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  • Thank You for Your Purchase – a Mobile Phone Turns Into a Credit Card Terminal

    There have been a number of obstacles to increasing e-transactions in Africa, even in those countries visited by large numbers of tourists. Two of the most important have been the cost of the Point of Sale equipment and the other has been the high cost of dealing with relatively small numbers of transactions. South African company iVeri Payment Technology has come up with a solution that tackles both of these obstacles. Isabelle Gross reports on how it works. In South Africa, Namibia...

    Balancing Act (London), Russell Southwood (link opens in a new window)
  • Muhammad Yunus: Microcredit Missionary

    As a young economics professor at Chittagong University in Bangladesh in 1976, Muhammad Yunus lent $27 out of his own pocket to a group of poor craftsmen in the nearby town of Jobra. To boost the impact of that small sum, Yunus volunteered to serve as guarantor on a larger loan from a traditional bank, kindling the idea for a village-based enterprise called the Grameen Project. It never occurred to the professor that his gesture would inspire a whole category of lending and propel him to the to...

    BusinessWeek (link opens in a new window)
  • The Honey Bee Network taps grassroots innovations.

    Three months ago, at a CII symposium on decoding rural markets where rural marketing gurus spoke of their approach to capturing the largely unaccrued volumes of rural consumption, one person turned the entire focus of the meet on its head. Anil Gupta, executive chairperson, National Innovation Foundation, later said: I was shocked at how little those marketers knew about rural India. All they could talk about was dumbing down their advertising, and redesigning products for thei...

    Business Standard (link opens in a new window)
  • India lays foundation for BOP market expansion

    New Delhi, Dec. 16: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today mooted a ?specific financing window? for the ambitious Rs 1,74,000-crore Bharat Nirman programme. ?We are proposing a specific financing window for Bharat Nirman through Nabard for funding selected components, although most of the resources will come from the government?s development outlays,? Singh told a conference organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The conference, which marks the formal launch...

    The Telegraph (link opens in a new window)
  • Insurance Scheme to Help Pregnant Migrant Workers

    Some female migrant workers and their babies in Guangzhou have died unnecessarily in childbirth because they are treated in illegal hospitals. Migrant women are giving birth to more children than local women yet earn so little they cannot afford to pay regular hospital bills. Plans are afoot to deal with the problem by bringing in a childbirth insurance. It would be ...

    China Daily (link opens in a new window)
  • Why the Near East Foundation (NEF) Engages Women in Development

    Countries that promote women’s rights and increase their access to resources and schooling have lower poverty rates, faster economic growth and less corruption than countries that do not. Countries with smaller gaps between women and men in areas like education, employment, and property rights not only have lower child malnutrition and mortality, they also have more transparent business and government and faster econo...

    alertnet (link opens in a new window)
  • Can Technology Eliminate Poverty?

    Grameen Bank Founder Muhammad Yunus thinks so. And he explains why changing the world is a lot more fun than just making money. As a leading microfinance pioneer and advocate for the world’s poor, Muhammad Yunus has continued developing innovative approaches to alleviating poverty since granting his first loan in 1976. Since 1983, Grameen Bank, of which Yunus is founder and managing director, has lent $5.3 million to borrowers in Bangladesh, spawning replicated programs in more ...

    Business Week (link opens in a new window)
  • A project originally designed to bring Indian agricultural exporter ITC closer to its rural producti

    So there’s little question farmers have gained from the programme, but like any good business, ITC’s motives weren’t entirely altruistic. The company has invested a significant sum in the eChoupal project, so far installing well over 5,000 kiosks that, including extras like solar panels and batteries as well as additions to the company’s back-end architecture, cost an estimated US$5,000 apiece. But a smoother logistics chain and the ability...

    MIS (link opens in a new window)