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Tuesday, January 31, 2012 — No Region Specified

Microfinance Will Eliminate Severe Poverty – John Hatch

Source: Microfinance Focus

In an exclusive interview with Microfinance Focus, John Hatch, founder of FINCA and creator of Village banking, discusses the future of microfinance industry and FINCA’s efforts to stay committed to its social mission.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

East Africa: Boost for Agriculture

Source: allAfrica

The fight to secure food and income for millions of small holder farmers in eastern Africa, a region that experiences severe food shortages from time to time, is poised to get additional ammunition with the construction of a science research block by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Can The iPad Revolutionize Rural Agriculture?

Source: FastCo.Exist

The iPad’s fairly steep price has kept it firmly entrenched in the developed world. That’s starting to change, however, as evidenced by efforts from Exprima Media and coffee importer Sustainable Harvest to bring the iPad to coffee co-ops and farmers in East Africa, Mexico, and South America.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012 — South Asia

The New Rules of BoP Marketing

Source: Forbes India

About three years ago, PepsiCo drew up a new blueprint for long-term growth in India. It spoke of the need for significantly widening reach, aiming for the new consuming class across urban and rural India — and more importantly, creating a whole new set of locally developed products for the masses.
Monday, January 30, 2012 — South Asia

Wall Street Journal: Look Beyond India’s ‘Poor Man’s’ Market

Source: Wall Street Journal

PwC defines the “Next 4 Billion” as countries that have an average annual per capita income that ranges between $1,000 and $4,000, and that, together, are home to four billion people – or more than half of the current global population of 7 billion. Apart from India and China, this group includes Indonesia and countries in Latin America and Africa.
Monday, January 16, 2012 — South Asia

India To Launch $1B Innovation Fund By June-July

Source: VCCircle

India plans to launch a $1 billion fund by June-July, with an initial capital of Rs 5 billion, to invest in innovations that can generate services and products to uplift the poor, a top government official told reporters on Monday. "We need to provide money to those who have ideas but no seed capital," Sam Pitroda, adviser to prime minister on public information, infrastructure and innovation, said on the sidelines of an industry event. The fund, named India Inclusive Innovation F...
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Monday, January 16, 2012 — South Asia

Indian Villagers' Lives Transformed by New Energy Delivery System

Source: The Guardian

It's late December and an icy fog cloaks the northeastern state of Uttar Pradesh. Here, far from the cities, smoke rises in dense, choking spirals from meagre wood fires and scantily-clad children shiver against the cold. These are largely farming families, and their mud huts fortified by the occasional brick wall are for the most part devoid of light, heat or clean water. But it is here in Uttar Pradesh, one of ...
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Monday, January 16, 2012 — Latin America

Howard Weinstein Named Social Entrepreneur of the Year

Source: CSRwire

NEW YORK, Oct. 27 /CSRwire/ - Solar Ear founder and CEO Howard Weinstein was selected as social entrepreneur of the year by World Technology Network. The announcement was made at the awards banquet held at the close of the World Technology Summit and Awards in New York City Wednesday night. Weinstein's award was accepted by Nick Laperle, CEO of Solar Ear's technology partner Sonomax. Solar Ear designs and manufactures a solar-powered, battery rechargeable, inexpensive hearing ai...
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Friday, January 13, 2012 — No Region Specified

Mobile Money to Deliver Cash Aid: Believe the Hype?

Source: Stanford Social Innovation Review

Vodafone has launched its new phone 'Vodafone 150' which is being called the cheapest phone in the world with a price tag of just $15. The phone is mainly aiming the customers in the developing countries. The phone will be launched in India, Turkey and African countri
TAGS:urban
Friday, January 13, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa Not Fit For Print; The 'Light' Side Of The 'Dark' Continent

Source: The Huffington Post

A Chinese, Latin American, and North American student are sitting in a classroom. The teacher pulls out a map of Africa, and asks 'tell me what you see". The Chinese student speaks of opportunity and business; South African steel, Congolese minerals, and Angolan oil to power his country's growth, and an endless list of future contracts for Chinese-built roads, bridges, and infrastructure to link the continent. The American reflects on Darfur, the Rwandan Genocide, thatched-roof villag...
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Friday, January 13, 2012 — No Region Specified

Investing in Impact: Making the Case for Patient Capital

Source: Michigan Ross School of Business

Case study highlights challenges facing the nascent social investing sector and explores ways to face them. ANN ARBOR, Mich.-Social investing. Impact Investing. Patient capital. That the idea itself has more than one name underscores the challenges facing an industry that seeks to invest in and grow companies that measure wealth both by profit and the ability to solve social problems. This relatively new sector in the venture capital world is trying to redefine the ...
Thursday, January 12, 2012 — No Region Specified

Haiti Embarks on Economic Recovery Plan with Help from Private Sector

Source: The Guardian

Much of the media coverage of Haiti 's post-earthquake rehabilitation has focused on the role played by the international community and aid donors . But on the second anniversary of the ...
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Thursday, January 12, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Note From the Horn of Africa: Leveraging Mobile Technology to Link Somali Youth with Jobs

Source: KDID

Read the news, and initial reports about the Horn of Africa 1 are grim with famine and conflict dominating the headlines. But despite a food crisis and flare-ups of violence, key areas of the economy are growing steadily. Even ...
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Thursday, January 12, 2012 — South Asia

Rebuilding Afghanistan's Villages, Rug by Rug

Source: GOOD

When Connie Duckworth flew into Kabul for the first time in 2003, the city below "looked like Berlin after World War II," she says. Since that visit with the U.S.-Afghan Women's Council -a non-partisan initiative tasked with supporting Afghan women-Duckworth has devoted her life and career to rebuilding Afghanistan, carpet by carpet. Duckworth founded ARZU , a nonprofit, ...
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Training and Mentoring Give Boost to Uganda Clean Cookstoves Producers

Source: GVEP International

A five-year programme rewards entrepreneurship across East Africa by supporting micro-businesses to establish energy services and create employment opportunities in rural areas. Willy Bamwenyena, 25, stands out as a young resourceful entrepreneur, who has been able to identify the energy gap in his community, in rural Uganda, and turned the need into a business opportunity. The GVEP-led Devel...
Wednesday, January 11, 2012 — South Asia

Waste Ventures Gives India's Waste Pickers Access to Carbon Markets

Source: Wired

Urban India generates 40 million tons of rubbish each year, a figure that is growing by more than two million tons ever year. Just 25 percent of that rubbish is collected by government contractors and there is little recycling; the rest is dumped and left to rot, producing methane, which is 23 times more harmful to us than carbon dioxide. Waste Ventures is a social enterprise aims to build a model in waste management that empowers the was...
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Wednesday, January 11, 2012 — No Region Specified

Help (Businessweek) Find America's Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

We're kicking off our search for businesses to profile in our fourth annual roundup of America's most promising social entrepreneurs. The idea is to find and report on business ventures that advance a social or environmental mission and aim to turn a profit. We're asking readers to suggest candidates using the form at the bottom of this post. Interest in social enterprise has grown in recent years. The movement has given rise to a slew of investors, incubators, networking gr...
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012 — No Region Specified

What is Social Innovation? [Video]

Source: 30 Second MBA

30 Second MBA featuring Yasmina Zaidman, Director of Communications, Acumen Fund. ...
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012 — No Region Specified

Social Entrepreneurship: 1 Approach to Higher Ed Bubble Bust

Source: ASU News

Economists are not alone in their worry of an impending higher education bubble bust. Given the drastic increase in cost and decrease in relevance of a college degree over the past decades, Ashoka U Exchange participants - faculty and students across disciplines, administrators and social entrepreneurs - are united in their conviction that cosmetic changes to their institutions are not enough. Co-hosted by Ashoka, the world's largest...
Tuesday, January 10, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya Has Mobile Health App Fever

Source: Technology Review

Mobile health platforms are fast emerging in Kenya, where one startup's newly launched mobile health platform is attracting nearly 1,000 downloads daily, and the dominant telecom, Safaricom, has forged a partnership that will give its 18 million subscribers access to doctors. A World Bank official sees significant promise from such efforts, pointing to the fact that 50 percent of all Kenyan banking is already done on mobile phones-suggesting that the population is ready to go mobile...
Monday, January 09, 2012 — South Asia

Selling Organs to Pay Off Debt: Microfinance Needs Reforms

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

When Muhammad Yunus won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his work on microfinance with the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh , he would have been mortified...
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Monday, January 09, 2012 — South Asia

Create Scope for Women to Flourish in Business: Analysts

Source: The Daily Star

Women entrepreneurs in South Asia are failing to flourish due to shortage of funds, difficulty in marketing, social constraints and non-participation in decision-making, analysts said yesterday amid calls for governments and private sectors to change the scenario. Women are treated as second-class citizens in the region while their contribution to the economy is totally overlooked, they said. The comments came at a discussion on "Women Leadership" on the second and concluding day ...
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Monday, January 09, 2012 — South Asia

Coming Up, Job Plan Scheme for Urban Poor

Source: Hindustan Times

The UPA government, which launched schemes providing employment opportunities for the rural poor during its two term in power, is now targeting the urban poor, majority of whom are slum dwellers. With an eye on the 2014 Parliamentary election, the Centre plans to launch the National Urban Livelihood Mission (NULM), which will create job opportunities for the urban poor, during the 12th Plan. The housing and urban poverty alleviation ministry, which has p...
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Friday, January 06, 2012 — South Asia

Micro-loans Helping Solar Power Take Hold in India

Source: Public Radio International

In Chemangala, in southern India, silk farmer H.B. Manjunath walks into a back room of a dark thatched roof cabin, flips on a light switch and watches as the cool light illuminates hundreds of milky white silkworms crawling in a wooden box full of mulberry leaves. The worms need the crispy leaves to survive and spin their silk cocoons, but they'll only do it when there's continuous light. Manjunath said that used to be very hard to come by. "We had four or five hours of un...
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Friday, January 06, 2012 — No Region Specified

Do Designers Actually Exploit The Poor While Trying To Do Good? Jan Chipchase Responds

Source: Fast Company

Recently, at the PopTech Conference in Camden, Maine, Jan Chipchase, Frog's all-star field researcher, was giving a presentation on his travels in search of novel design solutions when a person in the audience lobbed a pointed question: "What is your motivation? Why do you do this?" When Chipchase began to respond, the audience member interrupted and asked again, "No, what is your motivation?" The follow-up hanging in the air was, "How do you sleep at night?" As the back and forth c...
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Friday, January 06, 2012 — South Asia

Does Microfinancing Really Work? A New Book Says No

Source: Time

Politicians from Washington to New Delhi have argued for years that giving tiny loans to poor people to help them start or expand their businesses is a sure-fire way to help millions improve their lot in life, and drastically reduce global poverty, especially among women. The idea has become such a central feature of foreign aid programs (USAID pours millions into such projects) that the microfinance industry has ballooned into a multi-billion-dollar business operating in virtually every coun...
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Thursday, January 05, 2012 — South Asia

Intuit Taps Text Messages, Economics To Boost Farmer Incomes In India

Source: Fast Company

"How can technology help the places I grew up in?" That's Deepa Bachu, describing her personal mission. Bachu was born in Bangalore, India, but spent a decade at Intuit's Mountain View headquarters developing flagship products like Quicken. She returned home several years ago, for family reasons, and after becoming the director of emerging market innovation at Intuit, set out to build products for many of the neighbors she grew up with. "It's so motivating," she says. "It...
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Thursday, January 05, 2012 — South Asia

Exclusive: Michael & Susan Dell Foundation Invests In Mobile Payments Platform BASIX Sub-K

Source: techcircle.in

BASIX Sub-K iTransactions Limited , a mobile payments platform promoted by Vijay Mahajan's BASIX Group , has raised an undisclosed amount of equity investment from Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. Sub-K provides residents of rural, urban and semi-urban areas with a mobile technology based transactional platform for access to services like banking, NREGA, utility p...
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Thursday, January 05, 2012 — South Asia

DLF Foundation and Laurus Edutech Sign An MOU to Setup Over 18 Centres Jointly in First Phase

Source: IndiaPRwire

New Delhi, Delhi, January 5, 2012 / India PRwire / -- In a significant development, Laurus Edutech- A leading skill Development Company signed a MoU with the DLF Foundation, the philanthropic arm of DLF Limited. DLF Foundation has launched a programme called DLF Life where LIFE stands for Learning Initiatives for Employment. As part of the LIFE Program and MoU, DLF Foundation and Laurus Edutec...
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Wednesday, January 04, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How Biochar Will Help Kenya Go Green And Save Money

Source: Fast Company

Re:char is a pioneering company that sells kilns to farmers in Kenya that allow them to convert their farm waste into what's known as biochar, which can then be used for cooking. As an enterprise, Re:char seeks to deliver a "triple bottom line," expanding the uses of sustainable alternatives for energy, providing a cost effective solution for farmers in an effort to combat poverty, and stemming deforestation in Africa by encouraging use of biochar as cooking fuel instead of cutting down t...
Wednesday, January 04, 2012 — Latin America

It's Time for Sustainable Development

Source: The Guardian

Bill Clinton was set to enter the White House, the European Union was born and China had its first taste of a double cheeseburger with fries when McDonalds opened its doors in Beijing. That was 1992. A lot can happen in 20 years. In June 2012, two decades after the groundbreaking Earth summit, which put climate change and biological diversity on the global political agenda, attention will turn once again to Rio de Janeiro for the UN conference on sustainable development, or ...
Wednesday, January 04, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa's Mobile Pricing Wars

Source: Think Africa Press

The increasing availability and ownership of mobile phones across much of Africa has brought numerous impressive benefits to ordinary Africans. And with the costs of calls, data-usage and handsets falling rapidly in many African countries, there has been a continuous rise in the number of mobile phone users across the region - in fact, the continent-wide growth rate of 20% makes Africa the fastest growing market for mobile phon...
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Tuesday, January 03, 2012 — No Region Specified

The Year of Controversial Giving

Source: The Huffington Post

By Matthew Bishop and Michael Green What does 2012 have in store for giving, especially the impact-driven approach to it we call "philanthrocapitalism"? Having peered into our philanthrocrystal ball, we see giving becoming more dangerous, more controversial, and more political, among other things, as philanthrocapitalists find themselves at the centre of some of the year's biggest news stories. Here are our 10 predictions for the coming year: ...
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Tuesday, January 03, 2012 — No Region Specified

BOI/UNDP: Nigeria?s household energy market worth $5.1b

Source: The Nation (Nigeria)

The Bank of Industry (BOI)and United Nations Development Programme (BOI/UNDP) partnership has identified the potential in investing in household energy through supplies of energy-efficient equipment and bulbs adding that the market is worths $5.1 billion. The Project Manager, UNDP/BOI Access to Renewable Energy Project, Segun Adaju in his paper titled 'Investing in clean energy for the Base of the Pyramid (BOP) in Nigeria' presented at a forum in Lagos, said the BOP is the ...
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