Design for the world’s poor

BY MAL WARWICK As I pointed out in last week’s post, the urgent needs of some 2.7 billion people now living on $2 a day or less present enormous business opportunities—together, I believe, the signature investment opportunity of the 21st century. …

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Pay-as-you-go technology for the rural poor

“How M-KOPA unlocked pay-as-you-go solar in rural Kenya” is a recent article for the website Gigaom by Katie Fehrenbacher about the growth of a fascinating rural solar business that uses Kenya’s home-grown banking-by-text system, M-PESA. The cost reported in this article (US$0.46 per …

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And the winner is . . .

Rob Lavoie of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, has won the Net Impact $5,000 Business Solution to Poverty Challenge. His entry was the unanimous choice of the three judges, Paul Polak and Mal Warwick, coauthors of The Business Solution to Poverty, and …

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The Design Revolution is underway

By Mal Warwick A lengthy article in yesterday’s New York Times (“Solving Problems For Real World, Using Design“) called attention to the sea change underway in the field of design.  Not so very long ago, designers trained for specialization in a …

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Picture of the Week 2013-10-17

Designing products that enable poor farmers to boost their income requires a commitment to ruthless affordability and, in many cases, simplicity that will make it possible for them to be manufactured locally. For example, a simple product such as the …

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Picture of the Week 2013-9-30

Sustainable economic development is the Holy Grail of development specialists worldwide, yet so few efforts to attain it have focused on the right people and the right methods. Poor people must invest their own time and money in raising the …

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Picture of the Week 2013-09-13

Living Goods manages a network of microentrepreneurs in Uganda who go door-to-door to educate consumers on critical health issues and sell high-impact health products such as bed nets, deworming pills, antimalaria treatments, safe water filters, treatments for diarrhea, and fortified …

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