Contributor.

Rob Katz

After co-founding NextBillion.net and spending 8-plus years working at the intersection of business and international development, Rob Katz is currently pursuing a MBA at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.

 

Prior to Stanford, Rob was Acumen Fund’s Knowledge Manager, leading Acumen’s efforts to understand where markets work –and where they don’t – in terms of solving the problems of poverty. Most recently, he co-authored From Blueprint to Scale: The Case for Philanthropy in Impact Investing(Monitor Group and Acumen Fund, 2012.) In addition to writing reports, he was responsible for applied research and writing efforts across the firm; he also oversaw Acumen’s knowledge management systems.Rob joined Acumen Fund in 2008, managing online communications as well as knowledge before shifting full time into applied research work.

 

Before Acumen Fund, Rob worked with the Markets and Enterprise Program of the World Resources Institute, where he began his career researching, writing and speaking about “base of the pyramid” business approaches to poverty alleviation. At WRI, he co-founded www.NextBillion.net, a web site and blog about enterprise and development, and co-authored The Next 4 Billion: Market Size and Business Strategy at the Base of the Pyramid (IFC and WRI, 2007).

 

Here at NextBillion, Rob is both a member of our Advisory Board and a contributor to the blog.

 

Rob earned his B.A. in Political Economy from Georgetown University.

 

Follow Rob on Twitter @robertkatz.

 

Articles by Rob Katz

  • Rob Katz

    Financial Times features BOP in special report

    The Financial Times? Special Report on Business and Development, published today, pulls together a host of NextBillion strategies,anecdotes, and prescriptions in one well-written package. Available to subscribers only, the 15-pagesection can be read by non-subscribers using a free...

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  • Rob Katz

    Mobile telephony and pro-poor growth

    Ethan Zuckerman of the WorldChanging blog writes eloquentlyabout the importance of mobile phones in low-income communities. He identifies three factors critical to thespread of mobile telephony: new versus replacement infrastructure,pay-as-you-go pricing, and used phones.Zuckerman...

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  • Rob Katz

    African Microfinance Fails to Profit

    An April 2005 report on the financial performance of Africanmicrofinance institutions (MFIs) finds that more than half of those surveyedfail to turn a profit. Conventionalwisdom (and much of the writing on this site) tends to say otherwise ? that microfinanceis profitable. Maybe...

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  • Rob Katz

    Does insurance serve or exploit the BOP?

    Howmuch credit should banks extend to the BOP? Are insurance policies appropriatefinancial instruments for low-income communities? For the last few weeks, theeditorial page of South Africa?sBusiness Day has taken up the debate. On the one hand, the paper reports on...

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  • Rob Katz

    Brokering Private Investment to Alleviate Poverty

    I?m typically skeptical of developmentagencies? efforts to stimulate business solutions to poverty. When it comes to the Growing SustainableBusiness (GSB) initiative of the UN Development Program, however, perhaps myskepticism is mislaid. According totheir web site,The Growing...

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  • Rob Katz

    Credit Access Expanding in African Communities

    According to Business Day, South Africa’s plastic revolution is putting credit card firms in the pink. Cheeky title, but the subject matter is serious business - signaling that the formal economy is growing rapidly in southern Africa. Visa and Mastercard, the industry leaders, report annual...

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  • Rob Katz

    Business Week Features Indian BOP Success Stories

    BusinessWeek dedicates this week’s issue to China and India, and, not surprisingly, did an excellent feature on some Indian BOP success stories - namely Bharti (telecom), Tata (autos), ITC (agriculture), and ICICI (finance).? Those of us following BOP trends over the past months and years will...

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  • Rob Katz

    MTN VillagePhone

    In Uganda, incumbent telecom MTN has now registered its 2000th entrepreneur in the Village Phone project. MTN’s partnership with the Grameen Foundation and local microfinance institutions gives entrepreneurs access to start-up capital ($230) which includes a car battery or solar power panel,...

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