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Thursday, March 31, 2011 — No Region Specified

'One Laptop Per Child' Founder Recalls Challenges

Source: The Harvard Crimson

Nicholas P. Negroponte, the driving force behind One Laptop Per Child-the non-profit organization that provides low-cost laptops to children around the globe-recalled the entrepreneurial obstacles he faced despite his philanthropic mission. His presentation, jointly sponsored by the Harvard Undergraduate Women in Business and the Leadership Institute at Harvard College, provided students an opportunity to engage with a successful social entrepreneur and hear about the difficult progress...
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011 — South Asia

English in Action: Mobile Learning in Bangladesh

Source: National Geographic

In her role as the Content Producer for the SOCAP conference series, Amy Benziger has the opportunity to interview innovators from around the world on how they are changing the landscape of social enterprise. For this installment of Mobile Message, she interviews Sara Chamberlain, project director for BBC Janala , an initiative based in Bangladesh that incorporates on-screen English tutoring through a ...
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Wednesday, March 30, 2011 — No Region Specified

Dell Foundation Picks 5% In Waterlife International

Source: VCCircle

Michael & Susan Dell Foundation picked up approximately 5 percent by way of fully and compulsorily convertible debentures of the Hyderabad-based Waterlife India Pvt Ltd, a water purification company. The actual amount pumped into the firm is not known. Waterlife is engaged in building, operating and maintaining community water systems. In 2009, Aavishkaar, a micro equity fund, had invested in Waterlife India Pvt Ltd. for a significant minority stake. Waterlife has been founded...
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011 — South Asia

Can India's Tata Make Cheap, Distributed Energy?

Source: CNET

BOSTON--For the most part, the world's energy system is highly centralized. Tata Power of India is exploring whether smaller-scale distributed energy can work in a country where hundreds of millions of people don't have access to electricity. Earlier this month, I met with Avinash Patkar, the chief sustainability officer of Tata Power, which is the power division of India-based Tata, an industrial giant with businesses in steel, software, autos, chemicals, and telecommunications...
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Tuesday, March 29, 2011 — Europe & Eurasia

Archbishop Desmond Tutu to Give Keynote Address at Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship

Source: Sys-Con Media

OXFORD, England, March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Skoll World Forum is the leading international platform for accelerating entrepreneurial approaches and innovative solutions to the world's most pressing social issues. The theme for the 2011 Forum is 'Large Scale Change - ecosystems, networks and collaborative action.' The programme covers a wide variety of complex global issues such as water, energy, food security, climate change, peace and security, social equity and eme...
Tuesday, March 29, 2011 — South Asia

$18 Bn Worth of Projects Discussed at India-Africa Conclave

Source: The Economic Times

NEW DELHI: Projects worth $18 billion were discussed at the India-Africa conclave that concluded here on Tuesday after two days of deliberations in sectors ranging from education to energy. The seventh edition of the CII-Exim Bank conclave on India Africa Project Partnership was attended by two prime ministers and over a dozen ministers from Africa. The conclave witnessed the largest ever participation with 650 delegates, who discussed 204 projects worth $18 billion.
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Monday, March 28, 2011 — No Region Specified

To Catch A Dollar: Poor Women, Small Business And a Chance to Succeed in America

Source: The Huffington Post

Patricia, a Guyanese immigrant living in Queens, N.Y., had long dreamed of running her own business. An avid baker, she hoped to open a shop where she could sell the cakes and pastries she made on a smaller scale in her spare time. But she lacked the seed money to afford the necessary supplies. And without savings or collateral, she certainly didn't qualify for a loan. Determined to make her vision a reality, Patricia connected with a local branch of ...
Monday, March 28, 2011 — Latin America

Haitian-made Crafts Land at Macy?s

Source: The Globe and Mail

With its tin roof and tiny façade hemmed in with razor wire, the shambling structure sitting on the edge of Cité Soleil - Port-au-Prince's most notorious slum - is not what you'd imagine a toy factory to look like. The one-room shack doubles as the home of Reggie Jean-François, a muscle-bound Haitian man in his mid-30s who has first-hand experience of a U.S. federal prison, the U.S. deportation system and the rehabilitative power of Jesus Christ. Jean-Fran&c...
Monday, March 28, 2011 — South Asia

Microcredit Pioneer in Grameen Bank Survival Battle

Source: BBC News

It is not the usual routine for Professor Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Peace laureate and a pioneer of microcredit. Instead of travelling the world advising governments on microcredit, Mr Yunus has been confined to his native Bangladesh fighting court battles. Mr Yunus founded the microcredit Grameen Bank in 1983. He now finds himself in the uncomfortable situation of fighting to save his job. On Tuesday, Bangladesh's Supreme Court is set to reo...
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Friday, March 25, 2011 — South Asia

Growth as Tool to Alleviate Poverty

Source: The Hindu Business Line

The Prime Minister's focus on double-digit growth is not due to any 'growth mania'. It is for the benefit of the poor. At a recent function for police officers, the Prime Minister observed: "If we don't control Naxalism, we have to say goodbye to our country's ambition to sustain a growth rate of 10 to 11 per cent per annum." Some commentators (like Prof Prabhat Patnaik of JNU) interpret this (in a newspaper piece) as the Prime Minister prioritising 10-11 per c...
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Thursday, March 24, 2011 — South Asia

Afghan Dressmaker Helps Inspire Other Start-ups

Source: PBS Newshour

Journalist Gayle Tzemach Lemmon arrived in Afghanistan in 2005. She had come to Kabul on an assignment to write an article for the Financial Times about local women entrepreneurs who emerged when the Taliban took control of the city in 1996. Lemmon was not a novice at covering women in war zones. She had worked in Bosnia and Rwanda reporting on female entrepreneurs in post-conflict counties. But in Afghanistan, Lemmon was "a first-timer." When she met her interview subject, she re...
Thursday, March 24, 2011 — South Asia

Consumer Goods to Consumer Centricity: Not Easy to Navigate for HUL

Source: The Economic Times

It's lunchtime at the sprawling campus - the walk through inside the corporate nerve centre of India's largest FMCG Company - the Rs17700 crore turnover (March ended 2010) HUL. The campus is crowded with employees taking their post prandial walk, some using WiFi to work out of their work stations and some milling around the branded food court from the company stable. So there's Swirl Parlour, Bru Cafes and the latest addition Knorr Food Kiosk. It's at the Knorr Fo...
Thursday, March 24, 2011 — South Asia

Yunus Says Borrowers Are Core of Grameen Bank

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Bangladeshi Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus is facing challenging times. On March 2, Bangladesh's central bank ruled that he must step down as managing director of Grameen Bank, the institution he founded in the 1970s to get small loans to poor farmers without collateral. The success of Grameen won Mr. Yunus international acclaim and helped spawn the global microfinance industry. The bank and Mr. Yunus shared the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. But Mr. Yunus is facing pressure at home. ...
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Thursday, March 24, 2011 — South Asia

Gates Foundation: $23 Million for Health Diagnostics in Bihar

Source: Devex News

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has committed $23 million to help improve the diagnosis and treatment of diarrhea, tuberculosis, kala azar and childhood pneumonia in the Indian state of Bihar. The funding will go toward an international non-governmental health organization that will lead an initiative to improve prescription practices across Bihar's private health sect...
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011 — South Asia

Bangladesh Ready to Compromise on Yunus Dispute

Source: VoANews.com

Bangladesh says it is ready to compromise with Nobel laureate Mohammad Yunus, who was dismissed as chief of the microfinance bank he founded. The country's finance ministry said Wednesday the government is ready to find a solution to the issue and that Yunus must come forward to help resolve the matter. The statement comes a day after U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Robert Blake expressed concern about the effect of Yunus' departure from Grameen Bank on civil s...
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Experts Warn Africa Must Learn from India's Microfinance Problems

Source: CNN

It has been lauded as one of the most promising ways of using the market to reduce poverty and boost economies in some of the world's most deprived areas. But in recent months the work of microfinance institutions (MFIs), which provide small loans to poor people with no access to traditional banking services, has come under scrutiny after a spate of suicides in the Indian province of Andhra Pradesh was linked to borrowers' inability to repay their loans. The news made inte...
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011 — South Asia

Tata Signs up MIT Energy Guru for Power from Water

Source: livemint.com

Bangalore: In the first such effort, Tata group chairman Ratan Tata has signed on a leading scientist from the globally renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to commercialize cutting-edge research that promises to produce cheap power from water. Daniel Nocera, a professor of chemistry and energy, and his group of elite scientists at MIT attracted attention from Tata when he heard they had found a way towards one of science's holy grails-to imitate photosynthesis, the ...
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011 — South Asia

Nokia Extends Mobile Money Service to Union Bank in India

Source: Bloomberg

Nokia Oyj (NOK1V) , the world's biggest maker of mobile phones, has started supplying mobile banking services for a Union Bank of India offering aimed at phone customers who don't have bank accounts. The Union Bank Money Powered by Nokia service is available in Gurgaon and will be released nationwide over the next few months, the Mumbai-based bank s...
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011 — South Asia

Microfinance Under Fire

Source: The New York Times Opinionator

By DAVID BORNSTEIN At Fixes, our focus is typically on implementing new or underutilized ideas to help those in need. But sometimes it's just as important to protect institutions that are already working well. Which is why I'm writing today about the Grameen Bank, the Bangladeshi organization that won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, along with its founder Muhammad...
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Tuesday, March 22, 2011 — North Africa and Near East

Sa?d Business School: US Marines Call on Social Entrepreneur in Afghanistan

Source: The Financial

When Connie Duckworth received a call from the office of Commanding General of the Marines First Expeditionary Force operating in Afghanistan, she was surprised to say the least. Ms Duckworth is a social entrepreneur working in poor rural communities in Afghanistan well beyond the theatre of war. The Marines, however, had heard about her approach to developing sustainable economic growth within these communities and wanted to learn more. Ms Duckworth's social venture ARZU has been w...
Monday, March 21, 2011 — Latin America

PepsiCo Foundation Announces $5 M Grant to IDB's AquaFund

Source: Microfinance Focus

The PepsiCo Foundation recently announced a $5 million grant to the AquaFund, launched by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), to facilitate investment in water supply and sanitation, water resources, solid waste management and wastewater treatment. The AquaFund agreement was signed by Luis Montoya, President of PepsiCo Latin American Beverages, and Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the IDB, at the International Environment Summit in Guayaquil, Ecuador. The grant will fund a...
Sunday, March 20, 2011 — North Africa and Near East

USAID, IYF To Promote Entrepreneurship Among Palestinian Youth

Source: Devex

A $15 million initiative to improve entrepreneurship , civic engagement and employment opportunities for young people in the Palestinian territories has been launched in Ramallah in the West Bank. The four-year program is a partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development and the International Youth Foundation. Dubbed the "Youth Entrepreneurship Development" program, it aims to help young people between 1...
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Friday, March 18, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Avon Budgets RM100m Micro Credit Loans

Source: Business Times

Avon Cosmetics (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd, the largest direct selling cosmetics company in Malaysia, allocates micro credit loans of RM100 million annually to provide business opportunities, especially for women. "Through the Avon micro credit loans financing, we provide loans of between RM1,000 to RM70,000 to distributors without a deposit or interest," said Avon president Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia, Mansoor Wan Abdullah. He was speaking to reporters after ...
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Friday, March 18, 2011 — South Asia

Accion, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation Invest In Social BPO Firm

Source: VCCIRCLE

Bangalore-based BPO Vindhya e-Infomedia (Vindhya), which employs people who are differently-abled, has raised an undisclosed amount of venture funding from social sector investors Accion International and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. Vindhya provides data management and processing services to clients in the IT and microfinance space. Accion is making the investment through Frontier Investments Group, an early-stage equity fund that invests in breakthrough technologies and disrup...
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Friday, March 18, 2011 — South Asia

Tata Motors Developing Cheaper Trucks

Source: The Wall Street Journal

MUMBAI - Tata Motors Ltd. is developing cheaper versions of its Prima range of trucks and plans to start launching them by the end of 2011 to boost demand, a senior company executive said recently. The new trucks will be sold at price points up to 400,000 rupees ($8863.3) lower than those of the current range, the executive told Dow Jones Newswires. "We are currently working on cutting costs th...
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Thursday, March 17, 2011 — No Region Specified

Women Farmers a Force in Fighting Global Food Shortages: Report

Source: Fast Company

The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released its 2011 State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) report this week, just in time for today's International Women's Day. The report illustrates how better investments in female farmers would prevent malnourishment in 100-150 million people, because of the ways women are likely to allocate resources in a food-shortage-threatened world. "The report s...
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Thursday, March 17, 2011 — South Asia

Lack of Funding Still Plagues India Microlenders

Source: Reuters

Six months after the state of Andhra Pradesh slapped restrictive laws on India's microlenders, availability of funding continues to plague the once-thriving lenders to the poor despite official encouragement. Confidence building is needed to revive financing for microfinance operations, said Mathew Titus, executive director of Sa-Dhan, an industry body. "You need somebody to step up and say the industry is fine," Titus said on the sidelines of a conference organised by Sa-Dhan...
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Thursday, March 17, 2011 — Latin America

Microcredit's Quiet Revolution Takes Root in Brazil

Source: AFP via Google News

SOROCABA, Brazil - When people talk about Brazil's economy, figures numbering in the billions of dollars are usually bandied about to underline the success -- and the potential -- of this vast Latin American market of 193 million people. But for one 25-year-old woman, Alessandra Franca, just a handful of cash is all it takes to make a difference for the 40 percent of Brazil's population who are still poor. A year ago, Franca founded Banco Perola, a lending institution spec...
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011 — South Asia

IFC Invests in New Microfinance Bank to Help Pakistan?s Farmers Get Loans

Source: The Financial

Islamabad, Pakistan. IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is improving access to finance for Pakistan's farmers by investing to transform microcredit operations of the National Rural Support Program-one of the country's leading microfinance institutions-into a regulated, deposit-taking microfinance bank. IFC will...
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011 — South Asia

Microcredit: Prevent it from Collapse

Source: The Daily Star

Noted economists and analysts yesterday urged the critics of microcredit, including the government, not to underrate the contribution of microfinance institutions that help lift millions out of poverty. Their calls came from a roundtable discussion on microcredit and poverty alleviation, organised by the country's most-circulated national daily Prothom Alo at its office in Dhaka. The sector that lends funds to more than two crore families across the country has been passing th...
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011 — South Asia

Banks Say Inclusiveness Is Costly

Source: The Wall Street Journal

The Reserve Bank of India may want all banks to focus on financial inclusion-service the poor at the bottom of the pyramid-but is it a viable business? "It's not really profitable to have people in financial inclusion," admitted Neeraj Swaroop, regional chief executive India and South Asia, Standard Chartered Bank. "A lot of the accounts are dormant and not activated because there's no credit as those people are really poor," he added. "You can't have financial inclusi...
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011 — South Asia

U. Project Hopes to Buy Cows for Cambodia

Source: Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY - What do University of Utah students, cows and Cambodia have in common? They are linked through a project to help people rise out of poverty. "We have some very dedicated students who have educated themselves on microcredit, its potential, the impact it can have on lives," said economics professor Wade Roberts. Members of his international economics class want to take an idea - microcredit - halfway around the world. They have only seen video or pictures of the pov...
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011 — No Region Specified

Benefits of Integrating Microfinance and Health Protection Services Published

Source: PRLog

The March 2011 edition of Oxford Journals' Health Policy and Planning has published a paper that examines the benefits of integrating microfinance with health protection services and makes recommendations that can inform policy and program design for expansion of the practice. After a review of multiple studies, the paper concludes that microfinance institutions (MFIs) are capable of contributing to health improvements by increasing knowledge that leads to behavioral changes,...
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011 — No Region Specified

Business & Nonprofit Leaders Highlight Investment in Women

Source: Devex News

Public-private partnerships don't fall from the sky - they are hard work, says Hans d'Orville, assistant director-general for strategic planning at UNESCO. But the starting point is always a clear discussion. On Tuesday (March 8), D'Orville joined representatives from non-governmental organizations, private foundations and United Nations agencies in tackling the issue of working together to empower women and girls in schools and workplaces alike. The United Nation...
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Monday, March 14, 2011 — No Region Specified

Social Enterprises and the Private Sector Supply Chain

Source: The Guardian

Big business is supplied by big business, and breaking into the plc supply chain is beyond most small companies. Or so is the received wisdom. But recently, a number of heavyweight corporate names, including 02 and accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), have expressed an interest in using social enterprises as suppliers. The latest to do so is building giant ...
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Monday, March 14, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Amid Japan?s Earthquake, Entrepreneurship

Source: Forbes

By Elmira Bayrasli 700 times. That's how much stronger, the U.S. Geological Survey says , Friday's 8.9 magnitude earthquake in northern Japan was than the one that hit Haiti at 7.0 last year. Luckily the damage and the loss of life in Japan, though in the hundreds of thousands, was not 700 times larger. ...
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Monday, March 14, 2011 — South Asia

XLRI ties up with SCU

Source: The Times of India

JAMSHEDPUR: The premier B school of the country, XLRI, Jamshedpur and Santa Clara University (SCU), California , USA, have signed an MoU to promote and foster social entrepreneurship in India. The two institutes have decided to collaborate where...
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Monday, March 14, 2011 — South Asia

Smart Launches (BoP-Focused) P500 Phone

Source: Inquirer.net

MANILA, Philippines-Dominant carrier Smart Communications Inc. is bringing one of the world's most affordable phones to the country to reach the people at the "base of the pyramid" that still do not have access to basic telecommunications services. In a briefing on Thursday, Smart announced the launch of its "Panalo Phone," which would sell at a price of P499 each. The new phone, which comes in two models made by the Chinese brand ZTE and local phone maker Cherry Mobile, is set to h...
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Friday, March 11, 2011 — No Region Specified

Betting on Green

Source: The Economist

"ENVIRONMENTALISTS are fiddling while Rome burns," says Vinod Khosla, founder of Khosla Ventures, a Silicon Valley venture-capital firm. "They get in the way with silly stuff like asking people to walk more, drive less. That is an increment of 1-2% change. We need 1,000% change if billions of people in China and India are to enjoy a Western, energy-rich lifestyle." Forget today's green technologies like electric cars, wind turbines, solar cells and smart grids, in other words. None meets ...
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Friday, March 11, 2011 — South Asia

Rural Electrification to Raise $200 Mn by March End

Source: livemint.com

Mumbai: India's state-run lender Rural Electrification Corp (REC) plans to raise $200 million from the offshore loan market by the close of the current fiscal year ending this month, a company official told Reuters. The $200 million foreign currency loans will have a tenor of five years and could be denominated in yen or dollars, H.D. Khunteta, director of finance, said. The all-in cost of funding the loans is 170 basis points plus Libor. The company is awaiting the Reserve Ba...
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Friday, March 11, 2011 — No Region Specified

NextDrop Project Keeps on Winning

Source: UC Berkeley School of Information

Less than a week after winning one international mobile app prize, the NextDrop project was victorious again - this time in the Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition at the University of Washington's business school. The Global Social Entrepreneurship Competition (GSEC) rewards student projects that target poverty reduction in developing economies, integrating financial and social returns on investment. The competition has previously recognized projects like solar-powered modul...
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Thursday, March 10, 2011 — Europe & Eurasia

American Expat Helps Hong Kong Startups Find Footing

Source: Fast Company

The Hong Kong social enterprise scene is just getting going --and so is the startup movement. A cofounder of StartupsHK and BootHK , Jonathan Buford, tells Fast Company that it all comes down to one word: community . With the lure of the safety and comforts that come with a hi...
Wednesday, March 09, 2011 — South Asia

Grameen Founder Muhammad Yunus in Final Appeal

Source: BBC News

Bangladeshi Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus has lodged a final appeal against his sacking as head of the Grameen microfinance bank he founded. The Supreme Court will hear the case next Tuesday. The central bank fired Prof Yunus last week, saying he was past retirement age and had been improperly appointed. He says the move is politically motivated. Grameen Bank pioneered micro-lending to the poor by giving small loans to millions of borrowers. The model has been replicat...
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Wednesday, March 09, 2011 — Asia Pacific

Wen Jiabao Vows To Eradicate Chinese Poverty By 2020

Source: Forbes

Chinese authorities have released a series of announcements indicating that they might be beginning to correct their share of the so-called "global imbalances" by channeling domestic spending and revving up imports. While Premier Wen Jiabao announced on Saturday that his administration would look to "actively boost consumer demand," the government-approved China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) announced a record number of Chinese trade delegations would make the...
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Wednesday, March 09, 2011 — South Asia

India Journal: Harnessing Business to Eradicate Poverty

Source: Wall Street Journal - India Realtime

Four or five years ago, all you had to do to get people excited about poverty alleviation was to mention the words “Prahalad” or “Yunus” and you had their attention. These two South Asian gurus—the late business professor C.K. Prahalad and the microfinance proponent Muhammad Yunus—captured the hearts and minds of hundreds of thousands of busine...
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Tuesday, March 08, 2011 — No Region Specified

Record 128 Million of World's Poorest Received Microloan in 2009

Source: PR Newswire

More than 128 million of the world's poorest families received a microloan in 2009-an all-time high, according to a report released today by the Microcredit Summit Campaign. Assuming an average of five persons per family, this means that loans to 128 million poorest clients affected some 641 million family members, which is greater than the combined population of the European Union and ...
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Tuesday, March 08, 2011 — No Region Specified

Crowdfunding Equity ? the New Age of Co-created Finance

Source: The Guardian

By Luke Lang The web's ability to interact and organise communities of people has been highlighted recently with the emergence of crowdfunding platforms that create a vital lifeline to much needed finance for thousands if not millions of public, private and social enterprises. Although there are now a multitude of crowdfunding sites that allow people to contribute small amounts of money in support of a creative idea or project, in return for rewards, the most recent devel...
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Tuesday, March 08, 2011 — No Region Specified

Ex-Starbucks Exec Helps Develop Global Eye Banks

Source: NPR

Some 10 million people suffer from corneal blindness. It's relatively rare in the U.S., and if you have it, you're likely to have a corneal transplant and your vision will be restored. But in the developing world, where most corneal blindness occurs, it's a different matter. Now, a Seattle-based nonprofit is applying lessons learned in the coffee business in its efforts to bring sight to as many people as it can. Tucked away in a downtown Seattle office building is one...
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Monday, March 07, 2011 — North Africa and Near East

PPAF Sets Up Wind Turbines, Solar Panels for Power Generation

Source: Business Recorder

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), in partnership with Aga Khan Planing and Building Services- Pakistan (AKPBS-P), has set up wind turbines and solar panels to provide environmentally friendly electricity to approximately 6,500 people in 29 villages of district Thatta in Sindh province. According to PPAF sources, the AKPBS-P, with the support from PPAF, the World Bank and the contribution by the village residents in the form of unskilled labour, installed 29 wind t...
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Monday, March 07, 2011 — North Africa and Near East

The Middle East's Other Boom: Entrepreneurship

Source: The Daily Beast

Just as 1960s counterculture was responsible for the '80s high-tech explosion, the revolutionary wave sweeping the Middle East will trigger a boom in entrepreneurship-but this time the change will be measured in months, not decades. Like many people, I have been watching the events unfolding in the Middle East with a jaw hovering somewhere near the floor. And curiously enough, many of the thought...
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Friday, March 04, 2011 — South Asia

India Set to Regulate Microlenders

Source: The Wall Street Journal

NEW DELHI - The Indian government plans to introduce a bill to regulate microfinance institutions that will seek to prevent them from charging very high interest rates and taking deposits, a senior finance ministry official said Friday. The bill, which will be in line with a central bank-appointed panel's recommendation, is likely to be placed before parliament this year. Microlenders like sector leader SKS Microfinance Ltd. give loans as little as $20-$25 to small entrepreneu...
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Thursday, March 03, 2011 — South Asia

Accion Extends Credit Guarantees Worth $1.5 Million to 2 MFIs

Source: MSN-India

New Delhi, Mar 1 (PTI) Non-profit group Accion International today said it has extended credit guarantees worth USD 1.5 million to two micro finance companies in India. Accion has issued a USD 1 million standby letter of credit (SBLC) for its partner Swadhaar FinServ and another guarantee worth USD 500,000 to Bihar-based Saija Finance. The credit guarantees helped Swadhaar FinServ and Saija Finance secure loan facilities to the tune of Rs 50 million and Rs 30 million, ...
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Thursday, March 03, 2011 — South Asia

Start Ups: Rising Tide of Angels Boosts Seed Capital

Source: The Economic Times

Scores of angels are descending on India's booming entrepreneurial sector as risk capital for very early stage firms emerges as a profitable investment category. In Mumbai, early stage investment firm Seedfund ha...
Wednesday, March 02, 2011 — South Asia

BBC: Bangladesh Nobel Winner Muhammad Yunus is Sacked

Source: BBC News

Bangladeshi Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus has been fired from the Grameen microfinance bank he founded, bank officials have told the BBC. "Bangladesh Bank has relieved Yunus of his duties as managing director of the Grameen Bank," Muzammel Huq, Grameen Bank chairman said. Correspondents say that the removal of Prof Yunus is the culmination of a long-running feud with the government. He fell out with PM Sheikh Hasina in 2007 when trying to set up a new party. The govern...
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Tuesday, March 01, 2011 — Latin America

Patagonia, Adidas, Walmart Join Sustainable Apparel Coalition

Source: Fast Company

What happens when you put executives from Walmart and Patagonia in a room? This isn't the start of a bad joke--it's how the Sustainable Apparel Coalition was born. The seeds of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition were planted in 2009 when Patagonia and Walmart teamed up to help the latter company create a sustainability assessment tool for its supply chain (Patagonia was also working o...
Tuesday, March 01, 2011 — No Region Specified

Is the Bottom of the Pyramid Really For You?

Source: Monitor/Harvard Business Reivew

By Ashish Karamchandani, Mike Kubzansky and Nishant Lalwani Monitor's Inclusive Markets Practice The market for products and services aimed at the bottom of the pyramid-people living in poverty in developing economies-is vast, with 4 billion people representing $5 trillion in purchasing power. However, succeeding in this market is far from easy, write Ashish Karamchandani, Mike Kubzansky and Nishant Lalwani-who lead ...
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