NewsFeedNewsFeed

Our Staff Writers and Editors offer insights on the latest news, events, interviews and other happenings from the development through enterprise and base of the pyramid universes
Friday, May 30, 2008 — No Region Specified

Even the Poorest Can Be a Thriving Market

Source: Harvard Business Blog

The idea that global companies can do good and do well at the bottom of the pyramid-that is, among the poor populations of developing countries-has generated excitement among corporations, governments, and NGOs in recent years. But most of the resulting initiatives by multinationals have missed the very poor, the 2 billion people in places like Haiti and Bangladesh who live on less than two dollars a day and have been virtually ignored by the corporate world and cut off from the g...
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, May 29, 2008 — No Region Specified

ICT for Development Projects Honoured in Swedish Awards

Source: Science and Development Network

By Katherine Nightingale Projects that use innovative information and communication technologies (ICTs) in developing countries were honoured at the Stockholm Challenge Awards, Stockholm, Sweden, last week (22 May).The awards, which offer a ?5,000 (around US$7,800) prize to winners, seek to reward projects that overcome social and economic disadvantage in six areas: culture, health, environment, economic development, education and public administration. One...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, May 28, 2008 — No Region Specified

Seeing Crisis As Opportunity

Source: Marketplace

And it's not just big businesses getting involved. Mikkel Vestergaard-Frandsen is the CEO of a Geneva-based company that makes a variety of disaster relief products. Mikkel Vestergaard-Frandsen: Entrepreneurs have a can-do attitude that is highly needed to develop new tools, new ideas, new innovation. So far, Vestergaard-Frandsen's best selling product is a malaria net. But it's the need for clean water that is driving entrepreneurs like him to produce some ...
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, May 27, 2008 — No Region Specified

MTN plans takeover of Reliance

Source: Financial Times

South Africa's MTN is considering a reverse takeover of India's Reliance Communications as part of talks to combine the pair and create an emerging markets telecoms giant, people familiar with the matter said. The proposal would follow the same structure as one abruptly rejected at the weekend by Bharti Airtel, India's biggest mobile operator by sales, which until last week was locked in takeover talks with MTN. Under the plan, Reliance Communications' chair...
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, May 27, 2008 — No Region Specified

On the Poverty Line

Source: The Economist

From The Economist Print Edition Has a dollar a day had its day? In December 2007 the World Bank unveiled the results of the biggest exercise in window shopping in history. Scouts in 146 countries scoured stalls, supermarkets and mail-order catalogues, recording the price of more than 1,000 items, from 500-gram packets of durum spaghetti to low-heeled ladies' shoes. This vast enterprise enabled the bank to compare the...
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, May 27, 2008 — Asia Pacific

Reliance in fresh approach to MTN

Source: Financial Times

India's Reliance Communications has made a fresh approach to acquire MTN, reviving its earlier interest in joining up with the South African mobile carrier to create an emerging markets telecommunications giant. News of the move follows the sudden collapse at the weekend of talks between MTN and Bharti Airtel, India's biggest cellular operator by subscriber numbers and Reliance's arch-rival. The talks with Bharti broke down amid differences over how to structure a proposed...
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, May 27, 2008 — Asia Pacific

Reliance takes over wooing elusive target MTN

Source: Financial Times

For India's Reliance Communications, the breakdown of talks between its arch-rival Bharti Airtel and MTN must be a relief. A combination of Bharti, India's number one mobile operator by subscribers, and South Africa's MTN would have created a formidable competitor with 130m subscribers across 22 fast-growing markets in south Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Now, as Reliance pursues its own deal with the South African operator, Bharti's experiences may ho...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, May 26, 2008 — No Region Specified

An old enemy rears its head

Source: The Economist

Even as America's economy teeters on the brink of recession and many European economies are slowing, central bankers in rich countries fear rising inflation. Yet the risks they face are smaller than those in emerging economies, where inflation has risen far more over the past year to its highest for nine years. There are also an alarming number of similarities between developing economies today and developed economies in the early 1970s, when the Great Inflation took off. Are the young upsta...
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, May 22, 2008 — No Region Specified

India?s Mobile Revolution

Source: Harvard Business Blog

The last decade has seen a dramatic growth in the communication sector in India. Until the 1980s, a telephone was considered a luxury. There was a waiting list of 20 million. Thanks to the liberalization in government policy and the entry of private players, the situation has changed beyond recognition. Few wish to have a landline today. India represents one of the fastest growing economies in terms of mobile communication penetration with millions of new users being added every month. What m...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, May 21, 2008 — No Region Specified

'Doing Good and Doing Well Go Together'

Source: Business Standard

CK Prahalad , professor of corporate strategy at the University of Michigan and author of books on innovative business models that can help end world poverty, talks about corporate social responsibility in an interview with Sreelatha Menon More companies are trying to do CSR by changing their business strategy. But wouldn't businesses always be driven by the desire to profit? And wouldn't this often lead to communities getting shortchanged?
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, May 20, 2008 — No Region Specified

S.E.VEN Fund Announces Cin?ma Prosp?rit? Contest

Source: Yahoo! Finance

CAMBRIDGE, MA--(MARKET WIRE)--May 20, 2008 -- The Social Equity Venture Fund -- S.E.VEN -- ( www.sevenfund.org ) today announced a first of its kind film competition, Cin?ma Prosp?rit?, which invites filmmakers to submit short films highlighting entrepreneurs. The $35,000 in prizes will be split amongst the top three filmmakers and the entrepreneurs they profile. The competition will remain open until September 15, with the winning videos being selected in e...
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, May 20, 2008 — No Region Specified

Intel and Grameen: Bringing Technology to Rural, Impoverished Communities Through Social Business

Source: CSR@Intel

By Craig Barrett Traveling the world it is not uncommon to see poverty and people living in conditions that are almost unimaginable. It is especially striking when you see young people with seemingly no hope to get an education that might allow them to rise above the barriers that poverty imposes. Our World Ahead program has been focusing on the issue of how technology might help the poor attain a better education and improved health care. To date the effort has met...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, May 19, 2008 — No Region Specified

Bharti and MTN discuss sharing top roles

Source: Financial Times

India's Bharti Airtel and South Africa's MTN are discussing a management structure for a proposed merger of their emerging-markets telecoms businesses under which they would fill an equal share of key executive positions. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Bharti's chairman, would be chairman of the merged company, and Phuthuma Nhleko, MTN's chief executive, would be chief executive of the enlarged group, the FT has learnt. The structure is part of a proposal by Bharti to...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, May 19, 2008 — No Region Specified

At MIT, Low-Tech Inventions With a High Impact

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

By Vijaysree Venkatraman Cambridge, Mass.?? - Amy Smith is not an easy person to track down. Even during the school year, this inventor and instructor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology hops over to remote African towns and Latin American villages. When she is on campus, the best bet for finding Ms. Smith is in her basement laboratory - a cluttered workshop with a long whiteboard, exotic souvenirs, and basic tools - known as D-Lab.
TAGS:No Tags
Sunday, May 18, 2008 — No Region Specified

Quagmire to goldmine?

Source: The Economist

BRAZIL has long been a thorn in the side of the global drugs companies. The country's vibrant generics industry has often trampled over their patents. As recently as last year, its government threatened to invoke compulsory licensing (a legal mechanism that, in effect, legitimises such trampling) to browbeat a foreign drugs firm into offering huge discounts. And Brazil's state-funded researchers have devised some impressive drugs, including a new therapy for malaria (see article). Sma...
TAGS:No Tags
Sunday, May 18, 2008 — No Region Specified

Poor people, rich returns

Source: The Economist

SINCE CompartamosBanco, a Mexican lender to the poor, went public a year or so ago, a rift has been growing in the booming microfinance industry. To supporters of traditional charitable microfinance?providing loans and other financial services to help lift people out of extreme poverty?the Compartamos initial public offering has come to symbolise an aggressive move by capitalists to profit from the poor. To its backers, on the other hand, the success of Compartamos, despite the recent lacklustre...
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, May 15, 2008 — No Region Specified

Mobile Banking Needs ?Standardized Innovation?

Source: CGAP Technology Program Blog

By Jim Rosenberg Standardized innovation is the phrase used by Dialog Telekom's (Sri Lanka) Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya at the Mobile Money Summit in Cairo today. In a phrase I think is quite useful, he was summarizing the need to have mobile banking standards, interoperability, worldwide. Right now we are observing many proprietary systems taking shape - most notably, ...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 — No Region Specified

Renault, Nissan and Bajaj plan $2,500 rival to low-cost Tata car

Source: Financial Times

Renault, Nissan and Bajaj Motors are to jointly build a $2,500 car to compete with Tata Motors' Nano cut-price family model. The car, called ULC for ultra low-cost, will be made at a new 400,000-capacity joint-venture plant in Chakan, Maharashtra, the three companies said yesterday. Bajaj - best known for its motorcycles - and Renault and Nissan will own 50, 25 and 25 per cent of the joint venture respectively and the car will be sold from early 2011. The...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 — No Region Specified

Awarding Social Entrepreneurship

Source: One World South Asia

The Nand & Jeet Khemka Foundation and The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship , in collaboration with United Nations Development Program (UNDP) are inviting applications for India's Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2008. Five finalists will be selected following an intensive search and selection process including expert r...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, May 14, 2008 — No Region Specified

Small Business Finance - What Works, What Doesn't?

Source: PSD Blog

May 5 and 6 saw an interesting research conference here in DC on Small Business Finance , looking at which banking practices and government interventions help foster small businesses' access to external finance. Twelve interesting papers and a stimulating panel discussion addressed an array of issues, ranging from banks' lending techniques over competition, government policies to informal and trade credit. Many papers and speakers questione...
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 — No Region Specified

Selling China's cars to the world: An interview with Chery's CEO

Source: McKinsey Quarterly

Few people took Chery Automobile seriously when it was established, a little more than a decade ago, in the city of Wuhu, in Anhui Province, China. Chery was a newcomer in a small area that had little tradition of manufacturing and was far from the country?s traditional centers of auto production, in Beijing, Changchun, Shanghai, and Wuhan. When the start-up failed to find buyers for a motor engine it had developed, there was little choice but to manufacture a car of its own so that the engin...
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, May 13, 2008 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Vodafone rules out bidding for MTN in wake of Bharti offer

Source: Financial Times

Vodafone yesterday insisted that it had no plans to make a bid for MTN, a leading mobile phone operator in Africa and the Middle East. The UK group last week reviewed the case for making a bid for MTN after Bharti Airtel, India's largest wireless operator, made an informal offer for a controlling stake in the Johannesburg-listed company. Bharti's indicative offer was for 51 per cent of MTN's equity at R160 per share. That valued MTN's entire equity at...
TAGS:No Tags
Friday, May 09, 2008 — No Region Specified

Text Messages Empower Poor Farmers

Source: BBC News

The BBC's Damian Grammaticas sees how poor Indian farmers are using business text messages to get better prices for their goods. --- At the Khandova temple in Jhejuri it's festival time. The harvest is just in and it's time to celebrate. Thousands of farmers, dressed in white, come from across Maharashtra state to climb the steep hill up to the temple. With them are their wives wrapped in brightly coloured saris and children too. ...
TAGS:No Tags
Friday, May 09, 2008 — No Region Specified

Global Poverty: More Big Business is Not the Solution

Source: Huffington Post

By most accounts, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is genuinely passionate about reducing global poverty. But he is not willing to challenge the structures of the global economy that generate poverty, or the corporations that build, benefit from and maintain those structures. Nor, apparently, is he immune to gimmicky notions of corporate leadership to support development, or the lure of high-profile summits to shed light on new plans to do -- very little. Thus, ...
TAGS:No Tags
Friday, May 09, 2008 — No Region Specified

Africa: Toll-Free Mobile Service to Give Rural Africa Access to Medics

Source: AllAfrica.com

A toll-free mobile service being launched in selected remote areas in Africa promises to save lives by connecting people with emergency medical cases to health personnel. Under the initiative launched in Nairobi on Wednesday, health workers will also be trained through mobile phone sessions on day to day skills like collecting and sharing basic household health information. Telecommunication equipment provider Ericsson and mobile phone service provider Zain have adopted ...
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, May 08, 2008 — No Region Specified

Indonesian operators' call to lure customers has only just begun

Source: Financial Times

A blizzard of advertisements for Indonesia's 11 mobile operators has covered the country, competing for the lowest prices, best call quality and cheapest deals. So begins what is expected to be a major boom in mobile subscriptions and telecom revenue. The national regulator slashed internet work connection charges by up to 40 per cent last month and these savings have largely been passed on to users. The authorities are pushing operators to share towers, which will reduc...
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, May 08, 2008 — No Region Specified

Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report on Women and Entrepreneurship Released

Source: KRON 4

WELLESLEY, Mass., May 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Women's entrepreneurship matters -- women are creating and running businesses around the world, contributing to economies that represent more than 70% of the world's population and 93% of global GDP (2007). Women's entrepreneurship is a key contributor to economic growth in low/middle income countries, particularly in Latin America and the Caribbean according to The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) 2007 Report on ...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 — No Region Specified

Rebooting the Indian green revolution

Source: Financial Times

Ajit Singh, a farmer in the poor northern state of Uttar Pradesh, had never seen a computer until four years ago when ITC, the Indian agribusiness-to-hotels conglomerate, installed a PC in his village, Kurthia. Now the thin 47-year-old farmer visits the ITC station, known as an e-choupal after the Hindi term for gathering place, every day for online access to news-papers, crop prices, weather forecasts and farming techniques. As ITC's village manager...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 — South Asia

New Frontiers: Story at the Bottom of the Pyramid

Source: The Economic Times

By Anisha Motwani Rural India seems to be the latest flavour in town. From finance ministers to corporate India across industries, everyone seems to be shifting focus to the bottom of the pyramid. All boardroom discussions are getting centred on finding ways and means to grab a share of this lucrative pie. Numbers look seductive with statistics and data giving enough evidence of volume potential... smaller ticket sizes but more buyers...
TAGS:No Tags
Wednesday, May 07, 2008 — No Region Specified

UK Government and UN challenge Private Sector to decrease global poverty

Source: UNDP - DFID

London, 6 May 2008?Joining the Business Call to Action, a dozen companies today announced concrete initiatives that apply core business expertise, utilizing their technology and innovative spirit to tackle the multiple challenges of poverty. The announcements were made at the Business Call to Action event, hosted by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Kemal Dervi?, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and with the participation of more than 80 global bus...
TAGS:No Tags
Tuesday, May 06, 2008 — No Region Specified

Banks Yet to Reach Bottom of Wealth Pyramid

Source: The Economic Times

By Preeti R Iyer & Aniruddha Ghosh For all the noise that it has generated, usage of technology to achieve financial inclusion is still far from what is being desired. Lenders such as Citi and GE Money have withdrawn from advancing small-ticket ...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, May 05, 2008 — No Region Specified

?It?s Now the Era of Micro-Innovators?

Source: Business Today

For more than a decade now, Coimbatore Krishnarao Prahalad, or C. K. Prahalad, has been the best-known management guru from India. Professor of Strategy at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, Prahalad shot to fame with his book Competing for the Future, which he co-authored with Gary Hamel. Since then, Prahalad, who studied and taught at IIM Ahmedabad before moving (back) to the US to join the University of Michigan as Assistant Professor, has written four more books, including ...
TAGS:No Tags
Monday, May 05, 2008 — No Region Specified

Extending Financial Services to Latin America's Poor

Source: The McKinsey Quarterly

By Luis Alberto Moreno The president of Inter-American Development Bank argues that achieving greater financial democracy is crucial for achieving greater inclusiveness, improving social cohesion, and generating broad-based growth.? ---- Economic development, according to the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), is for people-for citizens. If the benefits of economic growth fail to reach a majority, in the long run there ca...
TAGS:No Tags
Friday, May 02, 2008 — No Region Specified

What Keeps Indian Enterprises from Growing

Source: Harvard Business Blog

In the last one week, I have had the privilege of interacting with over 300 entrepreneurs from the small and medium enterprises segment. 70% of them have been in business for at least a decade; 40% have completed two decades. Yet they are still small - in revenues, profits, employees. 15% have global aspirations but do not know how to achieve that goal. Small and medium enterprises account for 80% of Indian businesses (3 million small and medium enterprises and counting...
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, May 01, 2008 — No Region Specified

Large Companies Take the Lead on Capacity Building for Small and Medium Enterprises

Source: WBCSD

Geneva, 28 April 2008 - Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) make up over 95% of private sector firms, making them the backbone of global economic activity. They have a key role to play in poverty alleviation by promoting economic growth that is inclusive and reaches the majority of people. SMEs are also an important source of local supply and service provision for global companies. So how are some of the world's leading corporations building relationships with SMEs in the developi...
TAGS:No Tags
Thursday, May 01, 2008 — No Region Specified

Flannery: Microfinance Just ?One Factor? in Economic Growth

Source: Council on Foreign Relations

Matt Flannery , cofounder of Kiva.org , a website that partners with microfinance institutions to allow people to loan money to entrepreneurs in the developing world, discusses the microfinance industry and its growing popularity among large financial institutions and the development community. He says the practice of providing financial services to the poor is not necessarily goin...
TAGS:No Tags
  • Managing Partners

    William Davidson Institute
  • Sponsoring Partner

    Citi Foundation
  • Content Partners

    IADB
  • Content Partners

    MercyCorps
Subscribe to Our E-Newsletter

Email:  
For Email Marketing you can trust

Found an Article we're Missing?Found an Article we're Missing?

Submit An Article

TrendingTrending

Social MediaSocial Media

Facebook Twitter

Story Snapshot

CLOSE