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Inclusive Business and Impact Investing
The first and highest rated scoop.it blog on sustainable and inclusive business models that do well by doing good in emerging markets. The curations are mine.
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A World without Oil: Companies Prepare for a Fossil-Free Future - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International

A World without Oil: Companies Prepare for a Fossil-Free Future - SPIEGEL ONLINE - News - International | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

A few cents more and a liter of super unleaded gasoline will cost German drivers €1.80 (around $9 a gallon). That means that someone driving a BMW 3 Series will have to pay over €110 ($150) to fill up the tank, with its 63 liter (17 gallon) capacity.

But Norbert Reithofer, the CEO of BMW, seems surprisingly relaxed for an executive whose company's products depend on gasoline and diesel. "One could see this as a threat," Reithofer says. But the auto executive actually views the rising price of fuel as "an opportunity." He is convinced that his company will in fact "derive a benefit from this."
The Munich-based automaker has invested billions of euros in fuel-saving technologies, such as efficient engines, brake energy recovery and ultra-lightweight carbon fiber car bodies. BMW is now considered a leader in the field, and the company's record sales in 2011 suggest that this is something its customers are willing to pay for. And that, Reithofer believes, is why the company will ultimately benefit from high prices at the pump.

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A New Silicon Valley? Tech Hubs Spring Up In Africa

A New Silicon Valley? Tech Hubs Spring Up In Africa | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

When thinking of tech hubs, Africa doesn’t exactly spring to mind. But the continent has had some amazing spurts of open innovation, with 45 collaborative hubs now open.

Africa faces some hurdles in developing information technology. Even though global Internet penetration is about 32%, it’s lower in Africa, where only around 11% of the population have access to the Internet through a computer or mobile phone. Within the continent, too, there are enormous divides. While a country like Nigeria has 28% of its population online, Ethiopia has less than 1%. But all that is changing: Internet usage in Africa has grown faster than on any other continent over the past decade.

So what exactly do tech hubs do? In the African continent, they train, connect, and encourage innovation. Here’s a closer look:

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BRICS exchanges start futures aimed at wealthy individuals - Investment Insights | Moneyweb

BRICS exchanges start futures aimed at wealthy individuals - Investment Insights | Moneyweb | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

Exchanges in the biggest emerging economies began trading futures based on each other’s benchmark stock indexes today as rising wealth spurs demand for new investment products.

The five members of the BRICS Exchanges Alliance will cross-list futures on Brazil’s Bovespa Index, Russia’s Micex Index, the BSE India Sensitive Index, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index, the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index and South Africa’s JSE Top40 Index. Traders engaged in arbitrage will be able to buy and sell futures based on the same index on multiple venues, boosting liquidity, according to Mumbai-based BSE Ltd.

The products may appeal to the growing number of wealthy individual investors in developing nations who want to access foreign markets, said Bruce Weber, dean of the Lerner College of Business and Economics at the University of Delaware in Newark. Per-capita gross domestic product in emerging markets has jumped 104% during the past decade to about $6,980, according to the Washington-based International Monetary Fund.

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Inclusive business: moving beyond philanthropy

Inclusive business: moving beyond philanthropy | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

The world is experiencing a shift of power from the traditional industrialised countries to the so-called developing countries, already home to 80% of the world's population and with a combined GDP that surpasses that of the rich countries. By 2050, more than 3 billion additional people will be living in what is now described as the developing world.

While substantial progress has been made in recent decades, poverty and inequity remain critical challenges for sustainable development and global stability. Poverty has many dimensions: about a third of the world's population lives on less than $2 a day and many suffer from malnutrition, lack of access to health services, sanitation, electricity, safe drinking water, shelter or transportation.

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Big Mac index

Big Mac index | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

The Economist’s Big Mac index is based on the theory of purchasing-power parity: that, in the long run, exchange rates should adjust to equal the price of a basket of goods and services in different countries. Our basket consists of one McDonald’s Big Mac, and we’ve compared it with the average price in America, $4.20. According to our burgernomics, the Swiss franc is 62% overvalued: the exchange rate that would equalise the price of a Swiss Big Mac with an American one is 1.55 francs to the dollar; the actual exchange rate is only 0.96. The cheapest burger is found in India, where it costs just $1.62. Big Macs aren’t sold in India, so we’ve taken the price of a Maharaja Mac, made with chicken instead of beef.

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What is Brazil's Most Promising Sector? - Forbes

What is Brazil's Most Promising Sector? - Forbes | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

Brazil already represents the largest ecommerce market in Latin America. Brazil’s online population, 78 mi, is larger than the total population of Spain, France or UK. E-commerce has been skyrocketing in Brazil, average growth of 32,5% in the last two years and expected 26% growth in 2012. However, the use of mobile phones to access the web is still in its infancy: online traffic generated from mobiles and tablets represent only 1.5% of all web traffic in the country. Today, Brazilians are still using their phones only to talk and to send texts. Tomorrow they will use their phones to surf the web and shop as well.

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Delivering value to slum businesses

Delivering value to slum businesses | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

Millions of small businesses exist in slums worldwide. Most of them do not have formally recognised addresses, which makes it difficult to send and receive goods. An address can enable local stores to rise above poverty by connecting their business to a larger market. TNT's commitment to act as a socially responsible company triggered TNT Express, one of the world's express delivery companies, to explore the possibilities of using mobile phones to optimise slum deliveries.

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Transforming business education in Pakistan | DAWN.COM

Transforming business education in Pakistan | DAWN.COM | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

There is indeed fortune lying at the bottom of the pyramid. C. K. Prahalad, a renowned business professor who was born in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, made this point in his book, The fortune at the bottom of the pyramid. He wrote: “Collectively, the world’s 5 billion poor have vast untapped buying power.

 

They represent enormous potential for companies who learn how to serve this market by providing the poor with what they need. This creates a win-win situation: not only do corporations tap into a vibrant market, but by treating the poor as consumers they are no longer treated with indignity; they become empowered customers.”

 

 

I would argue that one needs not to rely solely on corporations to serve the needs of those at the bottom of the pyramid. In the presence of an enterprising culture, the untapped value can be captured by the young indigenous entrepreneurs who are intimately aware of the constraints and opportunities that lie in a resource-constrained market place as the one existing in Pakistan. There is therefore a need to educate the youth about entrepreneurship and value creation.


Via Daniel Oporto Calderón
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Our success in transforming commodity markets will determine nature's fate

Our success in transforming commodity markets will determine nature's fate | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

The success of governments and big corporations in eliminating environmental degradation from the products we consume will play a critical role in determining the fate of the world's remaining wild places, said a group of experts speaking at a panel during the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship [related posts].

Meeting in Oxford last week, the forum included WWF, a major conservation group; Greenpeace, an environmental activist group that is known for colorful campaigns to reform corporate practices; Unilever, a consumer products giant that is one of the world's largest commodity buyers; UNICA, an association that represents 140 Brazilian sugar cane producers; and Rankbank, the world's largest agricultural bank, with operations in several key tropical forest countries. The panelists discussed and debated how the world can protect forests in the face of growing demand for agricultural land due to rising population and surging consumption.

"In the 20th century we solved the population problem but in the 21st century we still have to solve the consumption problem," said Jason Clay, Vice President of Market Transformation at WWF, noting that population growth rates have slowed dramatically since the 1970s and are expected to peak around 2050. "In the next 40 years we need to produce as much food as we produced in the past 8,000."

 

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Behind the Beautiful Forevers « Acumen Fund Blog

Behind the Beautiful Forevers « Acumen Fund Blog | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

In places where government priorities and market imperatives create a world so capricious that to help a neighbor is to risk your ability to feed your family, and sometimes even your own liberty, the idea of the mutually supportive poor community is demolished. The poor blame one another for the choices of governments and markets, and we who are not poor are ready to blame the poor just as harshly.

It is easy, from a safe distance, to overlook the fact that in under-cities governed by corruption, where exhausted people vie on scant terrain for very little, it is blisteringly hard to be good. The astonishment is that some people are good, and that many people try to be…

___

Thus ends Katherine Boo’s extraordinary book Behind the Beautiful Forevers, an account of the lives of people living in the sprawling Annawadi slum outside Mumbai’s bustling airport, in the shadows of the city’s sparkling luxury hotels. If you care about poverty and what it means to be human, then put this at the top of your to-do list.

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Inclusive Business Checklist: Reaching the Rural Consumer - The Practitioner Hub

Inclusive Business Checklist: Reaching the Rural Consumer - The Practitioner Hub | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

Inclusive businesses wanting to market to low-income, rural consumers are increasingly using a village entrepreneur model for the ‘last mile’ of their distribution channel. However, although this model is growing in popularity, its use does not always guarantee success.

“Reaching the Rural Consumer” is a two-page Checklist which offers a series of factors for consideration, from the perspective of all stakeholders to help determine whether or not the village entrepreneur (VE) model is an appropriate solution to the challenge of reaching rural consumers.

The companion publication, “The ‘last mile’ challenge: the limitations of the village entrepreneur model” looks in more detail at circumstances where the ‘village entrepreneur’ model does and doesn’t work and why it may not be a universal solution to the ‘last mile’ challenge.

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Booming bamboo: The next super-material?

Booming bamboo: The next super-material? | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

Bamboo is being hailed as a new super material, with uses ranging from textiles to construction. It also has the potential to absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide, the biggest greenhouse gas, and provide some of the world's poorest people with cash.

Bamboo's image is undergoing a transformation. Some now call it "the timber of the 21st Century".

Today you can buy a pair of bamboo socks or use it as a fully load-bearing structural beam in your house - and it is said that there are some 1,500 uses for it in between.

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How Investing Turns Nice People Into Psychopaths

How Investing Turns Nice People Into Psychopaths | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

It's conventional wisdom in business circles today that corporate directors should "maximize shareholder value." Corporations supposedly exist to serve shareholders' interests, and not (or at least, not directly) those of executives, employees, customers, or the community. However, this shareholder-value dogma begs a fundamental question. What, exactly, do shareholders value?

Most shareholder-value advocates assume that shareholders care only about their own wealth. But it is increasingly accepted that the homo economicus model of purely selfish behavior doesn't always apply. This possibility provides a challenge to the dominant business paradigm of "maximizing shareholder value:" the concept of the prosocial shareholder.

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From Banker to Service Designer: Changing the way we design for Financial Inclusion

From Banker to Service Designer: Changing the way we design for Financial Inclusion | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

We believe that the key barrier to financial inclusion for the poor is one of design—of how financial products are created and positioned in the market, which consumers are targeted and how delivery channels are utilized. As a channel alone, mobile banking offers significant opportunities for banks and mobile operators to reach down-market. But the poor will only benefit from this channel if they can access appropriate and affordable products. This can only happen if providers in this sector approach the problem of financial inclusion like service designers, and look at the current experience of banking in poor communities.

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What Maslow Missed - Forbes

What Maslow Missed - Forbes | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is one of the most popular models in leadership writing. Developed in 1948, the hierarchy of needs is pervasive across many disciplines, including business, management, marketing, parenting technology, education and psychology.

Simple, orderly, intuitively sensible, cognitively appealing and offering order out of chaos, the hierarchy of needs has only one problem: it is plain, flat, dead wrong.

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What is Inclusive Business? A new publication from the Business Innovation Facility - The Practitioner Hub

What is Inclusive Business? A new publication from the Business Innovation Facility - The Practitioner Hub | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

A joint BIF / IAP publication, based on our previous 'Briefing Note 1', this document draws on concrete examples from the BIF and IAP portfolio and sets out the basic concepts, business models, challenges and solutions that inclusive business practitioners need to understand. Whether you're looking for a practical introduction, a quick refresher or a concise document to share with others, this Spotlight is a good place to start.

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SBA backs domestic impact investing fund Thomas Kostigen's Impact Investor

SBA backs domestic impact investing fund Thomas Kostigen's Impact Investor | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

SANTA MONICA, Calif. (MarketWatch) — The U.S. Small Business Administration is branding itself with impact investors across America.

Impact investing typically takes place outside the U.S. borders in developing countries where social enterprises are funded with the intent of creating social effect while receiving financial returns. Through its Small Business Investment Company (SBIC), the SBA is making it known that impact investment opportunities exist domestically, as well.

The SBIC has licensed the first, national impact investment fund via Citi Community Capital and SJF Ventures, among other investors, who are capitalizing the targeted $75 million fund.

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Saudi Billionaire to Invest $600 Million in Ethiopia Cooking Oil

Saudi Billionaire to Invest $600 Million in Ethiopia Cooking Oil | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

An Ethiopian company majority-owned by Saudi billionaire Mohammed al-Amoudi plans to invest $600 million over two years to produce edible oil, its general manager said. Horizon Plantations Ethiopia leased a 20,000-hectare (49,400-acre) plot in the northwestern Benishangul-Gumuz region last month to grow groundnuts, as part of a government drive to boost commercial agriculture, Jemal Ahmed said in an interview on April 3 in the capital, Addis Ababa.
Ethiopian-born al-Amoudi, who is ranked by Forbes magazine as the world’s 63rd-richest person and was worth $12.3 billion in March, owns 80 percent of the company, according to Ahmed.

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OxfordJam: Could social investment be a 'luxury item'? | Social enterprise network | Guardian Professional

OxfordJam: Could social investment be a 'luxury item'? | Social enterprise network | Guardian Professional | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

Social enterprises should consider pitching social investment as a luxury item to speed up the growth of the market, an expert in social enterprise finance suggested yesterday.

Paul Cheng, former acting head of social investment business Venturesome, said that the social investment market had moved on little in ten years and that more needed to be done to change the way social investment was viewed by the mainstream.

"Perhaps social enterprises have been thinking too rationally. You can't always count on real value to persuade people, it's about emotions. We need to use behavioural economics psychology more," said Cheng, speaking at the Skoll fringe event OxfordJam

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The Electric Car Of The Future Will Be Powered By Eggshells

The Electric Car Of The Future Will Be Powered By Eggshells | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

Batteries store the bulk of the electrical energy that powers electric vehicles today, but they’re limited by how quickly they wear out. Batteries are helped along by capacitors--electrical devices that charge up and drain quickly and can be recharged over and over again, but hold comparatively much less charge. So for some years now, the hunt’s been on for an ideal crossbreed of batteries and capacitors--an electrical device that will store a lot of charge, like a deep bowl of soup, but is also swift to fill up and drain. Scientists found it--they just had to break a few eggs.

That’s because, it turns out, chicken eggshells may offer a solution. A group of Canadian scientists have tested and shown that the membranes from eggshells, toasted to 800 degrees, make for surprisingly efficient supercapacitors that could one day be used in electric vehicles, maybe even in cell phone and laptops.

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Helping Social Entrepreneurs Succeed: Lessons From 10 Years of the GSBI

Helping Social Entrepreneurs Succeed: Lessons From 10 Years of the GSBI | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

We have just selected and will soon announce the 10th Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI™) cohort. The GSBI helps field-based social entrepreneurs build sustainable and scalable ventures that deliver essential goods and services to poor communities around the world such as safe drinking water, off-grid clean energy, access to healthcare, education, and livelihood training opportunities.

Social impact is much more challenging to measure than financial results, so we use a combination of metrics to gauge our success in helping social entrepreneurs build sustainable and scalable enterprises that positively impact the lives of the poor. Ninety percent of the ventures who have completed the entire GSBI are still in existence, and more than 50 percent are scaling, which we define simply as revenues growing faster than expenses. And collectively, with the caveat that there are diverse forms of impact -- some life-changing and others helpful tools in changing lives -- the GSBI alumni have positively impacted the lives of 74 million people. Eighty percent of them reference the GSBI as an important factor in their success.

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Solazyme and Bunge Announce Oil Production Facility in Brazil | Caelus Green Room

Solazyme and Bunge Announce Oil Production Facility in Brazil | Caelus Green Room | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. & WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Solazyme, Inc. (NASDAQ: SZYM) (“Solazyme”), a renewable oil and bioproducts company, and Bunge Global Innovation LLC (“Bunge”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bunge Limited (NYSE: BG), a global agribusiness and food company, announced today that they and other Bunge subsidiaries have signed definitive agreements forming a Joint Venture (“JV”) to build, own and operate a commercial-scale renewable tailored oils production facility adjacent to Bunge’s Moema sugarcane mill in Brazil. The JV, which will operate under the name Solazyme Bunge Produtos Renováveis Ltda., will have an expected annual production capacity of 100,000 metric tons of oil. The facility will utilize Solazyme’s renewable tailored oil production technology, coupled with Bunge’s sugarcane supply and processing capabilities, to produce sustainable tailored triglyceride oils for use in oleochemical and fuel applications in the Brazilian domestic market. Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

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Peru: The Only Nation in the World Hitting the Sustainability Sweet Spot

Peru: The Only Nation in the World Hitting the Sustainability Sweet Spot | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

Worldwatch Institute has released its latest version of the State of the World report (now in its 29th annual edition), plugging it with the headline "Time Running Out to Ensure Sustainable Prosperity for All." Indeed.

Like every edition of this report, it's a dense thing, interesting and compelling. But also probably more than the average TreeHugger reader has time or inclination to wade though. Which is why it's good that Worldwatch now has a less-wonky but no less compelling new website to accompany the report: Moving Toward Sustainable Prosperity.

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How to profit from the expanding Brazilian middle class (hint: not with EWZ)

How to profit from the expanding Brazilian middle class (hint: not with EWZ) | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it
The rise of Brazil’s middle class over roughly the past decade is nothing short of remarkable.  Prior to Fernando Henrique Cardoso’s administration in the late 90’s, Brazil’s economic history was fraught with tales of woe.
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GOOD.is | Are the Richest Americans Also the Best Educated? (Raw Image)

GOOD.is | Are the Richest Americans Also the Best Educated? (Raw Image) | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

The latest data from the U.S. Census´s American Community Survey paints a fascinating picture of the United States at the country level.  GOOD.is looked at educational achievement and the median income of the entire nation, to see where people are going to school, where they are earning money, and if there is a correlation.

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