I realized t has been a very long while since I last wrote an article for my blog. I hope to get back in the swing of things again.
To kick things off here is thought-provoking article that was in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday, Why Can’t We Sell Charity Like We Sell Perfume?
It raises several issues about how we could allow charities to operate differently and perhaps more effectively. Some excerpts from the article – recommend you read the entire piece. What do you think?
We have two separate rule books: one for charity and one for the rest of the economic world. The result is discrimination against charities in five critical areas. Continue reading →
I have been in India for the past week and one of the trends I have noticed is the increased focus on the rural market. Perhaps it is the ongoing elections or maybe the global recession, but companies across the board seem to have a renewed emphasis on targeting the rural consumer.
Culling thru the headlines there are a few key facts that seem to stand out: Continue reading →
Posted in Agricultural Development, BOP, bottom of the pyramid, India, Investment, micro-finance, microfinance, mobile technology, Poverty, Rural Consumer, Rural Development, sustainable development
Tagged BOP, Coca Cola, eJeevika, GE, India, micro-finance, mobile technology, Poverty, rural BPO, Rural Consumer, Rural Development, Social Impact, sustainable development, Wall Street Journal, WIPRO
A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, “India’s Poor Get Health Care in a Card”, outlines a program being launched in India to provide affordable healthcare to the masses. The key component of the program, which is targeted at those earning less than $100 per year, is the use of a secure smart card to store the beneficiary’s personal data and fingerprints.
By bringing together insurance companies and hospitals to address this segment, it hopes to providing healthcare to a target population that has seldom been able to afford it. The government is going to underwrite part of the costs while hospitals and insurance companies see it as an opportunity for them to extend their customer base. Continue reading →
Posted in BOP, Information Technology, international development, Politics, Poverty, Rural Development, Social Ecosystem, social Innovation
Tagged BOP, Health, Health Insurance, hospital, ICICI, India, Information Technology, National Health Insurance Program, Poverty, Rural Development, smart card, Wall Street Journal
The Gates Foundation has made some major investments in the area of finance over the past few years. Now, based on their findings and experiments, they are making a big push into the area of micro-savings. Traditionally rural finance has focused on providing micro-credit services to the poor. Only recently have some of the micro-finance organizations started extending their services to include savings and insurance. In most cases the issue has been local regulations and banking controls.
In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal – Giving a Lot for Saving a Little – the author points out several issues why savings schemes for the rural poor have not taken off. Among the issues identified:
- Strict regulations on entities that hold deposits
- Lack of remote branches that allow easy access to money
- Too costly for traditional banks to provide services for the size of accounts Continue reading →
Posted in BOP, Information Technology, international development, micro-finance, Poverty, Rural Development, Social Ecosystem, social Innovation
Tagged Ethiopia, Gates Foundation, Information Technology, Kenya, M-Pesa, MFI, micro-finance, microcredit, microfinance, microsavings, Opportunity International, Poverty, rural banks, Rural Development, rural savings, Vodafone, Wall Street Journal