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Our Staff Writers and Editors offer insights on the latest news, events, interviews and other happenings from the development through enterprise and base of the pyramid universes
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Bloomberg invests $5 million in portable solar-powered lamp for off-grid African populations

Source: Associated Press

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's foundation has announced a $5 million investment in an artsy-looking solar-powered lamp designed for use in off-grid populations in Africa.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Genetically engineered mosquitoes could be vital weapon against malaria

Source: The Guardian

An Oxford-based biotech firm is modifying the males of the species to be sterile, effectively making the killers kill themselves.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why global health should embrace the global precariat

Source: SWIHPS

It’s not often you come across a truly visionary op-ed but in my opinion last week’s viewpoint from Guy Standing in The Guardian, ‘Cheer up – a renewed left is coming’, fits the bill. In the piece, Standing says the precariat is today’s (emerging) mass class, and like the proletariat in the 19th and part of the 20th century, it will define a new progressive agenda for this age. Not all the examples he gives of “precariat uprisings” in countries around the globe are convincing, and not everybody shares his analysis, obviously, but the man has a point.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Netcare Disputes Oxfam Report Over Hospital Costs in Lesotho

Source: Bloomberg

Netcare Ltd. (NTC), a private hospital operator in South Africa and the U.K., said its venture in Lesotho was a “success story” after an Oxfam report alleged it was draining the country’s health resources.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

The democratic disruption of finance

Source: The Guardian

Bitcoin is just one example of a process that will challenge regulators to adapt.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Press Release: Citi Issues 2013 Global Citizenship Report

Source: Press Release

Citi today released its 14th Global Citizenship Report, an annual overview addressing the company’s social, environmental and governance achievements and challenges. The 2013 Citi Global Citizenship Report underscores Citi’s goal of enabling progress for clients and communities around the world.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

Vodafone's mobile wallet service M-Pesa in Kerala

Source: Business Standard

Vodafone India and ICICI Bank today announced the launch of 'M-Pesa', a mobile money transfer and payment service, in Kerala. 'M-Pesa' is the trademark of Vodafone. The service was formally launched today by Suresh Kumar, operations director - south; S Murali, Business head - Kerala and Suresh Sethi, business head of M-Pesa.
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 — No Region Specified

ICD boosting activity in Africa to widen Islamic finance appeal

Source: Reuters

The private sector arm of the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank [ISDBA.UL] plans to increase its activities in Africa, part of plans to widen the appeal of Islamic finance across the region, its chief executive said.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

Global Healthcare Donations are Increasing

Source: Millionaire Corner

The neediest nations are getting more financial support for healthcare, while those nations that are slightly better off could be losing out in donations, a University of Washington study says.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 — No Region Specified

UNICEF and Global Health Partners Open Market Entry for Innovative HIV Point of Care Diagnostics

Source: UNICEF Stories

he tender is part of a UNICEF and Clinton Health Access Initiative project, funded by UNITAID, to accelerate access to high quality POC HIV diagnostic equipment in seven African countries that carry one third of the world’s HIV burden.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

7 Incredible Health Tech Innovations Changing the Way South Africans Live

Source: Venture Burn

Nowhere is the need for more efficient, more accessible and generally more powerful tools as great as it is in Africa.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 — South Asia

Social Business in India: Some investors wade in, but most testing waters

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Investors meet with frugal innovation, entrepreneurs leave the sector discouraged.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Microfinance Faces Uncertainty in Bangladesh

Source: The Diplomat

The Bangladesh government should reevaluate its pursuit to regulate and nationalize the operations of the Grameen Bank.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

OPINION: Grand Convergence in Global Health is Realizable

Source: Business Day South Africa

What it will take is a co-ordinated, future-oriented investment strategy.
Monday, April 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Postal bank test awaits new government in India

Source: The Telegraph India

he high profile spat between the Reserve Bank of India and the finance ministry over converting India’s loss-making 1.54 lakh post offices under India Post into a bank is likely to be one of the challenging issues that the next government will have to handle.
Monday, April 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

In Global Health, Abortion Bears the Scarlet A

Source: Aljazeera America

At the Kamazu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi, Dr. Grace Chiudzu, the head of the maternity ward, ticks off the most common issues her patients face: “One is bleeding, second is infections, third is abortion complications.”
Monday, April 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Can a tool for doctors 'fix' evidence-based foreign aid?

Source: Devex

As development institutions like the World Bank look for ways to make their projects and interventions more evidence-based, development practitioners have run into a problem faced by doctors a generation ago.
Monday, April 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

MasterCard funding Grameen Foundation initiative to bring financial services to the unbanked in Kenya

Source: Tech President

MasterCard is funding a Grameen Foundation initiative to bring financial services to the poor and the unbanked in Kenya.
Monday, April 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Facebook faces multiple barriers to success in mobile payments

Source: mobile payments today

Facebook is a digital landscape filled with memes, selfies and cat pictures. The social media behemoth does not conjure up visions of a vibrant payments ecosystem, though, especially with its past failures. But that might be about to change.
Monday, April 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mor panel's financial inclusion report may be put on back burner in India

Source: Business Standard

The Union finance ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) have raised questions on viability and implementation of the recommendations made in the Nachiket Mor committee's report. The panel had, among other things, suggested a new banking structure to foster financial inclusion.
Monday, April 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

“Correlation is not causation”: Roodman takes issue with World Bank study

Source: David Roodman

The issue is standard. Correlation is not causation. The Economist makes a strikingly confident statement about how one thing affects another. The problem is that in families and villages, everything affects everything. Taking more microloans can make people wealthier or poorer. Being wealthier or poorer can make people take more microloans. The arrows go in circles. Statistics can measure correlations. How do we make the leap to causation?
Monday, April 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why investors are pouring millions into crowdfunding

Source: Forbes

There is no shortage of evidence testifying to the value of crowdfunding for those seeking to finance a new product idea, company, or even personal need. Just this month, Kickstarter-born Oculus VR was snatched up by Facebook for $2 billion. Smartwatch-maker Pebble sold more than 400,000 of its crowdfunded smartwatches last year. And in March, Kickstarter surpassed $1 billion in pledges made.
Monday, April 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

10 technologies for the bottom of the pyramid

Source: CNBC

The bottom of the financial pyramid, a term reportedly coined by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt in 1932, refers to the world's lowest income-level group, one that spans more than 4 billion people worldwide.
Monday, April 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Can Mr. Poo stop public defecation in India?

Source: CNN

India has an unlikely new public health hero: a giant, anthropomorphic stool that chases people to squat in toilets.
Friday, April 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Here’s How You Help the Poor Without Soaking the Rich

Source: Time

We have to clear our minds of a fallacy about poverty alleviation: Helping the poor does not mean welfare. This isn’t to say that we don’t need welfare. Ignoring the unfortunate who can’t put enough food on the table or afford proper education or healthcare is not just cruel, it’s bad economics.
Friday, April 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Africa’s Tech Edge

Source: The Atlantic

How the continent's many obstacles, from widespread poverty to failed states, allowed African entrepreneurs to beat the West at reinventing money for the mobile age.
Friday, April 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Development Assistance For Global Health: Is The Funding Revolution Over?

Source: Health Affairs

In many ways, the last twenty years have been somewhat of a “revolution” in global health, as marked by rising attention, growing funding, and the creation of new, large scale initiatives to address global health challenges in low and middle income countries.
Friday, April 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Ebola deaths rise to 135 as vaccine research lags

Source: FierceVaccines

As the death toll from the Ebola virus in West Africa climbs to 135 people, a vaccine to combat the deadly virus remains years out of reach.
Friday, April 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Corporate Social Responsibility: Should It Be A Law?

Source: Forbes

India is the first country to have corporate social responsibility (CSR ) legislation, mandating that companies give 2 percent of their net profits to charitable causes.
Friday, April 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Bacteria fighting fabric

Source: UDaily

Each year in India, waterborne diseases sicken approximately 37.7 million people. One and a half million children die of diarrhea alone, according to a report by WaterAid.
Friday, April 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Rehabilitation and attack: microcredit helps the poor after all

Source: The Economist

FOR years the reputation of microfinance—which gives tiny loans to the poorest—rose and fell in tandem with relations between Grameen Bank and the Bangladeshi government. In 2006 the bank and its head, Muhammad Yunus, won the Nobel peace prize for reducing poverty and Mr Yunus toyed with setting up a political party, supposedly with the government’s blessing. Since then several studies have found limited or no benefits from microfinance, and in 2011 (for different reasons) a new government forced Mr Yunus to resign from the bank he had founded.
Thursday, April 17, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

OPINION: Managing Finances Well is Key to Africa’s Success

Source: Business Day South Africa

More than ever, African governments need to make the region attractive to investors to shore up the growth path the continent has embarked upon.
Thursday, April 17, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

In Developing World Healthcare Market, Low-tech is the New Cutting Edge

Source: Rapid Growth Media

The r(Evolve) Centrifuge, developed by CentriCycle, is a manual hand-crank blood centrifuge that can operate without electricity in rural areas, separating blood for quick and accurate diagnostic testing.
Thursday, April 17, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Meet the Women Trading Sudan's First Carbon Credits

Source: The Guardian

Cleaner stoves have saved Sudan over 36,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and earned the country its first carbon credits.
Thursday, April 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

A New Public-Private Strategy to Combat Malaria and Tuberculosis

Source: Devex

Tuberculosis and malaria are two of the world’s most pervasive yet neglected diseases. Together, both affect one-third of the world’s population: three out of seven people globally are infected or at risk for malaria or TB, and one in seven are actually infected.
Thursday, April 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Private sector a Key Partner in Canadian Maternal Health Initiative

Source: CBC News

Tying Canada's overseas development assistance to private-sector partnerships has been a controversial proposition for the Harper government, and one that Development Minister Christian Paradis makes no apologies for.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

DataWind Rolls Out an Affordable Bridge to Education

Source: Press Release

DataWind, a leading developer of wireless web access and products, and the manufacturer of the world’s lowest cost android tablet PC, announced that it has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA).
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

DesignMedix Awarded $3 Million to Develop Low-Cost, Safe Malaria Drug

Source: VentureBeat

DesignMedix, Inc., a biotech startup with ties to Portland State University, received a grant for almost $3 million from the National Institutes of Health to continue development and manufacture of a new anti-malarial drug.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Fake seeds force Ugandan farmers to resort to 'bronze age' agriculture

Source: The Guardian

Gangs selling counterfeit high yield seeds are trapping farmers in a cycle of poverty as crops fail.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Impact Investing and Global Finance: The Big Picture

Source: Huffington Post Business

One of the interesting and important recent developments in wealth management has been the emergence of a group of clients committed to investing with impact across their entire portfolios, meaning they seek to deliver measurable positive social or environmental benefits with every dollar they put to work.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Opinion: Can science eliminate extreme poverty?

Source: SBS

There is always hope that scientific innovations will help solve global problems. So can scientists help solve the globe’s ultimate problem: eliminate extreme poverty?
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 — No Region Specified

Social enterprise takes smart products to rural poor

Source: Reuters

A start-up Indian social enterprise has come up with an innovative solution to one of the country's biggest development challenges - helping the rural poor easily access basics such as clean drinking water and electricity.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

African Health-Technology Deals on the Rise

Source: Destiny Man

Africa's rising middle class may see a rise in Private Equity and Venture Capital investments in the continent's healthcare industry
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Musa, Swiss Partner to Help African SMEs in Healthcare

Source: Business Day South Africa

Private equity company Musa Capital is the partner in an investment fund that plans to develop small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) providing health services to the poor in various African countries.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

OPINION: How to Close the Health Gap Between Rich and Poor

Source: The Daily Star Lebanon

With aggressively scaled-up health investments, 10 million lives could be saved annually, beginning in 2035.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014 — South Asia

Firms Investing in Social Sector Have deployed $1.6 B in India since 2000

Source: Live Mint

According to a report, the number of foreign investors looking to invest in the social sector has increased.
Monday, April 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

In India, Bandhan’s banking licence signals competition for rural microfinance

Source: Business Standard

According to MFIs operating in rural areas, private banks have been charging interest rates of 24-26 per cent on a reducing balance.
Monday, April 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

In Kenya, roaming rules to force telcos to share facilities

Source: The Star Kenya

A ‘national roaming’ regulation is in the pipeline to make it mandatory for the existing four mobile network operators to allow cross-network usage of their facilities countrywide, the regulator said on Friday.
Monday, April 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: The Oculus-Facebook Buyout: The Best Ad For Equity Crowdfunding Ever

Source: Crowdfund Insider

I have written about the misconception by some members of the general public that equity crowdfunding and rewards-based crowdfunding are the same thing. Many people are misinformed and do not understand that Title III of the JOBS Act has nothing to do with rewards-based crowdfunding. If you don’t believe me, read some of the comments to the SEC where comment writers were unnecessarily worried that equity crowdfunding would kill Kickstarter and its ilk.
Monday, April 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Three Recommendations to Foster Development in Africa's Health Markets

Source: Huffington Post Impact

As the CEO of a company that markets portable, power-free medical instrument sterilizers to hospitals and health centers in East Africa, Dr. Bernstein has seen first hand the degree to which people are ready to pay for safe and effective medical care. But at the same time there is a conscious effort to avoid the creation of a completely segmented health system where the quality of care is much higher for those who can afford it from the private sector, and huge portions of the population are unable to participate in the market.
Monday, April 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

'Innovative' Sughavazhvu healthcare gaining popularity in rural India

Source: Yahoo! News

A healthcare system for rural India, dubbed Sughavazhvu, which stands for 'happy life' in Tamil, is gaining popularity thanks to it's use of innovative techniques for providing accessible and appropriate primary healthcare.
Monday, April 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why impact investment could soon be a trillion-dollar industry

Source: Blue&Green Tomorrow

By the end of the decade, impact investment has the potential to reach $1 trillion (£600 billion) and deliver significant social benefits, according to Jennifer Kenning, director of wealth management and spearhead of impact investing at US wealth management firm Aspiriant.
Monday, April 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Kenya officially gives green light to three mobile virtual network operators

Source: IT Web Africa

Kenya’s number of mobile money players could jump from four to seven after the country has officially awarded three mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licences this week.
Monday, April 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

New-concept flood insurance could help Bangladesh's poor

Source: Irin News

A new insurance scheme in which pre-determined flood thresholds trigger speedy compensation offers hope for poor people in flood-prone Bangladesh, experts say.
Monday, April 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Report: Global mobile payments to rise 40% this year

Source: BizTech Africa

A new report from Juniper Research has found that the value of global payments via mobile devices will reach around $507 billion this year, a rise of nearly 40% year-on-year.
Monday, April 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Investing in Africa: the imperative to invest sustainably

Source: How We Made It In Africa

There is no one way to do business in Africa. But through exploring both the opportunities and the challenges experienced by companies operating successfully in Africa, a number of key lessons can be unearthed.
Monday, April 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Google Acquires Titan Aerospace, the Drone Company Pursued by Facebook

Source: Tech Crunch

Google has acquired Titan Aerospace, the drone startup that makes high-flying robots which was previously scoped by Facebook as a potential acquisition target (as first reported by TechCrunch), the WSJ reports. The details of the purchase weren’t disclosed, but the deal comes after Facebook disclosed its own purchase of a Titan Aerospace competitor in U.K.-based Ascenta for its globe-spanning Internet plans.
Monday, April 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Obesity Threatens to Overtake Hunger as No. 1 Global Health Concern

Source: The Epoch Times

In 1950, the number of starving individuals on Earth was estimated to be around 700 million. At the time, obesity affected approximately 100 million people around the globe, primarily in rich countries. These statistics have changed dramatically over the past six decades.
Monday, April 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Indigenous leaders empowering communities through social enterprise

Source: The Guardian

Initiatives such as a healing centre in the Amazon forest are helping indigenous groups protect and manage their own land.
Monday, April 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Santa Fe company delivers vaccines to ‘last mile’

Source: Santa Fe New Mexican

A couple of years ago, the head of a management company specializing in high-performance processes and materials met the founder of a nonprofit organization that supports spiritual and medical programs among the Mayan communities of Chiapas in southern Mexico. Ohki S. Forest of Canadian Mohawk descent, who visits Santa Fe periodically, was giving a talk at a conference hosted by the Bioneers, a Santa Fe nonprofit that often serves as a catalyst among social, technological and visionary entrepreneurs.
Friday, April 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Tigo partners with 17 banks on cash transfers

Source: Daily News

TIGO has partnered with 17 major banks in Tanzania to enable its clients send and receive money through transactions between the banks and Tigo Pesa.
Friday, April 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Value lending for MFIs to reduce risk

Source: The Financial Express

Tara Thiagarajan, chairman & MD of non-banking finance company-micro finance institution (NBFC-MFI) Madura Microfinance, is trying out a unique experiment.
Friday, April 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Health technology will make our medicine cooler than Star Trek’s soon

Source: MedCity News

Health technology is advancing so rapidly that within a decade the small handheld medical reader used by Dr. Leonard McCoy in Star Trek — the tricorder — will look primitive.
Friday, April 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

How Do You Measure the Bottom Line for Impact Investing?

Source: CSR wire

Since 1993, when I was at the Yale School of Management, to my work with the Calvert Funds and Foundation and now with my company Honest Tea, I’ve been a part of hundreds of discussions and debates about how to evaluate the return on an impact investment.
Friday, April 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

The Newest Player in Mobile Money Is a Bakery

Source: Bloomberg

This morning the World Bank hosted a panel on mobile money, the set of phone-based technologies that could bring basic financial services to the world’s poorest people. The surprise panelist was Hortensia Contreras Torres, who runs electronic services for Mexico’s Grupo Bimbo, one of the largest baking companies in the world.
Friday, April 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Three Recommendations to Foster Development in Africa's Health Markets

Source: Huffington Post Impact

Aline Wachner is a PhD candidate at the International Research Network on Social and Economic Empowerment (IRENE/SEE) at Zeppelin University, Germany. Her research has investigated health care social enterprises in Columbia, Mexico, Kenya, and South Africa. She previously worked at the Grameen Creative Lab, a think tank initiated by Prof. Muhammad Yunus.
Friday, April 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Public-private partnerships can help improve healthcare in Africa

Source: The Guardian

It is shocking, but perhaps not surprising, to read of the impact of the public-private partnership between the Lesotho government and Netcare on healthcare across Lesotho (Finance deal threatens Lesotho's hospitals, says Oxfam, 7 April). However, public-private partnership can work in an African healthcare setting, and this has been demonstrated over the last six years by the success of the Health Improvement Project Zanzibar (HIPZ) in transforming services on the island.
Thursday, April 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Social Lenders Join Forces to Develop Industry Standards, Best Practices for Smallholder Agricultural Finance

Source: CSAF

The alliance of social lending institutions, also referred to as impact-first agricultural lenders, was formally launched today at the 11th Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship.
Thursday, April 10, 2014 — South Asia

Investing in Private Health Care for All in India

Source: The Huffington Post Business

India is in the midst of the world's largest experiment in democratic elections, with more than 800 million people eligible to vote in its current parliamentary elections.
Thursday, April 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Indian Social Entrepreneurs Battle Bureaucracy, Need Help to Expand

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

Social entrepreneurship in India has seen exponential growth over the last decade, with an increasing number of skilled men and women starting up businesses which provide out-of-the-box ways of improving the lives of the country's 400 million poor.
Thursday, April 10, 2014 — South Asia

Social Enterprises in India Received $1.6 B in 14 years

Source: Business Standard

Of the USD 1.6 billion invested in the country since 2000, USD 435 million was made by dedicated impact investors like Aavishkar, Omidyar Network among others, the report by social advisory firm Intellecap said.
Thursday, April 10, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Airtel Money, VIVO Energy Sign Pact to Strengthen Cooperation in 15 African Markets

Source: GhanaWeb

Vivo Energy, a Shell licensee in 15 African markets, and Airtel Money today announced a collaborative Pan-African agreement to strengthen both companies’ footprints in providing services to their growing customer base.
Wednesday, April 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mobile money is transforming financial access in Tanzania

Source: Daily News

Tanzania had envisioned through the National Financial Inclusion Framework of 2011 to have 50 per cent of the adult population having access to financial services by 2016, but it has so far managed to surpass the target, according to a recently released FinScope Tanzania 2013 report.
Wednesday, April 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Microfinance institutions cannot end mass poverty in Uganda

Source: The Observer

Microfinance institutions in Uganda have over time increased especially after the liberalisation of the economy in the 1990s. Since independence, the government has initiated credit funding, anticipating a significant reduction in household poverty. However, recent studies indicate that poverty is more of a socio-cultural problem that manifests itself economically to its victims.
Wednesday, April 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

Tanzania: Microinsurance Must Be Promoted Aggressively

Source: All Africa

TANZANIA is currently working on the best approach to increase the micro insurance coverage so that low income earners can easily access it as well as other financial services.
Wednesday, April 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

‘Mobile money has moved from this new thing into an industry,’ says MasterCard

Source: How We Made It In Africa

Close to 70% of the world’s active mobile money customers are in sub-Saharan Africa, according to Aaron Oliver, head of emerging payments for Middle East and Africa at MasterCard.
Wednesday, April 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

eKutir’s VeggieLite gains Gates Foundation grant

Source: Press Release

eKutir’s new project VeggieLite is a recipient of Grand Challenges India 2014, supported by the Gates Foundation, USAID and DBT, the Indian government’s anti-poverty scheme.
Wednesday, April 09, 2014 — No Region Specified

Cashing in: why mobile banking is good for people and profit

Source: The Guardian

Using digital finance to tackle development problems can improves lives, and offer innovative companies handsome rewards.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 — No Region Specified

Bitcoin: The Indestructible Currency?

Source: Banking Technology

Bitcoin is independent, and it is designed to be anti-inflationary. There will only ever be 21 million Bitcoins in existence, and users obtain Bitcoins by ‘mining’ them through running algorithmsto unlock the coins – or by exchanging conventional money for Bitcoins.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Building the Impact Investing Market in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

The impact investment market is extremely diverse and the DFID Impact Fund is distinctive
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

MTN, Airtel Announce Cross Border Remittance Deal in West Africa

Source: Human IPO

The partnership will allow MTN customers in Ivory Coast and Airtel customers in Burkina Faso to transfer money between the neighboring countries.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Mobile Money Security is Kenya’s Next Big Challenge

Source: IT Web Africa

Attention needs to be paid to the security of mobile money systems in Kenya especially with the licensing of three virtual network operators in the country, say experts.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 — No Region Specified

SOURCE Initiative Links Entrepreneurs and Investors to Bolster Businesses that Benefit Low-Wealth Americans

Source: Digital Journal

A new initiative that discovers business solutions to social issues by linking entrepreneurs with investment capital and mentoring was announced today by The Hitachi Foundation, Village Capital, and Investors' Circle.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

OPINION: Only New Products Will Keep MFIs Growing in Rwanda

Source: allAfrica

Through innovation, it is possible for the sector to financially reach the unbanked population and drive home the EDPRS II objectives, especially in the rural areas.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 — Latin America

Incofin Investment Management’s Rural Impulse Fund Acquires Equity Stake in FIELCO From Accion Gateway Fund

Source: MicroCapital

FIELCO expects to use Incofin IM’s expertise in international microfinance to “strengthen its governance, focus on social performance and overall structure”
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Predicting Disease Outbreaks in a Changing Climate in Africa

Source: allAfrica

The IPCC report focuses on climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: The Aspen Institute Announces Second Class of New Voices Fellows

Source: CSR Wire

Leaders from three continents join fellowship to bring local perspectives on international development to global dialogue
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 — No Region Specified

Corporate Social Responsibility is About Looking at Problems as Opportunities

Source: Live Mint

Eggers says if a firm uses CSR activities to also promote its business, it should be applauded and not frowned upon
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 — South Asia

Philips India Offers 2 Affordable, Pocket-sized Diagnostics for Xardiac & Maternal Emergencies

Source: PharmaBiz

The two products designed and developed at the Phillips Innovation Centre (PIC) in Bengaluru which is one among its key R&D locations of the 59 research centres globally.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Opinion: Richard Branson on World Health Day

Source: Virgin

This year’s World Health Day is focused on vector-borne diseases.
Monday, April 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

Governments need to 'join up and scale up' on health

Source: Devex

World Health Day is a chance to reflect on the progress we’ve made since the occasion was first marked in 1950. But it’s also a moment to reflect on the huge challenges that remain. One child dying from preventable causes is one too many — but in reality, 6.6 million die in this way each year.
Monday, April 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

Vector control focus of World Health Day

Source: Times of India

Swarms of mosquitoes buzzing around people after dusk is a familiar scene on almost every city street. So World Health Organisation's (WHO) theme for World Health Day on Monday will clearly strike a chord in Chennai. WHO has identified vector diseases as biggest threat to health and have started a campaign with the tagline 'Small bite, big threat'.
Monday, April 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

Digital-payment revenue in sub-Saharan Africa expected to soar

Source: Euromoney

Electronic-payments revenue in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) could reach up to $16 billion annually in the next few years if the growth of mobile payments in Kenya is repeated across the continent, according to a recent study by McKinsey and the Gates Foundation.
Monday, April 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

Half of Lesotho health budget goes to private consortium for one hospital

Source: The Guardian

A flagship hospital built in Lesotho using public/private financing with advice from an arm of the World Bank threatens to bankrupt the impoverished African country's health budget.
Monday, April 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

Satin Creditcare raises $4.7M from Norwegian impact investor NMI Fund

Source: VCCircle

North India-based microfinance institution (MFI) Satin Creditcare Network Limited has raised Rs 28.44 crore ($4.7 million) in a fresh round of funding from Norwegian impact investor NMI Fund III KS (NMI), as per a company statement.
Monday, April 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

Former Avon CEO Andrea Jung takes top spot at microfinance company Grameen America

Source: US News

The former head of Avon is now leading Grameen America, a group that provides small loans to poor women entrepreneurs in the U.S. Andrea Jung was CEO of the beauty products company from 1999 through April 2012 and served as chairman through the end of that year. Considered one of the most powerful women in business, she came under fire for failing to stem Avon's sales declines and left amid an overseas bribery investigation.
Monday, April 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

New report: Social Impact Bonds could boost development and job creation in South Africa

Source: Biz Community

Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) hold tremendous potential for government to increase effective support for struggling entrepreneurs in South Africa, according to a new report presented to the National Treasury, the Jobs Fund, and the dti.
Monday, April 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

Making Mobile Money More Effective in Nigeria

Source: This Day Live

A recent survey that showed that 37 per cent of Nigerians are not aware of mobile money and as such, do not use the payment platform, is worrisome. According to the report by Philip Consulting, out of the remaining 63 per cent respondents that knew about mobile money, 31 per cent were between the ages of 26 and 35 and constituted the majority.
Monday, April 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

Capital Commitment to support Early-Stage Businesses in East African Communities

Source: The Wall Street Journal

JPMorgan Chase and the UK Department for International Development will kick start promising businesses in East Africa through a new joint investment in Novastar Ventures. The new $5 million investment by JPMorgan Chase will be matched by an additional $15 million from DFID as part of its first ever Impact Investment Fund. Launched in 2013, the fund is managed by the CDC, the UK's own Development Finance Institution.
Monday, April 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

Uganda police raid U.S. military AIDS clinic, order it shut

Source: Erasing 76 Crimes

Activists in Uganda report that plain-clothes police raided a U.S. military-affiliated AIDS services clinic in Kampala today, accused it of promoting homosexuality, and ordered it to close.
Monday, April 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

India’s Bandhan aims to replicate its microfinance model as a full-fledged commercial bank

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Having started commercial micro-finance operations in 2005, Bandhan Financial Services Pvt Ltd is now set to become a full fledged commercial bank, headquartered in Kolkata. In an interview to Business Line, Chairman and Managing Director Chandra Shekhar Ghosh explains why Bandhan bank will bring a common man’s perspective into banking.
Monday, April 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

Commercial banks in India increasingly targeting low-income borrowers

Source: Deccan Herald

At a time when microfinance institutions (MFIs) are getting into the banking business, commercial banks too have developed a liking for lending directly to the poor -- an area until now dominated by traditional MFIs and informal lenders.
Monday, April 07, 2014 — No Region Specified

The Aspen Institute Announces Second Class of New Voices Fellows

Source: Press Release

The Aspen Institute announced today the second class of the New Voices Fellowship, a groundbreaking program designed to amplify the voices of experts from the developing world and bring their experiences to discussions of global development. The 2014-2015 fellows come from 12 countries and three continents: Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Indonesia, India, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Friday, April 04, 2014 — No Region Specified

Why different parts of Africa have widely different levels of success with mobile banking

Source: Banking Technology

Why are different parts of Africa experiencing widely different levels of success with mobile banking, despite years of experience in Kenya? Panellists at the IPS conference in London offered a range of explanations
Friday, April 04, 2014 — No Region Specified

Fears for global health R&D after US budget battle

Source: SciDevNet

Future research and development targeting diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis and malaria may be at risk because of across-the-board federal cuts implemented last year by the United States, the largest funder of global health R&D, warns a report.
Friday, April 04, 2014 — No Region Specified

Using Ethiopia’s Healthcare Gaps to Do Good and Make a Profit

Source: IPS News

For a while now, Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI scanners have typically been a luxury that both government and private hospitals in Ethiopia have struggled to afford to purchase for in-house use.
Friday, April 04, 2014 — No Region Specified

Medtronic and partners are using mobile tech to screen thousands in India for ear infections

Source: MedCity News

In collaboration with a mobile health startup, a design firm and local health clinics, Medtronic is orchestrating a program aimed at improving diagnosis and treatment of ear infections and hearing loss in India, meanwhile supporting its ENT business there.
Friday, April 04, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: The Reserve Bank of India's welcome conservatism

Source: Business Standard

More than four years after the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced the government's intention to issue more banking licences, this has indeed been done. In 2010, there was much fervour about financial inclusion and, against that backdrop, new banks were seen as an important means of boosting capacity and penetration of financial services.
Friday, April 04, 2014 — No Region Specified

Peer-to-peer Lender SoFi Closes On $80 Million To Expand Its Lending Business

Source: Tech Crunch

Confirming our earlier reporting, the peer-to-peer lender Social Finance said it closed on $80 million in fresh funding, as it looks to expand its lending operations to mortgages and personal loans.
Friday, April 04, 2014 — No Region Specified

Investors warm up to start-ups with a cause

Source: Live Mint

To outsiders, Vindhya e-Infomedia Pvt. Ltd appears to be just another business process outsourcing (BPO) company. What sets the Bangalore-based company apart is the fact that 80% of its 500 employees comprise women below the poverty line and those with physical disabilities; some are blind, hearing-impaired or autistic.
Friday, April 04, 2014 — No Region Specified

How Ankur Capital is following a different path to impact investment

Source: VCCircle

In 2010, J.P. Morgan estimated the potential capital need for impact investments (targeting the part of the global population earning less than $3,000 a year), which drive not just social impact but also financial returns, to be $400 billion to $1,000 billion over the next 10 years. Fortunately, over the last 20 years, the number of specialised commercial funds in the impact investing space has risen 10 times. Capital committed to impact investing via private equity style active managers alone has risen from $4 billion to $12 billion over the same period.
Friday, April 04, 2014 — No Region Specified

Here is why the World Bank withheld aid to Uganda

Source: The Washington Post

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim stopped by The Washington Post on Thursday to chat about some of the changes under way as the bank moves to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030. Throughout discussions about energy projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo, deficits in Indonesia and private sector growth in Burma, one key concern kept coming up: What role should the World Bank play when conflicts arise in member nations?
Friday, April 04, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Why RBI’s decision on a Post Bank of India is a slap for Finance Ministry

Source: First Post India

The RBI’s decision on Wednesday to “consider” the application of Department of Posts for a banking license “separately in consultation with the Government of India” is literally a slap in the face for the finance ministry.
Friday, April 04, 2014 — No Region Specified

Japanese microfinance fund seeks to assist small Peruvian farmers

Source: Global Post

A Japanese small-lot fund operator said Thursday it will launch a new fund with a credit cooperative in Peru to assist Peruvian small farmers, who lack access to financial services, to meet their daily farming needs.
Friday, April 04, 2014 — No Region Specified

C S Ghosh: Tied to the bottom of the pyramid

Source: Business Standard

Chandra Shekhar Ghosh has come a long way - from Tripura to Bangladesh to West Bengal to now the national scene. The microfinance organisation Bandhan, which he founded in 2001 and helped grow, has won the right to become a full-fledged commercial bank that can and will have its branches from Srinagar to Thiruvananthapuram in the not too distant future.
Friday, April 04, 2014 — No Region Specified

How IBM is Using Nanotechnology to Tackle MRSA and HIV

Source: Fast Company

While giving a talk at a conference in Australia in the mid-2000s, IBM Research's lead scientist for the advanced organic materials group, James Hedrick, had an encounter that would make him rethink his career. At one point, Hedrick--who holds more than 100 patents--took a question from a woman in the audience. It wasn't what he was expecting.
Thursday, April 03, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Zimbabwe’s Econet Launches Mobile Money Loan Service

Source: IT Web Africa

Zimbabwean users of the mobile money platform, EcoCash, are now able to access urgent loans of up to $500 using their cellphones.
Thursday, April 03, 2014 — No Region Specified

USAID, Hillary Clinton Launch Global Development Lab for Game-Changing Innovations

Source: Devex

The event will take place in New York, with Hillary Clinton delivering the keynote address, following an internal launch and a USAID town hall discussion earlier this week in Washington, D.C.
Thursday, April 03, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Donors Commit $240 Million to Fight Neglected Diseases

Source: Voa News

Bill Gates, the World Bank and other donors are stepping up efforts to fight neglected tropical diseases in Africa and other low-income regions with a $240 million injection of new funding.
Thursday, April 03, 2014 — South Asia

Dabbawallas to Spread Dengue, Malaria Messages in Mumbai

Source: The Times of India

On Monday, the city's 50,000-odd dabbawallas will tag a health message-'prevent and control vector-borne diseases'-to each of the two lakh tiffin boxes that they carry throughout the day.
Thursday, April 03, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

South Africa to use Flavored Condoms to Tackle HIV

Source: BBC News

South Africa has some 6.4 million HIV-positive people - more than any other country.
Thursday, April 03, 2014 — South Asia

Reorienting Financial Inclusion in India

Source: The Financial Express

Fixing small business finance is a great place to start improving financial inclusion. This is a reform that is overdue and should not wait.
Thursday, April 03, 2014 — No Region Specified

Social Entrepreneurs: Don't Forget About Kickstarter

Source: FastCoExist

The fundraising platform wants to be a place where projects for good get off the ground.
Thursday, April 03, 2014 — South Asia

Oxfam Vietnam Will Begin Investing in Social Enterprises

Source: Social Enterprise Buzz

Oxfam’s office in Vietnam has launched a new impact investing program to support social enterprises in the country.
Thursday, April 03, 2014 — South Asia

India Announces First Bank Licences in a Decade

Source: Global Post

India on Wednesday announced it was issuing two new bank licenses for the first time in a decade as it accelerates a push to bring more Indians into the formal banking system.
Thursday, April 03, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Calvert Foundation and Bank of America Partner to Invest in Women

Source: PR Web

Bank of America's $10 million investment will support the economic and social advancement of women in developing countries.
Wednesday, April 02, 2014 — No Region Specified

Kenya: Regulator sets tough conditions for mobile firms

Source: Mobile Money Africa

Safaricom chief executive Bob Collymore is facing hard options, following last Friday’s approval of his company’s quest to acquire rival yuMobile’s assets under tough conditions.
Wednesday, April 02, 2014 — No Region Specified

New climate innovation centre launched in Ethiopia

Source: Energy Live News

A new climate innovation centre which aims to help jumpstart clean technology and climate-smart ventures has been launched in Ethiopia. Called the Ethiopia Climate Innovation Center (ECIC), it is expected to help more than 3.1 million people increase resilience to climate change and create more than 12,000 jobs in the next 10 years.
Wednesday, April 02, 2014 — No Region Specified

UK Drug Firm to Set Up Plant in Rwanda

Source: All Africa

A Renowned British multinational pharmaceutical, GlaxoSmithKline, has listed Rwanda as one of the places it considers putting up a production plant as part of its move to form innovative partnerships to transform medicines supply in Africa.
Wednesday, April 02, 2014 — No Region Specified

Claims processing time critical to microinsurance success in Nigeria, stakeholders say

Source: Business Day

For effective take-off and maximisation of microinsurance opportunity in Nigeria following the release of operational guidelines by the National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), operators must work on claims processing time for the project to succeed.
Wednesday, April 02, 2014 — No Region Specified

Where is Bitcoin legal?

Source: CNN Money

In most countries around the world, Bitcoin is neither illegal nor totally unregulated. It's somewhere in between. Bitcoin and similar virtual currencies are computerized money not backed by any official authority. Governments haven't given it their blessing, and they're trying to figure out how to deal with it.
Wednesday, April 02, 2014 — No Region Specified

Zimbabwe: Econet, mobile money agent association head for clash

Source: All Africa

The Mobile Money Transfer Agents Association of Zimbabwe and Econet are heading for a possible clash over the latter's recent directive that each of its agent should register at least five new customers per day as per their contract.
Wednesday, April 02, 2014 — No Region Specified

Firms form new units to tap into mobile payment business in Indonesia

Source: The Jakarta Post

A number of businesses have set up new units to provide mobile payment solutions to an expanding list of financial service institutions and telecommunications operators in Indonesia amid the projected sharp increase in mobile payments.
Wednesday, April 02, 2014 — No Region Specified

The future of nursing: STTI announces new global health initiative

Source: nzDoctor

The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International (STTI) announces the creation of the Global Advisory Panel on the Future of Nursing (GAPFON). The inaugural meeting of GAPFON - a panel of international nurse leaders - convened to establish a global voice and vision for the future of nursing that will advance global health. The panel is chaired by Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing Dean Emerita and Professor Dr. Martha N. Hill.
Wednesday, April 02, 2014 — No Region Specified

Marketing to the bottom of the pyramid

Source: SME South Africa

The informal economy is Africa’s new frontier for growth. Previously forgotten and disregarded the informal economy on the continent is alive and growing into a significant contributor to the bottom line for many businesses. This is where the next surge of expansion is and if you are not playing in this space then you’re missing out.
Wednesday, April 02, 2014 — No Region Specified

'Nothing can stop' fight against female genital mutilation — advocacy group

Source: Devex

More than 125 million girls and women have undergone female genital mutilation worldwide, and another 30 million are at risk of being cut over the next decade — yet few interventions have focused on stopping the practice, and previous United Nations targets and pledges to end FGM within a generation have failed.
Wednesday, April 02, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mobikwik Eyes Big Chunk Of India’s Mobile Wallet Market

Source: Light Reading India

Smartphone growth has led to the growth of many companies and MobiKwik is one of them. Started in 2009, MobiKwik is a closed wallet company which records around 100,000 transactions every day.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014 — No Region Specified

Crowdfunding for the Common Good - How Does it Drive Social Change?

Source: Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy

Crowdfunding platforms raised an estimated $5.1 billion worldwide in 2013, nearly twice the total for 2012. Although most of this booming investment is in private ventures, mission-driven crowdfunding platforms are also emerging on the leading edge of technology, philanthropy, and social entrepreneurship.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

UK Drugs Firm GSK Announces Africa Investment

Source: Yahoo News

GSK will invest up to £130 million ($216 million, 157 million euros), including £100 million to expand existing manufacturing operations in Nigeria and Kenya and build up to five new factories in Africa, it said in a statement.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014 — No Region Specified

World Bank to Appoint 'Global Practices' Directors This Week

Source: Devex

World Bank President Jim Kim announced on Monday that the appointment of senior directors of the bank’s “global practices” will be finalized later this week ahead of the institution’s spring meetings.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Balancing Profits Against Public Health in the Search for Innovative Vaccines

Source: Deutsche Welle English

There is no cure and no vaccine for the Ebola virus, which has killed about 70 people in Guinea. Vaccine expert Professor Adrian Hill tells DW why some vaccines take time. It's got to do with profit.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Vodafone Brings Africa's M-Pesa Mobile Money to Europe

Source: Reuters

The launch targets 7 M in Romania who mainly use cash and M-Pesa has 16.8 M active customers in emerging markets.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014 — South Asia

Rural Health Care Blamed for Infant Deaths in Kolkata, India

Source: The New York Times India

The national headlines in September were grimmer than usual, with newspapers blaring “Infant Death Horror” and “West Bengal Health Care in I.C.U.” on their front pages after 41 newborns died in B.C. Roy Memorial Hospital over a span of six days.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE : BRAC Launches Innovation Fund to Make Mobile Money Work for the Poor

Source: BRAC

On March 30, 2014 BRAC officially launched the BRAC innovation fund for mobile money at the Frugal Innovation Forum: Scaling Digitally in Savar, Bangladesh. BRAC is experimenting with transitioning from cash and exploring new development strategies enabled by mobile money with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Tuesday, April 01, 2014 — Latin America

Sustaining Recent Social Progress May Require a Squeeze on the Rich

Source: The Economist

Latin Americans, the past dozen years have been remarkable. The region has seen a magical combination of faster economic growth, falling poverty and declining income inequality. Is this unprecedented period of progress over?
Monday, March 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

Nine ways to make sure you make a difference with impact investing

Source: The Guardian

Impact investors want more than a financial return, they want their money to do something good in the world at the same time. This means balancing financial risks and rewards with the complex measures of social and environmental impact.
Monday, March 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

How Philanthropists And Investors Can Work Together To Create Social Change

Source: Forbes

Scaling up innovation is rarely as simple as investing in a company. The best social innovations aren’t companies – rather they are social movements, coalitions co-created by businesses, social sector organisations and governments working together. But how do you fund and scale up a movement?
Monday, March 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mobilium Global builds health Smartphone app for Africa

Source: Nigerian Tribune

Mobilium Global has architected and built the first android “Made For Africa” mobile health and wellness, free and free to use smartphone application for specific use by, for, and of Africans.
Monday, March 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

Leapfrog invests $29 million in IFMR Capital Finance

Source: Economic Times

US-based Leapfrog Investment has bought a minority stake in financial services provider IFMR Capital Finance for $29 million (Rs 174 crore). IFMR helps microfinance firms, small businesses, affordable housing companies and commercial vehicle financiers raise money on the debt markets.
Monday, March 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

Guinea: Ebola death toll reaches 70

Source: CNN

At least 70 people are reported to have died from Ebola hemorrhagic fever in Guinea, according to a statement from the West African nation's health ministry.
Monday, March 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

Vodafone to roll out M-Pesa services in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala

Source: The Hindu Business Line

Vodafone India and ICICI Bank are planning to roll out mobile money transfer and payment service in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala. With this, Vodafone India will cover almost all states in India, thereby enabling people to send, deposit or receive money through mobile phones.
Monday, March 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

What Is Scale? Hint: Social Enterprises Don't Have To Be Huge To Reach It

Source: Forbes

A couple of years ago, I was working on a strategic planning project for a start-up that got hung up on the idea of “scale.” The founders were thinking globally, but meeting locally – in a windowless conference room, with lousy coffee, a couple of laptops, and no employees. We made of lot of lists, blew through a lot of Powerpoint, did many meetings. The ideas were fantastic, the potential market of those who needed the proposed services were in the tens of millions, and the business plan was sleek. But they couldn’t start small enough to prove the model. It had to be national right away, because the idea was so strong.
Monday, March 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

3 Factors That Show Social Enterprise Might Start Seeing Bigger Exits

Source: Fast Co.Exist

Stewart Craine, cofounder of Barefoot Power and now Village Infrastructure Angels, walks into investor presentations with a pair of well-worn, highly scuffed shoes with the soles falling off. They are his "investor shoes," illustrating the ridiculous distance he has traveled in pursuit of investment for his businesses, which work with world’s poor.
Monday, March 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

mHealth startup Telemed secures venture capital from The African Group

Source: ventureburn

Telemed Medical Services is an Ethiopian startup responsible for the country’s popular mobile health and medical consultancy service, Hello Doctor, and has recently announced it’s raised funds from US-based VC group The Africa Group (TAG). The Ethiopian engineering consultancy that, among other things, specialises in mobile health consulting is giving up a 25% stake of Telemed and plans to further address a crucial demand for health-related service delivery.
Monday, March 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

Startup wants West Michigan devices to improve medical care in developing world

Source: MiBiz

Three young entrepreneurs want to leverage the strength of West Michigan’s medical device capabilities to commercialize new products that could help improve care in the developing world.
Monday, March 31, 2014 — No Region Specified

The World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Food

Source: Fast Company

Newly engineered foods. A TV show satirizing big AG. Farming practices that reduce greenhouse gases. Here are the companies that are cooking up new ideas and changing how we think about our food.
Friday, March 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

Facebook Will Deliver Internet Via Drones With “Connectivity Lab” Project Powered By Acqhires From Ascenta

Source: Tech Crunch

Facebook plans to bring Internet to the third-world via drones, satellites, lasers, and more. Today Mark Zuckerberg unveiled Facebook’s Connectivity Lab which will work on the Internet.org project. It’s powered by talent acqhired from solar-powered drone maker Ascenta as well as poached from NASA.
Friday, March 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

What will new governor of Zimbabwe’s Reserve Bank mean for mobile money?

Source: TechZim

If you were waiting, the wait is finally over, former CBZ chief and Economist Dr Mangudya will be the new substantive Governor of The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. This comes at a time when the government is making deliberate efforts to re-position the Reserve Bank as the engine of Zimbabwe’s economic recovery. The Herald reports that Dr Mangudya will assume his reigns at his new no. 80 Samora Machel Ave offices effective 1 May for what could be the first of two five year terms.
Friday, March 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

Malaria research funding website leaves limited legacy

Source: SciDevNet

A website intended to rewrite the rules of how malaria research is funded failed to exploit the early potential of social media to link the public with researchers — but its one achievement, a new mosquito repellent is due to hit Tanzania’s market early next year.
Friday, March 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

Congress budget pact good for global health but NIH cuts threaten US innovations

Source: Science Codex

While a ceasefire in Washington's budget wars has restored funding for a range of programs targeting global health threats like AIDS and tuberculosis (TB), the simultaneous underfunding of the world's biggest sponsor of global health research and development (R&D) puts future progress at risk, warns a new report from a coalition of nonprofit groups focused on advancing innovation to save lives. The Global Health Technologies Coalition (GHTC) released their annual policy report today at a Capitol Hill briefing.
Friday, March 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

African Crowdfunding platforms looking to emulate Kickstarter Success

Source: Smile & Mobile

Crowdfunding is hot right now, everybody knows that. You have all heard about Indiegogo and Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platforms that have played an integral part in the launching of a number of different ventures in America. Just yesterday, Facebook acquired Oculus Rift for $2B. Two years ago that same Oculus rift raised money to quickly develop their virtual reality gaming headset on Kickstarter, and now their owners are $2B richer. Hooray for crowdfunding!. A formal definition of crowdfunding would be, the process of raising money for an initiative through a large pool of backers. These backers are usually sourced through the internet.
Friday, March 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

Grameen Foundation announces funding boost for microfinance activities in Latin America

Source: Xperedon

US charitable foundation Grameen Foundation has announced new $500,000 match funding backing to aid its Last Mile Initiative, that’s helping lift communities from rural poverty, including farmers in Colombia and Guatemala...
Friday, March 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

More Kenyans To Benefit From New Private Sector Healthcare Initiative

Source: Ventures

Excelsior Group’s Foundation and the Kenya Association of Private Hospitals (KAPH) have reached an agreement to improve healthcare accessibility for 30 percent of Kenya’s population. Private sector networks account for more than 50 percent of Kenya’s healthcare providers serving the needs of Kenyans living on lower incomes.
Friday, March 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

Health app targets African users

Source: IT Web Africa

UK-based mobile strategy company Mobilium Global hopes to capitalise on smartphone penetration in Africa by launching the Smart Health application, to promote health and wellness among users on the continent.
Friday, March 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Rise of social impact investing lays to rest the notion that greed is good

Source: South China Morning Post

Do we really invest to make money? Yes, if you make money the old-fashioned way. You look at the trade-off between risk, return and liquidity and make the investment if it yields a return that you feel happy with, relative to the risk, with the liquidity you want.
Friday, March 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

‘Learning together’ to grow a business in the plains of Tanzania

Source: PBS NewsHour

When Hailey Chalhoub and Eliza Madden, both 22, were sent to Tabora in northeastern Tanzania to help its residents with a nascent food processing business, they had their marching orders: make a profit.
Friday, March 28, 2014 — No Region Specified

Banks Outshine Agriculture, Manufacturing in GDP Input in Rwanda

Source: All Africa

Prime Minister Pierre-Damien Habumuremyi, yesterday, presented to both chambers of Parliament highlights of the performance of the service industry with focus on financial institutions, noting that the country is on course to achieving its targeted financial inclusion.
Thursday, March 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

US Global Health Research Funding Falls Short of Innovation Rhetoric

Source: Devex

Despite the Obama administration's emphasis on science, technology, and innovation for international development, United States funding for global health research and development is not what it could or should be, according to an advocacy coalition of 30 global health nongovernmental organizations
Thursday, March 27, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

International Finance Corporation Proposes $1.5 B Annual Investment in Nigeria

Source: This Day Live

The International Finance Corporation IFC), which is the private sector arm of the World Bank, has unfolded plans to commence an annual investment of $1.5 billion in critical sectors of the Nigerian economy.
Thursday, March 27, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Global MFI Investors Shift Focus from Asia to Africa

Source: Business Standard

With the MFIs realigning their fund allocations, South Asia, the traditional microfinance hub, is facing challenge from Africa for the first time
Thursday, March 27, 2014 — Latin America

Claro to Launch 'First' Commercial NFC Mobile Payments in Latin America

Source: Mobile World Live

The NFC-based service will work at more than 200,000 payment points in retail outlets when it launches in the first half of this year, according to the project’s vendor Giesecke & Devrient (G&D).
Thursday, March 27, 2014 — Latin America

TriLinc Global Impact Fund Makes Impact Investments in Peru, Indonesia, Brazil and Chile

Source: Business Wire

TriLinc Global Impact Fund approves a $576,000 loan on March 25, 2014 to an agro-business company in Peru, bringing total loans funded in 2014 to $5.741 million for business expansion and socioeconomic development in Latin America and Southeast Asia
Thursday, March 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

Stock Exchanges for Social Enterprises? Here's Where You Can Find Them

Source: Forbes

As the spotlight on investors seeking social investments continues to brighten, the rise of social stock exchanges—places where people can buy shares in social businesses with missions that align with theirs—shouldn’t be all that surprising.
Thursday, March 27, 2014 — No Region Specified

14 Ways to Make Sanitation Sustainable

Source: The Guardian

What has more impact, new technology or behavioural change? Is there such a thing as a scalable solution that is also sensitive to cultural needs? Our panel of experts share their thoughts
Thursday, March 27, 2014 — Latin America

Brazil Just Became The First Country Ever To Pay Reparations For A Maternal Death

Source: BuzzFeed World

Three years after a landmark human rights ruling, Brazil offers reparations and public commemoration. But the structural inequalities that led to a 28-year-old’s death remain.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Off Grid Electric gets $7M to ‘light Africa in a decade’

Source: Venture Beat

Why do more people live without electricity today than when Edison turned on the first light bulb? For as long as he can remember, Xavier Helgesen has been fascinated with this question. And today, he landed $7 million in financing for his Arusha, Tanzania-based venture, Off Grid Electric, which provides solar energy to people in emerging nations.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Sahel meningitis outbreaks linked to wind and dust levels, claim scientists

Source: The Guardian

Scientists may soon be able to forecast disease outbreaks in sub-Saharan African's "meningitis belt" using weather data. The forecasts could be used to plan early vaccination drives aimed at preventing or limiting casualties.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mobile network operators team up in Sri Lanka to provide mobile money to 60% of population

Source: The Island

Etisalat joined Dialog’s eZ Cash mobile money platform on Monday, enabling a combined subscriber base of 12.7 million —over 60% of the country’s population— to enjoy ‘seamless and convenient mobile money services’ that lets them deposit, send or receive money and pay utility bills, insurance premia and engage in other transactions.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Annapurna Microfinance raises $5M in Series B funding

Source: VCCircle

Odisha-based Annapurna Microfinance Pvt Ltd (AMPL) has raised Rs 30 crore (around $5 million) in a Series B round of funding led by Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), with participation from the existing investor Incofin Investment Management's Rural Impulse Fund II.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Central Bank of Nigeria gives room for microfinance bank mergers and acquisitions

Source: Business Day

There is an expectation of stronger microfinance banks (MFBs) in the country if the micro institutions that could not meet with their recapitalisation requirements, successfully engage and conclude with mergers and acquisition as they are directed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Ministry’s scepticism, Aadhaar issues hang over Nachiket Mor financial inclusion plan in India

Source: Live Mint

The finance ministry has questioned the practicality of some recommendations made by a panel formed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to promote financial inclusion, including a 1 January 2016 deadline it has set for making an Aadhaar-linked bank account available to every adult Indian.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

GE Healthcare, CTSI to develop cancer care network

Source: Business Standard

GE Healthcare, a unit of General Electric Company, on Tuesday announced a partnership with Cancer Treatment Services International (CTSI) to develop a network of 25 cancer care centres in India. Through five years, the two companies will together invest $120 million (Rs 720 crore) to establish these centres, through a hub-and-spoke model.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Opportunity International & The MasterCard Foundation Plan To Help 7M Out of Poverty With $22.7M Partnership

Source: Forbes

Opportunity International is a non-profit microfinance organization established in 1971. Over the last 42 years OI has provided $6 billion in microfinance loans and has reached over 5 million clients in 22 countries. In 2009, The MasterCard MA -1.08% Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation partnered with OI and co-funded a $16 million project to expand access to saving accounts and agricultural loans in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

One man’s quest to train India’s many quack doctors

Source: Global Post

Squatting on their haunches among fruit trees and orange marigolds, barefoot villagers wait in the morning chill to see Dr. Pijus Sarkar, the only full-time physician in this remote part of West Bengal. They come because their local health provider — an alternative healer or one with no training at all — failed to help them, or even made them worse.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Bitcoins are property, not currency, for tax purposes, says U.S. government

Source: Reuters

Wading into a murky tax question for the digital age, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service said on Tuesday that bitcoins and other virtual currencies are to be treated, for tax purposes, as property and not as currency.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

People + technology as a best investment

Source: Devex

Gib Bulloch, founder and global managing director of Accenture Development Partnerships, is all about putting money into ideas that work.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Ghana’s Fidelity Bank inaugurates agency banking

Source: Ghana Web

Fidelity Bank has inaugurated its new banking model, known as Fidelity Agency banking, which allows the bank to use shops and supermarkets as bank agents, called as Fidelity Smart Agents.
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Africa: Air Pollution Now Linked to 1 in 8 Deaths Worldwide, UN Health Agency Reports

Source: All Africa

Air pollution - both indoor and outdoor - killed some 7 million people across the globe in 2012, making it the world's largest single environmental health risk, according to new figures released today by the UN World Health Organization (WHO).
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 — No Region Specified

Innovative business model introduced to benefit oil palm farmers

Source: Ghana Web

B-BOVID, an agribusiness based on social entrepreneurship principles, is introducing a unique profit-sharing concept to its oil palm enterprise which, will greatly benefit local farmers and their communities.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Ebola Outbreak in Guinea May Spread to Liberia

Source: The Washington Post

An outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus is believed to have killed at least 59 people in Guinea and may already have spread to neighboring Liberia, health officials said Monday.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

Computer Access for the Poorest at $7 a Head

Source: Times of Israel

Israeli start-up Keepod believes it has a low-cost way to bring the billions living in poverty into the digital age.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

The Benefits of Public-Private Partnerships in Global Health

Source: Devex

If countries are healthier and more prosperous, then we all benefit. After all, global health means economic health. This is one reason why many governments in wealthier countries have helped fund disease prevention in developing countries, far outside their borders. It’s the right thing to do, but it’s also smart policy.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

Microfinance 2.0: Different Methodology Could Reshape Industry

Source: The Guardian

A recent paper published by Harvard Business School and EY advocates for taking a more scientific approach to evaluating the impacts of microfinance programs.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

How Millennium Challenge Corp. Partnership Will Help PEPFAR 'go local' in South Africa

Source: Devex

The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the U.S. Agency for International Development work together to help strengthen public health systems in South Africa by funding ARV distribution and equipment.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

In the Americas, One in Five People with Tuberculosis is Unaware of the Disease

Source: Health News Digest

In 2012, almost 220,000 cases were reported, and an estimated 19,000 people died from tuberculosis in the Americas.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — North Africa and Near East

Thomson Reuters release Islamic Social Finance Report

Source: CPI Financial

Thomson Reuters has released the Islamic Social Finance Report 2014 in collaboration with the Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI), a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — No Region Specified

D-Lab Scale-Ups Fellowship Applications Open from MIT

Source: MIT News

Applications due April 9 for a 12-month program that provides $20,000 to develop sustainable social ventures
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — South Asia

OPINION: India’s Mor Report on Financial Inclusion Doesn’t Focus Enough on Expanding Access to Credit

Source: Business Standard

The Committee on Comprehensive Financial Services for Small Businesses and Low-Income Households (the Nachiket Mor Committee on financial inclusion) has delivered a detailed report in a very short time.
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Why Insurers are Looking to Kenya’s Low-Income Earners for New Business

Source: Standard Digital Business

Low-income earners have traditionally been underserved when it comes to being provided with avenues to manage the risks they face every day.
Monday, March 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Teasy combines NFC and biometrics for payments in Nigeria

Source: NFC World

Nigerian mobile payments provider Teasy Mobile is to equip its mobile money agents with POS terminals that use biometric technology to verify a consumer and NFC to allow them to make a payment.
Monday, March 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

South Africa ground zero for reforming drug patents

Source: CMAJ

The government of South Africa is squaring off against drug makers over patent reform in the lead-up to national elections on May 7, citing a "massive disease burden" from HIV-AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis, cancer and heart diseases.
Monday, March 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

The ‘absurdity’ of manufacturing in Africa

Source: How We Made It In Africa

Africa’s wealth of natural resource reserves make it one of the largest producers and exporters of a number of commodities in the world. For example, the continent produces roughly three-quarters of the world’s platinum and over half of the world’s diamonds.
Monday, March 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Maker of Toms shoes expands into coffee roasting

Source: ajc.com

Toms, the Los Angeles company known for its comfy, eco-friendly footwear and its shoes-donating ways, is tiptoeing into an unusual product line: coffee.
Monday, March 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

USAID's partnership with GE in Kenya will help health facilities buy high-tech equipment

Source: Global Post

Health care providers in Kenya will soon have a much better shot at getting a bank loan to buy high-tech medical equipment — as long as the machines are made by General Electric.
Monday, March 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Dell Streamlines Patient Care In India With New Cloud-Based Healthcare Solution

Source: Silicon India

“There is a seismic shift happening in the global healthcare industry. The overarching trend is to integrate and move information to the right person or system at the right time — whether it's a provider's staff, external service provider, or the consumer (patient or prospect),”said Sudhanshu Bhandari, Senior Analyst, Forrester Research.
Monday, March 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Saving Nigeria’s micro-finance banking sector

Source: The Sun

The recent approval of the liquidation of 83 micro-finance banks (MFBs) by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is bad news from the banking sector. It is worrisome that as many as 83 of these institutions are going under, barely four years after 224 of them were declared insolvent in 2010, with attendant negative implications for depositors’ funds.
Monday, March 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

“Early-stage investments harder to make” says Omidyar Network’s Bannick

Source: Times of India

Omidyar Network, the Redwood City, California-based impact investment firm, will allocate $30 million this year across sectors as it looks to pick ventures that cater both to the bottom-of-the-pyramid population as well as the swelling aspirational class in India.
Monday, March 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship Announces Social Entrepreneurs of 2014

Source: Press Release

Thirty seven Social Entrepreneurs have been recognized by the Schwab Foundation as the Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2014. The winners were selected in recognition of their innovative approaches and potential for global impact. The awardees will be announced during a livecast session at The Huffington Post, featuring Hilde Schwab, Co-Founder and Chairperson, Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship.
Monday, March 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Toilet Tech Fair Tackles Global Sanitation Woes

Source: ABC News

Who would have expected a toilet to one day filter water, charge a cellphone or create charcoal to combat climate change? These are lofty ambitions beyond what most of the world's 2.5 billion people with no access to modern sanitation would expect. Yet, scientists and toilet innovators around the world say these are exactly the sort of goals needed to improve global public health amid challenges such as poverty, water scarcity and urban growth.
Monday, March 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mobile money platform backs 'Yolanda' recovery efforts in the Philippines

Source: Sun Star

Mobile money is playing an increasing role in disaster recovery efforts as shown by the initial projects undertaken in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda. This development has caught the interest of relief agencies of the United Nations, as well as other international humanitarian agencies, who are studying the experience of the Philippines in disaster response.
Monday, March 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Strong health systems, the 'secret ingredient'

Source: Devex

In his 2013 State of the Union Address, U.S. President Barack Obama set forth a vision for achieving what would be one of the greatest contributions to human progress — eliminating extreme poverty. As a global health community, we have the skills and know-how to accomplish these goals, but we must work together and recognize that the ‘secret ingredient’ that binds all of our collective knowledge, skills and interventions is a strong health system.
Monday, March 24, 2014 — No Region Specified

Banks, Corruption and Crypto: Can Bitcoin Change India?

Source: CoinDesk

Last December, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) issued a warning on digital currencies noting that the bank had not yet authorized any organisation in India to use cryptocurrencies as a method of payment.
Friday, March 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Maternal health activists appeal to court

Source: New Vision

Human rights activists for improved maternal health services have asked the Supreme Court to hear their petition seeking to compel the Government to provide essential adequate kits in referral hospitals for the mothers’ safe deliveries.
Friday, March 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Latin America: Social Impact Investment Grows

Source: Latinvex

In Latin America, there is clear need to promote entrepreneurship that seeks both economic return as well as social impact.
Friday, March 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Equity Crowdfunding: 3 Facts Entrepreneurs Should Know

Source: Business News Daily

Equity crowdfunding has become a hot topic on the startup scene in recent years. The Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, which was signed into law in 2012, brought significant changes to certain Securities and ExchangeCommission regulations and made it easier than ever for an emerging business to raise private capital.
Friday, March 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Financing Sustainable Fisheries With Impact Investments

Source: National Geographic

What’s good for the fish is good for the fishing communities — and for impact investors. That’s the thesis of three new vehicles for investing in sustainable fisheries that will be tested in the Philippines, Chile, and Brazil over the next two years and then offered to investors more broadly.
Friday, March 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Impact Investing for the Average American

Source: Harvard Kennedy School Review

Impact investing has become a buzz word in social enterprise circles but, even today, opportunities to invest are hardly accessible to the average American. Barriers include protective federal regulations as well as the inability to reach scale.
Friday, March 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Malawi: Antenatal Access Key to Preventing Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV

Source: All Africa

Malawi is leading the developing world in the Option B+ approach to preventing transmission of HIV from mothers to their children. Option B+ provides lifelong HIV medication to all HIV-positive pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Friday, March 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Human-Centered Design: The Key to Mobile Money Adoption?

Source: Mondato

While mobile money is now available in almost every emerging market, active usage remains low. In fact, only about 30 percent of registered mobile money accounts are actively used, according to the most recent GSMA State of the Industry report. Bridging this crucial gap between registration and active usage will require providers to design products and services that are not simply ‘great ideas,’ but that truly meet the needs of end users.
Friday, March 21, 2014 — No Region Specified

Alarming spread of drug-resistant TB threatens global health

Source: Medical News Today

The medical aid organization Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has published a briefing paper about the alarming spread of drug-resistant tuberculosis, which they refer to as the "biggest threat to global health you've never heard of."
Thursday, March 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

New Heists Reveal Two Key Things About The Evolution Of Bitcoin

Source: Business Insider

The bad news is that three Bitcoin thefts made headlines this week.
Thursday, March 20, 2014 — South Asia

Aavishkar Hopes to Close $75 M Frontier Fund, Take Impact Investing Model Beyond India

Source: Business Standard

Set to take its impact investing model to Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Pakistan
Thursday, March 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

Catalyzing Impact Investments Through Coordinated Grantmaking

Source: Philanthropy News Digest

In an increasingly resource-constrained world, the ability to drive more impact investments into the communities and issues we care about is imperative
Thursday, March 20, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Financial Literacy Crucial to Nigeria's Economic Growth

Source: allAfrica

Financial literacy among Nigerians especially the young people will foster economic growth and development even as the country seeks the attainment of financial inclusion in the economy,
Thursday, March 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

Bonds Tied to Green Investments Are Booming

Source: The Economist

Christopher Flensborg of SEB, a Swedish bank, calls it another tipping-point for “green bonds”, and he should know: he invented them.
Thursday, March 20, 2014 — No Region Specified

B Lab Just Announced its B Corp Best for the World List

Source: Forbes

The list includes 92 social enterprises creating the most positive overall social and environmental impact of the almost 1,000 certified B Corporations in operation.
Thursday, March 20, 2014 — Europe & Eurasia

UK Boosts Social Enterprise With 30% Tax Relief on Social Investments

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation

A move welcomed by campaigners and industry experts as potentially unlocking millions of pounds for social enterprises.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Uganda: Are Virtual Doctors the Answer for Ugandan Health Care?

Source: All Africa

A new telemedicine facility in one of the most remote regions of Uganda allows local health care workers to consult online with doctors in Kampala. The potential for Uganda's poorly-staffed health centers could be huge.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

MasterCard prepares for African growth

Source: Business Report

MasterCard was eyeing a slice of the expected exponential growth from the emerging African market in coming years, particularly as mobile payments surged, Aaron Oliver, the head of emerging payments in the Middle East and Africa for the multinational firm, said yesterday.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Decade after debt relief, Africa’s rush to borrow stirs concern

Source: Business Day

NEARLY a decade after Nelson Mandela and anti-poverty activists Bono and Bob Geldof persuaded the rich world to forgive Africa’s crushing debts, many countries’ debt levels are creeping up again, which could undermine the region’s growth boom.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Indian banks develop a liking for microlending

Source: Live Mint

India’s microlending industry, dominated by traditional microfinance institutions (MFIs), is witnessing a re-emergence of interest from commercial banks, which are targeting low-income borrowers.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Drug-Resistant TB is Global Threat

Source: Voice of America

The medical aid group -- Doctors without Borders -- warns that drug-resistant tuberculosis has become a global threat. It says despite the growing number of cases, there are no effective treatments.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Empowering People With Cooking Stoves

Source: Techli

Imagine spending 30 percent of your income on cooking fuel, inhaling the equivalent of 20 cigarettes daily while preparing meals for your family, and having to send your daughter to collect fuel for hours every day. What sounds like a far-fetched scenario is the reality of millions of people around the world in countries like Nepal, Darfur and Haiti.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Strengthening health systems is the most critical investment in global health, finds survey

Source: News Medical

Strengthening the health systems that provide health products and care is the most critical investment in global health, according to international survey results released today by leading global health organizations, PSI and PATH, as well as Devex, the global development media brand.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Biz-school courses focus on giving back

Source: Crain's New York

In 2010, Donnel Baird grew increasingly frustrated while working for a coalition of labor and environmental groups in Washington, D.C., to promote residential energy efficiency and sustainability projects. In the process, he discovered how difficult it was for entrepreneurial businesses, nonprofits, churches and other small enterprises to find backers such as banks willing to fund their efforts to install solar power or energy-conservation technologies. "The transaction costs and the risks were too high," he said.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

HaPinoy, PBSP work to revive E. Visayas sari-sari store economy

Source: Sun Star

SOCIAL enterprise HaPinoy is closely working with the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) to revive the sari-sari store economy in Yolanda-ravaged areas in Eastern Visayas. HaPinoy president Mark Ruiz said they will initially help 2,000 sari-sari stores in Leyte for the livelihood rehabilitation effort that will benefit 100,000 residents to have access to basic commodities.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

InVenture raises $1.2-million to help serve emerging markets’ underbanked

Source: ventureburn

InVenture is a credit score for anyone with a mobile phone. In order to expand its phone-based personal finance software, InSight, which generates financial identities and credit scores for the underbanked in South Asia and Africa, the startup has recently raised US$1.2-million.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Can this tiny startup be the definitive lender for the world's emerging middle class?

Source: CNN Money

A big challenge for people in an emerging middle class who are struggling to find avenues to credit is that they rarely have formal credit histories. They do, however, have social networks -- rich communities of family members and friends who can vouch for their character and credibility. And increasingly, as smartphones open up the Internet's opportunities to growing numbers of people, they have online social networks that mirror their communities.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

Pitching Investors in Global Health: Funding Lessons From Social Entrepreneurs

Source: Huffington Post Business

Over the past decade, business models serving the base of the pyramid (BOP) customers have attracted increased attention. At the same time, major development agencies and foundations have identified the public health segments of the Millennium Development Goals as priorities and have expanded programs to support and encourage innovation in health care for low- and middle-income communities around the world.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 — No Region Specified

The Best Buys in Global Health: Striking the Effective Balance

Source: Huffington Post Impact

Innovation in both the development of new technologies and better delivery methods is critical. But here's where it gets more complex: An intervention must be designed from the perspective of the health consumer, and it must be affordable and have an effective delivery system.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Sustainable Investing Comes of Age in South Africa

Source: Business Day South Africa

In recent years, the idea of analysing companies using more than just financial indicators has moved into the mainstream.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Health in Urban Slums Depends on Better Local Data

Source: Sci Dev Net

Data collection in urban areas should also be interdisciplinary; involving epidemiologists, toxicologists, urban planners and environmental scientists among other experts, according to Sotiris Vardoulakis, air pollution and climate change group leader at the UK government agency Public Health England.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Uganda Telecom to Upgrade Mobile Money Platform

Source: East African Business Week

Uganda telecom, a partially state owned telecommunication service provider, has signaled it will embark on upgrading its mobile money banking platform, M-Sente, in the next two weeks to enable their customers enjoy the service flawlessly.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — South Asia

Huge Opportunities Await Indian Health Investors in Africa

Source: SME Times

In 2012, Africa accounted for almost a quarter of India's drug exports.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: Western Union Expands Mobile Money Transfer Network in Nigeria

Source: The Wall Street Journal

New relationship with Paga gives more than 1.2 million Paga subscribers access to Western Union services.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Bottom Of The Pyramid Overspending On Mobile Services in Africa

Source: AFK Insider

Expert at a World Consumer Rights Day event in Nairobi said on Friday poor African’s are spending too much on mobile phone services to the extent of foregoing basic needs, ITWeb Africa reported.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Saving for Change: How Small Sums Drive Big Advances in Cambodia

Source: The Phnom Penh Post

Many rural villagers cannot access financial services from microfinance institutions (MFIs) despite the growth in the sector.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — No Region Specified

Is Equity Crowdfunding The Key To More International Startup Hubs?

Source: Forbes

Is crowdfunding the secret to creating more Silicon Valley-like tech hubs around the world? Crowdfunder CEO Chance Barnett argues yes.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kenya’s Safaricom Plans to Disrupt Mobile Market with Contactless Transactions

Source: Tech Moran

For a successful deployment, Safaricom is expected to build an NFC infrastructure countrywide, just like it did with its mobile money agents so as its subscribers can pay for services and buy goods anywhere in the country.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — South Asia

Indian Microfinance Body Seeks RBI Nod for Self-regulatory Status

Source: The Times of India

Last year, the RBI had released guidelines on self-regulation by MFIs in accordance with the recommendations of the Malegam panel set up by the apex bank earlier to look into regulatory aspects of micro-lending following the Andhra Pradesh microfinance crisis of 2010.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — Asia Pacific

Chinese NGO Aims to Tackle Poverty in Burma Through Microloans

Source: Democreatic Voice of Burma

A Chinese NGO is set to implement micro-finance programs across Burma in a bid to tackle rural poverty.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Accion Microfinance Bank Share capital Reaches N1.205bn in Nigeria

Source: Business Day Online Nigeria

The micro finance bank’s robust financial base reflects on over N21.7billion disbursed in loans to more than 110,000 customers since inception.
Monday, March 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Bitcoin and mobile payments: Don't get your hopes up

Source: CITE World

Before there were cell phones, there was the dream. You know the dream, the dream of techno-optimists everywhere: Get rid of the wallet. Make money electronic. Get rid of those inconvenient technologies like cash and credit cards, and put it all on your phone. Pay by punching a key on your phone. Like in Japan! And cut out a few middlemen while we're at it. Admit it, we've all fantasized about it.
Monday, March 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

M-Pesa to start pilot on cash out services, looking at pan-India network

Source: Business Standard

M-Pesa, the mobile wallet service of telecom major Vodafone, plans to launch out-cash services. A pilot programme will be launched soon, under which customers will be able to withdraw money from M-Pesa outlets.
Monday, March 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

New ITU standard enables health data exchange

Source: relief web

Following calls for increased global coordination of standards enabling e-health, ITU has offered first stage approval to an important specification enabling an exchange of multimedia health data between a health provider, a controlling function and patient.
Monday, March 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Focus Heightens on Vaccine Preventable Diseases

Source: Daily Trust

Nigeria is better off preventing diseases than attempting cures on a continent with some of the highest disease burdens, say experts. This comes as the first indigenous vaccine manufacturer, Innovative Vaccines, launched in Nigeria.
Monday, March 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Headline: Financial Inclusion: Banking on Retail Agents in Nigeria

Source: This Day Live

Given the high percentage of the unbanked population in the country, there have been a lot of initiatives targeted at bringing more people into the banking system. Today, Nigerian banks are increasingly developing products that support the financial inclusion initiative of the Bankers’ Committee, one of which is retail agency
Monday, March 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Kenya leads African peers in financial access

Source: Standard Digital

Kenya has taken a great leap forward to enjoy better financial access compared to her peers in the continent. The country claims the second highest level of financial inclusion only after South Africa.
Monday, March 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Addressing financial exclusion in Pakistan

Source: Business Recorder

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has adopted a multi-pronged and long-term strategy to address financial exclusion through structured policy and regulatory actions besides market-development interventions.
Monday, March 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Discussing the JOBS Act's Impact on Capital Flow in the U.S. Market

Source: Equities.com

Much of the focus on how the JOBS Act may be able to transform the flow of capital in the United States has been on new pathways being opened. Equity crowdfunding, crowdfinanced debt, locavesting, the new opportunities for accessing capital outside of the traditional banking system has sparked the imagination of many.
Monday, March 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Give Impact Investing Time and Space to Develop

Source: Harvard Business Review

Impact investing has captured the world’s imagination. Just six years after the Rockefeller Foundation coined the term, the sector is booming. An estimated 250 funds are actively raising capital in a market that the Global Impact Investing Network estimates at $25 billion. Giving Pledge members described impact investing as the “hottest topic” at their May 2012 meeting, and Prime Minister David Cameron extolled the potential of the sector at the most recent G8 summit.
Monday, March 17, 2014 — No Region Specified

Anti-Science Environmentalists Ban 'Neonic' Insecticides, Imperiling Global Health

Source: Forbes

Some of history’s greatest advances in public health – especially in regions plagued by insect borne diseases – have come from the judicious use of pesticides to kill or repel the insect vector before it can infect human populations. Because the market for public health pesticides is relatively small, however, most of these vital chemistries were developed for larger agricultural uses. Unfortunately, that source of new products is increasingly under threat from shortsighted environmentalism and the European embrace of “precautionary” regulation.
Friday, March 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Advancing Breastfeeding: The Power of the Network

Source: Impatient Optimists

Chinese celebrity Ma Yili has over 50 million social media fans, and now she’s using her influence to promote breastfeeding in her home country, where only 28 percent of babies are exclusively breastfed. The “10m2 of Love” campaign Ma is publicizing includes a mobile app to help Chinese women locate and use public breastfeeding spaces. From China to Pakistan, Venezuela and Viet Nam, countries are experimenting with new approaches to promote a life saving, natural practice under threat in the modern world.
Friday, March 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

UK aid watchdog tells DfID to focus on quality of healthcare in Kenya

Source: The Guardian

A government watchdog has called on the Department for International Development (DfID) to do more to improve the quality of care at Kenyan health facilities after recording patient complaints of petty corruption and "physical and emotional abuse" by staff.
Friday, March 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Latrine numbers up

Source: The Phnom Penh Post

The number of Cambodian rural households with access to latrines increased from 23 to 33 per cent in 2013, a Ministry of Rural Development report released yesterday says.
Friday, March 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: GiveDirectly? Not So Fast.

Source: Stanford Social Innovation Review

GiveDirectly is the current flavor of the month, and every couple of days someone asks us what we think of it. GiveDirectly does unconditional cash transfers—it sends money via mobile payment straight to the poorest people in Kenyan villages. It’s a brilliant approach to cutting out corruption and waste: 93 cents of every donated dollar goes to recipients as cash, and those recipients reliably spend it on food, housing, health care, education, and business investment.
Friday, March 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

The quest for WHO prequalification by pharmaceutical firms

Source: Business Day

Annually, millions of patients in resource-limited countries receive life-saving medicines that are purchased by or through international procurement agencies such as World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UNITAID and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria.
Friday, March 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Boosting Financial Inclusion in Nigeria with Mobile Money, Electronic Cards

Source: This Day Live

Nigeria is bent on achieving financial inclusion through the ongoing cashless initiative, but the exercise is rather too slow, hence the need to increase awareness campaign on the use of mobile money and electronic cards as alternative channels, writes Emma Okonji.
Friday, March 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

American Express Spotlights the Issue of Financial Exclusion in Davis Guggenheim Doc "Spent"

Source: Fast Co.Create

Part of a larger Amex initiative to address financial inclusion, Spent: Looking for Change reveals the dismal state of basic banking service access for many Americans.
Friday, March 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

Reserve Bank of India to issue much-awaited banking licenses to reshape banking sector

Source: DNA India

The next generation of banking structure will be the first step to a thousand mile journey to make India the third largest banking economy in the world. The issue of "on-tap" new banking licenses will prove to be a game changer for the Indian banking industry.
Friday, March 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

In-store mobile transactions boom for South Africa

Source: IT Web Africa

South African consumers are driving a mobile transacting revolution enabled by a slew of innovative home-grown technology companies. So says Bevan Ducasse, CEO of wiGroup, following the release of the company's white paper on in-store mobile transacting.
Friday, March 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

China's central bank halts Tencent, Alibaba mobile payment process

Source: MSN Money

China's central bank demanded on Friday that payments made by scanning a bar code with mobile devices be halted, hitting the payment arms of Internet companies Tencent Holdings Ltd and Alibaba Group Holding.
Friday, March 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

The World Bank Gets An Overhaul — And Not Everyone's Happy

Source: NPR

The World Bank, the largest international development institution, is undergoing a sweeping reorganization, the first of its kind for the bank in nearly a generation. The bank, based in Washington, has laid out a new set of goals, but they're accompanied by deep budget cuts and the elimination of a whole layer of senior management jobs.
Friday, March 14, 2014 — No Region Specified

PRESS RELEASE: Accion Supports Sale of Mibanco to Financiera Edyficar

Source: Press Release

Accion, a leader in microfinance and financial inclusion, today announced its support for the sale of Mibanco to Financiera Edyficar, which is owned by Grupo Credicorp, following the regulatory approval of the sale obtained this week.
Friday, March 14, 2014 — South Asia

Women entrepreneurs struggle for funding in India

Source: Live Mint

A majority of women entrepreneurs in India cannot access institutional finance for many reasons, including the fact that fewer of them have title rights on property that can be used as collateral.
Thursday, March 13, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

PRESS RELEASE: First Access and Vodacom Tanzania Ink Financial Inclusion Deal

Source: CSR Wire

Partnership offers financial institutions the ability to purchase instant risk scores from First Access based on prepaid mobile phone records.
Thursday, March 13, 2014 — No Region Specified

How Crowdfunding Solar Power is Democratizing the Way we Finance Clean Energy

Source: Tech Republic

Crowdfunding campaigns for solar power are gaining traction. Pioneering startups like Mosaic are changing how we finance renewable energy.
Thursday, March 13, 2014 — South Asia

India Has Millions of Female Entrepreneurs and They Need Easier Access to Money

Source: The Wall Street Journal India

While there may not be many women occupying the executive offices of India, the country is home to literally millions of female entrepreneurs, in charge of their own tiny businesses, according to estimates by the International Finance Corp.
Thursday, March 13, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Kopo Kopo Goes International, Ready to Integrate Mobile Money Payments from Merchants Around the World

Source: Tech Moran

In an exclusive interview with TechMoran, Ben Lyon of Kopo Kopo said that 2014 is the year of partnering with payment providers to build and manage merchant networks.
Thursday, March 13, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

NGOs Launch New Tool to Map Water and Sanitation in Kenya’s Largest Slum

Source: Veture Burn

With an estimated 1.2-million residents, Kibera is Africa’s second largest and one of the biggest slums in the world with some of the poorest living conditions
Thursday, March 13, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

$23M Award at Notre Dame Fights Malaria and Dengue Fever

Source: Phys Org

The grant is the second largest award to a single grant proposal in Notre Dame's history.
Thursday, March 13, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Improving Global Health, One Text at a Time

Source: Relief Web

AMREF Kenya receives matching grant for mHealth Project
Thursday, March 13, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

Financial Literacy an Imperative for Inclusion in Nigeria

Source: Leadership Nigeria

Of the adult population, 17 per cent are served by informal institutions and 46 per cent are completely excluded. These 58 million unbanked Nigerians are the primary targets of Financial Inclusion.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

Impact Investing: Building on Strong Foundations in the U.S.

Source: Huffington Post Impact

Impact investing in the U.S. has a rich history and established communities of practice -- spanning community finance, socially responsible investment, micro-finance, housing finance, environmental finance, small business finance in underserved "emerging domestic markets," sustainable development and, more recently, social finance, which explicitly ties investment returns to social outcomes using tools like "pay for success."
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

Financial regulators increasingly skeptical of Bitcoin

Source: ars technica

Two financial regulatory bodies have issued new Bitcoin-related warnings and sanctions this week. The first came from FINRA, the financial industry’s self-regulatory organization. It published an investor’s note on Tuesday saying that “selling and using bitcoins carry numerous risks.” The second warning came Monday from a Texas state financial regulator. That document is an emergency cease-and-desist order against Balanced Energy, an energy firm taking investment in bitcoins.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

OPINION: Islamic Microfinance can eradicate poverty in Muslim world

Source: Pakistan Observer

Half of global poverty resides in Muslim world while the Muslim population is 24% of the total global population, if the dangerously increasing poverty in the Muslim community is not controlled soon then it will be alarming. These concerns were addressed by Muhammad Zubair Mughal, Chief Executive Officer, AlHuda Centre of Islamic Banking and Economics while speaking at Islamic Microfinance Symposium held at Tunis and organized by Tunis Association of Islamic Economics with association of Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and German Donor Agency GIZ.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mobile payment solution from First Bank of Nigeria Ltd secures U.S. $12 Million from Gates Foundation

Source: All Africa

In apparent move to boost the nation's financial inclusion drive, the mobile payment solution from First Bank of Nigeria Ltd, Firstmonie has secured a grant of $12million US dollars from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to execute the project.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

Non-communicable diseases: Despite their rise, but public knowledge still low

Source: Africa Science News

According to Dr Richard Ayah, the principal investigator and lecturer at University of Nairobi, disclosed at a recent meeting of health experts in Nairobi that a study they conducted in Nairobi disclosed that most people do not know what non-communicable diseases are.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

Haitians sue UN over cholera epidemic

Source: Yahoo! News

Nearly 1,500 Haitians filed a lawsuit Tuesday seeking compensation from the United Nations for victims of a cholera outbreak that health officials say has killed more than 8,000 people and sickened over 600,000 in the impoverished Caribbean nation.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

Big Pharma still betting on "messed up" Indian drugs market

Source: Reuters

Global drugmakers have had a nauseous time in India's $14 billion market. Prices have dropped and valuable patents have been overruled as the authorities strive to make medicines affordable for the 70 percent of people living on less than $2 a day.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

FinScope reveals significant increase in financial services inclusion in South Africa

Source: EPROP

FinMark Trust annual FinScope South Africa 2013 survey results reveals a significant increase in financial inclusion compared to last year from 28.9 million people in 2012, to 30.7 million in 2013.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 — No Region Specified

Malaria spreads to higher altitudes due to global warming

Source: Catholic Online

Malaria, the deadly mosquito-borne virus that brings debilitating chills and fever in many parts of Southeast Asia and Africa may soon seek higher altitudes on account of global warming, experts warn. New research has found that people living in the highlands of Africa and South America are at an increased risk of catching malaria during hotter years.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

AmEx Pushes Tech to Bank the Unbanked

Source: FinExtra

America's unbanked and underbanked spent $78 billion on fees and interest in 2011; $30 billion in overdraft fees. Meanwhile, 93% of branch closures over the last five years have been in low-income neighbourhoods.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

United Bank for Africa Strengthens E-banking Channels to Boost Financial Inclusion

Source: Business Day Online Nigeria

The Division head said that UBA’s innovative e-Channels have accorded the customers triple gains of financial control, convenience and security.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 — South Asia

Microfinance Institutions Network Seeks Early Implementation of Mor Panel Report in India

Source: The Financial Express

"Our customers are demanding number of banking services from MFIs. They want services beyond loan offerings, including insurance, invesment opportunities, inter-bank trading services, where banks find it difficult to provide services due to various reasons," said Alok Prasad, chief executive officer (CEO), MFIN.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

Making Money While Making The World A Better Place

Source: Forbes

For those who may not be as familiar with the term, impact investments “are investments made into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate a measurable, beneficial social and environmental impact alongside a financial return.”
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 — Sub-Saharan Africa

The 'Cursed' Women Living in Shame in Uganda

Source: BBC News

Many people in rural areas believe in witchcraft over medical science says Dr Florence Nalubega, a gynaecologist at Kitovu Hospital in Masaka.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 — South Asia

Experts Say: India and Africa Should Form Working Group on Healthcare

Source: Business Standard

ndia and the African countries should mull forming a working group to explore healthcare cooperation, stakeholders and experts said on Monday.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 — No Region Specified

US Provides $40 Million to Tackle Infectious Diseases

Source: Sci Dev Net

Within five years, the CDC aims to help 30 at-risk nations cope with the “perfect storm of vulnerability”, Tom Frieden, the centre’s director, said during a press briefing preceding the announcement.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 — Europe & Eurasia

German Company Wins Inaugural EU Prize For Innovative Vaccine Technology

Source: RTT News

The European Commission offered the prize, worth EUR2 million, to encourage inventors to overcome one of the biggest barriers to using vaccines in developing countries: the need to keep them stable at any ambient temperature.
Monday, March 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

India pledges new low-cost drugs to developing nations

Source: Zee News

Stressing that India's pharmaceutical technology was appropriate for Africa, Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said India is committed to making available to developing countries newer generation life-saving drugs also.
Monday, March 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Health insurers go for bottom of the pyramid

Source: Standard Digital

It is now possible for low-income earners to flash a smart card when seeking treatment from selected Government hospitals, faith-based health facilities or public health centres. This follows the entry of several underwriters into the low-income medical insurance business.
Monday, March 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Women in Kenya stay united to reap benefits from micro-loans

Source: Coastweek

Women in Kenya are reaping huge from micro-lending institutions because of their ability to form groups and stay united. The women, majority who are in groups commonly known as chamas, are the biggest beneficiaries of micro-loans in the East African nation.
Monday, March 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Coca-Cola invests in 'Engine' initiative to help young women in Nigeria

Source: FoodBev

The Coca-Cola Company and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) have joined forces to bolster the educational and economic opportunities of more than 10,000 marginalised girls and young women in Nigeria.
Monday, March 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Turning Africa’s Healthcare Challenges Into Opportunities

Source: Ventures

Most people are familiar with the problems facing the health sector in Sub-Saharan Africa faces: poor infrastructure, a shortage of healthcare workers, a lack of capacity in the existing workforce and substandard quality to name a few. These problems, coupled with inadequate public sector spending on health, have pushed the private sector to the front in the development of the African health sector.
Monday, March 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

This Social Enterprise Runs A Global Crowd-funding Platform; Eyes $3-5 Million In Series B Funding

Source: Business Insider

Welcome to Milaap Social Ventures, a social enterprise operating from Bangalore and Singapore, which has developed an online crowd-funding platform to help the unbanked and the underprivileged masses in India. Simply put, Milaap (it means 'connecting together' in Hindi) offers an RBI-approved micro-lending platform that allows the organisation to receive 'loans' from all over the world.
Monday, March 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Smartphone app reads blood oxygen levels to hospital standards, advances to global obstetrics tests

Source: Phys.org

Private and public investors are injecting $2 million into a Canadian mobile health innovation that offers hope of preventing thousands of deaths and improving the health of expectant mothers, newborns and children throughout the developing world.
Monday, March 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

The Wello Smartphone Case Puts Health Data in the Palm of Your Hand

Source: Computerworld

You may already know Wello as a personal training web service we reviewed last year, but now a health-tracking gadget called Wello wants to pull a Facebook Paper and make you forget all about that other Wello. Oh, well. (Sorry.)
Monday, March 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Digital financial inclusion is vital to India’s poor citizens, says Gates

Source: Live Mint

India is poised to lead the world in connecting the poor to bank accounts through mobile phones. This is an ambitious goal. According to the World Bank, only 35% of Indians use formal financial services right now. But India can get to 100%, and if it does hundreds of millions of Indians will be able to create better opportunities for themselves and their families.
Monday, March 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Mobile banking flourishing in Pakistan

Source: Daily Times

The recent years have witnessed a revolutionary concept of social and economic services among them financial services landscape that are fast changing with introduction of innovative mobile payments (m-payment) systems.
Monday, March 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

Digital survey could change global impact investing priorities

Source: MaxImpact

Impact investing is all about meeting needs. It places capital in businesses that provide human essentials such as water, power, food, education and healthcare. At the same time, it helps meet the needs of the planet and its non-human inhabitants by fostering business approaches that protect ecosystems and conserve natural resources.
Monday, March 10, 2014 — No Region Specified

MFIs entering new phase of stability, higher profits, says Care Ratings

Source: moneycontrol

Care Ratings today said micro finance sector is entering a phase of stable regulatory environment, higher availability of credit and increased profitability. The agency believes that MFIs are slowly coming out of the damage inflicted by the Andhra Pradesh crisis of 2010.
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