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 trial subscription–well worthit. Excerpts from the paper:

  • ?…the overriding obstacle [to further investment] is a lack of imagination on the part of companies.?–Mark Davies, IBLF
  • ?The companies that get on the ground, establish these relationships, and develop trust and understanding among local people. There’s definite early-mover advantage here.?–Stuart Hart, Cornell
  • Projects in Senegal and South Africa have shown that cheap point-of-sale machines in local shops or gas stations can bring financial services within the reach of the very poor by enabling them to make deposits or withdrawals as part of their shopping, the shopkeeper receiving a fee for each transaction.
  • …the [Shell] Foundation discovered that while businesses thought that the lack of finance was their main constraint, the reality was that inexperience in business was at least as important.

Read more at the FT site. What do you think of the article on Jeffery Sachs? ?Millennium Promise?project? Are companies right to focusthese efforts within CSR departments? What will the 2006 version of this special report say–what progresswill it have to report?