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  • Root Capital Director Explains His Company?s Lending Role

    Financing typically comes in two sizes for businesses: very large or very small. Large-scale financing caters to the needs of large businesses, while small-scale financing answers the needs of tiny enterprises. In a manner reminiscent of Goldilocks’ perfect fit, Root Capital - a nonprofit social investment fund based in Cambridge, Mass. - aims to provide much-needed capital to help such medium-sized businesses grow. Last night, students and faculty alike gathered in the Plant Scienc...

    Source
    The Cornell Daily Sun (link opens in a new window)
    Region
    Latin America
  • Forgotten Victims of the Global Downturn in the Developing World

    At a recent private brainstorming session at United Nations headquarters in New York, Ban Ki-moon, the secretary-general, heard a uniformly grim assessment of the devastating impact the global financial crisis will have on the developing world. What began as an economic crisis was in danger of turning into a social, humanitarian, political and security meltdown that could spin out of control in the most vulnerable regions, his experts told him. The message they want him to take to...

    Source
    Financial Times (link opens in a new window)
  • Aravind Eye Care System among the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies

    In a 33-year quest to end blindness in India, Aravind has developed everything from cheaper intraocular lenses to a 20-minute cataract surgery that allows high volume at lower cost. ...

    Source
    Fast Company Magazine (link opens in a new window)
    Region
    South Asia
  • How Innovations from Developing Nations Trickle-Up to the West

    By Michael Fitzgerald A funny thing has happened on the way to globalization: Innovation now trickles up from emerging to advanced economies. And it may be the way of the future. We know how innovation works. We get iPhones; those less fortunate overseas get whatever we dropped in the recycling bin on our way out of the Apple Store. We get Gore-Tex; they get 2007 New England Patriots 19-0 T-shirts. We get the Wii; they play rock-...

    Source
    Fast Company Magazine (link opens in a new window)
  • Not Just for Profit

    When Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank received the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2006, one endeavor lifted into the limelight was Grameen Danone Foods Ltd. This was a pathbreaking collaborative en­terprise, launched that year as a 50–50 joint venture between Groupe Danone — the US$16 billion multinational yogurt maker — and the Grameen companies Yunus had cofounded. Yunus called the joint venture a “social business,” which he said could be a pioneering mode...

    Source
    strategy+business (link opens in a new window)
  • A Bright Idea that Helped India’s Poor

    Harish Hande’s first installation of solar-powered lights in a rural Indian home was a stealth operation. The founder of Selco India, then a 26-year-old engineer, believed passionately that millions of Indians living in darkness at night could have their lives transformed by solar technology. But he needed a customer who could afford to pay the high up-front costs of solar lights and testify to their merits. In September 1994 Mr Hande asked a wealthy betel nut farmer in the southern...

    Source
    Financial Times (link opens in a new window)
    Region
    South Asia
  • Fighting Poverty – One Yoghurt at a Time

    The west’s beleaguered banking system could learn a thing or two from an illiterate Bangladeshi villager called Sobi Rani. She is a Grameen Lady, one of the thousands of grassroots activists who are the bedrock of the Grameen phenomenon, which, with nearly 30 businesses, is probably the largest financially viable social enterprise in the world. The cornerstone is the Grameen Bank, founded 33 years ago by Muhammad Yunus, superstar social entrepreneur and 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner. The ...

    Source
    The Guardian (link opens in a new window)
    Region
    South Asia
  • A Company Prospers by Saving Poor People’s Lives

    It all started with mosquito nets. Or, no, with guinea worm filters. Or, before that, with a million yards of wool in the mountains of Sweden. Or, taken back another generation, to uniforms for hotel and supermarket workers. There are plenty of charitable foundations and public agencies devoted to helping the world’s poor, many with instantly recognizable names like Unicef or the Gates Foundation. But private companies with that as their sole focus...

    Source
    New York Times (link opens in a new window)
    Region
    Sub-Saharan Africa
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