The Leapfrog Opportunity in ‘Know Your Customer’ Innovation: Why Africa Needs Local, Digitized KYC Solutions
Know Your Customer (KYC) is a critical process for banks, as it enables them to validate their customers’ identities to fulfill regulatory requirements and protect against fraud. But as Timbo Drayson at OkHi explains, KYC is a big and expensive problem in Africa: For instance, in Nigeria some banks are spending up to $1 million per year to manually verify identities, and 15-30% of customers never complete these processes. He explores three key challenges to KYC in Africa, and presents some tech-driven solutions that could allow the continent to leapfrog to a new global best practice for KYC.
A Roadmap for Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Island Nations: Three Success Factors for the Eastern Caribbean’s Transition from Fossil Fuels
The Eastern Caribbean has struggled in recent years, as natural disasters – combined with the COVID-19 pandemic – have caused a precipitous drop in the tourism revenues it depends on. But as Pepukaye Bardouille at the IFC explains, transitioning to renewable energy could help address this challenge, reducing the region’s cost of electricity, supporting its climate resilience, limiting its dependence on imported fossil fuels, and producing jobs outside the tourism sector. She presents three success factors for achieving this transition – insights that could also be applicable to other island nations.
Pushing the Water Boundaries: How Social Impact Incentives Can Make WASH Enterprises More Innovative, Impactful and Catalytic
The water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector is ripe for change, as it is far from being on track to achieve universal access to safe drinking water (SDG 6). According to Shabana Abbas at Aqua for All, and Bjoern Struewer and Patrizia Baffioni at Roots of Impact, impact entrepreneurs can drive the sector forward, but their funders will need to move away from the usual grant models to explore more innovative and sustainable financing approaches. They discuss one such model – Social Impact Incentives – and how it's being applied successfully to support WASH enterprises.
Sustainable Solutions for the World’s Failing Food Systems: Acceso’s CEO Discusses its Innovative Approach
The war in Ukraine has weakened global food systems that were already reeling from the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic – not to mention the escalating climate crisis. In this interview, Acceso CEO James Jenkin discusses how his organization is responding to that urgent need by taking an innovative, market-driven, farmer-focused approach to what’s becoming one of the most critical challenges of our time.
Leading the Way to Greater Impact: Why Addressing the Lack of Lead Investors is Key to Building Stronger Startups in Emerging Markets
Raising capital is a critically important function for startups. But as Patricia Chin-Sweeney at Beyond Capital Ventures explains, there is typically a shortage of investors who are willing to lead an investment round – and until a lead is secured, the process of capital raising is in limbo. And unfortunately, many startup founders are unaware of this, wasting precious time speaking to funders who cannot lead the round. She explores the value that a lead investor role can provide to both startups and investors, and discusses the need for more lead investors in Africa and other emerging markets.
Decentralizing Data Management Across ESG and Impact Investing: How Blockchain Innovation Can Address the Data Gap – And the Ratings Controversy
ESG and impact investing have gone mainstream, with US $53 trillion – one-third of global assets under management – projected to be classified as ESG investments by 2025. But as Miriam Davidovic at RAZ Finance points out, investors can't direct their capital toward sustainable businesses without reliable data – and there are growing questions about whether current ESG data and ratings practices are capturing real impact. She argues that a decentralized approach to ESG and impact data management is needed, and explores several blockchain-based innovations that empower individuals to provide trustworthy, transparent, anonymous impact data.
Expanding Financial Opportunity to All: Kiva CEO Chris Tsakalakis Discusses the Pioneering Lending Platform’s Evolving Focus
In April of last year, Chris Tsakalakis was named CEO of the San Francisco-based microlending nonprofit Kiva, after successful leadership stints at Vivino, the world’s largest online wine marketplace, and StubHub, the world’s largest online ticket marketplace. We caught up with Tsakalakis roughly one year into his tenure at Kiva, to discuss his vision and priorities for the organization, the lessons he’s learned in his time at the helm, and his thoughts on the challenges and opportunities facing Kiva and the broader microfinance sector in the coming years.
Much of the global health sector’s work is concentrated in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). However, a new report from Global Health 50/50 reveals that just a quarter of board seats at global health organizations are held by nationals of these countries, and women from LMICs hold a shameful 1% of all seats. Anuradha Gupta at Gavi explores the decades-long, system-wide failure to ensure diversity in global health decision-making, and urges these influential bodies to do a better job of representing the communities whose health they are aiming to improve.
- Health Care