Is economic growth always good?

By Paul Polak and Mal Warwick To end poverty, must we exhaust all the world’s resources? Some readers of our book, The Business Solution to Poverty, remarked that we had assumed the carrying capacity of the planet Is unlimited, since we …

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Is scale the only answer to poverty?

The Don’t Bother Trilogy: If you don’t understand the problem you’ve set out to solve from your customers’ perspective, if your product or service won’t dramatically increase their income, and if you can’t sell 100 million of them, don’t bother. …

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Lifting themselves out of poverty

Paul Polak and Mal Warwick’s award-winning book, The Business Solution to Poverty, highlights 20 “takeaways” that encapsulate much of the book’s essence. Today we feature the fifth of those takeaways. Future posts will include others.  Poor people have to invest their own …

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“Technology can fix India’s problems”

By Vivek Wadhwa The following article was first published on May 12, 2014, in the Washington Post. Though we don’t share the author’s unalloyed optimism about the potential of technology, we’re reprinting the piece here as it represents an important emerging …

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How Mobile Tech is Transforming Africa

By Sarah Martin For years analysts have said that “Africa is Rising,” but now it’s really happening. With an expanding population and steady economic growth, social enterprise in Africa is today seeing real returns on investment. This “double-bottom line” success …

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A treadle pump success story

Editor’s note: International Development Enterprises (iDE), founded in 1981 by Paul Polak, pioneered the commercial introduction of the foot-operated treadle pump to poor farmers in the Global South. In the 1980s and 90s, iDE sold 1.5 million pumps — about half …

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