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  • Mobile payphone boost for SMEs, by Itumeleng Mogaki

    A GSM handset that street vendors can use as a public payphone could create a million jobs in Africa over a 24-month period, says its creator. The payphone developed by Cape Town-based SharedPhone International targets informal business owners such as taxi owners and hairdressers, who can then make the service available to anyone who cannot afford a handset or airtime. Described as a breakthrough technology in the GSM telecommunications sector, the payphone has been rolled...

  • Mobile phones boost Kenya’s small businesses

    The mobile phone has become the most essential work item for small businessman who, like so many others in the East African nation, makes a living from various different jobs at the same time. Thanks to an explosion of growth in the mobile phone industry in Kenya over the past five years, handyman Alex Theuri says his plumbing-electrical business has grown by about 50 percent. He also operates a community payphone via the mobile network and further cashes in on the boom b...

  • Mobile phones boom in Tanzania, by Simon Hancock

    Call centres have sprung up all over Tanzania. Most people do not actually own phones, so this is how many people communicate. It is a good business, and once again these phones are connected via GSM rather than landlines. Others have developed even simpler businesses based around mobiles, such as reselling their air time to others, or make a living sending and receiving text messages. Mobile phones seem to have created a new sector of the economy, and some now ...

    BBC News
  • Chutzpah Science, by Elizabeth Corcoran

    Bill Gates’ $28.8 billion foundation is more than double the size of the runner-up, the $11 billion Lilly Endowment, and the projects it has taken on are supersize. On the top of the agenda: battling the diseases that plague developing nations. The Gates Foundation has already pledged $1.5 billion to bring routine vaccines to the poorest children around the world. Now Gates wants to push scientists to create a more powerful arsenal. To put together its list of 14 challenges...

  • A Little-Explored Avenue for Expanding Outreach

    Islamic financial services (IFS) can be viewed as an element of the broad process of financial innovation and diversification of the financial landscape. IFS are continuing to evolve in response to market demand and regulatory developments. Basic Principles of Islamic Finance Islamic finance is broader than interest rate prohibition. The general perception of Islamic finance is that it prohibits the practice of paying and receiving interest. Actually the prohibition i...

    UNCDF: Microfinance Matters
  • Indigenous Latin Americans Look Far North for a Model, by Marcela Sanchez

    Some native peoples of the Andes are looking north for a new model of development -- but farther north than you might think. They are not asking for access to micro-enterprise loans or for ways to migrate to richer lands. They are thinking big and talking big money. They are imagining homegrown, for-profit corporations where indigenous people are shareholders and multinationals are business partners. To be exact, they are talking corporate capitalism according to the Alaskan model.

    Washington Post
  • Calvert Foundation Boosts Microlending To Women-Owned Businesses In Middle East

    The non-profit Calvert Foundation is launching a new Middle East Microcredit Giftshare project in order to extend much-needed microloans to woman-owned small businesses owners and other entrepreneurs in the Middle East. Calvert Foundation is putting up $25,000 for investment in the Microfund For Women in Jordan (MFWJ). Recently, attention has focused on the growing demand for micro-financing in the Middle East. The number of women and others in desperate need of loans for small-busine...

  • Business Boot Camp: Social Entrepreneurs From Around the World Come to Santa Clara U. to Grow Their

    Armed with the knowledge that good intentions do not a successful venture make, 15 grass roots innovators from around the globe will come to Santa Clara University and Silicon Valley this summer to immerse themselves in a two-week business boot camp. Mission: To emerge with a cohesive business plan that will bring their ventures to resource-strapped regions of the world. Starting July 31, entrepreneurs and technology innovators will participate in a two-week incubator pro...

    Business Wire
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