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Friday, February 29, 2008 — No Region Specified

Giving the Poor a Means to Work

Source: Business Week

Most books about poverty are downright depressing. The figures?1 billion people live on less than $1 a day, according to the U.N. Development Program?are depressing. The complexity of the problem?poverty is connected to poor health is connected to lack of clean drinking water is connected to lack of education?is daunting. And spend any time at, say, the Web site of the World Bank, the organization that's Working for a World Free of Poverty, according to its tagline, and you st...
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Friday, February 29, 2008 — No Region Specified

When the Bottom Line Is Ending Poverty

Source: BusinessWeek

Muhammad Yunus is a humble man who would resist being compared to Mahatma Gandhi. But the two have much in common as campaigners for social progress. While Gandhi's goal was the end of colonialism, Yunus' is just as grand: He means to reform capitalism to make it a tool for ending poverty. Think of him as Gandhi with a BlackBerry ( RIMM ). Yunus won the Nobel Peace ...
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Friday, February 29, 2008 — No Region Specified

Expertos creen en el potencial de las personas con bajos ingresos para hacer negocio "con" ellos y n

Source: Europe Press Wire Services

El investigador del 'think tank' World Resources Institute, Robert Katz, consider? hoy un gran negocio hacer negocio con las personas de menos recursos, con los 'pobres' --que no de los 'pobres'-- gracias a su potencial, desconocido muchas veces por formar parte de lo que se llama la base de la pir?mide y no considerarse clientes por parte de las empresas, sino simples beneficiarios, en muchas ocasion...
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Thursday, February 28, 2008 — No Region Specified

Entrepreneurs Come Out of the Webwork

Source: Guardian

In parts of Africa it is not uncommon to see children playing on a merry-go-round near their schools. They are not just enjoying themselves, but are also helping to pump water: the energy created pumps clean water into a 2,500 litre tank at the rate of 1,400 litres an hour. This imaginative scheme, which has a website ( playpumps.org ) enabling people to see where the pumps are located, is a good example of appropriate technology. Given that water-related...
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Thursday, February 28, 2008 — Latin America

Hacer negocio con los pobres

Source: Expansion

Suena pol?ticamente incorrecto, pero quiz? la manera m?s efectiva de luchar contra la pobreza sea convertir en ?clientes' a los m?s desfavorecidos. Por su parte, las empresas que lo consigan descubrir?n un mercado de 4.000 millones de personas. En tiempos de globalizaci?n, no hay pieza m?s codiciada por una multinacional que descubrir un nuevo mercado. Para muchos, es posible que no haya que rebuscar tanto para encontrarlo y, de paso, ayudar en la lucha contra la pobreza y el s...
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008 — No Region Specified

Easterly Says Bill Gates Has `Blind Spot' in Poverty Aid

Source: Bloomberg News

Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) -- William Easterly, a professor of economics at New York University, spoke with Bloomberg's Tom Keene on Feb. 15 from Washington about the achievements and challenges of global aid programs and his assessment of Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates's poverty-fighting strategy. (Source: Bloomberg) Listen / Download Podcast (mp3) ...
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008 — No Region Specified

Our Cells, Ourselves

Source: Washington Post

The home is remote, even by Tibetan standards. Charming carvings cannot disguise how primitive it is. Not only does it have no toilet, it doesn't have an outhouse. Or even a designated hole in the ground. It does, however, boast one very great prize -- a ringing cellphone. Why? That is exactly the question I kept asking, says Kevin Kelly , one of the founders of Wired ...
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Wednesday, February 27, 2008 — No Region Specified

Twenty Hubs and No HQ

Source: strategy+business

Growth prospects for multinational corporations (MNCs) are expanding enormously. In Asia, Latin America, Africa, and Eastern Europe, there are more than 4 billion new potential customers whose rising incomes and aspirations have created an unprecedented market for all manner of goods and services. They want to own homes, to eat nutritious food, and to have varied entertainment options. They want toothpaste, cell phones, and motorcycles. To cater to these needs, business-to-business enterprises w...
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Tuesday, February 26, 2008 — No Region Specified

Prescriptions for helping poor people help themselves

Source: International Herald Tribune

LONDON: He had two wives, three children and two acres of land scattered in the hills of Nepal. One acre produced maize, pulses and monsoon vegetables to feed them, and the other monsoon rice. In good years they made $100 by selling surplus rice, but in bad ones they ran out of food before the monsoon harvest. Like 800 million other people in the world, Krishna Bahadur Thapa and his family had less than $1 a day to live on. How could they escape from poverty? That w...
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Monday, February 25, 2008 — No Region Specified

Soros announces $17 mn for Indian SMEs

Source: Hindustan Times

The Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF), Omidyar Network, and Google.org announced a new $17 million Small to Medium Enterprise Investment Company for India to create job opportunities and spur greater economic participation for a large segment of the population. This joint company will provide capital to small and medium businesses in underserved markets. With this investment, we will meet the huge demand to serve smaller businesses in India that have little access to finance...
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Monday, February 25, 2008 — No Region Specified

Spotlight: WNDW 2nd Edition

Source: WNDW.net

The project In January 2006, the WNDW team released the first edition of Wireless Networking in the Developing World . Since then, the project has grown to include a bunch of new resources, including: A revised and expanded second English edition of the book Various translations, including Spanish , French , ...
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Monday, February 25, 2008 — No Region Specified

The Impact of Cell Phones on Grain Markets in Africa's Niger

Source: cellular-news

A new research study by Jenny Aker, an independent PhD candidate at the University of California-Berkeley has looked at the impact of mobile phones on the prices of farm produce in the African country of Niger - which faced serious food shortages in 2005. In theory, the increasing use of mobile phones should have improved distribution efficiency and hence lower the variations in prices around the country. The study set out to see if that was the case. With an estimated 85 percent ...
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Friday, February 22, 2008 — South Asia

Nurture Entrepreneurship to Eradicate Poverty

Source: NewKerala.com

Speaking at the launch of T.S. Srinivasan Chair Professorship of Entrepreneurship at city-based Great Lakes Institute of Management for Entrepreneurship by TVS Capital Funds Ltd here Wednesday, Prahalad said: Entrepreneurship in India could be divided into three phases. The first phase was after the country's independence and up till 1990. The second phase is from 1990 when India opened its doors and the third phase is when Indian companies started acquiring oversea...
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Friday, February 22, 2008 — South Asia

Bangladeshi Microfinance Firm ASA Gets Largest Funding Of $125 Million

Source: VC Circle

Bangladesh is the home of grameen banking. Now the country will have another distinction with a microfinance institution (MFI) headquartered in that country receiving the world's largest ever funding for an MFI. ASA International, which has presence in Asia and Africa, will receive about $125 million from Catalyst Microfinance Investors (CMI), a leading private equity fund focused on investing in microfinance institutions on a commercial basis. CMI has achieved its final privat...
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Friday, February 22, 2008 — No Region Specified

Online philanthropy markets: From 'Feel-Good' giving to effective social investing?'

Source: Keystone Accountability

Online platforms like GlobalGiving, Kiva, Network for Good, GiveIndia, HelpArgentina, and so many more - hold the potential to transform the quality and quantity of resources available for domestic and international development. But can they realise that potential? Can they really revolutionise philanthropy? With support from the Aspen Institute's Nonprofit Sector Research Fund, Keystone has undertaken a research project to answer these questions. Our breakthrough study ...
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Thursday, February 21, 2008 — No Region Specified

A fair division of the spoils of charity

Source: Financial Times

Intel hit the headlines early this year when its relationship with One Laptop Per Child, a non-profit project providing cheap laptops to children in developing countries, came to an abrupt end. Nicholas Negroponte, the non-profit's founder, accused Intel of, among other things, promoting its own version, the Classmate laptop, which was designed for developing countries. The acrimonious end to this collaboration highlights the dangers for companies, non-profits and no...
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Wednesday, February 20, 2008 — No Region Specified

Technoserve Launches Nonprofit Channel on YouTube

Source: Press Release

TechnoServe has launched a nonprofit channel on YouTube that will feature some of the entrepreneurs participating in the organization?s business plan competitions, as well as other videos highlighting TechnoServe?s impact in various sectors and countries around the world. The channel launches with seven entrepreneur profiles from TechnoServe?s Believe Begin Become national business plan competition in Tanzania. The c...
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Wednesday, February 20, 2008 — No Region Specified

Soros Economic Development Fund, Omidyar Network and Google.org Launch Small to Medium Enterprise In

Source: Google Press Center

NEW YORK, (February 19, 2008) ? The Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF), Omidyar Network, and Google.org announced today a new $17 million Small to Medium Enterprise Investment Company for India to create job opportunities and spur greater economic participation for a larger segment of the population. This joint Investment Company will provide capital to small and medium businesses in underserved markets. Investment to Target ?Missing Middle? Between Microfinance a...
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Tuesday, February 19, 2008 — No Region Specified

Do-Gooder Finance

Source: Inc Magazine

These days, doing good is good business, right? Tell that to the venture capitalists. When they hear about a for-profit company driven by a social mission, their refrain is still the same: You need to focus more on profits. How are we going to get our 30 percent returns? Banks often sing the same tune; few are willing to back ventures with unconventional business models, at least not without exorbitant interest rates or risky personal guarantees. Tim Freundlich, a director at the Cal...
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Tuesday, February 19, 2008 — South Asia

Connecting the Poor With World Class Healthcare

Source: LiveMint

C.K. Prahalad, author of The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid; Eradicating Poverty through Profit, has long championed the notion that business, rather than government hand-outs, represents the most effective solution to poverty. At the recent TiE Entrepreneurship Summit in New Delhi, Devi Prasad Shetty, chairman of Narayana Hrudayalaya, a pediatric heart hospital in Bangalore, offered an example of Prahalad's principles at work in health care. The hospital operates a low-cos...
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Sunday, February 17, 2008 — No Region Specified

Grameen Bank's loans to US poor

Source: Financial Times

Bangladesh's Grameen Bank has made its first loans in New York in an attempt to bring its pioneering micro-finance techniques to the tens of millions of people in the world's richest country who have no bank account. The bank's entry into the US, its first in a developed market, comes after mainstream banks' credibility has been hit by the mortgage meltdown and many people are turning to fringe financial institutions offering loans at exorbitant interest rates.
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Friday, February 15, 2008 — No Region Specified

How Social Business Can Create a World Without Poverty

Source: Christian Science Monitor

Bill Gates caused a stir in Davos last month with his call for creative capitalism. He pointed out that while capitalism is responsible for the great innovations that have improved the lives of billions ... to harness this power so it benefits everyone, we need to refine the system. I see traditional capitalism as a half-developed structure. It ignores the humanity within all of us. Moneymaking is an important part of humanity, but it is not th...
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Thursday, February 14, 2008 — No Region Specified

Book Review: Improving Profit by Understanding Poverty

Source: Jakarta Post

When I first saw the book on the Internet, I thought the title was rather provoking yet puzzling for people like me who work in the development field. It seemed as though the poor were a commodity for making money. So I decided to buy it and my view did a complete turn-around. This book gives a different perspective to improving profit and reducing risks by understanding poverty. It is also useful for people who want to use business as a tool to help the poor. With talk about CSR grow...
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Tuesday, February 12, 2008 — No Region Specified

The New Holy Grail

Source: Business Standard

Companies that serve the next billion consumers can sustain competitive advantage. Here's how? ? As Janmajeya Sinha begins his presentation on ?The Next Billion?, the screen behind him fills up with a brown slide. ?Get used to this colour,? he tells his audience. ? ?You?ll be seeing a lot of it in coming years.? It?s a dramatic bit of attention-grabbing, but the managing director of The Boston Consulting Group India says it is also a much-needed wake-up call. ...
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Monday, February 11, 2008 — No Region Specified

The Limits of Leapfrogging

Source: The Economist

Mobile phones are frequently held up as a good example of technology's ability to transform the fortunes of people in the developing world. In places with bad roads, few trains and parlous land lines, mobile phones substitute for travel, allow price data to be distributed more quickly and easily, enable traders to reach wider markets and generally make it easier to do business. The mobile phone is also a wonderful example of a ?leapfrog? technology: it has enabled developing countries to ski...
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Monday, February 11, 2008 — No Region Specified

Of Internet Cafes and Power Cuts

Source: The Economist

Within a few months China will overtake America as the country with the world's largest number of internet users. Even when you factor in China's size and its astonishing rate of GDP growth, this will be a remarkable achievement for what remains a poor economy. For the past three years China has also been the world's largest exporter of information and communications technology (ICT). It already has the same number of mobile-phone users (500m) as the whole of Europe. China...
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Monday, February 11, 2008 — No Region Specified

Mad Dash for the Low End

Source: BusinessWeek

If anyone still doubts that low-income folks make good customers, they should talk to executives from Nokia (NOK). The Finnish company owes its 40% share of the global handset market in large part to residents of places like Calcutta, Lagos, and Shanghai, many of whom live on just a few dollars a day. Now, with the No. 3 player, Motorola (MOT), on the ropes, Nokia has an opportunity to extend that lead. But other rivals are eyeing the Finns' success and stepping up efforts to woo those same ...
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Friday, February 8, 2008 — No Region Specified

Why Bill Gates Hates My Book

Source: Wall Street Journal

By William R. Easterly This newspaper reported recently that Bill Gates hates my ideas. I have no hurt feelings, at least nothing that months of intensive psychotherapy can't cure. Mr. Gates, after all, has allied himself with the foreign aid establishment. This establishment is notoriously sensitive to criticism from people like me, who find no evidence that the aid industry's grand schemes are actually lifting anyone out of poverty. Mr. Gates has now put ...
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Thursday, February 7, 2008 — No Region Specified

Making Friends, Creating Customers

Source: Fast Company

Intel's World Ahead Program is an ambitious billion-dollar venture, but other tech and telecom companies are also building relationships in developing countries that promise to become the most massive of mass markets. Among them: Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) Working with the United Nations and other organizations in 53 developing countries, Cisco's Networking Academy has trained more than 50,000 students on the essentials of information technology, network operati...
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Monday, February 4, 2008 — No Region Specified

Many Are Already at Work on Fulfilling Gates?s Vision

Source: New York Times

By John Markoff Bill Gates?s bold Davos challenge to the world?s capitalists last week should have come with equally bold footnotes. There are billions of people who need the great inventions of the computer age, he asserted. Breakthroughs change lives only where people can afford to buy them. Conspicuously missing from the appeal, which asserted that human nature is not just driven by greed but also by concern for our fellow bein...
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Monday, February 4, 2008 — No Region Specified

IFC Promotes Sustainable Banking in the Middle East

Source: CSR Wire

Lars Thunell, Executive Vice President and CEO of IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, discussed sustainable banking today with the Middle Eastern banking community. He explained how the integration of social, environmental, and corporate governance objectives into financial institutions' strategy can help them better manage risks and create new investment opportunities. Thunell spoke at a joint IFC and Financial Times dinner, where banks discussed how they can make sustainabili...
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Monday, February 4, 2008 — No Region Specified

The legacy that got left on the shelf

Source: Economist.com

When a consumer-goods company casts around for the best growth prospects, rarely does anything look more promising than emerging economies. These markets are growing so rapidly that within just two years they will account for half of all the world's consumer spending, estimates Harish Manwani, head of the Asian and African businesses of Unilever, a giant of the world's consumer-goods industries. But even with more than a century of experience in some of these countries, Unilever tripped ...
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Monday, February 4, 2008 — No Region Specified

IDB Fund Supports Inclusive Business Development in Peru and Ecuador

Source: WBCSD

(Para la versi?n en espa?ol de este art?culo, v?ase el comunicado de prensa del BID ) The Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) today announced approval of financing for two non-reimbursable technical cooperation projects in Peru and Ecuador, totaling US$1.6 million and US$1.5 million, respectively. Both projects will target inclusive bu...
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Friday, February 1, 2008 — No Region Specified

IDE Receives Second Grant From Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Source: International Development Enterprises News

IDE News - Press Release International Development Enterprises (IDE) today announced a grant of $27 million over four years from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in support of its micro-irrigation programs for Indian smallholder farmers. Bill Gates, co-chair of the foundation, announced the project as part of a package of agricultural development grants at a press conference with Amos Namanga Ngongi, President of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa...
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Friday, February 1, 2008 — South Asia

C.K. Prahalad: 'The Poor Deserve World-Class Products and Services'

Source: Knowledge@Wharton

C.K. Prahalad, author of The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid; Eradicating Poverty through Profit (Wharton School Publishing, 2004), has long championed the notion that business -- rather than government handouts -- represents the most effective solution to poverty. In a keynote speech at the recent TiE Entrepreneurship Summit in New Delhi, he noted that India must pay more attention to entrepreneurship, which he described as the essence of development. We ne...
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