By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist.
What’s the best way to accelerate economic development in the developing world? One answer is to do more to empower women. According to a 2012 World Bank report, women now make up 40 percent of the global labor force, but face major gaps in education, access to technology and economic opportunity compared to men. World Bank analysts estimate that closing those gaps could make a big difference, increasing labor productivity by as much as 25 percent in some countries.
There are many strategies for empowering women in developing countries, but one of the most practical is to provide more access to education, especially for women business-owners. Educational content provider ChangeCorp is dedicated to doing just that by capitalizing on growing access to mobile phones. I spoke with ChangeCorp’s CEO, Louise M. Guido, about some of the company’s efforts. Read More »
Tags: economic empowerment, education, entrepreneurs, mobility, sms, vni, VNI-SA, women
By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist
For those who love irony, the story of Detroit is its epitome. Here’s a city that created an industry devoted to automobiles, which, because of their widespread acceptance, become the single greatest contributing factor to people leaving cities … like Detroit.
Granted, Detroit has had to deal with other contributing factors, but the fact remains that its population is a shadow of what it once was; over the past 60 years, its population has shrunk from 1.8 million to just over 700,000.
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Tags: broadband, columbus, Detroit, economic development, entrepreneurs, ICT, urban innovation
By Chrissy Martin, Guest Columnist
Silicon Savannah. Maybe you’ve heard this term (maybe you’ve even read why it’s a misnomer.) It has been coined to describe Nairobi, Kenya, the unofficial capital of the rapid rise of technology innovation in Africa.
Kenya is home to M-Pesa, the mobile money transfer service that is used by over 60% of the Kenyan population. It is also home to the iHub, an innovation and start-up incubator which appears to be increasingly like Silicon Valley in its ability to spin off successful, profitable technology companies.
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Tags: africa, economic development, Kenya, MEDA, start ups, technology entrepreneurs, Zambia
By Akshay Thakur, Cisco UKI
The National Virtual Incubator (NVI) is one of the four pillars of Cisco’s British Innovation Gateway (BIG) programme. As you may have noticed, the hard work on BIG has begun and our three key partnerships are already producing results. These programmes are a continuation of our London 2012 Olympics legacy.
The NVI aims to create a community and a platform for collaboration between clusters of innovation throughout the UK. Such clusters of innovation are in various stages of their lifecycle and most are renown as a centre of excellence of a given sector, industry, or vertical.
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Tags: British Innovation Gateway, digital business ecosystem, National Virtual Incubator, start ups, UK
By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist
In most developed economies, people can be forgiven for taking banks for granted. After all, an ATM machine is rarely more than a couple blocks away with easy access to funds. People can easily connect with their banks online to pay bills without ever handling cash, and loans and lines of credit are readily available.
In much of the developing world, however, this infrastructure simply doesn’t exist. Thabiso Mochiko recently laid out the latest statistics on the issue at Business Day:
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Tags: africa, economic development, M-Pesa, mobile banking, mobile commerce, VNI-SA, Vodacom