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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.
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The Business of Water · Environmental Management & Energy News · Environmental Leader

The Business of Water · Environmental Management & Energy News · Environmental Leader | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it
The world is dealing with a severe water crisis. Population growth and economic development continue to push water resources beyond natural limits, and demand will only continue to grow – projected to triple in the next 20 years.
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Econ4: Changing The Way We Look At Economics

Econ4: Changing The Way We Look At Economics | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

After a few years of getting a bad rap during the recession and the Occupy protests, a group of economics professors are fighting back with an organization devoted to promoting a "reality-based" study of money and markets.

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Fork in the Road Drives The Grocery Store To Food Deserts

Fork in the Road Drives The Grocery Store To Food Deserts | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

If you’ve ever tried foraging at a local convenience store or subsisting on roadside diners, you know what’s it like to live in a food desert. More than 23 million people, in fact, live in these so-called deserts, poor communities with little access to grocery stores (more than one mile away in urban areas, or 10 miles in rural areas). Many of these areas are plagued with diet-related health problems from heart disease to obesity. Solving the problem is not easy. It’s not enough to just open up a supermarket. As a 2011 study "Fast Food Restaurants and Food Stores" in the Archives of Internal Medicine shows, proximity to supermarkets is "generally unrelated to diet quality and fruit and vegetable intake" and "diet outcomes were mixed" in the areas researchers studied.

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Investment in Indonesia Soars

Investment in Indonesia Soars | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it
Foreign direct investment into Indonesia surged to a record last year in the latest sign of rising global interest in Southeast Asia's largest economy.

The data indicates Indonesia is emerging as a more serious regional competitor as Asian economies compete for foreign investment, especially at a time of weakening economic growth. The investment news came a day after Moody's Investors Service became the second major ratings firm to lift Indonesia's debt rating to investment-grade status, a move that is expected to make it easier for Indonesia to attract foreign capital.

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Local company sees energy future in seaweed

Local company sees energy future in seaweed | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it
Scientists in a cluttered Berkeley laboratory are working a bit of biochemical wizardry to transform ordinary seaweed into biofuels that promise a new source of energy for this oil-dependent nation.

The lab's research has already fueled a start-up company whose workers at a coastal site in southern Chile are farming nearly 200 acres of kelp offshore and building a pilot plant that aims to demonstrate it can scale up production rapidly as a major source of ethanol and essential chemicals in the very near future.

 

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Decentralized, Distributed and Disruptive: The New Diseconomies of Scale | Blog | NextBillion.net | Development through Enterprise

Decentralized, Distributed and Disruptive: The New Diseconomies of Scale | Blog | NextBillion.net | Development through Enterprise | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

Since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, economies of scale have ruled the day, with massive investments in power plants, pipelines, factories, transmission lines, dams, and highways to more efficiently serve the burgeoning consumption needs of the rising consumer classes. Industrial-era technologies (such as electricity, petrochemicals, and automobiles) were also closely associated with mass production, the assembly line, and centralized, bureaucratic organization, resulting in the rise of organized labor, worker alienation, and growing social stratification.

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The Impact of a Corporate Culture of Sustainability on Corporate Behavior and Performance — HBS Working Knowledge

The Impact of a Corporate Culture of Sustainability on Corporate Behavior and Performance — HBS Working Knowledge | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

Robert G. Eccles, Ioannis Ioannou, and George Serafeim compared a matched sample of 180 companies, 90 of which they classify as High Sustainability firms and 90 as Low Sustainability firms, in order to examine issues of governance, culture, and performance. Findings for an 18-year period show that High Sustainability firms dramatically outperformed the Low Sustainability ones in terms of both stock market and accounting measures. However, the results suggest that this outperformance occurs only in the long term. Managers and investors who are hoping to gain a competitive advantage in the short term are unlikely to succeed by embedding sustainability in their organization's strategy. Overall, the authors argue that High Sustainability company policies reflect the underlying culture of the organization, where environmental and social performance, in addition to financial performance, are important, but these policies also forge a strong culture by making explicit the values and beliefs that underlie the mission of the organization

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The Rich Role of Mobile Phones in Financial Inclusion

The Rich Role of Mobile Phones in Financial Inclusion | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

The mobile phone has become a useful tool in tackling the financial access deficit in many countries. M-PESA in Kenya has shown that adoption curves typical of new information-based technologies (radio,TV, mobiles, internet) can be applied to financial services. Yet M-PESA-like mobile payment schemes have only scratched the surface of what is possible. The typical mobile money user still uses it only a couple of times a month.  In a recent paper, Colin Mayer of the Saïd Business School at the University of Oxford and I argue that the real power of mobile will come when it is seen not only as a mechanism for reducing access costs but also for building new types of banking experiences.

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Argentina: why investors invest

Argentina: why investors invest | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

High quality global journalism requires investment.  Who would want to run a business in Argentina? The country (officially considered a frontier economy now by equity markets) offers risk aplenty: rules that can change at the drop of a hat, like new import regulations announced last week and a serious problem with inflation.

The government has this week accused major oil companies of operating a cartel to inflate the price of diesel. It is even suspected of messing with the price of Big Macs.

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World Bank warns emerging nations - FT.com

World Bank warns emerging nations - FT.com | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it
Developing countries should take steps to plan for a global economic meltdown on a par with 2008-09 if the European sovereign debt crisis escalates, the World Bank warned on Wednesday in its latest economic forecasts.
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Wealthy Interested In Impact Investing

Wealthy Interested In Impact Investing | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it
"Impact investing," a term credited to Antony Bugg-Levine who wrote a book on the subject, focuses on funds or companies that are specifically designed to address important problems and do good in the world.
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UN Launches “Year of Sustainable Energy for All” | Caelus Green Room

UN Launches “Year of Sustainable Energy for All” | Caelus Green Room | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Jan 16, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) - His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of the United Arab Emirates affirmed that – led by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates – God protect him — The United Arab Emirates is committed to retaining its leading role as a global energy provider through energy diversification including the adoption of renewable energy technologies.

At the opening ceremony of the fifth annual World Future Energy Summit (WFES), today, His Highness stressed the importance of the open discussions taking place at the Summit – and their role in shaping the policies that foster cooperation in international communities in order to ensure energy security, sustainable development and to help mitigate climate change. His Highness emphasized that improving the quality of life is one of the topmost goals of the leadership of the United Arab Emirates.

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Connected Agriculture: The Role of Mobile in Driving Efficiency and Sustainability in the Food and Agriculture Value Chain | MobileActive.org

Connected Agriculture: The Role of Mobile in Driving Efficiency and Sustainability in the Food and Agriculture Value Chain | MobileActive.org | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

Mobile communications can help to meet the challenge of feeding an estimated 9.2 billion people by 2050. The 12 specific opportunities explored in this study could increase agricultural income by around US$138 billion across 26 of Vodafone’s markets in 2020. This report aims to stimulate the necessary engagement between mobile operators, governments, NGOs and businesses to realise these opportunities and explore others. The greatest potential benefits can be generated by enabling mobile financial payments and mobile information provision, each delivering almost 40% of the total estimated increase in agricultural income. The systems required to deliver these opportunities are both complex and fragmented and, as such, need the collective support of key stakeholders across the agricultural supply chain. Mobile network operators are well-positioned to act as a catalyst for action. They have the technology, the distribution channels and the customer relationships to drive these initiatives forward. However, NGOs, private enterprises and governments must agree to contribute their knowledge and expertise in order to ensure the delivery of the benefits to their full potential.

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Balance Your Books Via SMS: A New Startup Brings Accounting To The Developing World

Balance Your Books Via SMS: A New Startup Brings Accounting To The Developing World | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

A lack of hard financial numbers makes it hard for western lenders and investors to work with entrepreneurs in the developing world. A new piece of software called InSight lets companies track expenses via text message, opening them up to interest from global markets.

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Clean Energy From An Unlikely Source: Lukewarm Oceans

Clean Energy From An Unlikely Source: Lukewarm Oceans | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it
The sun pours down a lot of energy onto the surface of the ocean every day. Now scientists are figuring out a way to get that energy onto the grid, with only seawater as a waste product.
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Water Resources Group Forms JV With PE Firm Unit, Targets South Asia | VCCircle

Australia-based Water Resources Group Ltd (WRG) has entered into a joint venture with Mandala Water Ltd, a wholly owned unit of the private equity firm Mandala Capital AG Fund Ltd. The JV will use Water Resources Group’s products and technologies in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. Water Resources Group will own 49 per cent in the JV, which will allow it to tap the growing South Asia desalination market for both industrial and municipal applications.
Water Resources Group is an Australian company providing advanced, low-cost, chemical-free and community-based water desalination systems.

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The Rise Of The Charitable For-Profit Entity - Forbes

The Rise Of The Charitable For-Profit Entity - Forbes | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

Various states, whose laws regulate corporate governance, have begun to catch up with the reality that not every investor or shareholder subscribes to the view that “greed is good.” Far from being a nation of Gordon Gekkos, many Americans, and millions of business owners, want to do more than simply turn a profit — although they certainly have nothing against making money. Their goals also include improving the environment and developing communities. In the classic model, these social purposes had to be pursued in a non-profit corporation. But some regulations on tax-exempt non-profits such as limitations on political and lobbying activities, attracting and raising investment capital in addition to taxes on unrelated business income have made it a less desirable business entity for some.

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The Nonprofit Quarterly | @npquarterly | New and Improved? A Historian’s Take on Trendy Ideas for the Nonprofit Sector

The Nonprofit Quarterly | @npquarterly | New and Improved? A Historian’s Take on Trendy Ideas for the Nonprofit Sector | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

 The U.S. nonprofit sector suffers from amnesia. While it’s always imperative to seek improvement, the yeoman’s work of our sector is sometimes marginalized and criticized for failing to embrace “new” ideas that lack grounding. Our dominant culture is biased toward innovation (see Cynthia Gibson’s recent NPQ article here) and away from history. We don’t sufficiently revisit the nonprofit sector’s rich experience in our country, though it demonstrates much success in terms of sustained public support and impact on major social issues.

This is according to the newly published Philanthropy in America by historian Olivier Zunz, which was recently reviewed by Phil Buchanan, president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy. Buchanan notes that “much of what we talk about as if it’s new—or not happening at all—has been going on in the U.S. for 100 years or more.”

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First Solar Sets World Record, Reaches 14.4% Thin-film Efficiency (Ecoseed.org) | Caelus Green Room

First Solar Sets World Record, Reaches 14.4% Thin-film Efficiency (Ecoseed.org) | Caelus Green Room | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it
Aiming to stay ahead of rivals in making the better thin-film solar panel, First Solar Inc., the world’s largest thin-film solar company, has set a new world record for the most efficient panels made of cadmium telluride.

The company announced yesterday that it produced a thin-film solar panel that can convert 14.4 percent of sunlight it absorbs to electricity.

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SPECIAL REPORT - Infrastructure the missing BRIC in Indonesia's wall | Reuters

SPECIAL REPORT - Infrastructure the missing BRIC in Indonesia's wall | Reuters | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

The Dutch were the last to build a railway in Indonesia and that was before World War Two. Their soldiers marched people off their land at gunpoint. The question of compensation did not arise. Now, it's the Chinese that are coming to build a new railway in Indonesia. China Railway Group has been awarded a $4.8 billion contract to build and maintain the new line in southern Sumatra, which before Dutch colonial rule in the Indonesian archipelago was the centre of a Southeast Asian maritime empire that had thriving trade links with China, the Middle Kingdom.

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Enhancing Value through Inclusive Business Strategies | CSR International

Enhancing Value through Inclusive Business Strategies | CSR International | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

CSR Research Digest – January 2012

The report highlights the Business Call to Action’s hosted workshop in New York City on the topic of creating scalable inclusive business models. The event attracted over 80 senior executives from small, medium, and multinational enterprises as well as high-level representatives from donor and international organizations and academia that were in town for the United Nations General Assembly.

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Can mobile money transform a country?

Can mobile money transform a country? | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

Two years after the earthquake, Haiti is rebuilding not just brick by brick, but click by click. The earthquake left behind a government in rubble, an economy in shambles, and a people living in makeshift camps, coping with enormous loss. Against this backdrop, the possibility of progress lives not just in the resilient spirit of the Haitian people, but also in the simple power of their mobile phones. In June 2010, USAID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Haiti Mobile Money Initiative (HMMI). This program leveraged the private sector and the ubiquity of mobile phones to bring financial services to Haitians, 90% of whom didn’t have access to a bank account before the earthquake destroyed nearly one-third of the country’s bank branches, ATMs, and money transfer stations. Put simply, mobile money gives Haitians access to banking without building a single bank. It worked. In January 2011, one year after the earthquake, HMMI awarded Digicel and its partner bank, Scotiabank, a “First to Market” Award of $2.5 million for “Tcho Tcho Mobile.” Five months ago, HMMI awarded mobile operator Voila and their bank partner, Unibank, $1.5 million for “T-Cash.” While verification is still underway, data reported by the industry indicate that there are nearly 800,000 registered users. Moreover, there are over 800 agent locations now available to serve clients. In a country where there are fewer than two bank branches per 100,000 people, this represents a near doubling of accessible financial services.

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WBCSD-SNV Alliance: Creating inclusive business opportunities by linking local communities with big business: New WBCSD Access to Energy publication launched to help scale up business action

WBCSD-SNV Alliance: Creating inclusive business opportunities by linking local communities with big business: New WBCSD Access to Energy publication launched to help scale up business action | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) today released its publication Business solutions to enable energy access for all, to coincide with the launch of the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All by the United Nations’ Secretary-General, HE Ban Ki-moon.

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ADB aids poverty reduction in Vietnam - Business - TuoiTreNews

ADB aids poverty reduction in Vietnam - Business - TuoiTreNews | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will provide 24.8 million USD in loans for Vietnam ’s policy reforms fostering the country’s inclusive growth and ensuring further poverty reduction.

An agreement to this effect was signed between the State Bank of Vietnam ’s Governor Nguyen Van Binh and ADB Country Director for Vietnam Tomoyuki Kimura, in Hanoi on Jan. 17.

The ADB loan provides parallel financing to the Poverty Reduction Support Credit framework, supported by a number of development partners, which aims to help the Government carry out a wide range of policy reforms in the areas of business development, social inclusion, natural resource management, and governance, to ensure successful implementation of the Ten -Year Socio-economic Development Strategy 2011-2020, and the Socio-economic Development Plan 2011-2015.

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The Dollar Payoff from CSR and Sustainability

The Dollar Payoff from CSR and Sustainability | Inclusive Business and Impact Investing | Scoop.it

As the number of companies implementing sustainability and other corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies has grown, an increasingly important question is how embracing these policies affects financial performance. Are environmental and social initiatives essentially efforts in public relations — and costly ones at that? Or does creating a corporate culture that focuses on these issues for employees, customers, the community, and the world at large actually add to the bottom line and the price of a share? This paper’s analysis of 18 years of data in the United States finds strong evidence that firms emphasizing these practices significantly outperform similar firms that do not, as measured by both financial and stock market returns.

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