a win-win deal for businesses as well as the poor. It was recognised recently yet again when Al Gore conferred a Green Oscar (Ashden Award) on Selco India for demonstrating that it is possible to run a renewable energy business, which is both a striking commercial success, and which lift...
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Friday, October 05, 2007 — No Region Specified

India Must Take Innovation to the Poor: World Bank

Source: Live MINT (Wall Street Journal)

According to a World Bank report, India must focus on its higher education system to handle the manpower crunch the country would face in the future. New Delhi: India is increasingly becoming a top global innovator for high-tech products and services, but it can do much more to reach its full innovation potential, especially by bringing the benefits of innovation to the poor, says a World Bank report. Although the country is emerging as a top global innovator in sectors like biotechnolo...
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Friday, October 05, 2007 — No Region Specified

ABN AMRO Microfinance Crosses 5 Lacs Mark

Source: Money Control

ABN AMRO Bank India today announced that its Microfinance division has succeeded in providing basic financial support to over five lac underprivileged households in India. The total ABN AMRO Microfinance loan portfolio has seen tremendous growth, crossing Rs 200 crores in a short time span of four years. Initiated in September 2003, these services have provided financial aid to more than 540,000 households while maintaining a nil non performing asset portfolio till date. ...
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Friday, October 05, 2007 — No Region Specified

Strategic Innovation at the Base of the Pyramid

Source: MIT Sloan Management Review

Brazil?s poorest households have an annual total income of around $73 billion per annum; China?s have an annual income of about $691 billion; and India?s have an income of about $378 billion. However, even though there has been a burst of interest in recent years in how economic growth is unfolding in the developing world, most of the research is still focused on how growth occurs in developed markets. Strategic innovation in developing markets is fundamentally different from what occurs in deve...
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Thursday, October 04, 2007 — No Region Specified

NComputing Named Winner of Prestigious Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award

Source: SYS Media

NComputing, the leading provider of virtual PC solutions, today announced that it has won the coveted Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award for the most innovative new solution in computing systems. NComputing's virtual PC technology is gaining rapid adoption worldwide because it dramatically lowers the cost of PC computing while reducing energy consumption by 90%. Past winners have included IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Fujitsu, and Sun Microsystems. REDWOOD CITY, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 1...
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Thursday, October 04, 2007 — No Region Specified

Great Expectations for Cheap PCs

Source: IT Web

More than six million ultra-low-cost (ULC) mobile educational PCs will be shipped by the end of 2012, says Gartner. The research firm's analysts predict this volume of ULC PCs could provide a 40% uplift for education PC shipments in emerging regions. [ Johannesburg, 3 October 2007 ]? - More than six million ultra-low-cost (ULC) mobile educational PCs will be shipped by the end of 2012, says Gartner. The research firm's analysts predict this volume of U...
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Thursday, October 04, 2007 — No Region Specified

Premio Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) ?Qui?n lee los informes de sustentabilidad que las corpor

Source: Medio Ambiente Online

Now, there is a better way to answer those important questions. The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and its partners?including the World Resources Institute and its New Ventures project?have unveiled the GRI Readers' Choice Awards. It's a pioneering attempt to capture and share readers' thoughts on the value of corporate sustainability reports, and get that information to potential new readers. The GRI Readers' Choice Awards will highlight the reports that are most helpful to c...
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Thursday, October 04, 2007 — No Region Specified

Focus on the Bottom of the Pyramid

Source: Business Line

The Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) was the theme of the recent two-day management students? convention organised in Chennai by the Madras Management Association (MMA). The challenges faced by organisations in providing services and products to the BOP, marketing to them and empowering them were some of the issues taken up by speakers at the convention, which drew more than 1,000 management students, making it one of the largest student conventions to be organised in the country.
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Wednesday, October 03, 2007 — No Region Specified

Microcredit Movement Tackling Poverty one Tiny Loan at a Time

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

A Peruvian widow borrowed $64 and bought a few pigs. For $55, a villager in Ghana went into the mineral-water trade. A mother of nine in Guatemala upgraded her grocery store with $250. These women from three continents have something in common: They are beneficiaries of microcredit - very small loans to very poor people for very small businesses. The benefactors, in many cases, are ordinary individuals inspired by a movement that is reshaping philanthropy and making it as accessible as...
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Wednesday, October 03, 2007 — No Region Specified

Sierra Leone: Rapid growth for Mobile Sector

Source: AfricaNews

I' ll text you a Valentine message. Will you buzz me after work, I will call you. These are common conversational phrases for mobile users in Sierra Leone, a country rated today as the least developed and poorest nation in the African continent according to a recent UNDP index. Sierra Leone lagged behind in the new cellular phone system because of the war. It happened that the African continent was opening to mobile phone providers at a time when Sierra Leoneans w...
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Wednesday, October 03, 2007 — No Region Specified

Legal Framework Needed to Protect Lenders and Defaulters

Source: The Economic Times

For a country growing at close to double digits there is money to be made at the bottom of the pyramid. Lenders are discovering that low wage earners have the potential to upgrade their earnings by investing in their business. This has led to a mushrooming of lenders targeting the 'subprime' segments. At over 10%, the default rate in these segments is more than 10 times the default in secured loans such as home loans or even car loans. Yet lenders are finding that there are takers for...
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Wednesday, October 03, 2007 — No Region Specified

Battling for the Middle in Emerging Markets

Source: Business Week

To expand in rapidly developing economies, Boston Consulting's Jim Hemerling says, global companies can't limit themselves to the market's top end Consider the following five countries: China, India, Brazil, Russia, and Mexico. With a combined population of approximately 2.9 billion people, they have nearly 10 times the U.S. population. Their combined gross domestic product approaches $5.8 trillion?nearly half the U.S. GDP. Several of the economies are growing at breathtaking rate...
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Tuesday, October 02, 2007 — No Region Specified

High Growth Overshadowed by Poverty and Low Education Access: Swraj Paul

Source: MeriNews

Better education and healthcare facilities are a must for productivity to go up. With 35 per cent people in India subsisting below one USD a day, the picture is very bleak, said Lord Swraj Paul. LORD SWRAJ Paul, Member of the House of Lords, UK and Chairman, Caparo Group, today described as ?unacceptable? the co-existence of high levels of growth recorded by the Indian economy with 35 per cent of its people subsisting on less a dollar a day and 35 per cent of the children not having access to pr...
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Tuesday, October 02, 2007 — No Region Specified

Social Venture Network Announces SVN Innovation Award Winners

Source: CSR Wire

Organization Rewards Innovation and Social Change Among Leaders of Emerging Enterprises SAN FRANCISCO, CA - October 1, 2007 - Social Venture Network (SVN), the country's leading network of socially responsible business leaders, today announced the recipients of the SVN Innovation Awards. The winners were selected though the Imagine What's Next: Ideas that Will Change the Way the World Does Business contest that SVN launched earlier this year as part of its 20-Year Annivers...
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Tuesday, October 02, 2007 — Latin America

Business-friendly Reforms Best Way to Advance Latin America Economies

Source: San Jose Mercury News

What irony! When it comes to cutting government red tape and creating a pro-business atmosphere, communist-ruled China, Vietnam and former Soviet-bloc countries in Eastern Europe are moving much faster than most of Latin America. A new World Bank report - Doing Business 2008 - which looks at the ease of doing business in 178 countries around the world, says countries such as Croatia, Georgia, Estonia, China, India and Egypt were the most aggressive last year in adopting pro-business ref...
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Tuesday, October 02, 2007 — No Region Specified

The Role of the Private Sector in International Development

Source: EGov Monitor

Kurt Hoffman from the Shell Foundation says we should celebrate the growing acceptance that the private sector has a key role to play in international development - but says there is still a long way to go. We have long argued that Africa?s entrepreneurs need to be at the heart of the war on poverty not more aid and debt relief - the topics that dominate the development agenda. During 2005, when almost everyone was jumping with joy at the G8 commitments to double aid, Shell Foundation w...
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Monday, October 01, 2007 — No Region Specified

Managing Nonprofits: Doing Good Takes Some Doing

Source: Newsday

You wouldn't know it from the headlines, but the nonprofit world is facing a crisis. Thanks to staggering and heavily publicized donations by Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and other big donors, funds for nonprofits have nearly doubled in the past decade. They grew last year by 12 percent, more than three times as fast as the rest of the economy. But all this generosity leaves these organizations with a problem they didn't have before: They will need 640,000 new senior ...
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Monday, October 01, 2007 — No Region Specified

Microcredit Gets Texas-Size Makeover

Source: Wall Street Journal

The microcredit ideas of Nobel Peace Prize-winning Bangladeshi economist Muhammad Yunus?providing tiny loans to help poor people start businesses?succeeded wildly in the developing world, but lenders hoping to transplant the strategy to Dallas had to do some serious retooling to ward off disaster. Michael Hall writes in Texas Monthly that a nonprofit called the PLAN Fund saw Dallas as a natural candidate for microcredit: Nearly three-fifths of the city was in the low-to-moderate income range, a ...
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Monday, October 01, 2007 — No Region Specified

Ericsson's Growth Heals the World

Source: The Motley Fool

We had this discussion when we looked at what we called the next billion, he said, whether we should do another, what we call, a poor man's network, a poor man's phone, or something. But nothing is more cost-efficient than to build another billion of what you already [built a billion of]. So, whether it's Bangladesh, or downtown Tokyo, or in New York, it's the same equipment. That creates economies of scale right through. Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson? (...
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Monday, October 01, 2007 — No Region Specified

Rural India is Next Big Market for Mobile Cos

Source: Newindpress.com

It is surely a concept come true for C K Prahalad, whose idea that fortune now lies at the bottom of the pyramid is bearing practical results. Breaking the misconception that only the urban centers power the phenomenal growth in mobile telephone, is latest data compilation introduced by the telecom regulator, TRAI, which shows that rural India is going to be the next big market for the mobile companies. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India data shows that rural mobile ...
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Monday, October 01, 2007 — No Region Specified

The Geometry of Empowerment

Source: Hard News

Is India Inc deliberately turning its face away from the hard realism of have-not India?? What indeed can India Inc do to change the face of the country? If such a question is posed to sound byte-savvy CEOs, one would normally expect a welter of one-liners on what can be done. Strangely, however, when this writer asked Nandan Nilekani, CEO and president of Infosys Technologies, at the recent India Economic Summit 2006, as to what corporates can do, he was somewhat circumspect in his response, &q...
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Monday, October 01, 2007 — No Region Specified

The Spirit of Ants

Source: Outlook

The first thing Solomon Jayaprakash says at Maya Organic's six-day-old showroom is: The cause we serve is fine, but we don't want people to buy our products because we do that. We want them to buy them because of their exceptional quality. Our focus is on building a brand. Sympathy is unsustainable in the long run. It's this line of thinking that distinguishes people like Solomon from other entrepreneurs who work in social sectors. 'Social entrepreneurs'...
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