Archive for February, 2007

Kickstart: The Tools to End Poverty

February 27, 2007

KickStart is a non-profit organization that develops and markets new technologies in Africa. These low-cost technologies are bought by local entrepreneurs and used to establish highly profitable new small businesses. They create new jobs and wealth, enabling the poor to climb out of their poverty forever.

KickStart’s Impacts To Date

Over:

  • 50,000 new businesses started
  • 800 new businesses per month   
  • $52 million a year in new profits and wages generated by the new businesses
  • New revenues equivalent to more than 0.6% of Kenya’s GDP and 0.25% of Tanzania’s GDP.

PumpPump Manual 

Above is a picture of Kickstart Super MoneyMaker Pressure Pump.

To learn more check out thier site Kickstart

Wizzit

February 23, 2007

A while ago I read an article about a company called Wizzit, which offers secure and efficient payment mechanism to the unbanked and under-banked people in South Africa.  Wizzit uses a “pay-as-you-go” model in which it does not charge any monthly fees.  

I contacted the company on my behalf saying that I was interested in implementing Wizzit’s mechanism in Guatemala. Unfortunately, they try to avoid third parties since costs need to be as low as possible (which is completely understandable).  

Wizzit it a great example on how such an innovated method can help the poor. I truly admire the company values and philosophies. I will pitch this idea to several banks in Guatemala. Hopefully we can implement such a method to empower the poor financially.   Click here to go to their webpage.

Dr. Muhammad Yunus

February 19, 2007

Dr. Muhammad Yunus (born June 28, 1940) is a Bangladeshi banker and economist. He is famous for his successful application of the concept of microcredit, the extension of small loans to entrepreneurs too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans. Yunus is also the founder of Grameen Bank. In 2006, Yunus and the bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, “for their efforts to create economic and social development from below.”[1] Yunus himself has received several other international honors, including the ITU World Information Society Award, Ramon Magsaysay Award, the World Food Prize and the Sydney Peace Prize. He is the author of Banker to the Poor and a founding board member of Grameen Foundation.

Dr. Muhammad Yunus is an extraordinary example of how one can create economic and social development from below. He achieved this by founding the Grameen Bank which is a microfinance organization that makes small loans (microcredits) to the impoverished without collateral.  

It makes you wonder why Central America hasn’t developed such a system.  The benefits for the impoverished are immensely. If done correctly it can have a positive domino effect diminishing poverty, economic growth, increasing life expectancy, equality, rights, etc.  

Hopefully one day we will be able to achieve such a system of micro credits and create a bank for the poor people. I want to share some previews of Dr. Muhammad Yunus videos.

Banker to the Poor

February 19, 2007

Dr. Muhammad Yunus describes his three-decade-long effort to extend micro-credit (small loans for self-employment). Grameen Bank, his creation, now makes small loans to seven million families in Bangladesh, and has helped almost half of them work their way out of poverty. This is the story of his life-long struggle and accomplishments, told in his own words.  

Building Social Ventures

February 19, 2007

Dr. Muhammad Yunus shares his strategies for building businesses dedicated to the social good. He describes the founding and structure of Grameen Bank, Grameen Phone and other companies he has created on behalf of the poor.

Creating a Poverty-Free World

February 19, 2007

Dr. Muhammad Yunus offers his insights into what it will take to completely eradicate global poverty. He invisions a new kind of capitalism, and demonstrates how his creations, Grameen Bank and the Grameen Family of Companies, offer viable solutions to previously intractable challenges.

Why “Social” Entrepreneur?

February 16, 2007

Just as entrepreneurs change the face of business, social entrepreneurs act as the change agents for society, seizing opportunities others miss and improving systems, inventing new approaches, and creating solutions to change society for the better. While a business entrepreneur might create entirely new industries, a social entrepreneur comes up with new solutions to social problems and then implements them on a large scale.

What is a Social Entrepreneur?

February 16, 2007

Social entrepreneurship is the work of a social entrepreneur. A social entrepreneur is someone who recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial principles to organize, create, and manage a venture to make social change. Whereas business entrepreneurs typically measure performance in profit and return, social entrepreneurs assess their success in terms of the impact they have on society. While social entrepreneurs often work through nonprofits and citizen groups, many work in the private and governmental sectors. 

Guerras y Huelgas: El Mapa de los Riesgos que Corre el Planta

February 8, 2007

Coming out of a reunion at a Hotel I came across a magazine called “La Clave”. As I was reading the magazine I found an article about the risk of doing business in the world.

Here is the map of Central America:

Mapa de los resigos que corre el planeta

 

To see the rest of the world clik The Risk of Doing Business in the World 

Light Up The World Foundation

February 6, 2007

I was reading an article about the potential of light-emitting diode (LED). So, I went on to investigate more on the subject  few minutes later I ended up  at the Light Up The World Foundation (LUTW)  website which is an international humanitarian organization dedicated to illuminating the lives of the world’s poor. It is the first organization to utilize solid-state lighting technologies to bring affordable, safe, healthy, efficient, and environmentally responsible lighting to people currently without access to proper lighting. LUTW is the world’s leader in the advancement and diffusion of this technology for development purposes and remains globally active in setting standards in this field.

This Foundation is a great example how renewable energy can have great results. So far it has lit up more than 14,000 homes in 42 countries.

Light Up The World Foundation (LUTW)