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How Mobile Networks Empower Low-Income Entrepreneurs

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

I’ve been intrigued by the amazing ways that people are using mobile phones in the developing world. From agriculture to banking to education, mobile connectivity is providing all sorts of services that would otherwise be out of reach, and helping to lift thousands of people out of poverty.

But one of the most interesting things about these mobile efforts is how many of them are aiming not just to provide direct services, but to help entrepreneurs help themselves – and thereby build stronger economies.

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Digital Britain: How Big Tech Can Help Start-Up Clusters

March 27, 2012 at 6:15 pm PST

Recently I was chatting with a couple of people at an event in Shoreditch about what makes a creative industry cluster — such as Silicon Alley and the East London Tech City — flourish and grow.  We concluded that there are some key ingredients required to fully develop the community; the presence of Big Tech, legal, accountants, VC’s, and of course start-ups operated by savvy entrepreneurs.

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Bringing the Cloud to the Developing World

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

The evolution of the cloud is big news within mature tech markets in North America, Europe and Asia. But, what will cloud services mean for developing countries? More than you might think.

At its core, the cloud promises lower costs for information and communications technology (ICT) and ubiquitous access to information and applications. These benefits look attractive to any business, but for companies in developing economies — companies less likely to have the capital for large, modern ICT infrastructures — the cloud could provide an enormous benefit.

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Great Expectations: Onward and Upward

As a young man growing up in the East End of London during the 1970s, I recall that some parents had low expectations for their children. Their thinking, our child probably won’t amount to much, given their environment. Why? Prolonged poverty can deplete the human spirit of any hope for a better future.

Throughout its history, the area was known as an affordable haven for poor people and immigrants. East London had developed rapidly during the 19th century. The neighborhoods surrounding the West India Docks the East India Docks and Mill Wall Dock — along the banks of the river Thames — were once thriving communities of tradesmen and merchants.

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Digital Britain: Creative and Tech Talent Landscape

July 12, 2011 at 1:30 am PST

Right in the middle of Shoreditch, and a landmark for the Silicon Roundabout community, TechHub has turned one year old.  With the captivating Elizabeth Varley and the Helm, supported by Mike Butcher and Mike Marcus (plus many others), TechHub is ready to celebrate its second year of operations.

I attended part of their celebrations this past week, and I was most definitely filled with a refreshing optimism for the future of this blossoming tech cluster within the East End of London.

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