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
Friday, November 30, 2012 — No Region Specified

Fighting cancer with cell phones: Innovation to save lives in Africa

Source: CNN: Inside Africa

In countries such as Tanzania, where nearly 4,500 women die annually from the disease, the problem is exacerbated by an acute shortage of medical experts and a lack of quality screening services, especially in rural areas. But now a group of Canadian and Tanzanian health innovators have joined forces to apply simple and safe mobile technologies to improve cervical cancer screening and thus potentially reduce mortality rates in the East African country.
Friday, November 30, 2012 — No Region Specified

Impact Investing’s Next Hurdle: Better Networking

Source: Knowledge@Wharton

Tess Mateo is a matchmaker. Her job is to interest private investors in projects throughout the world that will improve the quality of life for people and protect the environment. It is not unusual for her to touch down on four continents in the same number of weeks.
Friday, November 30, 2012 — No Region Specified

MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: MasterCard Foundation, CGAP Announce $11.4m Partnership for Branchless Banking, Client Research


The MasterCard Foundation, a Canada-based nongovernmental organization (NGO) supporting microfinance and education, and CGAP (Consultative Group to Assist the Poor), a US-based nonprofit policy and research center, recently announced a USD 11.4 million partnership to develop low-cost financial products to assist people living in poverty.
Friday, November 30, 2012 — No Region Specified

ADB loans Bangladesh $300 mn to improve market

Source: Daily News

Dhaka, Nov 29 — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Bangladesh Thursday signed an agreement for $300 million loan to help the country stabilise its financial market, making it safer and more attractive to invest.
Thursday, November 29, 2012 — Europe & Eurasia

Three Things Governments Should Do For Social Entrepreneurship

Source: Forbes

Today, Europe’s leaders are discussing a $1,000 bn budget framework for the EU, and for the first time, there are budget lines for social entrepreneurship – although you may have to find them with a very large magnifying glass.
Thursday, November 29, 2012 — No Region Specified

Fantino’s private-sector foreign aid: It can work, if he gets the details right

Source: The Globe and Mail

The world’s poorest, sacrificed to the whims of the almighty market. Charities and non-governmental organizations carrying the water for profitable mining companies. Profits before people. These are just some of the critiques levelled against the federal government’s foreign-aid pivot, recently formalized in an address by new International Co-operation Minister Julian Fantino.
Thursday, November 29, 2012 — South Asia

‘Rising Star’ Leila Janah on Fighting Poverty

Source: Wall Street Journal

Leila Janah is trying to find a way to connect women and young people living in poverty to dignified work via the Internet. Her company Samasource, which she founded in 2008, provides free, specialized technology training via 16 centers in nine countries, including India, Pakistan, Kenya, Haiti and Uganda.
Thursday, November 29, 2012 — North Africa and Near East

Symbiotics’ impact bond issuance platform lends 10 million dollars to AccessBank in Azerbaijan

Source: Press Release

Azerbaijan’s leading microfinance bank, AccessBank, received 10 million dollars through MSME Bonds, Symbiotics’ impact bond issuance platform, on November 20, 2012.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Profile: Elizabeth Scharpf Seeks Affordable Solutions to Women's Hygiene

Source: PBS NewsHour

Harvard Business School and Kennedy School of Government graduate Elizabeth Scharpf, 35, appears confident with a warm smile. These attributes no doubt come in handy when Scharpf travels the world to raise awareness about a subject that most people don't often discuss: menstruation.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 — South Asia

Accion’s Frontier Investments Group and Saama Capital Invest $4 Million in Mortgage Company

Source: Sacramento Bee

Early-Stage Equity to Help Expand Shubham Housing's Mission to Serve Urban Poor
Wednesday, November 28, 2012 — No Region Specified

One billion raise a stink

Source: Al Jazeera English

Sanitation is not merely a development wish list, but a fundamental requirement that directly affects people's survival.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa: Development Targets Ride on Vitamins

Source: All Africa

One hundred and ninety million - that's more than the populations of Germany, France and Poland combined. It is also the number of children affected by vitamin A deficiency around the world.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Child marriage perpetuates cycle of poverty for young people

Source: Deseret News

In the developing world, one in 10 girls is married before the age of 18. One in seven is married before 15. Tino Borantu of Ethiopia was married at age 9.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 — No Region Specified

Meet the 2012 Young Laureates of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise

Source: National Geographic

Five young men and women who embody the spirit of enterprise, the ideas and will to make the world a better place, were named today the 2012 Young Laureates of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

M-Shwari platform set to shake up small loans market

Source: Business Daily Africa

Safaricom subscribers can now operate mobile-based savings accounts, earn interest on their deposits and borrow small loans in a move set to raise competition against banks, saccos and shylocks.
Monday, November 26, 2012 — No Region Specified

Jewelry Designed to Disarm

Source: The New York Times

NEW YORK — As icons go, few things communicate global menace more effectively than the stark silhouette of an AK-47. Designed more than six decades ago by Mikhail Kalashnikov, a former Soviet tank commander, the assault rifle boasts the dubious distinction of being the most abundant and reliable killing device in history.
Monday, November 26, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Enter the iShack, a possible answer to improving Africa’s slums

Source: How We Made it in Africa

For those who aren’t familiar with South Africa’s informal settlements, it is estimated that seven million South Africans live in shacks in the country’s many “squatter camps” located around all major cities.
Monday, November 26, 2012 — No Region Specified

Confidence in social impact claims 'shockingly low'

Source: The Guardian

Demonstrable social impact is often overlooked by social investors, says leading social enterprise academic
Tuesday, November 20, 2012 — South Asia

Justrojgar Joins With Upaya Social Ventures to Create Service Sector Jobs for the Very Poorest

Source: Press Release

Equity Investment Will Create New Corporate, Domestic Employment Opportunities For Those Living At The Base Of The Pyramid
Monday, November 19, 2012 — No Region Specified

Five Predictions For The Future Of Social Entrepreneurship

Source: Forbes

What’s the future of social entrepreneurship? On November 29th, Ashoka’s founder, Bill Drayton, is giving his predictions in an interview with David Bornstein from the New York Times. But what do you think? Give your say on Twitter using the hashtag #FutureSocEnt and your thoughts will feed into the event and a post-event summary.
Monday, November 19, 2012 — Europe & Eurasia

Unilever's Hygiene Brand Domestos To Break Taboo Of The Loo

Source: CSR Wire

LONDON And ROTTERDAM, Nov. 19 /CSRwire/ - Unilever, through its leading hygiene brand Domestos, today – World Toilet Day - announced new initiatives to raise awareness for the global sanitation crisis. ‘Toilets for Health’, a white paper by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and Domestos, gives new insights in the sanitation crisis.
Monday, November 19, 2012 — South Asia

‘We are now treading cautiously on lending’

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Dena Bank Chairperson and Managing Director Nupur Mitra, who is due to retire on December 31 this year, feels that customers at the bottom of the pyramid offer lot of opportunities for banks to expand business.
Friday, November 16, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Carlyle Group to Make Africa Investment

Source: Wall Street Journal

Private-Equity Firm Is Latest to Follow Rush Into Continent With Sub-Saharan Fund; 'We're Here for the Long Haul'
Friday, November 16, 2012 — South Asia

Intellecap, Villgro Enter Strategic Partnership to Build a Comprehensive Ecosystem for Social Entrepreneurship

Source: Press Release

Intellecap and Villgro today announced a strategic partnership that will leverage the extensive experience and networks of both organizations to better assist social entrepreneurs developing innovative business models across India. This synergy of resources and expertise will promote a broader national-level collaborative plan to identify and support competitive enterprises focused on creating market solutions for the Base of the Pyramid.
Thursday, November 15, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: Exclusive Growth, Identified As Boosting Instability in Africa

Source: AllAfrica

In the recently concluded African Economic Conference (AEC) which was winded in Kigali on November 2nd under the theme "Inclusive and sustainable development in an age of economic uncertainty", it was revealed that continued growth that is not transforming into tangible inclusion of youths in the development process may result into instabilities than economic transformation on the continent.
Thursday, November 15, 2012 — No Region Specified

Bamboo Finance Acquires Accion Investment Fund


Bamboo Finance, a global private equity group specializing in microfinance and financing social entrepreneurship, announced today that is has acquired a controlling interest in Accion Investments in Microfinance, SPC, a private, for-profit equity fund that has provided capital to microfinance institutions (MFIs) since 2003. “This US$105 million transaction is a landmark for the industry” said Jean-Philippe de Schrevel, CEO of Bamboo Finance, “It demonstrates the maturity of the sector and its readiness for private investors.”
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 — South Asia

My new book will talk about SKS experience: Vikram Akula

Source: Business Standard

A candid account of what went wrong at SKS Microfinance Ltd during 2009-11 is in the offing. Founder and former chairman of SKS Microfinance, Vikram Akula, tells Santosh Tiwari in an interview he was working on his new book, which will focus on his SKS experience and lessons learnt.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Four African Teenagers Create Power From Pee

Source: Fast Company

A group of African girls have made an engine that runs on a truly renewable resource: human urine.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 — South Asia

Student Social Entrepreneurs from India Win the 2012 Intel Global Challenge

Source: Social Enterprise Buzz

With a “jugaad” mindset embedded in the culture, India has no shortage of social innovators cooking up solutions to the world’s ills. As a matter of fact, the Greenway Grameen Infra (GGI) team from India has just been announced as the winners of the 2012 Intel Global Challenge at UC Berkeley, receiving $50,000 from the Intel Foundation on their invention of a biomass-based stove that increases fuel efficiency.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012 — No Region Specified

GADCO Announces Investment from AATIF Fund sponsored by KfW, Deutsche Bank and the German Government

Source: Acumen Fund Blog

Global Agri-Development Company (GADCO), the FMCG agri-food company operating in sub-Saharan Africa, is pleased to announce an investment from AATIF (Africa Agriculture and Trade Investment Fund), the public-private partnership funded by the German Government, KfW, and Deutsche Bank.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 — North Africa and Near East

Observing the Arab Spring, African Bankers Devise Economic Strategies

Source: Knowledge@Wharton

The African Development Bank (AfDB) was established in 1964 to guide the continent onto a path of sustainable pan-African economic growth and reduce poverty. Heading its efforts is Mthuli Ncube, chief economist and vice president at the multilateral bank, which is temporarily headquartered in Tunisia.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Italians, Israelis aim to fight hunger in Senegal

Source: The Jerusalem Post

Trilateral agricultural development project seeks to eradicate hunger by providing farmers with technological know-how.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012 — South Asia

Bangladesh could be 'next China'

Source: The Daily Star

Bangladesh must act soon to take advantage of its low-cost edge to become the "next China" before Dhaka's competitors take the markets the world's second largest economy is leaving, according to the World Bank.
Monday, November 12, 2012 — No Region Specified

The Paradox of Property Rights and Economic Development

Source: Council on Foreign Relations Blog

Recent weeks have seen simmering property rights conflicts around the world: Burmese citizens marching in protest against the government’s seizure of their lands for a hotel zone; Vietnamese villagers contesting the confiscation of their land for an EcoPark satellite city project; and violent clashes breaking out in Panama City over a controversial law allowing the sale of state-owned land in the port city of Colón—Latin America’s largest duty-free zone.
Monday, November 12, 2012 — South Asia

Final Frontier: Firms Flock to Newly Opened Myanmar

Source: Wall Street Journal

YANGON, Myanmar—For Tim Love, a vice chairman of advertising giant Omnicom Group, it was an opportunity too good to pass up: an entire country, off the map for most Western investors for decades, embracing foreign investment in a place with untapped energy resources and 60 million people.
Monday, November 12, 2012 — South Asia

eBay founder's investment firm makes a grant to global health consortium

Source: Times of India

Omidyar Network, the philanthropic investment firm of eBay founder, Pierre Omidyar, is making a $1.5 million grant to a global consortium supporting innovation in healthcare and medical technology. The grant has been made to Massachusetts General Hospital's Center for Global Health to support the Consortium for Affordable Medical Technologies (CAMTech).
Friday, November 9, 2012 — No Region Specified

OneLeap aims to bring social entrepreneurs and serious investors together

Source: Gizmag

The world is brimming with good ideas, but presenting them to the people who are in a position to make them happen presents a formidable challenge. OneLeap, launched earlier this year, is a web-based networking platform designed to fix this situation by bridging the gap between entrepreneurs, investors, influencers and top-tier executives, while raising money for charity in the process.
Friday, November 9, 2012 — No Region Specified

Duke Receives Award for Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator

Source: Duke Today

Durham, NC - Duke University will be able to draw on its expertise in social entrepreneurship and innovation to tackle global health challenges, thanks to a $10 million award from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) that was announced Thursday in Washington.
Friday, November 9, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Accion Microfinance Bank Named Nigeria’s Best Microfinance Bank of the Year

Source: Press Release

The Lagos State Enterprise (LEAD) Awards has selected Accion Microfinance Bank Limited (MfB) as Nigeria’s “Best Microfinance Bank of the Year” for the second consecutive year. The selection, by an industry research group for the LEAD awards, was based on Accion MfB’s ‘excellent performance and deep understanding of microlending in the microfinance sector.’
Thursday, November 8, 2012 — No Region Specified

RBC announces $1 million donation to MaRS Centre for Impact Investing

Source: Sacramento Bee

TORONTO, Nov. 8, 2012 /CNW/ - RBC today announced a historic, $1 million, five-year commitment to support the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing. With this donation, RBC becomes a founding partner of the Centre, launched in late 2011 to increase awareness of social finance and direct new capital and talent to tackle social and environmental problems in Canada.
Thursday, November 8, 2012 — No Region Specified

Mastercard Inc : The SEEP Network Partners with MasterCard to Promote Innovative Uses of Technology

Source: 4-Traders

Washington, DC, November 7, 2012 - The SEEP Network's two-day 2012 Annual Conference titled, "Building Inclusive Markets: Impact through Financial and Enterprise Solutions" kicks off on Wednesday, November 7 in Arlington, VA.
Thursday, November 8, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Enablis, ILO, unveil business competition

Source: Business Daily

The Enablis Entrepreneurial Network East Africa and International Labour Organisation (ILO) on Thursday launched the 2012 annual business plan competition aimed at identifying and growing emerging and existing entrepreneurs.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Education boosts role of local women

Source: China Daily

Women in the Tibet autonomous region enjoy rising social status and are stepping beyond their traditional roles, according to an official at the Tibet Women's Federation.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 — No Region Specified

Is Obama’s re-election a boon for US foreign aid?

Source: Devex

Barack Obama reelection Tuesday (Nov. 6) as U.S. president suggests a continuation of U.S. foreign aid reforms focused on food aid, global health, country ownership and private sector engagement.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 — South Asia

Lok Capital is re-inventing strategy for social impact

Source: Business Standard

Rajiv B Lall, 55, managing director and chief executive officer of Infrastructure Development Finance Company talks unlike his peers in glamorous investment banking and private equity business despite spending over thirty years with institutions such as Warburg Pincus, Morgan Stanley and Asian Development Bank.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Study paints sad picture of women in poor countries

Source: Standard Digital

Women perform more than half of all economic activities in developing countries but only a third of their work is captured by statisticians, a new report says. This means women are likely to miss out on business, industrial and social development opportunities arising from globalisation.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012 — South Asia

Husk Power Systems raises $5 million for expansion

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Husk Power Systems, a Bihar-based company that runs micro power plants on agricultural waste, has raised Series A equity financing of $5 million (Rs 27 crore) from co-investors Bamboo Finance, Acumen Fund, and LGT Venture Philanthropy.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012 — South Asia

Goonj founder this year’s top social entrepreneur

Source: Hindustan Times

Almost 13 years ago an idea then considered a ‘non-issue’, fructified into an NGO — Goonj, got recognised on Tuesday evening, as its founder Anshu Gupta was adjudged the ‘Social Entrepreneur of the Year India 2012”.
Monday, November 5, 2012 — No Region Specified

World Bank introduces new investment lending policy

Source: Devex

The World Bank is a step closer to overhauling its policies and procedures as part of efforts to transform the U.S.-based lender into a “solutions bank.”
Monday, November 5, 2012 — South Asia

Can the 'American Dream' be reversed in India?

Source: BBC

America's Silicon Valley has always been a hub for some of the brightest and best Indian immigrants to start businesses. Now, in a reversal, more people from the US are moving to the sub-continent with their ideas.
Monday, November 5, 2012 — North Africa and Near East

Is the Philanthropy Model Broken? Changemakers Discuss Social Entrepreneurship in Dubai

Source: Wamda

In Dubai, a city that is sometimes referred to as ‘soul-less’, over 150 social changemakers from across the Gulf gathered at the Capital Club in DIFC a couple of weeks ago to discuss how our models of social entrepreneurship and philanthropy can evolve.
Friday, November 2, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Businesses urged to take lead in supporting social enterprises

Source: Channel News Asia

SINGAPORE : Acting Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing has said that while the government supports social enterprises, more businesses still need to take the lead in growing the sector.
Friday, November 2, 2012 — No Region Specified

Santa Clara University Welcomes Applications from Investment-Ready Social Enterprises

Source: Market Watch Press Release

SANTA CLARA, Calif., Nov 01, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Applications are now open for Santa Clara University's Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI(TM)), an 11-year-old program that helps social entrepreneurs create greater impact in their poverty-alleviating missions.
Thursday, November 1, 2012 — Latin America

In the pipeline: $300M worth of AFD, IDB projects

Source: Devex

The French Development Agency, or AFD, and the Inter-American Development Bank have signed a three-year “action-oriented” agreement that will expand the two agencies’ development efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Thursday, November 1, 2012 — South Asia

LifeSpring Hospitals: Providing Affordable, Quality Maternity Care to India’s Middle Class

Source: Knowledge@Wharton

Last year, when 24-year-old Madhuri Satyanarayan, a resident of Neredmet village in Andhra Pradesh, found out that she was pregnant, her joy was tempered with anxiety about the medical costs. At the nearby private hospital where she went for her check–ups, the cost of delivery was estimated to be around US$500.
Thursday, November 1, 2012 — South Asia

How To Strengthen Pakistan's Economy? Empower Women!

Source: Forbes

Changemakers talked to Shaista Bukhari about how to unleash the entrepreneurial power of women and what it could mean to Pakistan’s economy, if more women were to open businesses on their own. A transformation that requires more than just seed money.
Thursday, November 1, 2012 — Latin America

QMágico’s co-founder talks social entrepreneurship and education in Brazil

Source: The Next Web

Thiago Feijão was one of the panelists speaking at Entrepreneur Week Brazil, which took place for the first time in Rio de Janeiro last week. As the co-founder of edtech startup QMágico, he talked about social entrepreneurship and education opportunities in Brazil.
Thursday, November 1, 2012 — No Region Specified

Global co-op leader: Co-ops should be fastest growing business model by 2020

Source: The Guardian

The leader of the global co-operative movement today outlined an ambitious vision for making co-operatives the fastest growing business model by the end of the decade.
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