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  • Renewal fund seeks private capital for loans market

    Afghanistan’s economy grew 20 per cent last year and sectors such as construction, communications and retail are booming. But the country’s financial sector is barely emerging from the dark ages and middle-sized businesses that fall outside the micro-credit market are hard pressed to get loans or attract investors. The fund aims to address a gap in the finance market for companies requiring initial investments of $500,000 to $10m, a finance official familiar with the plan said.&quo...

    Financial Times
  • Microcredit is reducing poverty, one loan at a time

    Today, microcredit has reached more than 67 million poor people around the world. At any moment, as much as $6 billion in microcredit loans may be in circulation, with huge diversification and minimal loss. These loans, made at market rates, prove conclusively that the poor are not only creditworthy but have a real need to access credit. Read full article here. ...

    Pugent Sound Business Jounral
  • Kyrgyzstan: “Business incubators” help to reduce poverty

    Promoting small businesses is one of the most effective ways of reducing poverty in a poor country like Kyrgyzstan, where government figures suggest at least 40 percent of the population of five million live below the poverty line. The country’s President Askar Akaev subscribes to this view and he has been busy pushing ’business incubators’ as one way of assisting small business enterprises. ...

    IRIN News
  • The Future: Tech-savvy shanty towns

    Why should businesses think of the poor as a market at all? These are people, thanks to participation in underground economies or aggregate buying, who have some disposable income; who are poorly served today; and who have tremendous potential as a future market. Read full article here. ...

    Red Herring
  • The Future: The meek shall inherit the tech, part 1

    [T]here’s one more group of people technology companies have long ignored, who have the potential to be a major new market, and who, if tapped, could help shape technologies for decades to come. Who is this? The world’s poor: the 4 billion-plus people who live on less that $20,000 a year. Read full article here. ...

    Red Herring
  • Selling to the Poor

    Allen L. Hammond and C.K. Prahalad write about the largest untapped consumer market on Earth: the world’s four billion poor people. The market for goods and services among the world’s poor?families with an annual household income of less than $6,000?is enormous. The 18 largest emerging and transition countries include 680 million such households, with a total annual income of $1.7 trillion?roughly equal to Germany’s annual gross domestic product. ...

    Foreign Policy
  • WLL: Bringing Phones to Telecom’s Last Frontier

    Until a few years ago, telephones were a rarity in India. The country just wasn’t wired for them, and consequently, they were priced beyond the reach of most people. But walk around in old town Delhi and crowded Bombay, as I did during the past couple of weeks, and you’ll be struck by the ubiquitous billboards hawking phones and instant connections for just 1,000 rupees, or $25. How is this possible? It’s all thanks to a technology called wireless local loop. WLL systems are ea...

    Busines 2.0
  • Seeking Riches From the Poor, by Megan Lindow

    There is a great demand for simple technologies that can be used by people in Africa who lack access to banks, phone lines, credit cards and computers. South African entrepreneurs are in a unique position to develop and deliver these products to Africa’s poor, says Raven Naidoo, a founder of Radian, a small technology-consulting firm. Read full story here...

    Wired News