This month marks nine years since Jesse Moore and Nick Hughes first sketched out a plan for M-KOPA - one of the early leaders in the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar market. Since then, M-KOPA has installed PAYG solar systems in over 750,000 African homes, and now receives over 30 million customer micropayments per year, writes Moore. He estimates that PAYG solar will soon reach over 10 million customers and surpass a billion dollars in cumulative revenue – but he cautions that the industry should gird itself for a wave of consolidation as it embarks on its second decade.
Courage, Optimism, Defiance: Impact Investment Exchange Founder Durreen Shahnaz Discusses her Journey of Empowerment
Growing up in Bangladesh, Impact Investment Exchange (IIX) Founder Durreen Shahnaz tended to rebel against tradition, preferring boys’ clothes to saris, and exploring the streets on her bike rather than staying indoors. Yet she never rebelled against her family's core focus on charity. Her long and distinguished career in social business and investing has been defined both by her maverick spirit and by her humanitarian values. NextBillion caught up with Shahnaz to discuss her inspiring story and IIX's ongoing work, as the company celebrates its tenth anniversary.
Pitch Perfect: Five Tips for Designing Effective Business Pitch Competitions for International Entrepreneurs
The television show “Shark Tank,” in which entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of potential investors, has brought the pitch concept into popular culture. But in many emerging economies, not everybody is familiar with pitching. The William Davidson Institute's Amy Gillett and Kristin Babbie Kelterborn provide some lessons to help global entrepreneurship development leaders organize effective pitch competitions. Among their tips: Consider a more encouraging "dolphin tank" approach instead of a cut-throat shark tank, and work to leverage local entrepreneurial customs.
As an impact investor interested in gender equity, Pique Venture CEO Bonnie Foley-Wong recently shared a call to action on LinkedIn encouraging investors to focus more money and attention on women-managed funds. She soon faced some pushback from a male impact investor, saying that women shouldn’t just invest in other women, they should invest everywhere. She explains why that advice is not as simple as it sounds.
Emerging markets have traditionally experienced “data poverty” – data that is inaccessible, and poorly captured, controlled and distributed. But big data sources are now serving as proxies for all kinds of information – on everything from GDP and growth to demographics and poverty. This represents a big opportunity for emerging markets to leapfrog the technical limitations faced by developed economies, writes Gavin Heaton of the company Hu-manity.co. He sees a day when lower-income citizens have the opportunity to profit from their data, rather than being subjugated by it.