It’s time to stop addressing the global refugee crisis with short-term emergency measures, and to start seeking long-term solutions, says Thane Kreiner at Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship. One of those solutions is entrepreneurship, and Kreiner shares five lessons from the Center's Social Entrepreneurship at the Margins (SEM) accelerator program for businesses serving or led by refugees and other displaced people. The Center is selecting its second SEM accelerator cohort, and applications are open worldwide until August 23, 2019.
It took just a decade for more than 15 million villagers to gain access to the benefits of solar home systems in Bangladesh. How did this happen? Nancy Wimmer explains the process in her new book, "The Marketmakers — Solar for the Hinterland of Bangladesh." While Bangladesh's success would be difficult to replicate in other countries, Wimmer is convinced it is not solely determined by a country or product. Rather, she says it stems from a market-oriented approach carried out by rural entrepreneurs, as well as the leadership and resources to see it through.
How Artificial Intelligence Can Simplify International Development Research: An Intriguing Experiment (Involving NextBillion)
International development professionals must often spend a great deal of time trying to keep up with news, trends and research about their area of activity – and this requires a lot of manual labor. But much of this can now be automated and aided by artificial intelligence (AI). Jacob Rosen and Ashirul Amin at BFA explore how they used AI to sort and categorize a vast amount of development-focused content online, using NextBillion's 5,000+ article library as a test case. The results of their experiment show how AI can help people reduce time and labor and learn more efficiently.
Turning Impact Measurement on its Head: A Q&A with 60 Decibels Co-Founders Sasha Dichter and Tom Adams
How should a social business measure its impact? The sector has always struggled to answer that question, leaving many enterprises and investors without useful data about the impact of their work. Acumen is addressing this issue by spinning out a standalone social enterprise called 60 Decibels, which leverages mobile technology to quickly and easily acquire impact data from low-income customers and beneficiaries. Co-founders Sasha Dichter and Tom Adams discuss its innovative model, and the potential it offers to investors, enterprises and the people they serve.
India's social enterprise sector is growing fast, but its overall startup ecosystem doesn’t support social businesses as much it does “commercial” enterprises. And the support it does offer tends to be directed toward larger, more established companies, hampering the sector's broader growth. According to Geet Kalra at Yunus Social Business and Nandan Luthra at Novartis, India can turn this around by leveraging its huge youth population to build multiple small enterprises, through a model called student-led social business. They discuss the potential impact of this innovative approach.