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  • Al Hammond

    Interview with Kurt Hoffman, Part II

    This post is part 2 of a 5 part series.A.H.: After the initial success of the Uganda Fund, what were the next steps? K.H.: Following our success in Uganda, we set up the Empowerment through Energy Fund in South Africa with ABSA Bank and development finance bank IDC. ABSA committed $5...

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  • Al Hammond

    Interview with Kurt Hoffman, Director of the Shell Foundation

    Small and Medium-Size enterprises (SMEs) create most of the jobs in any economy, and they also play a critical role in providing goods and services to low-income communities. But there are very few sources of financing to help SMEs scale. Interest in SME funds is growing, however, so finding...

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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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  • 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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