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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
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 — Asia Pacific

China Raises Poverty Line: Is it Setting an Example for Poverty Alleviation?

Source: International Business Times

China announced a new standard for defining poverty on Tuesday as it seeks to bridge the gap between the country's wealthier and poorer classes. The central authorities have decided to raise the poverty threshold to 2,300 yuan ($362), in terms of a farmer's annual net income, which marks an 80 percent rise from the 1,274 yuan standard in 2010. The 2010 figure was itself the result of marked revision; the standard was 206 yu...
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011 — South Asia

Social Enterprises See Funding Dip, but Investors Still Upbeat

Source: livemint.com

The value of investments in India's social enterprises has fallen by around 7% this year as investors struggle to identify companies that not only cater to the bottom of the pyramid by offering products and services at the right price points, but also provide sustainable returns for investors. Excluding microfinance institutions (MFIs), the investor-backed six social enterprises have put in $21.6 million (around Rs.112.5 crore) this year so far, compared with eight such investments ...
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Wednesday, November 30, 2011 — South Asia

Tata PE Buys 10% in Ginger Hotels

Source: The Times of India

MUMBAI: Tata Capital's private equity fund has acquired a 10% stake in Roots Corporation, which runs budget hotel chain Ginger. The stake-purchase in Ginger was completed by the $550 million Tata Opportunities Fund and it marks the one-year-old fund's debut investment, said sources familiar with the matter. Tata Opportunities Fund, spearheaded by Mukund Rajan, is a third party private equity fu...
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011 — South Asia

Caterpillar Foundation Partners With Water.org to Expand WaterCredit in India, Indonesia

Source: PR Newswire

PEORIA, Ill., Nov. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT ) today announced that the Caterpillar Foundation and Water.org announced a $3 million partnership to reach more than 218,000 people with clean water and sanitation over the next three years. The program will support a significant expansion of Water.org's WaterCredit activities in India, and also fund a mark...
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011 — South Asia

How a Classic Model of Social Commerce Can Teach the World How to Save

Source: Guardian.co.uk

In a dusty hallway in Mumbai's Dharavi slum, two women barter used clothes for pots and pans. The going rate today is ten pieces of used clothing for one new tin pot. This is the informal economy, growing as the world's population continues to urbanise in mega-cities like Mumbai and São Paulo. In Mumbai, where 60% of residents live in slums, activity in the informal economy, from bartering to neighborhood savings groups to co-ops, rivals the scale of the formal economy of...
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011 — Europe & Eurasia

HSBC Invests ?4m in Big Issue Invest Social Enterprise Fund

Source: Civil Society

Big Issue Invest has edged closer to its £10m target for its Social Enterprise Investment Fund, with HSBC Bank investing £4m, bringing the total committed capital to £8m. Big Issue Invest (BII) is now seeking to raise a further £2m to complete its £10m target by the March 2012. The Social Enterprise Investment fund aims to provide creatively structured, medium-term growth capital to social enterprises that have the potential to have a significant social imp...
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Monday, November 28, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Bringing Online Education to Mongolia, in Wireless Backpacks

Source: Fast Company

As a turbulent snowstorm whips across the vast, desolate Mongolian grasslands, a group of schoolchildren huddle over laptops, their eyes transfixed as the sagacious Sal Khan works through Newtonian physics. But Khan is only reaching these kids because of a bold initiative from another creative edupreneur: Neil Dsouza , age 27, cofounder of TeachAClass.org , ...
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Monday, November 28, 2011 — Latin America

Rural Peru Gets Connected

Source: Guardian.co.uk

The connection was not of crisp video quality, but the chorus of schoolchildren from San José de Huamaní, near Ica in the south, could be heard loud and clear: "Good morning," they chanted. Hundreds of kilometres away, they were greeted with applause, through video link, by a brightly lit conference room full of Peruvian and European Union officials. They were meeting in Lima to announce the completion of an ...
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Monday, November 28, 2011 — South Asia

Vodafone Increases Banking Options in Rural India with Mobile Service

Source: The Next Web

Vodafone India and HDFC Bank have announced plans to launch a mobile banking service across the country next year after a successful trial period, according to an Economic Times article . The service, which is called 'M-Paisa' (named after its monetary unit, the p...
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011 — South Asia

Selling Water, Health Care in the Developing World

Source: NPR

In rural India, deep in Punjab - about 90 minutes from the Pakistani border - getting clean drinking water is a challenge. Well water often has high levels of dangerous chemicals. Surface water is contaminated with pesticides and agricultural waste. Getting adequate health care is equally challenging. Government hospitals are often far away, and lines are long. Here, in places like a dusty rural town called Rajiana, a 2-year-old company called Healthpoint Services is trying to fig...
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011 — South Asia

How Vineet Rai Has Made Microfinance Advisory Intellecap into a Rs 30 Crore Venture

Source: The Economic Times

Age at starting business: 30 years Company name: Intellecap Headquarters: Hyderabad Seed capital: Rs 1 lakh Source of money: Parents-in-law, personal savings Turnover after first year: Rs 12 lakh Turnover in 2010-11: Rs 30 crore In a country where advice is abundant and free, making a career out of it may seem like a risky proposition. Fortunately for me, the gamble paid of...
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011 — No Region Specified

The 4 Ways Big Corporations Flirt with Socially Responsible Business

Source: Fast Company

The last decade has given rise to many experiments by companies to incubate socially responsible business models. Large financial institutions have become hosts to microfinance divisions (Citi, Morgan Stanley). Energy companies have experimented with base-of-the-pyramid business models for emerging markets, aligning social utility (access to energy) with business strategy (long term growth). And social enterprises like The Body Shop and Ben & Jerry's have been acquired by major multin...
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011 — Europe & Eurasia

A Decade of Microfinance and Improved Child Well-being in Kosovo

Source: AlertNet

Ten years after microfinance institution (MFI) KosInvest began work in Kosovo, its clients, staff and partners are celebrating improved child well-being thanks to loans for poor rural families and the peacebuilding work of World Vision in Kosovo. Since its inception, KosInvest has impacted the lives of 40,000 children through 12,000 loans totaling US$24 million and 16,000 jobs, which have been created or sustained through microfinance. KosInvest was established in 20...
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011 — Latin America

Uruguayan Farmers Tackles Climate Change

Source: Microfinance Focus

The World Bank approved a US$49 million loan to support Uruguayan farmers tackle climate change. In their efforts, farmers are adopting environmentally sustainable practices to improve the resilience of their production systems in response to the effects of climate variability. The program is called the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and Climate Change. This will benefit 16,000 Uruguayan farmers through co-financing of land projects to improve their production systems, the ...
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Indonesia?s Green Prosperity

Source: Brookings

On November 19, 2011, in Bali, Indonesia, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signed a new partnership agreement with the Government of Indonesia providing more than $600 million of U.S. aid through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC). More than half of these investments are dedicated to "green prosperity"-the sound idea that sustainable natural resource management and clean energy technologies accelerate economic growth and poverty alleviation. What does this mean in practical te...
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011 — South Asia

More Optimism Here Than in Developed World

Source: livemint.com

New Delhi: David Calhoun, chief executive officer of leading global information and measurement company Nielsen Holdings NV, believes overseas clients could learn from the innovations of Indian marketers for bottom-of-the-pyramid consumers. The former vice-chairman of General Electric Co. (GE), who surprised many when he moved to Nielsen in 2006, was in India to attend a consumer summit organized by the research firm. Nielsen, owned by a group of private equity firms, including ...
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011 — Europe & Eurasia

Microfinance Works - For the Rich

Source: International.to

VALLADOLID, Spain, Nov 18 (IPS) - Jesús Guerra, a volunteer at this week's Fifth Global Microcredit Summit in this Spanish town, was nonplussed by the expensive gold watch sported by a banker from a developing country. "When I volunteered to help at the Summit I thought this was different," Guerra told IPS. "I believed that everybody who worked in microfinance wanted to end social injustices, but here I am listening to a lot of people saying that the goal i...
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011 — No Region Specified

Billionaire Salinas Seeks U.S. Entry to Target ?Unbanked?

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

Nov. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Ricardo Salinas, the Mexican billionaire whose banking and retail empire spans eight countries, is looking to bring his microlending business to the U.S. to capitalize on the opportunity with low-income customers. Grupo Elektra SA seeks clients at the "bottom of the pyramid" in terms of income and assets, and U.S. households with less than $25,000 in annual income fit that profile, Salinas said today in an interview at Bloomberg's headquarters in New York. He ...
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The South African 'Wonderbag' Soon to be UNFCCC Accredited

Source: HEDON

A South African project that initially attempted to tackle poverty has shown potential to mitigate the effects of climate change and is expanding beyond the country's borders. By Kemantha Govender, BuaNews The Wonderbag project - a recyclable, insulated 'cooker' - focuses on developing countries and communities with high poverty, shortage of fuel supplies, high i...
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011 — No Region Specified

19-Year-Old Vows To Disrupt Solar Industry

Source: Forbes

Canada's Eden Full is just 19 years-old. But she's known since she was three years-old that she's wanted to be a scientist - of some sort. It wasn't until she entered into a science competition at nine years-old and built her first solar car that she realized the potential for solar, particularly in areas around the world that remain without electricity. Just 10 years later, in 2010, Full succeeded in providing electricity, for the first time, to two villages in Kenya through ...
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Monday, November 21, 2011 — South Asia

Invest in Women

Source: MarketWatch

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (MarketWatch) - In the developing world, women have a critical stake in survival. And it turns out that investing in women is a good bet for a number of reasons. "We know that women are critical to economic growth and community stability," the organization Business for Social Responsibility says in a report, Investing in Women's Economic Empowerment. "Research has also shown that women earning an income are more likely than men to invest in the education, nutrit...
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Monday, November 21, 2011 — No Region Specified

Omidyar Network Empowers Underbanked With Investment in Financial Services Innovator Mango

Source: The Sacramento Bee

Omidyar Network today announced it has invested in Mango Financial, a leader in providing innovative financial solutions to underbanked individuals in the United States. The investment in Mango is part of the impact investing firm's focus on supporting innovative financial services solutions that empower underserved U.S. consumers. Financial terms of the investment were not disclosed. Mango offers a s...
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Monday, November 21, 2011 — South Asia

Adidas to Launch $1 Shoe in India

Source: The Economic Times

BERLIN: Adidas, the German sportswear and equipment maker, is to launch a shoe costing one dollar a pair in India, boss Herbert Hainer said, despite the failure of a similar venture in Bangladesh. He told the Sunday newspaper Die Welt am Sonntag that unlike in Bangladesh mass production would be possible to supply the growing Indian market. "The shoe will be sold in villages through a dis...
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Monday, November 21, 2011 — No Region Specified

Dalberg's Call for Survey Participants

Source: Dalberg Global Development Advisors

Dalberg Global Development Advisors is working with Harvard Business School's new "Innovation and Entrepreneurship" course to survey leaders of innovative social enterprises on their recipes for success and views about the sector. The survey's results will help the next generation of social entrepreneurs and bring urgent issues to the attention of policymakers. Leaders who would like to receive the survey should contact Daniel Altman, Dalberg's director of thought leadership...
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Friday, November 18, 2011 — Asia Pacific

China Reports Dramatic Drop in Rural Poverty

Source: CNN

China has reported a dramatic decrease in rural poverty over the last decade. The number of rural citizens living below the national rural poverty line fell from 94.2 million people (10.2% of the rural population) in 2000, to 26.88 million (2.8%) last year, according to figures released Wednesday by China's State Council. The sharp drop occurred despite the fact the national rural poverty benc...
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Friday, November 18, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The Spectacular Mobile Phone Revolution in Africa

Source: International Business Times

Mobile phone service is gaining by leaps and bounds in Africa. Indeed, so many Africans have subscribed to wireless service that the continent is now the second-largest market in the world - having supplanted Latin America -- and behind only Asia, the top market. The expansion of mobile phones is likely to revolutionize Africa, a land plagued by poverty, disease, war...
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Friday, November 18, 2011 — South Asia

HBL to Launch Branchless Banking

Source: Pakistan Observer

Islamabad-HBL has inked a Technology Support agreement with Sybase 365, the global leader in mobile messaging and mobile commerce services, and Abacus Consulting, a leading management and technology consultancy firm for the deployment of branchless banking services. Mr. Faiq Sadiq, Head-Payment Services and Mr. Mudassir Khan, Chief Information Officer from HBL, Mr. Mathew Talbot, Senior Vice President, mCommerce and Tarik Husain, Business Development Director, mCommerce from Sybase 365 and Mr...
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Thursday, November 17, 2011 — No Region Specified

More Health for the Money

Source: Devex

Aid from wealthy countries to fight disease and poverty in the developing world has saved countless lives over the past decade. Despite intensified financial efforts toward global health goals, progress seems to be impeded and slow as the 2015 deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals draws near. A recent study by the OECD Development Assistance Committee ...
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Thursday, November 17, 2011 — South Asia

Accel Partners Raises $155M for New India Venture Fund

Source: VCCircle

Accel Partners, which has backed global Internet majors like Facebook and Groupon, has raised a new $155 million venture capital fund that will invest in seed and early-stage investments in India. Accel India III is nearly two-and-a-half times its predecessor, Accel India Venture Fund II, which raised $60 million three years ago. With the inception of the new fund, the assets under management of Accel India will reach $235 million across its three early-stage funds. "The fund has ...
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Thursday, November 17, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Microcredit - Women Demand More Than Incomes

Source: IPS

VALLADOLID, Spain, Nov 16, 2011 (IPS) - Microcredit can help a woman to have an income. It can, for better or worse, also transform gender equations in the public and private spheres. Making microfinance more meaningful for women in terms of real empowerment occupies much of the deliberations at the Fifth Global Microcredit Summit underway in this Spanish city. Apparently, not all microcredit institutions (MFIs) are aware of the importance of contribu...
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 — Europe & Eurasia

?Challenges and Solutions? on Day Two of the Global Microcredit Summit

Source: Microfinance Focus

"What's the one thing you know for sure about clients of microfinance?" This was the question with which the lead author of a new paper, Anton Simanowitz, began the plenary session on day two of the Global Microcredit Summit 2011. "The answer", he said, "is that at some point, they will suffer a shock beyond what they can cope with; and which is greater than their incomes". How MFIs understanding this fact, face up to it, plan for it, determines whether microfinance has ...
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 — South Asia

PepsiCo Counters Inflation with Small Packs, Low Cost Items

Source: The Economic Times

NEW DELHI: With high inflation making consumers think twice before spending, food and beverages major PepsiCo is turning to measures like reducing pack sizes and introducing very low priced items in order to keep sales volume counter ticking in India. Despite hiking prices, the company is confident that steps like launching products specifically for bottom of pyramid consumers as well as for the premium-end segment will help it strike a balance between volumes and value. ...
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Wednesday, November 16, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

A Netflix for Batteries to Get Africa on the Grid

Source: Fast Company

Around the world nearly 2 billion people don't have reliable access to electricity. We've covered some of the inspiring plans and products aiming to compensate for that by making solar power cheap enough for off-grid homes in the developing world. But in Tanzania, where just 14 percent of peopl...
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011 — Latin America

ANDE Releases Report on Social and Inclusive Businesses in Brazil

Source: Press Release

Data from new research coordinated by the Brazil Chapter of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), the AVINA Foundation, and Potencia Ventures demonstrates significant growth for social and inclusive businesses in Brazil. The purpose of the study was to identify which regions and groups are fueling the most economic and social change. The report, released this week in English in time for Global Entrepreneurship Week, reveals a changing lands...
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rural Women Banking by Mobile Phone

Source: IPS

PLUMTREE, Zimbabwe, Nov 14, 2011 (IPS) - Collecting the monthly subscriptions for her co-operative has always been a headache for Thelma Nare, 41. This is because Nare lives in Tshitshi, Plumtree in rural Zimbabwe, about 60 kilometres away from the humdrum of the nearest town centre where banks are located. "We meet after a long time as here in the rural areas our homesteads can be very far from each other. So members of our club do not meet or contribute regularly...
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011 — Europe & Eurasia

Proposed Seal of Excellence Dominates Day One of Global Microcredit Summit

Source: Microfinance Focus

There are summits virtually every week nowadays. Networks, funds, and commercial banks - everyone seems to be inviting everyone along to come and discuss the future of the industry. For the most part, these conferences can be little more than distractions at best. At worst, they can be junkets: opportunities for a trip to a new place while the poor MFI, which is struggling anyway, foots the bill. The Global Microcredit Summit, one must admit, is different. For one thing, it happens ever...
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011 — No Region Specified

IDB, Partners Establish New Competition for Hispanic Entrepreneurs in the US

Source: Inter-American Development Bank

Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), today announced the establishment of a new competition to help Hispanic entrepreneurs implement creative new social and business ideas addressing issues of economic growth, food, security, water, and climate change in the region. The announcement was made at Unleashing IdEA, an event launching Global Entrepreneurship Week 2011, which highlighted initiatives to encourage Hispanic diaspora entrepreneurs and inves...
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Monday, November 14, 2011 — Asia Pacific

People from India, China Potential Customers for Future: President Barack Obama

Source: The Economic Times

WASHINGTON: Appreciative of achievements made in a short span of time by India and China in areas like poverty alleviation, US President Barack Obama has told top CEOs from the Asia-Pacific region that people of the two Asian giants are "potential customers" for the future. "Whether it's China, whether it's India, these emerging countries, what they're accomplishing in a few short decades -- a...
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Monday, November 14, 2011 — No Region Specified

Global Entrepreneurship Week: Give Entrepreneurs the Tools They Need

Source: The Washington Post

Rupert Scofield is the President and CEO of FINCA International and the author of the new book The Social Entrepreneur's Handbook: How to Start, Build, and Run a Business That Improves the World . It seems that we have lost sight of a simple truth in the midst of today's global economic and social turmoil: Giving people the tools they need to become ...
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Monday, November 14, 2011 — No Region Specified

Ennovent Makes Debut Investment, Backs Barefoot Power

Source: VCCircle

Ennovent, a bottom of the pyramid focused investment firm, has made its debut deal by investing an undisclosed amount in Australia-based Barefoot Power. The investment was done by Ennovent's Sustainable Enterprise Fund along with Insitor (a social venture capital fund), Netherlands' Oikocredit (a DFI focusing on MFIs) and The Grace Foundation (a charitable foundation). Ennovent is an early stage fund which looks to invest in low-cost innovations in energy, food, water, health an...
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Friday, November 11, 2011 — No Region Specified

Microfinance, Plus Business Training, Equals Empowerment for the Developing World

Source: The Washington Times

VIENNA , VA, November 11, 2011-Step into the shoes of Priscilla, a 52-year-old woman in the new Republic of South Sudan who recently learned to write her name. As a girl, she never had a chance to attend school, and so Priscilla struggled through much of her life seeking sense of purpose and dignity. Twenty-five years of civil war - and countless other factors - had locked her out of a world of opportunity. Priscilla had almost given up hope. But thanks...
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Friday, November 11, 2011 — No Region Specified

Startups for Good: The New Breed of Social Impact Incubators

Source: Fast Company

It takes a village to raise a child, but it takes an ecosystem to scale a business that will transform the world. For many industries, support networks already exist in the form of business incubators, accelerators, venture capital, and other tools that will help grow an organization. For businesses designed with social and environmental impact in mind, there are far fewer resources to nurture them to world-class status. That's the niche Mi...
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Friday, November 11, 2011 — Europe & Eurasia

Social Business is About Future of Humanity

Source: The Daily Star

The third Global Social Business Summit began in Vienna yesterday to discuss the progress of global movement of the new business concept to find ways to tackle the most pressing needs of the world. Chancellor of Austria Werner Faymann inaugurated the summit at the Congress Centre of the Austrian capital. Dr Michael Haupl, mayor of Vienna, greeted more than 500 delegates from 56 countries. With the motto of "Pioneering for Results," the 2011 summit has brought together indivi...
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Friday, November 11, 2011 — No Region Specified

The Best Countries to Invest in are the Worst

Source: MarketWatch

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (MarketWatch) - The United Nations Development Program recently completed its annual Human Development Report, listing the well-being of nations based on their economic prosperity, education levels and life expectancy. Considering that this column is devoted to investing with an impact, elevating social welfare by investing in, say, Norway, the highest ranked on the HDI, isn't as easy to do as it might be by investing in, say, the Democratic Republic of the Cong...
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Thursday, November 10, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Embrace ICT for Development, Minister Urges SMEs

Source: The Nation

Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SME) operators have been urged to leverage the power of the Internet in transforming their businesses. Speaking at the Google Business Summit in Lagos, the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs Omobola Johnson, said research supports the concept of putting businesses online. "Today, Nigeria has an estimated 33 million Internet users and we have targets to double this number in the next three to four years. Getting your business o...
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Thursday, November 10, 2011 — South Asia

Ujjivan?s Social Development Program Helps Underprivileged Children in Kolkata

Source: Microfinance Focus

Ujjivan Financial Services, Bangalore-based Microfinance Institution (MFI), set up a concrete water reservoir at Vidhya Bhanvan Primary School at Kasba, Kolkata. Also Ujjivan presented two water purifiers to the underprivileged students at "Children of Topsia" school, as part of its national Social Development Program. The 400 students of the primary school till now had been suffering without proper access to drinking water. The 'Children of Topsia' school is run by a Span...
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Thursday, November 10, 2011 — South Asia

SKS Microfinance Should Present Themselves as a Business, Not as Do-gooders: Vinod Khosla

Source: The Economic Times

In one of the toughest environments to raise money, Vinod Khosla recently closed a $1.05-billion fund and promised to use most of this cash to back startups that he believes will change the way the world consumes energy. Since 2004, when he started Khosla Ventures, the Sun Microsystems co-founder has displayed almost messianic zeal in his quest to find alternative energy companies that can disp...
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

A Maintenance-Free Bike to Give Africans Some Mobility

Source: Fast Company

The 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami left thousands of people stranded, with ruined infrastructure putting basic needs-health care, school, building materials--out of reach. So bicycle-components manufacturer SRAM Corporation founded World Bicycle Relief , and, through partnerships with aid organizations, brought more than 24,000 bicycles to people in Sri Lanka. The organization has since expanded its bike-givin...
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

LinkedIn Connects Chilean Social Entrepreneur with Kenya

Source: Justmeans

Sebastian Salinas Claro, a young social entrepreneur from Chile is headed to Kenya to help launch a social entrepreneurship program. This event came about through the leading social networking website for professionals, LinkedIn. Sebastian, who founded a small social enterprise called Emprediem earlier this year. The company conducts workshops in entrepreneurship and social innovation. Sebastian's Kenya endeavor began when a friend informed him that he was connected with Alex...
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Wednesday, November 9, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Gates Foundation Unveils New Agricultural Policy

Source: SciDev.net

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, one of the world's largest donors to international agricultural research for development, has announced tighter priorities for its funding for Africa and South Asia, concentrating on key target countries and crops. In Africa the focus will be on Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Tanzania and Uganda. These countries will benefit from significant investment "to...
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Tuesday, November 8, 2011 — No Region Specified

Social Protection is the Best Foundation for Development

Source: Guardian.co.uk

The social and economic system that has powered global economic relations in the past two decades is clearly in crisis. We now know only too well that periods of "rapid growth" have been based on unsustainable bubbles; that such growth has contributed little in terms of generating more decent work and has significantly increased inequality; and that people will no longer accept these unfair outcomes, as shown by the ...
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Tuesday, November 8, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Andy Lieberman: Social Entrepreneurs, Not Charities, Will Help the Next Billion Out of Poverty

Source: MercuryNews.com

This week the world hits 7 billion in population, just 12 years after we reached 6 billion. Virtually all of these new billion live at the so-called Base of the Pyramid -- that segment of humanity that, by virtue of economic and political circumstance, struggles to meet basic food, water and energy needs on incomes of around $2 a day. Here at the Center for Science, Technology, and Society, we are confronting this problem every day and have come to the conclusion that the old ways...
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Tuesday, November 8, 2011 — South Asia

A Spring of Hope

Source: Business Standard

India has over six million blind people and over 50 million malnourished children. It also has one of the highest rates of maternal deaths at childbirth in the world. Just some statistics that highlight the shortcomings of the healthcare sector in the world's second most populous nation. But there is hope in the form of some private ventures that are addressing these problems and are establishing global standards for cost, quality and delivery. In the first of our three-part series on sus...
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Tuesday, November 8, 2011 — South Asia

India?s Innovation Stimulus

Source: The New York Times

By Thomas Friedman THE world hit seven billion people last week, and I think I met half of them on the road from New Delhi to Agra here in India. They were on foot, on bicycle, on motor scooters. They were in pickups, dented cars and crammed into motorized rickshaws. They were dodging monkeys and camels and cows. Somehow, though, without benefit of police or stoplights, this flow of humanity that is modern India impossibly went about its business. But just when your mind tells you that ...
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Monday, November 7, 2011 — No Region Specified

Stanford gets $150 million to fight world poverty

Source: SF Gate

Stanford University will announce one of the largest cash gifts in school history today - $150 million to the Graduate School of Business to create an institute that develops creative ways to fight poverty worldwide. It all began with $1.25. That's the amount of money that 1.4 billion people in developing countries live on each day, according to the World Bank. And that's the statistic that Bob King, founder of Menlo Park investment firm Peninsula Capital, and his wife, Do...
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Friday, November 4, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ivory Coast to Raise Profits for Cocoa Farmers

Source: The Washington Post

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast - A major restructuring of the cocoa sector is under way in Ivory Coast, officials announced Thursday in reforms they say will give a boost to the country's growers by guaranteeing them a minim price. Agriculture Minister Sangafowa Coulibaly said the government will create a state-controlled company in Ivory Coast, the world's largest cocoa producer, which will guarantee farmers 60 percent of the international cocoa price. At a news conference where he...
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Friday, November 4, 2011 — No Region Specified

InVenture Announces New Mobile Application for Small Businesses

Source: Press Release

InVenture Announces Release New Mobile Application "InSight" for Small Businesses Worldwide SMS System Will Offer Unique Insights Into the Inner Workings of Successful Micro-Entrepreneurs SANTA MONICA, CA, NOVEMBER, 3 2011 - Peer-to-peer micro-investment platform InVenture is proud to announce today, "InSight", a short messaging service (SM...
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Friday, November 4, 2011 — No Region Specified

Yunus urges G20 to take up social agenda

Source: The Daily Star

The current world crisis calls for an immediate broadening of the scope of the G20, said Professor Muhammad Yunus at the G20 Young Entrepreneurs Summit in France. "It must not be a political forum with solely an economic and financial agenda anymore. Creating a social agenda for the G20 is now of utmost importance," said the Nobel laureate at the summit that took place from Monday to Wednesday. "I had the privilege to participate last year in the presentation to President Sarkozy ...
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Should We Be Focused on Rural Areas in the Developing World?

Source: The Atlantic

Microfinance -- the practice of personal small loans to spur creativity in developing nations -- has well-known rural roots . Of late, I had assumed that the practice had become a city-based endeavor, in concert with other programs, targeting the world's burgeoning urban populations. Time spent in Africa earlier in the year did not change that perception. However, after following up with community economi...
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011 — No Region Specified

Stone-Washed Blue Jeans (Minus the Washed)

Source: The New York Times

SAN FRANCISCO - From the cotton field in rural India to the local rag bin, a typical pair of blue jeans consumes 919 gallons of water during its life cycle , Levi Strauss & Company says, or enough to fill about 15 spa-size bathtubs. That includes the water that goes into irrigating the cotton crop, stitching the je...
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011 — No Region Specified

OPIC Balances Purpose And Profit; Launching Call For Funds Nov. 1

Source: Wall Street Journal - Blog

Private equity investors are famous (or perhaps notorious) for their smart, aggressive and calculating business models. Firms fancy themselves value creators; others have occasionally demonized them as barbarians. Heck, some have even called them honey badgers . One thing's for certain: A successful firm prides itself on a healthy IRR. But the Overseas Private Investment C...
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Tuesday, November 1, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The MasterCard Foundation and MIT Partner to Support Entrepreneurship in Africa

Source: Marketwire

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS and TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 27, 2011) - The MasterCard Foundation and the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are pleased to announce a strategic 10-year, $21 million grant to support emerging entrepreneurs focused on Africa and developing regions. "The Legatum Center uniquely combines entrepreneurial leadership, technological innovation and grassroots development to be...
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  • Managing Partners

    William Davidson Institute
  • Sponsoring Partner

    Citi Foundation
  • Content Partners

    IADB
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