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, September 28, 2012 — South Asia

Unilever takes HUL strategies like small packs, cheaper variants to developed markets

Source: Economic Times

MUMBAI: During a 2009 India visit, Paul Polman, CEO of Anglo-Dutch consumer goods major Unilever, couldn't conceal his delight with the Indian subsidiary's strategy of offering brands with multiple price and packaging options, helping consumers trade down or up depending on the state of the economy.
Friday, September 28, 2012 — No Region Specified

USAID and Acumen Partner to Spur Private Debt Capital for Social Enterprises in Developing Countries

Source: Acumen Fund Blog

New York – Today the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Acumen Fund, a nonprofit global venture fund addressing poverty across Africa and South Asia, announced a collaboration to facilitate the flow of up to $15 million in private debt capital to social enterprises working to provide critical goods and services to the underserved across these regions.
Friday, September 28, 2012 — Europe & Eurasia

Deutsche Bank Announces Essential Capital Fund at 2012 Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

Source: Daily Finance

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Deutsche Bank announced its Commitment to Action at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting. The commitment was to the structuring of the Essential Capital Fund (the "Fund") which defines an innovative approach to providing early stage high risk money to support the impact investing sector.
Thursday, September 27, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Early stage investment growing in Africa tech

Source: PC Advisor

The rise of technology hubs over the last couple of years has spurred investment, helped by humanitarian agencies and VCs
Thursday, September 27, 2012 — South Asia

Using Innovative, Low-cost Solutions to Provide Safe Drinking Water in India

Source: India Knowedge@Wharton

P.Venkatesh, a resident of Boduppal village in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh, is a carpenter of modest means. The ever-increasing price of essentials has forced him to cut corners to save each paisa as he struggles to look after his family of four. But despite all odds and after much deliberation, three months ago he decided to make provision for yet another non-negotiable in his monthly budget -- drinking water.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 — South Asia

Danone plans national launch for its yoghurts next year

Source: The Economic Times

MUMBAI: French dairy major Danone today said its new business unit here which is dedicated for developing products for the masses, will be rolled out to other cities by next year.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 — No Region Specified

New Dalberg Report Guides Investors on Addressing Finance Demand for Smallholder Farmers

Source: Press Release

WASHINGTON DC – Dalberg Global Development Advisors has released a new report today identifying innovative and sustainable ways that investors can help fulfill the largely unmet need for smallholder agricultural financing.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Coke Applies Supply-Chain Expertise to Deliver AIDS Drugs in Africa

Source: The Daily Beast

Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent tells Daniel Gross his company is expanding a project that helps nonprofits deliver vaccines in rural Africa more quickly.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012 — South Asia

U.S.-Pakistan Women's Council Launched

Source: RTT News

(RTTNews) - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday announced the launch of the U.S.-Pakistan Women's Council on the margins of the UN General Assembly, in the presence of Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States, Sherry Rehman. Recognizing the critical role economically empowered women play in strengthening stability, security, and prosperity, the Council's core mission is to promote the economic advancement of women in Pakistan.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012 — No Region Specified

Scaling from Small to Large: Endeavor Insight's Research Reveals How Entrepreneurs are Integral to Solving the Job Crisis

Source: MarketWatch Press Release

NEW YORK, Sep 25, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Entrepreneurship is increasingly viewed as a key solution to chronic unemployment, but when it comes to job creation, not all entrepreneurs are equal. According to a new report and interactive online tool released by Endeavor Insight, high-growth small and medium size enterprises that scale into large businesses have significant potential to drive sustained job creation and employment, especially in emerging markets. Endeavor Insight partnered with Omidyar Network and Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) to commission and release the report.
Monday, September 24, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Acumen Fund and Dow Partner to Scale Social Enterprises in East and West Africa

Source: Acumen Fund Blog

Commitment announced at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting brings funding and technical expertise to entrepreneurs providing low-income consumers with energy, agricultural inputs, water and sanitation
Monday, September 24, 2012 — No Region Specified

Hult Global Case Challenge To Announce Incubator-Based 'NGO 2.0' At Clinton Global Initiative Conference

Source: Forbes

In April, I wrote about the Hult Global Case Challenge, a worldwide social entrepreneurship challenge hosted by the Hult International Business School, an entity owned by Swedish billionaire Bertil Hult (worth $3 billion as of March), the entrepreneur who made his fortune by building language and cultural learning giant EF Education First.
Monday, September 24, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

LendmeMula introduces ZimSwitch enabled MulaConnect card

Source: TechZim

One of the issues with the LendmeMula micro-credit service that we have covered here before, is that so far borrowers have had to wait for up to 24 hours before they could access the borrowed money in their bank accounts. The money had to be transferred by Lendme to their bank accounts. This made the process somewhat slow, and where a borrower did not have a bank ATM card, they had to pray they could access their money before the banks closed their doors.
Monday, September 24, 2012 — South Asia

How the Aakash tablet bounced back

Source: The Washington Post

Internet-connected tablets, as I’ve explained before, have the potential to positively impact billions. Cell phones improved commerce and changed society by allowing, among other things, the poorest villagers in the developing world to connect with one another. The Internet will catalyze the next leap forward by providing those in the developing world access to the same ocean of knowledge as those in wealthier societies. This will transform education and revolutionize commerce.
Friday, September 21, 2012 — No Region Specified

White House Hosts Innovation Forum for Philanthropists

Source: The Chronicle of Philanthropy

More than 150 leaders in philanthropy and finance gathered at the White House on Thursday for a private meeting on “innovation in philanthropy” that featured Jean Case, chief executive of the Case Foundation, as a keynote speaker.
Friday, September 21, 2012 — Europe & Eurasia

Apply for the Siemens Stiftung Foundation: Empowering People Award


With the “empowering people. Award”, the Siemens Stiftung would like to identify efficient technical solutions which empower people in developing and emerging countries to independently combat existential problems in basic supply.
Thursday, September 20, 2012 — Europe & Eurasia

Microfinance Leaders Launch Global Appeal For Responsible Industry Practices

Source: MarketWatch Press Release

WASHINGTON and PARIS, Sept. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Microfinance leaders today unveiled the "Global Appeal for Responsible Microfinance," a landmark document urging all microfinance stakeholders to take concerted action to ensure a strong and principled microfinance industry. The Appeal was announced at the Convergences 2015 World Forum in Paris.
Thursday, September 20, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Esource: Cycling solution to gadget recycling

Source: BBC

Our desire to buy the latest must-have gadget comes at huge cost to the countries and people who deal with our electronic waste. But could pedal power offer a solution?
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 — Latin America

Jeff Skoll's Billion-Dollar Plan To Save The World

Source: Forbes

Four years ago Jeff Skoll arrived via small plane in the depths of the Brazilian Amazon region, just in time for the Waura people’s festival of the pique fruit, where he sipped from a bucket of its bitter, bright-yellow brew.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 — South Asia

Dow Corning Offers Workers Cold Showers With Bugs to Build Sales

Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

When Brad Fogg did volunteer work in India, the adventure came with unwelcome insects and other discomforts, as well as a chance to benefit the country and find opportunities for his employer, Dow Corning Corp.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Initiative for Global Development teams with Accenture to develop electricity, connectivity in Uganda

Source: Notre Dame News

The University of Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (IGD) and Accenture — a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company — are taking the lead to empower disconnected communities in northern Uganda by harnessing solar energy to generate electricity for Internet and communications technologies, education and training centers, and new locally developed ventures.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 — Latin America

Venture Capital Is Taking Off in Mexico

Source: CNBC

Mexico has a large, stable and growing economy, currently the 14th largest economy in the world and, according to Goldman Sachs, will be the fifth largest economy by 2050.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Africa’s best tech minds to meet at Indaba

Source: IT News Africa

Three years on, in every way that counts, Tech4Africa continues to be the premier mobile, web and emerging technology event, and this year’s conference promises to be no exception, congregating some of the best minds in ICT today and bringing a greater than ever breadth and depth of tech talks.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 — No Region Specified

Calling All Social Entrepreneurs

Source: Forbes

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in cooperation with the United Nations Foundation, Mashable, UNDP, 92Y and Ericsson are hosting the Social Good Summit in New York City this weekend. Even if you can’t go to New York, you can participate.
Tuesday, September 18, 2012 — Asia Pacific

Grameen Foundation and eBay Foundation – A Mobile Commerce Approach to Poverty Alleviation

Source: Huffington Post

Recognizing the opportunity offered by this technology, Grameen Foundation and eBay Foundation began working together this summer to build solutions that address market challenges facing microentrepreneurs in Indonesia.
Monday, September 17, 2012 — South Asia

ISB competition for social entrepreneurship ideas

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Do you have an idea that has a potential to make a social impact? The Indian School of Business (ISB) has announced iDiya, a nationwide idea competition for working professionals who are interested in starting ventures with a potential to create a positive impact on society.
Monday, September 17, 2012 — No Region Specified

How 'Afropreneurs' will shape Africa's future

Source: CNN

(CNN) -- His full name is Idris Ayodeji Bello, but you might just call him "Afropreneur." That's the buzzword adopted by the young Nigerian to describe the bright, independent and tech savvy entrepreneurs using creative thinking and the power of innovation to take over Africa's economic destiny.
Monday, September 17, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

World Hunger: The Problem Left Behind

Source: New York Times

THE drought-induced run-up in corn prices is a reminder that we’re nowhere near solving the problem of feeding the world. The price surge, the third major international food price spike in the last five years, casts more doubt on the assumption that widespread economic development leads to corresponding gains in agriculture.
Monday, September 17, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Rwanda: Microfinance Firm Boosts Agro-Mechanisation

Source: All Africa

A local microfinance institution, Duterimbere IMF Ltd, has launched new products that target the promotion of agricultural mechanisation among small scale farmers.
Monday, September 17, 2012 — Latin America

12,000 Nicaraguan Families to Benefit From Improved Housing Conditions

Source: Hispanically Speaking News

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a loan of up to $5 million to Nicaragua’s Foundation for the Promotion of Local Development (Prodel), paving the way for the non-profit organization serving the base of the pyramid to expand financing for basic community infrastructure and incremental home improvement projects.
Friday, September 14, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In Uganda, Villages Reap Benefits of “Machine” Energy

Source: National Geographic

Immaculate Kongai said she was quick to spot the potential of the Multifunction Energy Platform (MFP) as soon as it arrived in Usuk, her village in northeastern Uganda. Kongai grows and sells sorghum to local beer brewers, and has earned a reputation as a shrewd local entrepreneur. When the MFP—or, as she calls it, "the machine"—first showed up three years ago, she said she saw a chance to "make a lot more money" for her family.
Friday, September 14, 2012 — South Asia

Allahabad MFI Sonata Finance raises $6.35M from Creation Investments, others

Source: VCCircle

Chicago-based Creation Investments made its first investment in India in 2010 by picking up stake in Eko India Financial Services.
Friday, September 14, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

At UN-backed conference, African officials discuss path to sustainable development

Source: United Nations News Centre

13 September 2012 – Representatives from more than 40 African countries have gathered at a United Nations-backed conference in Arusha, Tanzania, to discuss the region’s strategy to achieve sustainable development and come up with an integrated strategy for the region to encourage environmental initiatives.
Thursday, September 13, 2012 — South Asia

$4 billion planned for investment in social enterprise in 2012: Report

Source: The Economic Times

According to a global impact investment market study by JP Morgan, and the Global Impact Investment Network (GIIN), investors see the social enterprise as a market 'in its infancy and growing' with almost $ 4 billion planned for investment in 2012. Over the last eight years $ 600 million has been invested in social enterprises in India itself. The Monitor Institute estimates that over the next 5 - 10 years impact investments will grow to 1 percent of global assets under management, emerging as a new asset class.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 — South Asia

Citi Foundation Grants $180k to Parinaam Foundation of India


Citi Foundation, the charitable arm of the US-based financial provider Citigroup, reportedly has given a grant of INR 10 million (USD 180,000) to Parinaam Foundation, an Indian nonprofit organization, to deliver Parinaam’s Diksha Financial Literacy Program to approximately 31,000 microfinance clients.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012 — Latin America

Haiti insurance firm receives $2 million in equity to expand services to the poor

Source: Montreal Gazette

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - A non-profit set up by former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush after the 2010 earthquake has given $1 million in equity to an insurance firm based in Haiti.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 — No Region Specified

Sure, We Can Build a Better Toilet. But Will People Use It?

Source: Wired

The Gates Foundation’s plan to build a better toilet has inspired optimism for the future of sanitation in the developing world.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Does Africa really benefit from foreign investment?

Source: BBC

African economies have grown robustly over the past decade, but that has not solved the continent's economic problems.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

What is the Agaciro Development Fund?

Source: Devex

Rwanda is setting the stage in driving its own development, starting with the launch Thursday (Aug. 23) of the country’s national solidarity fund.
Monday, September 10, 2012 — No Region Specified

Why Social Entrepreneurs Could Use a Little More Faith

Source: GOOD

As your average Fast Company subscribing, TED Talks-watching, New York Times reading, SXSW obsessed pop culture junkie, I know a few things about social innovation. Having followed the game-changing efforts of TOMs Shoes, Kiva, Kickstarter and Warby Parker, it's easy to think of social innovation and entrepreneurship as a secular thing. A recent Southern California Faith-Based Social Innovation Forum showed though that when it comes to collaboration with faith-based social entrepreneurs, there's plenty of room for growth.
Monday, September 10, 2012 — No Region Specified

The 2012 Social Entrepreneur Awardees

Source: World Economic Forum Blog

When Klaus Schwab and I created the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship back in 2000, no one knew what social entrepreneurs were. They were uncommon and unsung heroes in their respective countries and communities, working in relative obscurity to test out new approaches to tackle profound market failures. When they came to Davos, few participants attended the session ‘Meet the Social Entrepreneurs’. Their voices – and the voices of the bottom billion of humanity, the poor people they serve – were often not heard.
Monday, September 10, 2012 — No Region Specified

34 Places To Find That New Job: Social Innovators Edition

Source: Forbes

Other than the beloved, where can someone looking for an impactful or innovative job begin their search? For all those looking to enter or shift within the social innovation space, however you define it, optimizing communities and networking seem to be predominant. Here’s a list of sites to bookmark or pass on to a friend on the hunt right now.
Friday, September 7, 2012 — No Region Specified

Solar lighting: Lighting the way

Source: Economist

Energy technology: Cheaper and better solar-powered electric lights promise to do away with kerosene-fuelled lanterns
Friday, September 7, 2012 — South Asia

Intellecap facilitates investment of INR 250 million in NationWide, from Norwest Venture Partners

Source: Intellecap

Intellecap today announced that it has facilitated an investment of INR 250 million from Norwest Venture Partners in Nationwide Primary Healthcare Services, a pioneering chain of general practitioner and pediatric clinics backed by US based angels.
Thursday, September 6, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How door-to-door business can empower rather than repress women

Source: The Guardian

It's easy to criticise business for expanding into developing countries. But if it helps poor and isolated women, is it all bad?
Thursday, September 6, 2012 — No Region Specified

North American impact investors are keeping their money close to home

Source: See Change Magazine

Most of the world’s poor live in developing markets. And, according to some experts, so do ventures with the most long-term growth potential. But relatively few North American impact investments leave Canada and the United States. Are impact investors missing out?
Wednesday, September 5, 2012 — No Region Specified

100 Free Career Videos for Milennials

Source: iOnPoverty

San Francisco (September 5, 2012) - The online knowledge network today announced that its entire 2012 video collection is now online and free to students, unemployed graduates and young professionals seeking jobs and careers in economic opportunity and justice work.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Oando seals pact with LAPO on access to cooking gas

Source: The Guardian Nigeria

Following its plan to switch millions of Nigerians from biomass to a clean and sustainable cooking gas, Oando Marketing Plc has entered into an agreement with Lift Above Poverty Organisation Microfinance Bank (LAPO) to provide soft loans for low-income households in Nigeria to purchase Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
Tuesday, September 4, 2012 — South Asia

In Andhra Pradesh, moneylenders rush to fill vacuum created by MFIs

Source: The Hindu Business Line

The Andhra Pradesh crackdown on microfinance companies has driven an increasing number of poor borrowers in the State back into the arms of local moneylenders, a recent survey shows.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Social entrepreneur connects African women to global e-commerce

Source: How We Made It in Africa

Ella Peinovich is a MIT graduate and one of the three founders of Kenyan-based SasaAfrica, a women owned and operated social enterprise, which offers an innovative e-commerce platform for female artisans, vendors and entrepreneurs in Africa to create sustainable micro-enterprises using mobile phones.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012 — Latin America

Making housing more affordable in Mexico


In many parts of the world, if families outgrow their homes they simply add on to them. They grow 'em, piece by piece, room by room, brick by brick, when they get some extra cash. But, turns out, that's not very efficient. It wastes money, supplies, and lots of time. Alex Goldmark reports from Mexico, on a new way to build affordable housing -- and I mean really affordable.
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