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Thursday, March 29, 2007 — No Region Specified

Quanta launches ultra-low-cost PCs

Source: Financial Times

Quanta Computer, the world?s largest manufacturer of notebook computers, will start making ultra-low-cost computers that could be sold in developed markets for as little as $200 this year or the next, according to its president. The Taiwanese contract manufacturer is already producing a laptop developed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers that will be distributed to children in third-world countries ? under a non-profit project called One Laptop Per Child ? for as lit...
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Thursday, March 29, 2007 — No Region Specified

Trickle-up Economics

Source: The Villanovan

An estimated 16 million South Africans lack an operating water supply at home and have to walk an average of one kilometer to fetch water. Assuming the average household is five people, that's 3.2 million households. Picture each household making two trips daily; that's four kilometers walked in order to obtain enough water for the day. Four multiplied by 3.2 million makes 12.8 million kilometers walked each day - the equivalent of walking to the moon and back 16 times. Give or take a bu...
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Thursday, March 29, 2007 — No Region Specified

Go Micro for Macro Speed

Source: Economic Times of India

ET: At a time when the Indian economy is registering the highest growth rates ever, the biggest preoccupation now - and rightly so - is to ensure that we are able to develop a model for sustainable growth. We welcome Professor Joseph Stiglitz in Mumbai. At ET, we're privileged to host this breakfast meeting between you and Nachiket Mor of ICICI Bank. This session is meant to explore issues relating to India's search for a more inclusive model of growth. We would also explore w...
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Wednesday, March 28, 2007 — No Region Specified

IBM, Indian Tech Firm Devise Smart Card for the Poor

Source: AFP (via WBCSD)

US giant IBM and an Indian technology firm said Wednesday they had devised a smart card to help poor entrepreneurs access credit from institutions that lend to the unbanked. Small traders who have borrowed from microfinance institutions such as Bangalore-based Janalakshmi Social Services will be able to take part in fruit and vegetable auctions using the card, without having to take loans from greedy moneylenders, the companies said. A technology platform develo...
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Tuesday, March 27, 2007 — No Region Specified

You, Too, Can Be a Banker to the Poor

Source: New York Times

For those readers who ask me what they can do to help fight poverty, one option is to sit down at your computer and become a microfinancier. That?s what I did recently. From my laptop in New York, I lent $25 each to the owner of a TV repair shop in Afghanistan, a baker in Afghanistan, and a single mother running a clothing shop in the Dominican Republic. I did this through www.kiva.org, a Web site that provides information about entrepreneurs in poor countries ? their photos, loan pro...
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Monday, March 26, 2007 — No Region Specified

A Chinese start-up tries to grow in harsh climate

Source: LA Times

Hundreds of miles north of here on the edge of the Mongolian steppes, Li Enhui is producing a magic bag to help China fight the fierce sandstorms that plague this city every spring. Li's water-saving pouch, which he says enables trees to thrive in desert conditions, was selected as a special technology project by the organizers of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Hoping to host sandstorm-free games, the government is planting a green wall of trees around the capi...
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Saturday, March 24, 2007 — Asia Pacific

Global fin giants to go micro in India

Source: The Economic Times

India?s growing microfinance segment may soon see the entry of global financial services giant, Morgan Stanley and the Switzerland-based Blue Orchard Finance. Both these firms are in talks with the banking regulator Reserve Bank of India to foray into the local microfinance segment. Indian microfinance institutions have already started looking at diversifying their avenues to raise funds as part of the effort to lo...
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Saturday, March 24, 2007 — No Region Specified

New centre to build Bottom of Pyramid business models for local communities

Source: Business Report

Around the world there is a growing awareness that governments alone can't solve the problem of poverty. In many countries, the private sector is exploring ways to contribute to sustainable development through commercially viable initiatives. In South Africa, the University of Stellenbosch Graduate School of Business (USB) has launched a project at its Centre for Sustainable Enterprise in Africa, with R1 million in seed capital from the Kellogg Foundation. Its work will be co-or...
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Saturday, March 24, 2007 — No Region Specified

Indian knowledge and skills promise a lot

Source: The Financial Express

Harold Rosen believes in driving people towards accomplishing tasks they never dreamt about. He is a stranger to the places where he works, but is quick to find hands that connect him to local people and their dreams. Though many reading this would know him as the director of Grassroots Business Initiative (GBI) at International Finance Corporation, but for many who can?t read or write, he is a catalyst in turning their dreams into reality. Working with the World Bank Group since 1978, ...
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Thursday, March 22, 2007 — South Asia

World Bank Study reveals $5 trillion market

Source: The Hindustan Times

The poor have substantial purchasing power too ? purely because there are so many of them. The 4 billion people across the world, who stand at the base of the economic pyramid (BOP) have purchasing power of $5 trillion (Rs 2,25,00,000 crore) according to a new report released on Monday by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank. The report, The Next 4 Billion: Market Size and Business Strategy at the Base of the Pyramid, measures the purch...
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Wednesday, March 21, 2007 — No Region Specified

Four Billion Poor People Have $5 Trillion Purchasing Power

Source: This Day (Lagos)

According to the report, the Bottom of Pyramid (BOP) market is $429 billion in Africa, which represents 71% of aggregate purchasing power in the region. The African BOP includes 486 million people, 95% of the region's surveyed population. Tagged, 'The Next 4 Billion: Market Size and Business Strategy at the Base of the Pyramid', the analysis is complemented by an overview of business strategies from successful enterprises operating in these markets. A new report r...
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Wednesday, March 21, 2007 — No Region Specified

Business Setting Sights on Low-Income Market

Source: The Manila Times

BUSINESS interest in low-income Filipinos comprising the so-called base of the economic pyramid (BOP) is on the rise, according to a new report by the International Finance Corp. (IFC) and the World Resources Institute. Comprising 30 percent of the Philippine population, the BOP market spends its money largely on mobile phones, pharmaceutical products, and information and communication technology, the report titled ?The Next Four Billion: Market Size and Business Strategy at the Base ...
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Wednesday, March 21, 2007 — No Region Specified

Low-income groups form a $5 trillion consumer market

Source: The News (Pakistan)

Four billion people form the base of the economic pyramid (BOP) ? those with incomes below $3,000. Yet together they have substantial purchasing power as BOP constitutes a $5 trillion global consumer market. This was stated in World Bank?s report released Monday titled ?The Next 4 Billion?. The data compiled by the bank reveals that BOP population, though made up of very low income groups, is the largest consumers in food, transport, health, energy and water sectors in their economies...
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Wednesday, March 21, 2007 — No Region Specified

Never Too Poor to Spend?

Source: Inter Press Service

The World Bank is encouraging foreign investors and businesspeople to start pursuing the world's four billion poor people as a potentially lucrative market worth five trillion dollars, much bigger than previously thought. Total annual household income of five trillion dollars a year establishes the BOP (Base of the Pyramid) as a potentially important global market, the Bank says in a new report, jointly authored by the Washington-based World Resources Institute (WRI).
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Wednesday, March 21, 2007 — No Region Specified

Low-Income Venezuelans Amount to 85 Percent of Population

Source: El Universal

While Venezuela is ranked among the Latin American and Caribbean countries with the largest revenues, 85 percent of its population lives in relative poverty, according to the report The Next 4 Billion: Market Size and Business Strategy at the Base of the Pyramid, prepared by the World Bank and the World Resources Institute and released on March 19th. The report, based on income data from 110 countries, focuses on the 4 billion people worldwide earning less than USD 3,000 p...
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Wednesday, March 21, 2007 — No Region Specified

World's Poorest Represent $5 Trillion Market Opportunity, Report Says

Source: Worldwatch - Eye on Earth

The poorest 4 billion people in the world represent a US$5 trillion market, according to a new report from the International Finance Corporation and the World Resources Institute. The study is the first comprehensive, data-based assessment of the size and needs of people at the ?base? of the economic pyramid. Although each person in this sector has less than $3,000 per year in local purchasing power, with innovative business practices companies can provide inexpensive, better-quality services fo...
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Tuesday, March 20, 2007 — No Region Specified

Tapping into the poor market

Source: Marketplace

TESS VIGELAND: How do you market to the world's poorest populations? The 4 billion people who earn less than $3,000 a year? Might sound a tad mercenary. But a report out today from an arm of the World Bank says businesses should be doing just that. And not just for their own benefit. Ashley Milne-Tyte has more. ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: The report found the 4 billion poorest people have $5 trillion worth of purchasing power. And that sits largely untapped. Still, it's less...
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Tuesday, March 20, 2007 — No Region Specified

World's poor represent $5 trillion market: report

Source: Reuters

The world's estimated four billion people who live under the poverty line represent an untapped global market worth $5 trillion in local purchasing power, according to a new report. The report by the International Financial Corp., the World Bank's private sector arm, and environmental think-tank the World Resources Institute, measures the size of the market using income and expenditure from household surveys. It comes as domestic and multinational corporations look ...
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Tuesday, March 20, 2007 — No Region Specified

Firms 'ignore' $5 trillion market

Source: BBC News

Businesses are failing to tap into a global market among low-income earners worth a potential $5 trillion (?2.6 trillion), according to a report. More than 4 billion consumers across the world are being ignored by firms, the World Bank-affiliated study said. The report focuses on people in what it describes as the base of the pyramid segment of the world's population. Although poor, they are better off than the 1.2bn people who live in abject pove...
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Friday, March 16, 2007 — No Region Specified

The Mexican Connection

Source: The Atlantic

Among the crumbling adobe shacks of rural Mexico, two-story California- style housing developments are rising. In the tiny city of Tlacolula, plots of land that sold for about $10,000 in 1994 now cost $60,000. Like the towns where they are going up, the new developments are partly empty. The home owners are among the many Mexican workers?nearly one in seven overall, and half the adult population of some communities, such as La Pur?sima and San Juan Mixtepec?who are in the United States. Typicall...
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Friday, March 16, 2007 — No Region Specified

Which Microlender Makes Best Use of My $20?

Source: Slate

Pardon me, turkey fans, but the real time for thanksgiving is bonus season. It's tough to muster gratitude in November, when you're entering the most hassle-heavy months of the year. Come March, though, the holiday horrors have faded, you've nearly broken the back of winter, and that Big Check is finally in the mail. Hallelujah! Pass the mustard! You'll be flush all through daffodil season?until tax time, at least. We had a banner year in my household, so I resolved to...
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Monday, March 12, 2007 — No Region Specified

Biometric ATMs for Rural India

Source: Express Computer

To reach the rural masses, banks are going all out in providing a user-friendly banking experience. To boost micro financing initiatives, banks are deploying biometric solutions with ATMs. Establishing the identity of a rural depositor through biometrics makes it possible for illiterate or barely literate folks to become part of the banking user community. In recent years the importance of biometrics has grown tremendously with an increasing demand of security in accordance of unique identificat...
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Wednesday, March 07, 2007 — No Region Specified

Seven Questions: Wiring the World's Poor

Source: Foreign Policy

Most of the world?s population, including the vast majority of the developing world, remains unwired. Everyone agrees on the need to bridge this digital divide, but there?s hardly agreement on how to get the job done. Intel Corp. Chairman Craig Barrett has been at the center of the debate. In a recent conversation with FP, Barrett fired back at his critics and sounded off on the future of the Internet. FOREIGN POLICY: Last month at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Nicho...
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Monday, March 05, 2007 — No Region Specified

UN Warning to Silicon Valley Over Digital Rift

Source: Financial Times

Silicon Valley has been slow to develop technology and business approaches specifically suited to customers in the emerging world, according to representatives at a UN-sponsored gathering in the US technology heartland this week. As a result, it risks missing out on one of the next big potential markets for its products, while also leaving a widening ?digital divide? that is seeing the growing ranks of broadband users in the developed world leap even further ahead. The warn...
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