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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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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Annual State of Education Report (ASER) 2012

Pratham’s Annual State of Education Report (aka ASER) for 2012 is out. You’ll find it here. Odds are you have an allergy towards massive PDF documents or you are the quintessential procrastinator. So what’s a man to do? Well… you wait for the good Krupakar Manukonda to read the report and start tweeting. Update: he has started …

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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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Indian Social Enterprises Getting a Silicon Valley Makeover

TechCrunch reports that Bangalore/Seattle-based Unitus Seed Fund got a fresh infusion of $8 million from a bevy of A-list investors – from Silicon Valley and Bangalore. I believe the entry of the Silicon Valley investors represents a major inflection point for the Indian social enterprise ecosystem. A major inflection point — not because there’s an …

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Most Indian men are Cambridge Men

At some point in your school (or college) years, you might have heard of this joke. Following the annual debate competition between Oxford University and Cambridge University, a few male members of both contingents were ‘cracking the porcelain’ at the restroom. The Oxford man finished first. As he meticulously washed his hands, he noticed the Cambridge …

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A look at LGT Venture Philanthropy’s India Investments

LGT Venture Philanthropy is the philanthropic / impact investor arm of Princely Family of Liechtenstein/LGT Group. LGT Group is the largest privately owned private banking and asset management group in Europe and the Family Office of the Princely Family of Liechtenstein. Until this morning, I didn’t know that Lichtenstein was even a country. Assuming that many of this blog’s …

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