Our Staff Writers and Editors offer insights on the latest news, events, interviews and other happenings from the development through enterprise and base of the pyramid universes
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 — No Region Specified

Habitat for Humanity and the Citi Foundation Unveil Housing Microfinance Toolkit


Habitat for Humanity and the Citi Foundation announced the publication of a new toolkit designed to provide technical training and tools to encourage microfinance institutions to include or enhance housing microfinance products in their portfolios. The Housing Microfinance: Product Development Toolkit is intended to influence the $60 billion global microfinance sector, resulting in small, affordable loans that low-income families can use to improve their housing incrementally.
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 — South Asia

'Over 60 percent of land projected to become urban by 2030 yet to be built'

Source: Business Recorder

Global urbanisation will have significant implications for biodiversity and ecosystems if current trends continue, with knock-on effects for human health and development, observes a new assessment by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD).
Wednesday, October 31, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Micro Benefits to be Recognized at the G20 Summit for Improving the Livelihoods of China's Factory Workers

Source: Market Watch Press Release

SUZHOU, China, Oct 31, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- In collaboration with the G20 Mexico Summit, Ashoka Changemakers(R) has named Micro Benefits one of five finalists in a worldwide social impact competition - the G2012 Mexico Financial Inclusion Challenge: Innovative Solutions for Unlocking Access. More than half the world's population - some 2.7 billion adults - lack access to basic financial services such as affordable credit, savings and insurance products.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 — South Asia

Bill on property rights to slumdwellers in the works

Source: Hindustan Times

Millions of slum dwellers across India could soon aspire to become home owners. The Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation Ministry is all set to finalize the draft Model Property Rights to Slum Dwellers Bill which, once enacted by states, would for the first time give landless slum-dweller living in an urban area long term legal entitlement to a “dwelling place.”
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 — Asia Pacific

How social enterprise movement can stop acts of terrorism

Source: The Jakarta Post

Nothing is new in the use of social enterprise to promote peace. The phenomenon has won global recognition with Nobel Peace prize awarded to social entrepreneurs like Wangari Maathai of the Greenbelt Movement in 2004, Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank in 2006 and former US vice president and environmental campaigner Al Gore in 2007.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 — No Region Specified

Why Social Ventures Are More Popular Than Ever

Source: Good Magazine

The continued growth of social ventures is an accepted fact that’s rarely—if ever—formally quantified. This is likely due, at least in part, to varying definitions and terminology used to describe the same trend: using the methods and disciplines of business and the power of the marketplace to advance social, environmental, and human justice agendas.
Monday, October 29, 2012 — No Region Specified

Ron D. Cordes on a Mission to Activate New Change Agents

Source: Forbes

Ron D. Cordes is a man on a mission to change the landscape of impact investing. He is the co-chairman of Genworth Financial Wealth Management (NYSE:GNW), which is responsible for over $25 billion in assets under management. He is also on the board of Impact Assets, a non-for-profit financial service firm focused on impact investments.
Monday, October 29, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

N220bn MFBs' fund to drive development, financial inclusion

Source: Punch Nigeria

The Federal Government is set to launch a N220bn fund to enable Nigerian businesses and citizens that lack access to traditional financial services access such services at a much lower cost. The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, said this at a press conference on the National Financial Inclusion Strategy in Abuja on Wednesday.
Monday, October 29, 2012 — South Asia

An entrepreneurial ecosystem is the future roadmap

Source: Times of India

An entrepreneurial ecosystem is the future roadmap. Tirna Ray reports on the fifth edition of the World Entrepreneurship Forum, which was held in Lyon, France, from October 24-27
Friday, October 26, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Group mitigates poverty with alternative building technology

Source: Creamer Media's Engineering News

JSE-listed energy and chemicals group Sasol’s enterprise development vehicle, ChemCity, believes alternative building technology (ABT) has the potential to curtail unemployment and poverty – two of South Africa’s most pressing issues.
Friday, October 26, 2012 — North Africa and Near East

Mideast, North Africa trail behind globe for working women

Source: ANSAmed

(ANSAmed) - Rome, October 26 - Just 22% of those who work in the Middle East and North Africa are women. The average is 27% in Egypt, Jordan, Lybia, Morocco and Tunisia.
Friday, October 26, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Willow announces investment in Kenya's Bio Food Products Ltd

Source: Press Release

Willow has acquired a 35% stake in Bio Food Products Ltd. - the award-winning producer of the top ranked brand in the added-value dairy products sector in East Africa.
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Thursday, October 25, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Women Entrepreneurs Drive Growth in Africa

Source: New York Times

KAMPALA, UGANDA — Far too often, in the view of Africa’s budding female entrepreneurs, their continent is characterized as the recipient of aid that enables residents just to struggle by, and as a place that mistreats and marginalizes its women.
Thursday, October 25, 2012 — Asia Pacific

DBS China launches social enterprise program

Source: China Daily

Development Bank of Singapore (China) announced the launch of a program to support the development of social enterprises in China on Wednesday.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Meet The Man Who’s Shaping Africa’s Future

Source: Ventures Africa

VENTURES AFRICA – Just like the great American civil right activist Martin Luther King Jnr. had a dream of an equal social existence, so did Ghanaian-born entrepreneur, Fred Swaniker, dream to build a Pan-African school that will position the new generation of African youth towards prosperity in future years. His mission was to give the African child a network of successful peers to tap for job opportunities, mentoring and career guidance.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 — South Asia

P Chidambaram urges banks to lend more to the poor

Source: Times of India

By saying banks need to lend more to the poor, Union finance minister P Chidambaram is on the right track. There is no denying that India continues to be a significantly under-banked country. Around 41% of the population is unbanked, with the figure touching as high as 61% in rural areas.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012 — Latin America

Lessons from Rio: the talking points from SEWF2012

Source: The Guardian

In a converted 1871 grain storage facility near Rio de Janeiro's old waterfront docks, I joined my fellow NESsT staff from 11 different countries to transform an empty historical building to a sustainably designed venue in a matter of days.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Technology a pathway out of poverty

Source: Tech Central

It will take a century for a poor household to tweet its way out of poverty. That’s a very long time for anyone wondering where their next meal is coming from. But it’s a significant new finding because it proves once and for all that social media and access to information and communication technology (ICT) is a pathway out of poverty.
Tuesday, October 23, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Creating space for social enterprise in Singapore

Source: The Guardian

"What do you want to be when you grow up?" That is probably the most common question I would get from any family member, friends of family and head-patting adults in general. It was a question that I enjoyed answering when I was 10. The possibilities were endless. But I also wondered why adults like asking that question. Was it because they found a need to keep up with our fleeting, fantastic answers, or was it that they like to reminisce on what could have been for themselves?
Tuesday, October 23, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Somalia's ambitions online could bring Mogadishu to the world

Source: BBC

At The Village Restaurant, a popular open-air hangout for Mogadishu's returning diaspora community, a charcoal-powered Italian espresso machine brews Somalia's best cappuccino.
Monday, October 22, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Earthquake Recovery in Japan: Entrepreneurs to the Rescue

Source: Triple Pundit

“Disaster relief” usually brings to mind images of tents, food and water convoys, and emergency medicine. But since 2011's earthquake, tsunami, and reactor meltdown in the Tohoku region of Japan, a Tokyo-based social entrepreneurship group called ETIC has added a whole new dimension: an entrepreneurial recovery effort.
Monday, October 22, 2012 — Asia Pacific

IIX, SEAS Sign MoU To Promote Growth Of Social Enterprises In Asia Pacific

Source: Bernama

SINGAPORE, Oct 22 (Bernama) -- Impact Investment Exchange Asia (IIX) and the Sustainable Energy Association of Singapore (SEAS), today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to solidify joint efforts to promote the Social Enterprise (SE) space in the sustainable energy sector.
Monday, October 22, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bottom of the Pyramid Business Strategy Holds Sway

Source: Business Day Nigeria

The BOP strategy is right here with us and it is holding sway, but many probably do not know. This is what the case is with several economic practices we get involved in day-in-day-out, which we are oblivious of what esoteric names the intellectuals of this world call them..
Friday, October 19, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Nigeria: UN, Brazil Sign U.S.$20 Million Pact to Help Farmers in Developing Countries

Source: All Africa

A $20 million agreement signed during the week by the United Nations and Brazil will seek to transfer the expertise of the South American country to support cotton farmers in developing economies.
Friday, October 19, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Sisal board introduces mobile decorticators to revolutionise farming

Source: IPP Media

Way back in the early 60s, the sisal industry was the best organised commercial agriculture in East Africa with Tanzania leading in terms of production, followed by Brazil.
Friday, October 19, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Poor Infrastructure may hinder gains of mobile money market

Source: Business Day

Nigeria's mobile money market is worth $7.2 billion according to Accenture, however the prevalence of poor infrastructure is hindering its takeoff.
Thursday, October 18, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Partners in Food Solutions, USAID and TechnoServe Expand Partnership to Improve Food Security in Africa

Source: TechnoServe Press Release

$15 million Public-Private Partnership Agreement will enable consortium of global food companies to help transform food processing through its 500+ corporate volunteer network
Thursday, October 18, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Bush Food Gathers Momentum as a Social Enterprise

Source: Pro Bono Australia

The concept of ‘bush tucker’ is uniquely Australian - romanticised by Hollywood as something Crocodile Dundee survived on - but now a group of Indigenous Queenslanders wants to turn the harvesting of native bush foods into a sustainable social enterprise.
Thursday, October 18, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Handheld Poverty Fighters: Building the Killer Apps of Global Prosperity

Source: GOOD

Among many in the development space, connective technologies are either the cheat code to global prosperity or a false prophet obscuring the real challenges effecting the world’s poor. Officials as high-ranking as Secretary Hillary Clinton have called the spread of cheap cell phones and laptops a driving force against poverty even as many of their most promising applications are failing to deliver on scale.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012 — No Region Specified

Release of 2012 MIV Survey – growth stabilizes in spite of lower rates and investor redemptions

Source: Press Release

Washington D.C., October 16, 2012 – Today MicroRate released The State of Microfinance Investment 2012, which finds that microfinance investment has stabilized into a lower growth rate following the global financial crisis.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

AfDB, Citi and IFC Enter New Agreement to Support Trade Finance in Africa

Source: Citi Press Release

London - October 4, 2012 – The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Citi and International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, have agreed to provide a $175 million thre-year revolving credit facility covering short-term trades for exporters and importers in Africa. This agreement builds on the success of a previous similar program launched in 2010 to help boost economic growth in the region.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 — North Africa and Near East

North Africa: Japan's Unicharm Corp. to Bring Affordable Hygiene Products to 36 Million Low-Income Women

Source: All Africa

New York/Tokyo — Japanese consumer products giant Unicharm Corp. has pledged to bring affordable diapers and sanitary products to 36 million low-income women in the Middle East/North Africa and Asian regions as part of the Business Call to Action (BCTA), a global initiative to reduce poverty and promote sustainable development through the development of inclusive business models.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 — North Africa and Near East

Egypt’s NBD allocates EGP 200 million to finance micro-enterprises

Source: CPI Financial

National Bank for Development (NBD) has allocated EGP 200 million towards providing funding for small and micro enterprises, and designed a comprehensive range of funding programmes that are Shari'ah-compliant.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012 — No Region Specified

Help Us Find 30 Awesome Social Entrepreneurs Under 30

Source: Forbes

Last year, we launched our 30 Under 30 project, where we named 30 up-and-comers in 12 industries, including technology, food and wine, music, and finance. This year, we’re including a new category I’m very excited about: social entrepreneurs.
Monday, October 15, 2012 — North Africa and Near East

Israel’s Rather Different Social Network

Source: Wall Street Journal

ISTANBUL—One of the more unusual presentations at the Webit conference here was from Israel Venture Network, a 10-year social entrepreneurship network targeting some of Israel’s deprived and excluded citizens, in a talk given by the former tech Chief Executive Isabel Maxwell.
Monday, October 15, 2012 — South Asia

Learn for life, not for exams, students told

Source: The Times of India

MANGALORE: Pragrati 2012, the biennial symposium with the theme 'Youth- Intrinsic Motivation' with a focus on igniting young minds and awakening them to the realities surrounding them was held at AIMIT, St Aloysius College, Beeri on Wednesday.
Monday, October 15, 2012 — Latin America

Muhammad Yunus announces financing in Haiti

Source: Associated Press

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Nobel peace laureate Mohammad Yunus announced Saturday that his pro-business development group is financing several endeavors through a mix of loans and equity.
Thursday, October 11, 2012 — No Region Specified

Can A Motivated Group Of People Change The Way Markets Work For The Better?

Source: Fast Company

Criterion Ventures is trying to rebrand the idea of systems change, and change a few major systems--like the rules that govern the entire economy--along the way.
Thursday, October 11, 2012 — South Asia

Financing a greener future

Source: Al Jazeera

World governments will gather soon in Hyderabad, India, for the biennial Convention on Biological Diversity conference to find ways of valuing and safeguarding life on Earth - perhaps one of the most pressing priorities the global community now faces.
Thursday, October 11, 2012 — Europe & Eurasia

GlaxoSmithKline opens door on data in bid to aid discovery of medicines

Source: The Guardian

British drugs company releases findings of clinical trials and announces new effort to find tropical disease cures
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Samsung, KWFT pact to boost mobile banking

Source: Capital FM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 10 – Samsung has partnered with local microfinance solutions provider, Kenya Women Finance Trust – Deposit Taking Microfinance (KWFT-DTM) to promote the uptake of mobile technology solutions among women.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Oxfam launches fund to make 'impact investments' in the developing world

Source: Third Sector

The overseas aid charity is linking up with the City of London Corporation and Symbiotics to help small and medium-sized enterprises, with the first investment in Mongolia
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 — Latin America

How Entrepreneurs Can Fight Drug Traffickers

Source: Forbes

There’s nothing like attending the heady, exhilarating Clinton Global Initiative to get me out of the operational trenches of entrepreneurship for social change. But this year, I was distracted by a conversation taking place just down the street at the UN General Assembly—on drug trafficking.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012 — No Region Specified

Village Capital & Venture Well Team Up to Launch an Accelerator Focused on Clean Tech and Mobile ICT

Source: Blue Sky

Village Capital and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance’s (NCIIA) Venture Well have joined to offer early stage IT and cleantech entrepreneurs the opportunity to win $100,000 in seed money. Teams selected from across the nation will take part in a two and a half month competition beginning with a conference for selectees the weekend of November 29, 2012 in Boston. T
Tuesday, October 9, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

‘The potential is big,’ says green energy entrepreneur

Source: How We Made it in Africa

Socially and environmentally conscious entrepreneur Mshinwa Edith Banzi is the founder of Illumination East Africa (iEA), a Tanzanian-based company that offers affordable solar chargeable LED lamps to predominantly low income earners. These lights have a battery life of between 18-24 months and batteries can be replaced thereafter.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Opportunity Africa: How One Social Venture Is Crowdsourcing the For-Profit Finance Model

Source: Forbes

The best social entrepreneurs are always tweaking the model. In microfinance, crowd-sourced ventures have aimed at connecting first world capital with developing world opportunity – and with some success. A few years ago, I met Mads Kjaer in Oxford and was fascinated by a model that added risk and reward to what had been more a form of philanthropy than investment.
Monday, October 8, 2012 — No Region Specified

Making the Case for Impact Sourcing

Source: Huffington Post

Last week, B Corporation, a network of socially responsible "for-benefit" businesses, announced its plans to scale internationally at the Clinton Global Initiative. Many of these businesses are supported by impact investors, a group of double- and triple-bottom-line funders that received little attention until the Rockefeller Foundation launched a major impact investing initiative in 2008.
Monday, October 8, 2012 — No Region Specified

The month of impact investing

Source: Market Watch

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (MarketWatch) — From the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City to the Social Capital Markets gathering in San Francisco to the SRI in the Rockies conference held in Connecticut, to new reports, membership associations and web sites launched this month, the focal point is impact investing.
Monday, October 8, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Entrepreneur brings color to the desert

Source: China Daily

A man-made oasis in China's seventh biggest desert, Kubuqi, on the southern bank of the Yellow River, has been the backdrop for several international environmental events this year.
Friday, October 5, 2012 — No Region Specified

The VisionSpring Model: Creating Markets And Players Instead Of Empty CSR

Source: Forbes

Earlier this month, the Schwab Foundation announced its 2012 “class” of outstanding social entrepreneurs. Among them was Dr. Jordan Kassalow, the founder of an organization called VisionSpring that works to ensure that everyone in the developing world has access to eyeglasses.
Friday, October 5, 2012 — Europe & Eurasia

Kyrgyzstan's Leading Microfinance Institution, Bai Tushum, Becomes A Bank

Source: The Herald Online

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan, Oct. 5, 2012 — /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On September 26 microfinance company Bai Tushum and Partners received preliminary permission from the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic to operate as a bank.
Thursday, October 4, 2012 — No Region Specified

Social Enterprise - ImpactAssets50 provides view of growing impact investing landscape

Source: Trust Law

SAN FRANCISCO (TrustLaw) - A database of fund managers who invest for maximum social, environmental and financial impact shows that assets under management grew 15 percent compared to last year to $10.2 billion.
Thursday, October 4, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How to boost adoption of mobile health care, by report

Source: The Guardian Nigeria

MORE doctors in developed and emerging markets have identified adoption of mobile technology in healthcare as an inevitable means to boost health care services.
Thursday, October 4, 2012 — Latin America

Accion Invests $3 Million in Mobile Services Provider Tiaxa

Source: Press Release

Accion announced today that its Frontier Investments Group has invested US$3 million in Zonamovil Inc. (“Tiaxa”), a Chilean provider of managed services for the wireless telecom market. For more than 10 years, Tiaxa has provided mobile network operators globally with billing and rating services for prepaid mobile phone users, as well as innovative financial and business intelligence services that increase operator revenues and improve user satisfaction and loyalty.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 — South Asia

The dawn of e-microfinance

Source: Business Standard

It doesn’t look like Primiya Bai Rout, a vegetable cultivator in Salebhata village of Odisha, belongs in cyberspace. Yet, there she is, with a profile that nestles right next to Niharika Padia’s from New York. It is an unlikely pairing, but what has made it possible is a loan of Rs 400, given by Padia to Rout, so she can finance her vegetable business, thanks to Rangde — an online platform that enables people like Niharika to choose borrowers like Rout from a list of microloan seekers in the most remote corners of India.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Meet A Playboy Entrepreneur Who Went From Making Millions To Making an Impact

Source: Forbes

Kitwe, a dusty industrial city in North Western Zambia’s ‘Copper Belt’ region, isn’t much to look at. It does however have a hidden jewel. The city is home to the office of internationally acclaimed social entrepreneur, Peter Sinkamba.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 — No Region Specified

GIIN Expands Collaboration with Omidyar Network, USAID, The Rockefeller Foundation to Support Growth of the Impact Investing

Source: Press Release

Omidyar Network, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced today a collaboration to promote impact investing by supporting research, outreach, and other field-building activities undertaken by the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN). Together the partners have committed $6.5 million to support the GIIN’s work to increase the accessibility of impact investing.
Monday, October 1, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Liberia: Lifting Liberia by Lifting Women -President Sirleaf Heightens Crusade on Women

Source: All Africa

President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, addressing a Goldman Sachs Foundation Cocktail and Dinner at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Sunday, says one of the surest ways to lift Liberia is to train and empower 70% of the nation’s population, which are women and the youth.
Monday, October 1, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Accenture and VSO Give Entrepreneurship Award to Shoemaker from Sierra Leone

Source: Daily Finance

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 1, 2012-- Accenture and VSO today announced that Umaro Kargo, a shoemaker from Makeni, Sierra Leone, is the winner of the Making Markets Work for the Poor: Entrepreneurship Award.
Monday, October 1, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Habitat for Humanity Canada and The MasterCard Foundation partner to expand access to housing microfinance in Africa

Source: Canada Newswire

ACCRA, Ghana, Oct. 1, 2012 /CNW/ - Habitat for Humanity Canada, Habitat for Humanity International (collectively "Habitat") and The MasterCard Foundation today announced the launch of a $6.6 million, five-year partnership to expand microfinance services to maintain and improve homes for disadvantaged families in three African countries.
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