Rural dwellers at the base of the pyramid are living largely "data-less," un-digitalized lives – but that's changing quickly with the spread of pay-as-you-go energy and the financial access it enables. In spite of the dangers of wrongly screening out customers as potential credit risks, denying them both further electrification prospects and access to credit, Guilhem Dupuy of GAIA Impact Fund and Thibault Lesueur of Solaris Offgrid take an optimistic view. They discuss why new off-grid energy data is an opportunity for increased investment, industry growth and economic justice.
Learning to Think Like a Social Entrepreneur: How Nordic Rebels’ ‘Cooking Slam’ Enhances Entrepreneurship Education
Entrepreneurship is characterized by uncertainty – especially when it's tackling some of society’s biggest challenges. So how can social entrepreneurs learn to navigate this unpredictability as they work to create successful ventures? Nordic Rebels prepares entrepreneurs for these challenges through a unique education program that features a cooking contest. Adithya Varadarajan and Katharina Schilli discuss this innovative approach.
The next key step in financial inclusion is payment interoperability, in which digital finance providers’ networks are connected to enable transactions between users of different systems. But though interoperability has major potential for the sector, it also comes with huge risks, says Clear Purchase founder Nick Brown, an expert in payment infrastructure. He explains why a massive payment fraud attack could do substantial and long-lasting damage to the financial inclusion movement, and how an open-source platform like the Gates Foundation's Mojaloop increases the risk.
Despite popular energy industry catchphrases like “leaving no one behind,” John Keane, the CEO of SolarAid and SunnyMoney, doesn’t buy the hype. While he sees much progress in new businesses, products and services entering emerging markets, Keane sees a tough road ahead for “smart, well-funded, entrepreneurs selling solar in the world” who also want to reach the poorest customers. Keane’s call to action includes re-prioritizing and re-focusing on the low-income customers the industry says it's trying to serve.
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.