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

    GroFin East Africa Fund

    For-profit equity funds supporting SME development seem to be in the news lately. The GroFin East Africa Fund provides $22M in SME financing, supported by business mentoring programs. From the GroFin web site:"As in other developing regions, many East African SMEs are unable toenter...

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  • Rob Katz

    The Business of Development

    Aid organizations sometimes face a catch-22: donatemuch-needed medical or food supplies, addressing today?s need ? but by doing so,aid poisons the market for future sales (people won?t pay for what they?vereceived free in the past). TheWashington Post recently published a...

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  • Rob Katz

    Scaling Microfinance With The Remote Transaction System

    Innovations in microfinance have been ongoing since itsinception in the mid-seventies. Recently,however, a group of microfinance institutions worked with Hewlett-Packard and developed an innovative technology, then piloted it using 3 uniquemicrofinance business models. ...

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  • Rob Katz

    Guide to low-income markets: Solutions Mosaic

    Changemakers? Solutions Mosaic provides us with a usefulvisual when it comes to business models that work in low-income markets. The mosaic (it probably ought to be called a matrix instead, but oh well) hasboth X and Y axes; they list distinguishing features of low-income markets and...

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  • Rob Katz

    Africa: The Impact of Mobile Phones II

    ?The ultimate aim of policymakers must be to create the conditions for private enterprise to make poverty history in Africa?Vodafone is at it again ? first, with their Social Impact of Mobile report; now, CEO Arun Sarin has penned an op-ed in today?s Financial Times (subscription...

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  • Rob Katz

    Silicon Valley VC Firms Tap Energy, Water as World’s “Largest Markets”

    When asked why investment in clean tech (such as solar energy, water purification systems and alternative automotive fuels) is on the upswing, Silicon Valley’s venture capitalists don’t hold back. In today’s New York Times, the answer is generally the same: profit. Furthermore, some leading...

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  • Rob Katz

    Off-grid rural electrification for $25

    A recent article (available here, PDF)in the journal Science tackles theproblem of electrification in low-income households with analysis showcasing arobust technical solution that could be made available for US$25 fixed-cost,without subsidy. The technology,solar-powered...

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  • Rob Katz

    Business Skeptical of the Millennium Development Goals

    Fast Company’s Jessica Silverman reports from the UN in Friday’s FCNow blog. Ms. Silverman may represent business’ point of viewwhen it comes to issues surrounding the MDGs - that is, the MDGs are sowide-ranging and vague, they risk becoming trite. I don’t know if Icompletely agree...

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