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Poor leap-frogging the rich?

Just read an intriguing Mother Jones article on the adoption of solar power in India’s slums. The two solar startups profiled in the article? Bangalore-based Simpa Networks and Bangalore-based Pollinate Energy. Here’s another interesting nugget – the co-founders of Simpa are two Americans and one Canadian while the co-founders of Pollinate are Australian. Australia vs. …

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Will Poole, on the 10 commandments of pitching BOP startups

[Editor’s Note: A few weeks ago, I had an engaging coffee chat with Unitus Seed Fund‘s (USF) Srikrishna Ramamoorthy and Eleanor Horowitz. The bulk of our discussion was on early stage social enterprises (USF’s sweet spot) and brainstorming on social entrepreneurship’s ‘top of the funnel’. If you are a current (or aspiring) social entrepreneur, you definitely …

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The Ugly Indian Chronicles Volume 13: Close Encounter of the Babu Kind

Last evening, I visited the The Ugly Indian Facebook page after a long time. While I was sleeping, they’ve apparently continued doing what they do best, you know, beautifying Bangalore and changing people’s behavioral patterns. The latest iconic street that received their makeover was Commercial Street. It’s all Mr. Manivannan’s fault that I’m writing this …

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Mentor or advisor? What do you need for your enterprise?

[Editor’s Note: Ennovent, an early stage social investor fund which morphed into an accelerator of innovations for sustainability in low-income markets, recently hosted a gathering of entrepreneurs and mentors. The insights from the gathering were gleaned into an article which their Communications Manager (Perzen Patel) has shared with me. How mentors are different from advisors and …

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The Last 500 Feet

[Editor’s Note: Paul Polak, social entrepreneur and author of Out of Poverty, wrote this highly informative narrative of the problems (and some proposed solutions) in the rural transportation area (what he terms as the ‘last 500 feet’) with stories from Orissa to Uganda to Bangladesh to Nepal to Somalia to Zambia and back to (Eastern) …

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