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Monday, February 28, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kopo Kopo Helps Bring Mobile Microfinance to Sierra Leone

Source: Mobile-Financial.com

Kopo Kopo, a software company that operates a services platform connecting mobile money to microfinance institutions, has partnered withHope Micro and Splash Mobile Money to bring mobile financial services to the country. Hope Micro customers will now be able to repay their loans via Splash Mobile Money, a service that allows users on the top three mobile networks to load cash onto their phones, send money, pay bills, withdrawcash, and buy goods. As a result, Hope Micro customers n...
Monday, February 28, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MFIs Seen as Way Forward to Boost Housing Supply

Source: Business Daily Africa

The World Bank is calling on microfinanciers to fund housing projects in Kenya to meet the high demand for affordable homes in the low-end market. The Bank said Kenya should take cue from India's housing microfinancing concept that has already seen development of 20,000 homes for low income earners and is looking to deliver 500,000 units in a few years. Speaking during the launch of the Housing Finance report in Nairobi, Simon Walley of the World Bank said: "We need to w...
Monday, February 28, 2011 — South Asia

Grameen Bank Founder Yunus Survives Attempt to Oust Him

Source: The Guardian

Muhammad Yunus , the Nobel prize winning founder of the Grameen bank in Bangladesh , has survived an attempt to oust him from ...
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Monday, February 28, 2011 — No Region Specified

How the Poor Can Least Afford Bad Design

Source: Venture Beat

You could call Jan Chipchase the Indiana Jones of product design. He lives in Shanghai, has a Japanese wife and just returned from a research trip in the north of Uganda, an area recently controlled by the notorious military group the
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Monday, February 28, 2011 — South Asia

India Budget to Help Microlenders

Source: The Wall Street Journal

MUMBAI -India's finance minister Monday announced the creation of a 1-billion rupee ($22 million) equity fund for microfinance institutions, a step that will provide the much needed financial support to smaller players. "The microfinance institutions have emerged as an important means of financial inclusion. Creation of a dedicated fund for providing equity to smaller MFIs would help them maintain growth and achieve scale and efficiency in operation," Pranab Mukherjee said whi...
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Thursday, February 24, 2011 — South Asia

The B-Town Doctors: Big Hospitals In Small Towns

Source: Forbes India

Divya Raman, 35, goes to her friendly, neighbourhood family physician in Koramangala, suburban Bangalore, whenever her family members fall ill. But this is not an average neighbourhood clinic. The walls are a warm magenta and yellow, there is enough space to sit and, most importantly, it is clean. "It is better than regular clinics, as it is clean and you do not get put off by a crowd," says Raman. Manipal Hospital would be happy to hear Raman's response. For the last two month...
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Thursday, February 24, 2011 — North Africa and Near East

Why We Need Social Entrepreneurship in the Middle East

Source: Inc.

The tremors shaking the Middle East have not fully subsided, but the ominous question already looms: What comes next? Much of the media focus has been on political reform, as tyrants are toppled and drama unfolds with the suspense of a Hollywood movie, but the demands of protestors have been clear: They want political and economic reform. Very little attention, as yet, has been paid to the...
Wednesday, February 23, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Chevron foundation, USAID give Nigeria $50M

Source: Associated Press

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) - Chevron Corp.'s foundation and USAID are to pour $50 million into Nigeria's impoverished delta where militants have kidnapped foreign oil workers and demanded that more oil profits come back to the region, the U.S. oil giant said Thursday. Chevron's Niger Delta Partnership Initiative and the U.S.-government funded USAID will each invest $25 million toward the development of the region over the next four years. The money will support programs desig...
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ethiopia Launches Industry Extension Service Package Targeting SMEs

Source: New Business Ethiopia

In an attempt to replicate success stories from its 'Agriculture Extension Program', which has been showing some good results in changing the lives of poor farmers, the Ethiopian government launched today 'Industry Extension Service' package targeting urban Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs). Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions will provide the new service package, which targets solving all the major headaches of SMEs...
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Wednesday, February 23, 2011 — Europe & Eurasia

Bridges Fund Tops ?11.75m with JP Morgan Investment

Source: Socialenterpriselive.com

A fund for social entrepreneurs run by Bridges Venture has topped £11.75m following a £2.75m investment from JP Morgan. The sustainable growth investor's Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund opened in 2009 to address the funding gap faced by fast-growing social enterprises. Its first £9m was funded by the Office for Civil Society, Nesta, R&S Cohen Foundation, Deutsche Bank, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and others. The Bridges Ventures team has also alloca...
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

From Reeds to Roads: Bamboo Bikes in Ghana

Source: PBS Newshour

When Columbia University professor John Mutter went to Ghana in 2007, he noticed how necessary a reliable source of transportation was to people's livelihoods and wellbeing. "You can't go to any of the poorer countries in Africa and not be struck by how many people get around by walking or bicycling," said Mutter. With roads in generally poor condition, it can take a long time to get from place to place, he said. Even the seemingly simple task of getting cash crops to mark...
Tuesday, February 22, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria: Global Malaria Control - It's Time to Cast Down the Net

Source: allAfrica.com

Maybe as her own demonstration of love during the Valentine season, the First Lady of Nigeria - Dame Patience Jonathan on Sunday February 13, 2011 turned a portion of Aso Rock into a repository for insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) that were subsequently distributed to some categories of Nigerian women. Her love gift is one out of the numerous efforts by various individuals, groups, communities, societies, agencies, governments, stakeholders and non stakeholders alike, in the fight agains...
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011 — Latin America

For Pepsi, a Business Decision With Social Benefit

Source: The New York Times

SAN GABRIEL, Mexico - In the past, farmers would make the dangerous trek north from this tiny town hidden in the rugged folds of the Jalisco mountain range to the United States, hoping to earn enough money doing odd jobs to cover debts incurred while cultivating the small plots of land that have been in their families for generations. But more recently, many have managed to avoid the trips, staying home as the result of a new venture with ...
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Tuesday, February 22, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwe: Fewer Extramarital Partners and Dollars Push Precipitous Decline in H.I.V. Rate

Source: The New York Times

Defying expectations in a region devastated by AIDS , rates of H.I.V. infection in Zimbabwe have fallen precipitously in the last decade. In 1997, an estimated 29 percent of adults were infected. A decade later, 16 percent were. The basic explanation is simple, according to ...
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Monday, February 21, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: Bloodless male circumcision to boost HIV prevention

Source: IRIN Global

The Rwandan government plans to expand its national voluntary male circumcision programme using a new device, the PrePex system, which officials say saves both time and money. The PrePex system works through a special elastic mechanism that fits closely around an inner ring, trapping the foreskin, which dries up and is removed after a week. A study conducted by the Rwandan Ministries of Defence and Health in 2010 found the device to be safe and effective. "Yo...
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Friday, February 18, 2011 — No Region Specified

Mobile Apps Competition Puts Women Online in the Developing World

Source: ComputerWeekly.com

Vodafone is sponsoring a competition to encourage developers to build mobile apps for women in developing countries. The GSMA mWomen 'Base of the Pyramid' apps challenge competition aims to address the needs of the 300 million women in developing countries who are not yet connected to a mobile device. The competition was open to original applications from software development companies producing 'feature' and smartphone applications aligned to the socio-economic be...
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Friday, February 18, 2011 — No Region Specified

Why Muhammad Yunus and the Poor Need Us More than Ever

Source: The Huffington Post

In the past weeks, Nobel Peace prize winner Muhammad Yunus has been under attack by not only his the leader of the government in his native Bangladesh but by those people and organizations who are upset with what narrows down to Dr Yunus' stand against corruption and loan sharking. Basically here is what it comes down to: greed and corrupt power versus truly helping the poor to help themselves. Anyone who has spent time with Dr Yunus, and everyone I have spoken to over the pas...
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Friday, February 18, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Movirtu Awarded Contract with Airtel Madagascar

Source: Neondrum

Movirtu, the leading provider of Mobile Identity Management (MIM) solutions to wireless telecommunication service providers, announced today a contract with Airtel Madagascar to implement the Movirtu Cloud Phone services nationwide in Madagascar. The main channel for purchase will be the Village Phone Operators (VPOs) with whom the service has been piloted. Airtel has a stated goal to attract new subscribers from rural areas in Madagascar. 70% of rural consumers do not have acces...
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Thursday, February 17, 2011 — Latin America

IDB, Oikocredit, Incofin and Calvert Foundation Back Credit Cooperative in Ecuador

Source: iadb.org

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has closed a $9 million syndicated loan with Jardin Azuayo, a community-based savings and loan cooperative in Ecuador . The loan will fund the co-op's Credits for Community Development project, which channels funds to municipalities, community organizations and other local entities to finance improvements in social infrastructure such as schools and roads. Th...
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011 — Latin America

With Mobile Technology Vodafone and the U.N. Improve Health in Brazil's Remote Communities

Source: Fast Company

The Vodafone Foundation and the United Nations are working together again on a mobile initiative for social good --this time in Brazil and with an eye on ...
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Wednesday, February 16, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Facebook, Twitter Could Learn Social Responsibility from South Africa's Social Network

Source: Fast Company

MXit, a popular mobile messaging client that reaches an astounding 40% of South Africans , has an aggressive corporate social responsibility program that US-based social networks could learn from. In addition to live educational, drug, and suicide-prevention counselors, MXit recently added a civic responsibility app, Sm...
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Tuesday, February 15, 2011 — No Region Specified

Rockefeller Foundation Sees Social-Change Dividend

Source: The Wall Street Journal

The Rockefeller Foundation is banking on paying for social change that works. To that end, the foundation will this week announce a $400,000 gr...
TAGS:jobs
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 — No Region Specified

Live Q&A: Social Franchising And Social Enterprise

Source: The Guardian

Franchising is a well-established means of expanding a business, and one which is coming under increasing scrutiny by social entrepreneurs. Yet a recent report from the Social Enterprise Coalition found that there were a number of barriers to expanding social franchising, including understanding, finance, intellectual property and capacity. The report said that more support was needed for social enterprises who wa...
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Monday, February 14, 2011 — North Africa and Near East

In Egypt, Will an Economic Revolution Follow?

Source: Inc.

The popular uprising in Egypt has quickly been accorded a conventional explanation: The people want democratic government. This is not necessarily wrong, but it risks ignoring deep-seated trends in Egypt that, if neglected in the coming political transition, will only boil over again. Specifically, Egypt suffers from a stagnant economy and it should not be surprising that a lack of economic opportunity contributed to ...
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Monday, February 14, 2011 — No Region Specified

Founder, Teach A Man to Fish Wins Anti-Poverty Achievement Award

Source: Press Release: Opportunity Collaboration

News Release: San Francisco, CA, February 14, 2011 - Martin Burt, Chief Executive Office of both Fundación Paraguaya in Paraguay and Teach a Man to Fish , which operates globally, has been named the 2011 Opportunity Collaboration Achievement Award recipient. Presented every World Poverty Day on the final evening of the annual ...
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Monday, February 14, 2011 — No Region Specified

Engineers Hone Clean-Energy Stoves For The World

Source: NPR

Almost half the world still cooks its food with solid fuels, such as wood and charcoal. The results are deforestation and black carbon, which contributes to global warming. And smoke-related disease kills an estimated 1.6 million people a year. In war zones, the daily hunt for firewood can present families with terrible dilemmas, says Veronique Barbelet of the World Food Programme. "You hear women in northern Uganda and places like that telling you, 'My choice is between...
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Monday, February 14, 2011 — North Africa and Near East

Egypt Plans Stimulus to Revive ?Sudden Stop? Economy

Source: Bloomberg

Ashraf Abdel-Wanis had plenty of reasons to join tens of thousands of fellow Egyptians in their successful push to oust President Hosni Mubarak. At 39, he last worked five years ago in a sugar factory and now gets by mainly on his wife's $50 monthly salary and his mother's pension. "The Egyptian family's nutrition consists of beans, lentils and beans," he said in an interview in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the plaza at the heart of almost three weeks of protests. "If they'...
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Friday, February 11, 2011 — South Asia

Can a PepsiCo-Powered Crowd of Scientists Rescue Moms, Infants?

Source: Fast Company

Last November, Scientists Without Borders underwent a makeover from a social networking site for scientists to an open innovation platform that crowdsources solutions to scientific problems. The first major challenge, sweetened by $10,000 in PepsiCo-funded prize money, is reducing infant mortality in the developing world through better nutrition. Infant mortality in many developing countries is high (3.6 mi...
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Thursday, February 10, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

A Mobile Banking Powerhouse Born From Bus Fare Theft

Source: Fast Company

M-PESA , one of the world's most rapidly expanding mobile banking systems, is transforming the banking sector in Africa. And it started, in part, when a thief stole bus fare from a woman who was participating in the M-PESA pilot. Until then, M-PESA was a microfinance initiative, but the victim's husband used the mobile pay service to transfer fund...
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Thursday, February 10, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

'Best Chance' to End Polio - Bill Gates Promotes Vaccines and Food Programs to Attack Poverty

Source: allAfrica.com

Washington, DC - The likelihood that few African countries will meet any of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, aimed at reducing severe poverty by 2015, has prompted a spate of studies, books and debates that examine development assistance. Many argue that aid, in general, has done more harm than good. Since leaving an operational role at Microsoft in 2008, Bill Gates has devoted full time to the premise that international assistance, sp...
Thursday, February 10, 2011 — No Region Specified

What Are Social-Impact Bonds?

Source: The New York Times

By DAVID LEONHARDT My column this week describes a new strategy for improving the performance of government programs. In short, private investors - typically foundations - pay the costs of a new program in its early years, and the government later repays the investors,...
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Wednesday, February 09, 2011 — No Region Specified

Why a New Multidonor Trust Fund in Liberia Works

Source: DevEx

Many countries are struggling to meet the Millennium Development Goals because their governments are unwilling or unable to fulfill core functions. Sudan and Afghanistan are examples of fragile states that are receiving billions in foreign aid every year but are unlikely to reach the MDGs. Among the classic repertoire of approaches to providing development assistance, few funding instruments can effectively channel resources through governments of fragile states and help them to become ...
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Wednesday, February 09, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa's Innovation Generation: Dynamos and Mobile Wiz Kids

Source: National Geographic

Leapfrogging PCs, Africa's burgeoning generation of mobile tech-savvy entrepreneurs is bursting with ideas and practical inventions, from African apps for smart phones to software solutions that address uniquely local challenges. In this installment of Mobile Message, Kenya-based Erik Hersman, a co-founder of Ushahidi , a free and open source platform for crowdsourcing information and visualizing data, writes about ...
Wednesday, February 09, 2011 — No Region Specified

Seeking America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs

Source: Businessweek

Entrepreneurship has always been about solving problems. What distinguishes social entrepreneurs is how much their solutions improve people's lives. They're building companies to lift people out of poverty, improve global health, extend human rights, and protect the environment. They're business people, too, and they take profits as seriously they take their missions. Social enterprises aren't charities-they sustain themselves and grow because their customers pay for the value...
Tuesday, February 08, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Afrilabs Links Entrepreneurs, Startups, Tech Communities in Africa

Source:

Erik Hersman, director of operations at the non-profit Ushahidi, today announced the launch of a network of startup incubators and tech communities throughout Africa. Dubbing the new ven...
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Tuesday, February 08, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nestle to Invest $1 Bln in Africa Over Next 2 Years

Source: Reuters Africa

LAGOS (Reuters) - Nestle, the world's biggest food group, said on Thursday it would invest 1 billion Swiss francs expanding capacity in Africa over the next two years. Chief Executive Paul Bulcke made the comments at the opening of a 12 billion naira factory to produce Maggi seasoning cubes in the southwestern state of Ogun in Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa's second-biggest economy. "This latest investment is proof of our commitment to Africa in which we will invest 1 billion...
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Tuesday, February 08, 2011 — No Region Specified

'Doing Good' with the Profits

Source: Sign On San Diego

Jeffrey Church and Mike Stone started a bottled-water business not to get rich, but to do good. The two San Diego businessmen, who met at Harvard Business School , established Nika Water after Church took his family on a working vacation to Africa to build schools and water systems. "My family and I liked w...
Monday, February 07, 2011 — No Region Specified

72,000 More Indian Villages to Get Banking Services by 2012

Source: IANS

(IANS) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked all the commercial banks to take banking services, in any form, to 72,000 uncovered villages in India by 2012, a top bank official said here Sunday. 'Keeping with the RBI directives, the banks have been engaging retired bank officials, locals and societies as business correspondents (BC) and setting up branches to extend the banking services to unbanked rural and remote areas having population of 2,000,' United Bank of I...
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Monday, February 07, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Hopes and Fears on EU?s Africa Aid

Source: Devex News

By Elena L. Pasquini Mohamed Ibn Chambas has mixed feelings about the emerging collaboration of China and Europe to help Africa meet the Millennium Development Goals. While he welcomes such a partn...
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Monday, February 07, 2011 — No Region Specified

Wharton School, WWB Focus on Innovation in Microfinance

Source: The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 3, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Women's World Banking (WWB) Center for Microfinance Leadership, and the ...
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Friday, February 04, 2011 — No Region Specified

Social Entrepreneurship and the Common Brand

Source: Fast Company

As GOOD magazine reported yesterday, Alex Bogusky and John Bielenberg, have launched a new social entrepreneurship platform called COMMON that is part incubator and part creative community that enables collabor...
Friday, February 04, 2011 — South Asia

Microfinance Banking and Finance Institute Launched in Kabul

Source: Microfinance Focus

Afghanistan Institute of Banking and Finance (AIBF), the first institute to provide traditional banking and microfinance knowledge and understanding to the Afghan community was recently launched in Kabul, said a report released by MIFSA. AIBF was established to build a strong knowledge base of the industry in Afghanistan. It works in close collaboration with Da Afghanistan Bank (DAB), the Afghanistan Banking Association (ABA), and the Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghani...
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Friday, February 04, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Behind the Seams: The Disadvantaged Women Creating Hong Kong Fashion

Source: CNN Go

The founders of Dialog Worldbutik, Malaysian Dong Shing Chiu and New Generation Award winner Cassandra Postema, started their social business after the 2004 tsunami. They sold " Hope Tee " T-shirts for tsunami relief fundraising and expanded into women's handbags and accessories using recycled materials by 2007. "Eco-friendly and fair trade is our trademark and the stories behind our designs are important. But the design...
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Friday, February 04, 2011 — No Region Specified

Fancy Solar Cooker a Possible Solution For Off-Grid Communities

Source: Treehugger.com

Images via Yanko Design Solar cookers f...
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Friday, February 04, 2011 — Latin America

In A Shift, Cubans Savor Working for Themselves

Source: The New York Times

BAUTA, Cuba - Marisela Álvarez spends much of the day bent over a single electric burner in her small outdoor kitchen. Her knees are killing her. Her red hair smells of cooking oil. "I feel useful; I'm independent," said Ms. Álvarez, who opened a small cafe in November at her home in this scruffy town 25 miles from the capital, Havana. "When you sit down at the end of the day and look at how much you have made, you feel satisfied." Eagerly, warily, Cubans are tak...
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Thursday, February 03, 2011 — No Region Specified

Hire for Attitude, Train for Skill

Source: Harvard Business Review

By Bill Taylor In a recent issue of The New Yorker , Atul Gawande, the gifted writer and accomplished doctor, published yet another of his must-read accounts of the health-care crisis and the innovators trying to change things for the better. One of the organizations he highl...
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Thursday, February 03, 2011 — No Region Specified

CASE at Duke University Coordinating Research for B Lab and GIIRS

Source: CSRwire

DURHAM, N.C., Feb. 02 /CSRwire/ - With funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship (CASE) at Duke University's Fuqua School of Business is leading an effort to create priorities for future research for the national and global data being collected by B Lab and the Global Impact Investing Rating System. The Rockefeller Foundation is also providing support for B Lab and GIIRS. "B Lab and GIIRS are collecting a unique pool of data, ...
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Wednesday, February 02, 2011 — No Region Specified

Social Entrepreneurs Cross Between 'Richard Branson and Mother Teresa'

Source: news.com.au

In the developed and developing worlds, governments and business have failed to solve many endemic social problems. In response to that failure, social entrepreneurs are using innovative solutions to bring about measurable change. Such social enterprise has arrived in a big way. Bill Clinton advocates it. Billionaires such as Bill Gates and Jeff Skoll fund it. With a growing track record of successful not-for-loss enterprises, social entrepreneurship is an idea wh...
Wednesday, February 02, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria: New Bakassi Chairman Talks Tough

Source: allAfrica.com

Calabar - THE newly sworn-in Chairman of the New Bakassi Local Government Area, Dr. Ekpo Bassey has pledged his administration's commitment to fighting poverty to a stand-still by building capacity of the youths and providing micro-credit to them to boost their businesses. Bassey who announced his plans in Calabar Monday after being sworn-in as chairman of the New Bakassi Local Government Area by the Cross River State Governor, Senator Liyel Imoke his administration would collaborat...
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Wednesday, February 02, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Shoe Company Hopes to Kick-start Manufacturing in Africa

Source: CNN

Made in Africa is not something you hear about very often. But Tal Dehtiar is trying to change that with his business, Oliberte, which he says is the first international company to market casual shoes made entirely in Africa. A Native-born Canadian, Dehtiar is one of a growing number of social entrepreneurs who want to do good while doing well. He launched his company two years ago, with an aim to make -- and sell -- shoes for the fashionista with a conscience. "For that man...
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Tuesday, February 01, 2011 — No Region Specified

Gates Foundation Outlines 7 Social Good Initiatives for 2011

Source: Mashable

Bill Gates has released his 2011 Annual Letter on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, drawing attention to seven ambitious social good initiatives. Gates stresses the need for renewed investment in foreign aid even as international budgets struggle against cuts and deficits. Gates positions himself as a representative for the world's poorest, those who will not have a chance to lobby governments for support, writing: "Whether you believe it a moral imperative or in th...
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Tuesday, February 01, 2011 — South Asia

India?s Airtel Introduces Cash Payment by Mobile Phone

Source: PCWorld

India's largest mobile operator, Bharti Airtel, is offering its customers the facility to make payments through mobile phones, reflecting a growing interest by Indian mobile operators in addressing the large number of mobile users in the country that do not have access to banking and online facilities. Currently a large number of people in India pay in cash for goods and services, sometimes standing in long queues to pay for utilities like electricity and water supply. Bharti ...
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Tuesday, February 01, 2011 — South Asia

Identifying a Billion Indians

Source: The Economist

In a small village north-west of Bangalore, peasants queue for identities. Each man fills in a form with his name and rough date of birth, or gets someone who can read to do it for him. He places his fingertips on one scanner and stares at another. A photograph of his face is snapped. These images are uploaded to a computer. Within a few weeks he will have an identity number. The Indian government is trying to give all 1.2 billion Indians something like an American Social Security numbe...
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