Startups and Venture Capital vs. COVID-19: How an INR 1 Billion Grant Program Is Boosting India’s Pandemic Response
India is home to many innovative startups that are leveraging technology to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. To support them, a group of prominent venture capital funds and founders recently launched ACT Grants, an INR 1 billion effort to fund scale-ready solutions to COVID-related challenges. NextBillion spoke with Mekin Maheshwari, founder of Udhyam Learning Foundation – a key partner in the initiative – about how it is helping India’s startups ramp up their battle against the virus.
Making Smartphones Relevant for the World’s Poorest Farmers: An Interview With AgUnity CEO David Davies
Extreme poverty is increasing in countries around the world, particularly in last-mile communities where most people work in agriculture. In this Q&A, AgUnity CEO David Davies discusses his company's efforts to leverage low-cost smartphones and other technologies to provide smallholder farmers with practical tools to connect with each other and work their way out of poverty.
Can Africa Really ‘Build Back Better’? How Financial Inclusion Must Evolve To Enable a COVID-19 Recovery
Sub-Saharan Africa has long been one of the financial inclusion sector’s top success stories. But according to David Ferrand, the former director of FSD Kenya, the overall impact of that newfound financial access has been disappointing. In this Q&A, he discusses the current challenges and future outlook of sub-Saharan Africa’s financial sector – and how financial inclusion players can help the region emerge stronger after COVID-19 subsides.