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Friday, January 30, 2009 — No Region Specified

Charity Alone is Not the Answer

Source: Financial Times

Other new models of philanthropy are even more closely linked to the business world. Last year, the Soros Economic Development Fund, Google?s philanthropic arm, and the Omidyar Network unveiled a $17m fund to invest in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in India. SMEs are an important engine for economic growth and job creation but are sorely lacking in India due, in part, to a lack of the financing needed to scale up. Reuben Abraham, senior adviser to the fund based in Hyderabad, ...
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Friday, January 30, 2009 — No Region Specified

Foreign Aid and Bad Government: Helping Entrepreneurs is the Right Approach

Source: Wall Street Journal

By IQBAL Z. QUADIR Barack Obama has talked a lot about changing the way America relates to the world, and few areas are as ripe for reform as our policies on foreign aid. They have contributed to economic stagnation in poor countries and deprived America of large export markets. Entrepreneurship, not aid, is essential to rejuvenate markets in the developing world and, in turn, help America prosper. During the Cold War, the U.S. instituted a policy of sending money ...
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Friday, January 30, 2009 — No Region Specified

Base of the Pyramid Innovations Offer Growth Opportunities for Business and Communities

Source: World Economic Forum Press Release

Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, 30 January 2009 Despite the economic downturn, companies can find growth opportunities among the 3.7 billion people at the base of the pyramid (BOP) by adopting innovative strategies that benefit local communities, according to two reports released today by the World Economic Forum. The companion reports, entitled The Next Billions, present examples of successful BOP business ventures based on a year-long survey - drawn fro...
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009 — No Region Specified

Capital Flows to Developing World at Risk of Collapse

Source: Financial Times

Capital flows to emerging markets are in danger of collapsing this year as the financial crisis in advanced economies risks choking off the supply of credit to the developing world, an association of large banks warned on Tuesday. The Institute for International Finance forecasts net private sector capital flows to emerging markets will be no more than $165bn (?125bn, ?116bn) this year, less than half the $466bn inflow in 2008 and only one fifth of the amount sent in the peak year of ...
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009 — No Region Specified

Better Stoves for the Poor

Source: The Economist

IF USER demand were the sole driver of innovation, the biomass cooking stove would be one of the most sophisticated devices in the world. Depending on which development agency you ask, between two-and-a-half and three billion people?nearly half the world?s population?use a stove every day, in conjunction with solid fuel such as wood, dung or coal. Yet in many parts of the world the stove has barely progressed beyond the Stone Age. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that tox...
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Monday, January 26, 2009 — No Region Specified

India: The Fastest Growing Telecom Market

Source: Trading Markets

India has emerged as the fastest growing telecom market in the world, attracting not just global service providers like Britian-based Vodafone but also big handset manufacturers like Finland's Nokia that not too long ago was reluctant to make an entry because of low volumes. For a country that stood at the bottom of the pyramid in terms of telecom penetration a decade ago, 2008 was a watershed when India's subscriber base topped 350 million users to make its network the second largest in...
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Thursday, January 22, 2009 — South Asia

Sunil Jain: Top of the pyramid

Source: Business Standard

Management guru CK Prahalad popularised the concept of the fortune at the bottom of the pyramid (BOP), and among others, the country's top mobile phone players seem to be taking this quite seriously given how they?re wooing BOP customers. It is, however, not quite clear how this strategy will pay off. According to a study by consulting firm BDA with chamber of commerce Ficci, the top 9 per cent of mobile phone users in India contribute 29 per cent to industry?s revenues and 45 per...
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Thursday, January 22, 2009 — No Region Specified

How Access to Information Can Tackle Poverty and Pollution

Source: Huffington Post

By Andy Posner What I realized, then, is that the poor need access to information far more urgently than they need handouts and subsidies. Still, that's a risky statement to make, as many will argue that given a choice between, say, a cell phone and a meal, the vast majority of poor people will choose the meal. However, a fascinating NY Times article from last year titled 'Can the Cellphone Help End Global Poverty?,' argues that, given precisely that choice, most ...
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Thursday, January 22, 2009 — No Region Specified

Female Empowerment and the Promise of Microfinance

Source: The News - Pakistan

By Roshaneh Zafar Recently, I came across a quote from Edmund Burke, an Anglo-Irish statesman of the eighteenth century, ?the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing? (parentheses and emphasis, mine). The emphasis on ?women? is obviously my attempt to remind us that we need to review Pakistan?s situation through a gender lens. Looking at the recent events in Pakistan, I feel, at times, that a malaise ? a malaise of indifference -...
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Thursday, January 22, 2009 — No Region Specified

Financial Times Announces 4th Editon of Sustainable Banking Awards

Source: Financial Times

The Financial Times has launched the 2009 edition of the FT Sustainable Banking Awards, the leading awards recognising banks and other financial institutions for leadership and innovation in integrating social, environmental and corporate governance considerations into their operations. Now in their fourth year, the awards-organised by the FT in partnership with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group-are all the more timely in light of the financial crisis, which has exposed flaws in t...
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Wednesday, January 14, 2009 — No Region Specified

Should Businesses Save the World?

Source: Forbes

Michael Maiello is Editor of Intelligent Investing for Forbes.com. At the World Economic Forum last year, Bill Gates, who is as successful a philanthropist as he is an entrepreneur, introduced an idea he calls creative capitalism. It's an attempt to harness the power of private ownership and laissez faire to improve lives while fixing what he sees as the major flaw in that system. Capitalism responds well to demand, but not at all to need. Or, as W...
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Monday, January 12, 2009 — No Region Specified

Business Education: Far From the Boardroom

Source: Financial Times

When John Eder, an MBA student at Kenan-Flagler Business School in the US, was on a summer internship in Ethiopia giving business training to women with HIV/Aids, he discovered something surprising. ?Some of the women have been selling stuff in the local market for a long time,? he says. ?And they?d sit there and talk about principles I learned from my classes. Things my professors had been telling me, they would be telling me ? and they never went to any college or had any business t...
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Wednesday, January 07, 2009 — No Region Specified

A call to South Africa's masses

Source: Financial Times

There is a faint air of the evangelical preacher about Brian Richardson, the 52-year-old chief executive and co-founder of Wizzit, a South African company that has become a pioneer in the business of mobile banking. It is not just his austere uniform - smart black slacks and open-necked black shirt, its cuffs emblazoned with the company's logo. As he explains his determination to challenge conventional banking prejudices and bring affordable financial services to the mass ma...
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