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Tuesday, May 31, 2011 — No Region Specified

Ashoka, Bamboo Finance, Canopus Fdn. Launch Solar Energy Fund

Source: Press Release

Press Release: Three of the world's leading organisations supporting social enterprise for development today announced that they are forming a partnership to launch the 'Oasis Energy - Solar for All Fund', which will invest in companies bringing affordable solar power to markets that are without access to electricity. Ashoka , the world's largest network of social entrepreneurs, and the Canopus Foundation , whi...
Tuesday, May 31, 2011 — Asia Pacific

The Path From Charity to Profit

Source: The New York Times

By Tina Rosenberg On Tuesday I wrote about Kedai Balitaku , a for-profit company started last year by the development group Mercy Corps in Indonesia. Mercy Corps took...
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Tuesday, May 31, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

AFDB Approves Financing for Nigerian SMEs

Source: Devex News

The African Development Bank has approved a total of $700 million worth of loan programs to support small and medium-sized enterprises in Nigeria. Of the sum, $500 million will be channeled through Nigeria's Bank of Industry and will be available for domestic-oriented SMEs in the African country. ...
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Friday, May 27, 2011 — No Region Specified

MIT, GU Research: Economic, Policy Concerns Loom for Mobile Money

Source: PR Newswire

CHICAGO, May 23, 2011 -- /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Many developing countries are rapidly adopting cellphone technology as a means for delivering financial services to their citizens without a heavy investment in infrastructure. Now, a team of researchers from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and&...
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011 — No Region Specified

W/Video: Social Innovation: Corporates Profit From Doing Good

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Social innovation is having a dramatic impact on the lives of the poor and under-served-particularly with the use of digital technology. Professor Kamalini Ramdas of London Business School says that innovation in products for the poor is making an impact on their lives in a way that has not been seen before. Prof. Ramdas describes how a mobile device in Bangladesh increases financial inclusion, while in India, a mobile medical service allows people in remote rural areas to attend virtua...
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011 — No Region Specified

The Case for Patient Capital

Source: BusinessWeek

By Jacqueline Novogratz In 2002, after nearly 10 years of running a nonprofit to help poor farmers in India get the most out of their land, Amitabha Sadangi was frustrated. Government aid to alleviate poverty had largely bypassed individuals earning less than $1 day. Instead it was subsidizing large farms and being inve...
Tuesday, May 24, 2011 — South Asia

A $25 Solar Lamp for Millions in India

Source: The Saudi

One of the partners, Matthew Scott, led the design and development of a solar-powered lamp when he was a student at the Stanford Business School in 2003. The lamp is based on light-emitting diode (LED) technology, which uses much less electricity than incandescent bulbs or fluorescent tubes. Scott initially intended for the lamps to be used in commercial buildings or aircraft. Then he read "The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid" and shifted his approach. The book by C.K. Prahalad des...
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011 — Asia Pacific

In ?Food Deserts,? Oases of Nutrition

Source: The New York Times

Poor urban neighborhoods in America are often food deserts - places where it is difficult to find fresh food. There are few grocery stores; people may do all their shopping at bodegas, where the only available produce and meat are canned peaches and Spam. If they want fruits and vegetables and chicken and fish, they have to take a bus to a grocery store. The lack of fresh food creates a vicious cycle; children grow up never seeing it or acquiring a taste for it.&...
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Monday, May 23, 2011 — No Region Specified

Multinationals Call for Tie-ups Between Private Firms, Charities

Source: The Financial Express (Bangladesh)

Innovative use of communication technology, inclusive marketing and tie-ups between private firms and charities can cut poverty at a speedy rate in rural Bangladesh, top executives of multinationals said Thursday. Some 32 per cent of Bangladesh's 150 million people live below the poverty line with the rate of poverty halving since 1990, according to the official statistics. Most of these people live in rural areas, small towns and urban slums. But top executive...
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Monday, May 23, 2011 — Latin America

IDB Creates SME Lending Facility

Source: Devex News

The Inter-American Development Bank has set up a $100 million facility to strengthen lending to small and medium-sized enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean. In a May 19 press release, IDB called its SME Financing Facility as the first of its kind. The facility will channel resources through financial institutions in IDB borrowi...
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Monday, May 23, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Who Gives A Crap? Sanitation, Energy and Entrepreneurship in Kenya

Source: Forbes

By Elmira Bayrasli The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a pristine place. Situated alongside Cambridge's charming Charles River, adorned with manicured lawns, sleek and light buildings designed by I.M. Pei and awesome abstract sculptures b...
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Monday, May 23, 2011 — Latin America

MIF invests $3 MN in Columbian Fondo de Capital Privado Inversor

Source: Microfinance Focus

The Multilateral Investment fund (MIF) is investing $3 million in the Fondo de Capital Privado Inversor, a venture capital (VC) fund investing in companies with scalable business models that cater to the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) population in Colombia. The fund involves support from 10 founding institutions representing people from the social and financial sector,...
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Friday, May 20, 2011 — South Asia

A Network to Help Start-Ups With a Cause

Source: Livemint.com

By DEEPTI CHAUDHARY OF MINT BANGALORE - A social-sector advisory firm has launched a platform to bring together rich individuals, foundations and companies keen on investing in businesses that cater to the poor. Intellecap Impact Investor Network (I3N), launched ear...
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Friday, May 20, 2011 — No Region Specified

D.Light Launches An Ultra-Cheap Solar Lantern For Studying

Source: Fast Company

A few years back, D.Light , a startup that began as a Stanford design school project, announced that it had created the world's cheapest solar lantern. For you, with your electric lights, this doesn't seem like a big deal. For everyone who relies on kerosene (and all of its associated fumes) for lighting, it's a life-changer. It's ...
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Friday, May 20, 2011 — No Region Specified

Gift Establishes Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship

Source: Wesleyan University

Wesleyan University is establishing the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship, which will support students who want to create programs and organizations serving the public good - anywhere in the world. The Patricelli Center and its programs are supported by a generous $2 million leadership gift from the Robert and Margaret Patricelli Family Foundation. Robert E. Patricelli '61 is chairman and chief executive officer of Evolution Benefits and of Women's Health USA and an ...
Friday, May 20, 2011 — No Region Specified

Bill Drayton Sees a World Where 'Everyone is a Changemaker'

Source: Christian Science Monitor

If you want to find out what's happening in the world of social entrepreneurs, you can't do better than ask Bill Drayton : especially since he's the person who first coined the term "social entrepreneur" and is an acknowledged pioneer in the field. Mr. Drayton is well-known as the founder and CEO of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public, which now has about 3,000 social entrepreneurs in the field a...
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Thursday, May 19, 2011 — No Region Specified

Socially Responsible Investments Yield Dividends

Source: The National

Investing money to make a difference goes by several names, with "ethical", "impact", "green" and "socially responsible" among the industry favourites. But the definition is generally the same: returns are usually sacrificed in the name of doing good. This view is set to change, according to a report titled Impact Investing in Emerging Markets, by the consultancy Responsible Research. The report has found impact investing in emerging markets is becoming more attractive to fu...
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011 — South Asia

IFC to Invest $45M in Listed Non-Banking Indian Finance Co

Source: VCCircle

International Finance Corporation (IFC) plans to invest $45 million as equity in an unnamed public-listed mid-size Indian non-banking finance company (NBFC) for expanding access to finance for the micro, small and medium entrepreneurs. Although the name of the target company stands undisclosed, its primary business is 'asset-backed financing' - focused on providing funds to the bottom-of-the-pyramid stratum in rural and semi-urban areas. The NBFC has significant presence in the ...
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011 — No Region Specified

Dell to Give $5 million for UT Social Innovation Competition

Source: Austin American-Statesman

Dell Inc. will give $5 million to the University of Texas over the next five years to expand a competition that encourages college students worldwide to come up with creative solutions to social problems. The company already is the title sponsor for the Dell Social Innovation Competition. The competition is operated by UT's RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service, which is part of the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. The competition focuses on how technolo...
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011 — No Region Specified

Dalberg: W. Africa Needs to Attract $65 Billion In Next 5 Years

Source: AllAfrica.com

Nairobi - West Africa needs $65 billion worth of invested capital over the next five years to meet its growth expectations in sectors that have economic, social and environmental impact, a new report has indicated. According to the report by Dalberg Global Development Advisors, a strategic consulting firm, such sectors include agriculture, which accounts for more than half of the demand for capital, as well as renewable energy and water supply and sanitation. These sectors stand o...
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011 — South Asia

Microfinance Staff Seek Greener Pastures

Source: Livemint.com

Mumbai: SKS Microfinance Ltd, India's largest and only listed microfinance institution (MFI), has seen an exodus of at least 3,000 of its employees in the three months ended 31 March, even as the lender of tiny loans to the poor grapples with large-scale defaults from borrowers in Andhra Pradesh and a rapidly eroding market value. The 12% decline in its employee strength for the March quarter is the sharpest fall the company has seen. SKS is not the only micro-credit lender th...
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Monday, May 16, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Iko-toilet' Wins Global Recognition

Source: The Standard

Until recently, public toilets in Nairobi and Kenya's urban centres were an eyesore, dreaded answers to calls of nature. The dilapidated facilities were a no-go zone for many who preferred walking into hotels or offices for relief. Some private ventures came in to ameliorate the situation by providing clean, convenient facil...
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Monday, May 16, 2011 — No Region Specified

Lender 2.0: Kiva's Premal Shah

Source: Los Angeles Times

Patt Morrison Asks I could just see the eyebrows rising around the room. I was moderating a panel on philanthropy not long ago, and on my left, Premal Shah, the president of Kiva.org , was talking animatedly about how much fun Kiva donors had, competing with each other, in teams, to see who could do the most good. Fun? This is not your father's philanthropy. Shah"s online matchmaking philanthro-banking site lets people in the donor door for as ...
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Thursday, May 12, 2011 — South Asia

Grameen Bank to Come Under Bangladesh Bank Supervision

Source: The Financial Express (Bangladesh)

The government plans to bring Grameen Bank (GB) under the direct supervision of the Bangladesh Bank (BB) to be guided by Bank Company Act, 1991. The move, according to official sources, is aimed to establish...
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Thursday, May 12, 2011 — South Asia

Making Healthcare Affordable, Accessible, and Ubiquitous

Source: Economic Times

A small but growing band of companies wants to make healthcare affordable, accessible, and ubiquitous. Like the larger groups, their services are of a high quality, but costs are kept under a tight leash. With early models starting to scale, social investors are not the only ones being drawn to such companies. For the rich, famous and pregnant living in Hyderabad's upmarket Jubilee Hills, there is The Cradle, a high-end , luxury 'birthing centre' recently launched...
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Thursday, May 12, 2011 — No Region Specified

Social Entrepreneurship: The MicroConsignment Model

Source: Forbes

As an innovative way to alleviate poverty, a number of social entrepreneurial approaches have focused on enabling poor people to help themselves through the power of entrepreneurship. Micro-credit has provided billions of dollars in start-up and growth capital to encourage micro-entrepreneurs around the world to launch their own enterprises to lift themselves out of poverty. ...
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011 — Asia Pacific

IDB Providing $3.3b to Help Indonesia Hit Growth Target

Source: The Jakarta Globe

The Islamic Development Bank on Wednesday agreed to provide as much as $3.3 billion of financing through 2014 to speed Indonesia's economic growth. "We are focusing on poverty, health and infrastructure. In line with IDB's strategic priorities, we are committing to provide soft loans for its member, including Indonesia," bank president Ahmad Mohammed Ali said. The Saudi Arabia-based bank's Member Countries Partnership Strategy program helps its 56...
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Wednesday, May 11, 2011 — South Asia

(Indian) Venture Funds Race to Raise Fresh Capital

Source: The Wall Street Journal

BANGALORE -- Aavishkaar India, an early-stage venture capital firm, will complete raising a $120 million in June for its fourth and largest fund. The size and speed of Aavishkaar's fund-raising effort -- six months to close a fund -- reflect the hurry venture capitalists are into make new investments, taking a cue from their more active private equity investors. There are at least half a dozen other venture-capital firms that are either raising funds or increasing the size of their ...
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Tuesday, May 10, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Out of Africa: A Continent of Entrepreneurs

Source: Irish Times

We're used to seeing Africa as poor and helpless, and it certainly has its problems. However, it's also a hotbed of entrepreneurship, where phone-fixers, DVD hawkers, clothes sellers and internet start-ups are thriving. MANCHÁN MAGAN visits Mozambique and finds a country more suited to investment than pity IT WAS the scene where Leonardo DiCaprio walks through a bustling African market in the movie Blood Diamond that finally o...
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Tuesday, May 10, 2011 — No Region Specified

Kevin Hassey Appointed President of VisionSpring

Source: PR Newswire

Press Release: VisionSpring is proud to announce the new appointment of Kevin Hassey as President. In this new role, Mr. Hassey will oversee global operations and lead the implementation of VisionSpring's growth strategy across Asia, Africa, and Latin America. "I am excited to join VisionSpring at this key moment in VisionSpring's expansion. We have a great opportunity to restore the sight and transform the lives of hundreds of millions of people i...
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Tuesday, May 10, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MIT Start-up Focuses on Sanitation Needs of Poor

Source: Boston Herald

Some 2.5 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation and a small start-up launched by MIT students is aiming to do its part to help address the global problem. Sanergy provides low-cost sanitation facilities in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya, and converts the waste to salable byproducts. "Our goal is to make sanitation hygienic, accessible and affordable for the 8 million people in Kenyan slums," said David Auerbach, a co-founder and MBA candidate at MIT. Sanergy started ...
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Monday, May 09, 2011 — No Region Specified

What?s Cooler Than a Million Dollars? Changing a Million Lives

Source: Venture Beat

Henry Ford once said that a business that makes nothing but money is a poor business . Impact investing takes that idea to a new level. Impact investors look for businesses that have a positive social or environmental impact as well as the potential for financial return. These enterprises can be anything from schools to mobile carriers...
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Monday, May 09, 2011 — South Asia

Investors Assume the Worst for SKS Microfinance

Source: LiveMint

That SKS Microfinance Ltd will have to write off part of its Andhra Pradesh (AP) loan book is inescapable. If there is any difference of opinion among brokerages, it is just in the matter of degree. Some assume 40% of its AP advances will have to be forgone, while others paint a bleaker picture at 90%. The fourth quarter (Q4) results of the firm make for grim reading, with falling net interest income, spreads and return on assets. Not only did SKS lose Rs. 70 crore, its collec...
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Monday, May 09, 2011 — No Region Specified

Gates, Ford, Kellogg Families Target Food to Ease Unrest

Source: Bloomberg News

Foundations supported by Bill Gates and the Ford, Kellogg and Walton families are combining to relieve stresses on the food supply that are pushing prices higher and adding to unrest around the globe. Their initiative, called AGree, announced in Washington, will fund agricultural research and analysis that will...
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Friday, May 06, 2011 — No Region Specified

EDUCATE!?S Winner of the 2011 Young Innovator For Social Justice

Source:

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Friday, May 06, 2011 — No Region Specified

Gates to Unveil Challenge to Advance Agricultural Development

Source: Devex News

U.S. billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates will announce on Monday (May 9) a challenge that aims to help small farmers in poor countries grow and sell more products. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-founder is expected to encourage people to help spread the word: investing in small farmers so they can boost their production is key to reducing poverty and hunger, Devex was told in an email. The challenge is linked to remarks Gates is expected to deliver at a global agricu...
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Friday, May 06, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

One In 3 Africans Now Middle Class, Report Finds

Source: The Guardian

One in three Africans is middle class, a rising group of consumers to rival those of China and India, researchers have found (pdf). Record numbers of people in Africa own houses and cars, use mobile phones and the internet and send their children to private schools and foreign universities, according to the African Development ...
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Thursday, May 05, 2011 — South Asia

Yunus loses final appeal against dismissal

Source: Reuters

Bangladesh's Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a final appeal by "banker to the poor" Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus against his dismissal as managing director of Grameen Bank, the micro-lender he founded. A government probe last month cleared Grameen of financial irregularities, but the finding did not change the decision to fire him. Yunus, 70, was dismissed on the grounds that he had overstayed his position and refused requests to quit. [ID:nSGE73401G] The official retireme...
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Wednesday, May 04, 2011 — No Region Specified

Harvard Business School Names '11 Social Entrepreneurship Fellow

Source: Media-Newswire.com

Media-Newswire.com) - BOSTON-Harvard Business School has awarded the 2011 Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship to Rakhi Mehra ( MBA 2009 ). Mehra was selected for her work in co-founding micro Home Solutions ( mHS ), a social initiative for developing sustainable housing solutions for the urban poor. Her achievement was recognized at this year's HBS Business Plan Contest, where teams of student entrepreneurs compete to win cash and in-kind services. The HBS Social Entrepreneurshi...
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Wednesday, May 04, 2011 — Sub-Saharan Africa

African Economies 'Must Go Global'

Source: AFP

By Justine Gerardy (AFP) CAPE TOWN - Africa must accelerate links to global markets and improve competitiveness to sustain the strong growth expected this year, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa said on Wednesday. African economies weathered the global economic storm in 2008 and have since resumed strong growth -- a positive showing which paradoxically highlighted Africa's weak presence in global financial markets, said Jennifer Blake, head of WEF's compe...
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Wednesday, May 04, 2011 — No Region Specified

State Department Is Trying To Make A Thousand Ushahidis Bloom

Source: Fast Company

When the earthquake decimated Haiti last year, technologists around the world converged online to develop tools to help rescuers find victims and raise funds . Now the State Departme...
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Wednesday, May 04, 2011 — No Region Specified

Christian Sarkar, Co-founder, $300 House Project

Source: The Guardian

No description provided
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Tuesday, May 03, 2011 — South Asia

A Look at Three Models of Philanthro-Capitalism

Source: Economic Times

A market based approach to philanthropy, with one eye firmly on the bottom line, can be an effective way for entrepreneurs to meet their social goals. take a close look at three such models of philanthro-capitalism. ...
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Tuesday, May 03, 2011 — South Asia

Sachet King Moves to Shed Regional Tag

Source: Business Standard

Chinni Krishnan Ranganathan is best known for selling shampoo in 50-paise sachets in the seventies - almost a decade before multinational competitors such as Unilever and Procter & Gamble woke up to the huge potential in India's bottom of the pyramid market. But CavinKare's Chairman and Managing Director has many others firsts to his credit, enhancing his reputation as somebody who is super-fast in spotting new opportunities. So when sachet became commoditised, Ranganathan t...
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Monday, May 02, 2011 — No Region Specified

How to Become a Social Entrepreneur

Source: Inc.

Many of us feel the need to serve a greater good in life, but turning a passion into a successful nonprofit takes serious business acumen. By Lou Dubois Scott Harrison was 28 years old, sitting on a beach in Uruguay with a model girlfriend, a ...
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