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Sunday, February 25, 2007 — No Region Specified

Entrevista con William J. Kramer

Source: Expansion

Development Through Enterprise Deputy Director and NextBillion writer Bill Kramer was interviewed by the Spanish newspaper Expansion on February 16. The article is attached as a PDF....
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Sunday, February 25, 2007 — No Region Specified

Pierre Omidyar: Empower Seller

Source: Fast Company

Pierre Omidyar turned eBay into the most successful company of the dotcom era. EBay likewise turned its founder into a multibillionaire, and in 1999, Omidyar set up a charitable foundation. But he tired of the nonprofit sector, and in 2004 he shuttered the foundation, instead launching Omidyar Network to fund both nonprofit and for-profit enterprises that create social value. In three years, Omidyar Network's model, which has invested $60 million in nonprofits and $45 million in f...
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Sunday, February 25, 2007 — No Region Specified

C.K. Prahalad - Pyramid Schemer

Source: Fast Company

It had the ring of something too good to be true: Multinational corporations could alleviate global poverty while boosting their bottom lines. But that was exactly what University of Michigan strategy guru C.K. Prahalad proposed three years ago in his best-selling The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid (Wharton School Publishing). He spotlighted a largely invisible emerging market--the world's underclass--and called for global companies to kick over their tired notions of the poor as victi...
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Sunday, February 25, 2007 — No Region Specified

Expert Sitings: Amir Alexander Hasson

Source: Foreign Policy

Expert Sitings: Amir Alexander Hasson Amir Alexander Hasson is the founder and CEO of United Villages, a company that aims to provide the 2 billion people living in the rural areas of developing countries with e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and Internet access. Wi-fiplanet.com With the latest industry news, commentary, and product reviews, Wi-Fi Planet helps me keep my finger on the pulse of new wireless Internet technologies. It?s one place I go to find new product ...
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Wednesday, February 21, 2007 — No Region Specified

Gates Foundation Provides $15.4 Million to Opportunity International To Help Build Microfinance Bank

Source: PR Newswire

Opportunity International, one of the world's largest microfinance organizations, today announced it has received a $5.4 million grant and a $10 million loan from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The $15.4 million of capital will fund start-up microfinance banks to serve the poor in Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), as well as expansion of its banking operations in Ghana. Opportunity International operates banks or financial institutions in 28 c...
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Thursday, February 15, 2007 — Asia Pacific

PM approves strategy to expand microfinance outreach to 3 mln households

Source: Associated Press of Pakistan

Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz has approved the strategy to expand microfinance outreach from one million to three million households by 2010. He was chairing a meeting here Wednesday to review the strategy prepared by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to increase the coverage of microfinance sector in Pakistan. The Prime Minister said Pakistan has come a long way in introducing and familiarizing the micro finance concept. However, strategic steps need to be taken and multiple approaches ...
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Thursday, February 15, 2007 — No Region Specified

Banking for the People

Source: Latin Trade

Looking back, we all can remember just a few decades ago, when only the most privileged among us carried a credit card or debit card.? Today, in a global economy facing constant change, the expansion of electronic payment systems has reached previously unimagined levels and now is part of the everyday lives of millions of people.? In a subtle yet profound way, these instruments have also begun to influence economic systems and to positively impact development in a variety of countries.
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Thursday, February 15, 2007 — No Region Specified

Ignore Cheaper Phones At Your Peril, Says Motorola

Source: Reuters

Consumers in emerging markets may be buying cheap phones with low margins at the moment, but a Motorola executive said Tuesday that phone makers who ignored those markets would miss out on major global trends. Customers in emerging markets do a lot more with their phones than make calls, Motorola's Chief Technology Officer, Padmasree Warrior, told Reuters in an interview at 3GSM, the world's biggest wireless trade show. They use text, they sell and...
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Monday, February 12, 2007 — No Region Specified

Insurers Seek Growth in Developing Markets

Source: Wall Street Journal

Seeking potential sources of future growth, AIG and its international rivals are racing to sell insurance in the developing world, from sprawling markets like India to smaller ones like Romania and Nicaragua. In remote areas, insurers must teach the concept of insurance to populations who have never bought any. Sometimes, as in parts of northern Uganda, the local language doesn't even have a word for it. To penetrate these markets, insurers are devising unusual policies, chargin...
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Monday, February 12, 2007 — Asia Pacific

India, Inc. gets back to the basics

Source: The Economic Times

Salvation in a sachet is passe now. Rural India will no longer be the playing ground of the FMCG bigwigs alone. In fact, many sectors such as telecom, IT, retail and education are at various stages of striking a deal with the aam aadmi. According to a recent Assocham report, the per capita income of semi-urban Indians is around Rs 15,000 per annum, whereas it?s Rs 7,000 per annum for rural populace. As per its findings, by 2012, the per capita income of rural population will do...
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Monday, February 12, 2007 — No Region Specified

Mobile Carriers Facilitate Cash Transfers

Source: Reuters

Mobile communications operators and banks joined forces on Monday to make it easier and cheaper for hundreds of millions of immigrants and migrant workers to send money home by using their mobile phones. The aim is to reduce the transaction costs of sending small amounts of cash to just a few percent, from a current 24 percent for amounts as small as $50. Out of the 6.5 billion people on the planet, less than 1 billion have a bank account. The only way to sustainably ...
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Monday, February 12, 2007 — No Region Specified

The Ten-Cent Solution

Source:

If good ideas were all that mattered, everybody who has heard of Jeffrey Sachs would have heard of James Tooley as well?but they aren?t, and you almost certainly haven?t. In fact, even if you are keenly interested in education, aid, or Third World development, which are Tooley?s areas of research, you still probably haven?t heard of him. This is not because his work is dull or unimportant. His findings are surprising, and they bear directly and profoundly on the relief of extreme pove...
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Thursday, February 08, 2007 — No Region Specified

Business and the Global Poor

Source: HBS Working Knowledge

Are the world's poor, who individually have less than $5 a day in disposable income, a viable market for new goods and services? Consider the fact that there are four billion people around the globe that fit this description and you have the start of an answer. But businesses that want to enter this market at the bottom of the economic pyramid (BOP) must look beyond just selling products?they must find ways to create social and economic value, according to the editors of a new vol...
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Thursday, February 08, 2007 — No Region Specified

B-Schools Put Africa on the Curriculum

Source: BusinessWeek

Long relegated to the back shelf by the media, Africa is hot these days. And not just in the celebrity circles frequented by Bono, Angelina Jolie, and Oprah. Africa is top-of-mind on B-school campuses, too. Schools such as Columbia, Yale, and Dartmouth's Tuck are sending their students to places like Tanzania and South Africa. Meanwhile, B-schools are tweaking their curricula to include Africa-centric case studies. As far as many MBAs are concerned, there's no better emerging economy to ...
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Wednesday, February 07, 2007 — No Region Specified

Why Indian companies are setting their sights on western rivals

Source: Financial Times

?Being in this market, contrary to what everyone believes, you always need to be more competitive than what you have to be outside, because the buying power in this country is so low. So you?re always thinking of how to address that segment of the market. ...
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Tuesday, February 06, 2007 — Asia Pacific

Reliance, Bharti may storm microfinance

Source: The Economic Times

Reliance Retail and Bharti, which has joined hands with Wal-Mart, could storm the micro-credit space as they look to establish rural supply chain linkages to service their mega retail forays. According to sources, Reliance Retail is likely to move the RBI seeking permission to set up an NBFC arm that will operate as a microfinance institution (MFI). It may also look at partnering existing MFIs as part of its ambitious supply chain with rural and semi-urban markets for which the co...
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Tuesday, February 06, 2007 — No Region Specified

India's Vision for a Digital Billion

Source: BBC News

As 2006 drew to a close the President of India outlined his vision for a connected India. He challenged the country's technical elite to provide free bandwidth for anyone, anywhere, anytime. In the speech, Dr Abdul Kalam said that communication channels were a demolisher of imbalances and likened the government's responsibility to it to laying the roads. This one action, he said, would not only boost the economy of Indi...
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Monday, February 05, 2007 — No Region Specified

Phelps's Prize

Source: Wall Street Journal

The Nobel Prize lectures given last month by the economics and the peace laureates strikingly emphasized entrepreneurship. But the kinds of entrepreneurship espoused by the laureates are profoundly different. The economist Edmund Phelps's lecture highlights the contribution of entrepreneurial individuals, firms and financiers in transforming stagnant societies dominated by small-business owners into dynamic economies with large and highly productive commercial enterprise. Mr. Phel...
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Friday, February 02, 2007 — No Region Specified

Source: Kenya Times

Equity Bank yesterday unveiled Internet banking service in the local market after a successful trial run in London to tap the purses of over 10,000 Kenyans living in the diaspora. The service allows customers worldwide to access their accounts for purposes of conducting convenient payments such as monthly salary transfers, remittances, affordable money transfers, foreign currency issuance, among other services. Yesterday?s launch, which was presided over by Commonwealth ...
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Thursday, February 01, 2007 — No Region Specified

Source: Financial Times

Citigroup has joined forces with one of Africa?s leading private equity groups to invest at least $200m in the continent, the biggest bet to date on the future of African growth businesses. CDC, a private equity investor owned by the UK government and formerly known as the Commonwealth Development Corporation, will commit $100m to a dedicated Africa fund, managed by Citigroup?s private equity arm. Citigroup will match CDC dollar for dollar. The investment brings CDC?s to...
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Thursday, February 01, 2007 — No Region Specified

Source: Financial Times

Aureos Capital, one of the most experienced private equity groups in Africa, is aiming to raise $400m for a ground-breaking bet on the potential of smaller companies to build businesses spanning the continent, writes Barney Jopson in London. The group, domiciled in Mauritius, is among a handful of emerging market specialists active in Africa and already runs three funds, dedicated to east, west and southern Africa, which total $140m. The new pan-African fund is a signifi...
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