Is the no-frills traveling MBA program (CREAM) working?

[Editor’s Note: In the early days of this blog (circa Apr 2011), I wrote about  CREAM – a unique no frills traveling MBA program targeting rural and social entrepreneurs.  Last month, I had a chance meeting with CREAM Founder (Ranjeet Ranade). He told me that in the past two years, CREAM had gained considerable traction in …

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A different kind of Indian city

[Editor’s Note: I started this blog in March 2011. My preliminary plan was to research, learn and write about the Indian social enterprise space for at least a year.  What did I intend at the one year mark? I framed the answer in the form of two possible outcomes: a) Future career as a writer/blogger …

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Less Jugaad, More Real Innovation

[Editor’s Note: The World Bank’s Development Marketplace (DM) is a competitive grants program that surfaces and funds innovative projects with high potential for development impact that are scalable and/or replicable. This is Part 3 of a 3-part series from my guest blogging in Bhopal (early May). Previous episodes here and here.] Sometime last year I was waiting at the …

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World Bank India Development Marketplace: Finalist Review Part 2

[Editor’s Note: The World Bank’s Development Marketplace (DM) is a competitive grants program that surfaces and funds innovative projects with high potential for development impact that are scalable and/or replicable. This is Part 2 of a 3-part series Part 1 here.] I met two excellent organizations working on agricultural extension yesterday and one of them (Under The …

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World Bank India Development Marketplace: Finalist Review Part 1

[Editor’s Note: The World Bank’s Development Marketplace (DM) is a competitive grants program that surfaces and funds innovative projects with high potential for development impact that are scalable and/or replicable. Through a combination of grant funds and strategic technical advisory support, the grant aims to catalyze innovative social enterprise solutions delivering a range of social and public …

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Paul Polak, SunPower and good news for poor farmers

Paul Polak is an accomplished man and a very busy man.  After spending a few decades researching and trying out various innovations to lift poor farmers out of poverty, he wrote Out of Poverty in 2008. Making the treadle pump affordable to low income farmers was among his earliest invention. IDE (International Development Enterprises) is possibly …

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A farmer’s son deliberates on the cooperative decision

[Editor’s Note: Last year, I attended the Anantpur Cooperative Federation Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Gutturu village of Anantpur district (Andhra Pradesh). Conversations with a few farmers and related observations provided valuable insights into the workings of a farmer cooperative and the healthy dynamic between Center for Collective Development (CCD) and the cooperative. This is a (11-months delayed) …

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Why you should attend Sankalp Forum 2013

By now they should have changed the venue of Sankalp Forum from Mumbai to Bangalore. I attended the third edition of Sankalp in 2011. The only reason I missed it last year (and will sadly be missing this year’s edition too) is because it’s in Mumbai, and not  Bangalore. Is there any other metro that …

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Simpa Networks Closes $2 million Series B round

[Update (Apr 8, 2013): Simpa’s CEO Paul Needham wrote back with a few details. ADB joins other investors such as Schneider Electric, DOEN Foundation, Invested Development, Hilti Foundation, Village Capital and some HNI angel investors that either joined this round or participated in earlier rounds.] Bangalore-based Simpa Networks recently closed a $2 million Series B round …

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