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Friday, February 26, 2010 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Banking on Mobile Money: What Does It Mean For Kenya's Economy?

Source: MIT News

Many technologists and entrepreneurs have argued that mobile phones can empower people in the developing world by providing civic and commercial resources where traditional infrastructure is lacking. But what actually happens when people start using such technologies? An MIT economist's detailed new study from Kenya sheds light on the impact of a mobile phone-based money system in a developing economy. Kenya's new mobile-money system, called M-PESA, really is ch...
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Friday, February 26, 2010 — South Asia

India Budget to Push Harder for Financial Inclusion

Source: Reuters

The Indian government's push for financial access for hundreds of millions of the unbanked is helping secure its vote base and creating lucrative opportunities for financial institutions, technology and mobile services firms. In his budget speech on Friday, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee may announce funds for a common technology platform to reach the goal of a banking outlet in every village of more than 2,000 people by March, 2011, senior government officials say. The gov...
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Friday, February 26, 2010 — South Asia

Godrej's 'Chotukool' Refrigerator May Take a Year to Launch

Source: Business Standard

The much-hyped 'Chotukool' refrigerator from the appliances division of Godrej & Boyce Manufacturing Co Ltd may take a year to launch, according to company chairman Jamshyd Godrej. Godrej Appliances is test-marketing the product in Maharashtra. It was earlier eyeing a March 2010 launch. But, this may not happen, says Godrej, as the company looks at alternative channels of distribution. "By alternative channels, I mean a community-led distribution model. We are working ...
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Friday, February 26, 2010 — South Asia

Saving Holds Key to Women's Empowerment

Source: BBC News

Once upon a time, Sumitra used to roam the streets of the Indian city of Ahmedabad, collecting discarded caps which could be recycled and sold back to manufacturers such as Coca-Cola. She would spend the whole day sifting through the rubbish collecting the caps in return for a few hundred rupees - about $2. Then in 2006, Sumitra was introduced to a microfinance initiative which provided her with a small loan to start her own business. Four years on, she employs five women, a...
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Friday, February 19, 2010 — South Asia

Helping Farmers Pedal Out of Poverty

Source: Hindu Business Line

He has reached over one million small and marginal farmers — those owning less than one acre — in India with his low-cost irrigation tools to meet their water needs. But ask Amitabha Sadangi, CEO of IDE (International Development Enterprises) - India, how we are treat...
Friday, February 19, 2010 — No Region Specified

Godrej Coming Up with Low-Priced Refrigerator for Poor

Source: Economic Times

BANGALORE: Godrej Appliances Limited, part of the Godrej Group, is coming out with a low-priced refrigerator for the poorer sections of the society, the Group's top official said. "We are coming (out) with a small refrigerato...
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Thursday, February 18, 2010 — No Region Specified

The Stove That Won?t Kill the World?s Poor

Source: Times Online

NEARLY half the world's population relies on crude open-fire stoves. They...
Thursday, February 18, 2010 — No Region Specified

What Do We Owe the Bottom Billion?

Source: Forbes India

Princeton philosopher Peter Singer has been a prominent, often controversial, figure. His most recent book, The Life You Can Save, looks at the responsibilities of individuals for addressing global poverty. Q : You have written that in addition to an obligation to not harm, we also have an obligation to help. Could you explain that? It's a mistake to think that our obligations are only to do no harm. I use the example of the drowning child in the pond. If ...
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Thursday, February 18, 2010 — No Region Specified

Microfinance Has the Makings of an Industry

Source: Wall Street Journal

Opportunities at the bottom of the pyramid are driving the buzz today. One of the most significant areas in this category in India is Microfinance - both in what it has been able to achieve over the past couple of decades, as well as in its unrealized potential. Besides the scale of business that is possible in microfinance, what is even more exciting is the scale of impact that is possible through microfinance, in enabling other businesses in that segmen...
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Thursday, February 18, 2010 — No Region Specified

Vodafone Launches World?s Cheapest Phone at $15

Source: Stock Watch

No description provided
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Thursday, February 18, 2010 — South Asia

Banking for Every Indian

Source: Hindu Business Line

The scale was striking. Here was the Finance Minister speaking to an audience of a thousand people last Sunday night at Mumbai's hallowed Brabourne Stadium. His diminutive 150-cm tall frame perched on a high podium was yet a mere speck against a backdrop that stretched nine metres ...
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Thursday, February 18, 2010 — No Region Specified

Hot Gadgets and Hot Money are Not Cool for the Poor

Source: Wall Street Journal

A surge in global interest in helping the poor in new ways is creating new problems for the social sector: a mismatch between the technology and capital coming from developed countries and the front-line organizations' ability to use it. Those trying to improve the lives of the billions of people that live on less than $2 a day - whether through consumer products, government or charity - are working together in unprecedented new ways. Last week's Tech4Society Conference in...
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Thursday, February 18, 2010 — South Asia

The Mirakle in Mumbai: Life Inside a Social Business

Source: CNN Go

We liked Rohan Mehta's dia
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Tuesday, February 16, 2010 — South Asia

Reserve Bank of India to MFIs: Shape Up or Face Music

Source: Economic Times

HYDERABAD: India's booming microfinance segment is under the scanner, with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issuing a veiled warning that it could be taken off the priority sector lending list of banks if the industry fails to improve its governance standards. This was spelt out at a meeting in late January between senior RBI officials, representatives of Sa-Dhan-the association of Indian microfinance institutions (MFIs)-and some senior MFI managers from Karnata...
TAGS:farmers
Thursday, February 11, 2010 — South Asia

?Affordable Prices? is The Way to Get to The Bottom of the Pyramid: Tech4Society

Source: Wall Street Journal

If you want to provide a product or service to the poor, you have to start with what they can afford and work from there. "Whether it is America, India or Nepal, we work backwards and first think, 'What can the customer afford?'", social entrepreneur David Green said at a panel of innovators on the first day of the Tech4Society conference being held in Hyderabad this week. Others agreed that providing much-needed products and services to the poor at an affordable price req...
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Monday, February 08, 2010 — South Asia

Schneider Makes Global Lighting Debut with LEDs in India

Source: Live Mint

New Delhi: The Paris-based maker of electrical equipment, Schneider Electric SA, is looking to tap the growing Rs5,000 crore luminaire segment in India with its maiden venture into the LED (light emitting diode) lamps market. The launch by Schneider Electric India (SEI) will also mark the 174-year-old company's global entry into luminaires. "One of the reasons why it would be launched here first is because it has been imagined, designed, engineered and produced here in India," said ...
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Friday, February 05, 2010 — Latin America

IGNIA Fund I Invests MXN$63 Million in MeXvi, Mexican Provider of Self-Construction Solutions

Source: PR Newswire

MONTERREY, Mexico, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- IGNIA Fund I, LP, the first impact investing fund in Latin America, announced today that it has invested MXN$63 million in Mexicana de Servicios para la Vivienda S.A.P.I. de C.V. ("MeXvi"), a leading provider of integral solutions for self-construction of low-income homes in rural and semi-urban settings. "MeXvi provides the end user with accessible construction materials, design and technical assistance, so that the cli...
Thursday, February 04, 2010 — South Asia

Schneider Electric Launches Solar LED Lighting Product In-Diya

Source: India Blooms

Schneider Electric, the global specialist in energy management, Thursday launched In-Diya, an energy-efficient LED based Lighting System, to provide lighting to people living with no or unreliable electricity in India. In-Diya is a specially designed LED based lighting system that can operate on main supply and/or solar, and provides backup ranging from 8 - 15 hours for indoor applications, said the company. Jean-Pascal Tricoire, President & CEO, Schneider Electric, said, "In-...
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Thursday, February 04, 2010 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Supporting Ghana's Private Health Sector

Source: My Joy Online

The argument for the development of the private health sector in Africa could not have been more strongly made than at a recent international conference held in Accra under the aegis of the World Bank Group. Featuring diverse success stories on health care financing and insurance from Ghana, Kenya and Mali, it was perhaps the story of ...
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Thursday, February 04, 2010 — No Region Specified

MicroVest Closes Private Equity Fund

Source: peHUB

MicroVest Capital Management, LLC closed MicroVest II, LP, a private equity fund targeting microfinance institutions worldwide. The fund, which closed with $60 million in commitments, will serve as a capital intermediary between investors and financial institutions that serve the working poor. J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. acted as a placement agent, and one of its affiliates was a lead investor. In addition to J.P. Morgan, lead investors include the International Finance Corporation, CARE USA,...
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Wednesday, February 03, 2010 — South Asia

Gen Y Entrepreneurs Bet Big on Clean-Tech Innovations

Source: Economic Times India

BANGALORE: It is not everyday that a young consultant at McKinsey & Co, one of the world's largest management consultancy firms, trades in a job at the firm's Seattle office for the rough and tumble of business in rural India. But that is just what John Howard did when he launched Duron Energy, a renewable energy company that has just started sales of solar-powered plug and play devices for lighting and battery ...
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Wednesday, February 03, 2010 — South Asia

Small-Town Entrepreneurs Struggle for VC Funding

Source: Live Mint

Bangalore: Gunjan Kumar's business proposition is simple. The 28-year-old buys traditional art and craft products from artisans in villages and sells these in metro cities. Kumar started Amethia Apparelz and Co. in Patna 18 months ago with Rs6 lakh. In its first year, the firm earned Rs33 lakh in revenue and expects to end fiscal year 2010 with Rs1.65 crore. In another part of the country, Nafisa Radiatorwala's start-up, Nature's Glow, is clo...
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Wednesday, February 03, 2010 — North Africa and Near East

Damascus Turns to Microfinance to Combat Poverty

Source: Business Today Egypt

A regional front-runner in microfinance legislation, Syria is still struggling to find a sustainable model to finance its rural poor. Currently, NGOs geared toward poverty alleviation dominate Syria's microcredit market, but further expansion of their role is inhibited by outdated government regulation. The entry of more private players is needed to increase market competition ...
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Monday, February 01, 2010 — South Asia

MNCs' Cutting-Edge Research Has a New Address: India

Source: Business Standard

No description provided
Monday, February 01, 2010 — No Region Specified

Global Social Enterprise in Davos

Source: BusinessWeek

No description provided
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