- Part 1: Leveraging Mobile Ubiquity at the BoP
- Part 2: Examples of Mobile Money Transactions
- Part 3: Examples of Information Exchange
This is the third installment in our series on mobile transaction systems and their contribution to the fight against poverty. First, we introduced this series with an overview of mobile penetration rates and the mobile phone’s power for impact. Then, last week, we highlighted the first transaction system– mobile money – and the benefits such transactions offer to users. This week, we will look at the different ways mobile phones facilitate exchanges of information … read more
Last week we introduced this series that will highlight the different ways mobile phones can combat poverty. This week, we will discuss the first example of a poverty-fighting mobile transaction system. Mobile money transfer services provide financial inclusion benefits for the unbanked, and are the most heralded impact of mobile penetration.
Mobile Money Transactions
The ID team spends a lot of time discussing and studying the mobile technology industry. The driving force behind our focus on mobile technology in emerging markets has been the explosive growth of mobile phone penetration rates and the potential for mobile transaction systems to reduce poverty.
Our most popular post on this blog is “Mobile Phones at the Base of the Pyramid: Accessibility and Affordability” published in June 2010. In that post, … read more
A few months ago, we highlighted EGG-energy’s innovative pricing and distribution strategy for the Base of the Pyramid. If you like EGG-energy‘s business model or discussing BoP strategies in general, then we recommend attending EGG-energy’s upcoming brainstorm session in Cambridge, MA, hosted by the Development Innoventures Salon. The session will open the conversation around three main topics:
- Pricing Strategy
- Marketing and Sales Strategy
- Growth and Distribution Strategy
Convinced you have the entrepreneurial mettle to improve the lives of millions of people around the world? Accelerate your venture with mentorship from 50 seasoned entrepreneurs and practitioners, ranging from a Time Magazine Hero of the Planet, to the CTO of HP, to an entrepreneur who’s lifted over 19 million farmers out of poverty. In the process, form relationships with 20 impact funds including Invested Development and our friends Acumen Fund, Good Capital, … read more
Every week we speak to entrepreneurs who are eagerly seeking financing for their start-ups. Despite the start-up moniker, many have been struggling for months and even years. They have probably passed up jobs, ended significant relationships, faced the ridicule of family and friends, and lost sleep over bills and bank accounts. They are, in a word, desperate.
It’s important for investors to recognize this. Look past the calm exterior, the confident pitch face, the … read more
In a recent post, we discussed an innovative pricing model for the Base of the Pyramid with the example of Simpa Networks. This post introduces another innovative pricing model that demonstrates affordability a little differently, along with an innovative distribution model. EGG-energy, Simpa Networks, and the other companies in our portfolio understand that the customers they serve need basic affordability and accessibility.
EGG-energy has a growing number of charging stations and distribution… read more
Social entrepreneurs face many challenges: finding the right impact investor, working with government regulations in emerging markets (or lack thereof), meeting the needs of citizens at the Base of the Pyramid, designing products and services that are profitable and scalable. Most importantly, social entrepreneurs must make their products and services affordable. The world’s poorest citizens have no savings and little access to formal credit, but that is not to say that they do not have … read more
We’re looking for innovative, social-minded, and forward-thinking innovators with exceptional ideas that will change the lives of the world’s poorest citizens in emerging markets. It may seem like a difficult task, but we’re confident that innovative technology is the solution.
Our latest initiative is the Boston Emerging Technology Accelerator (BETA). Together with the BSP Fund and the Blue Sky Foundation, we have created BETA to support and commercialize technology focused on alternative energy and … read more
by: Miguel Granier
We invest in … read more
A long-time impact Angel Investor recently told us that he thought firms like ID and First Light Ventures are helping professionalize the field of seed-stage impact investing. His comment was based on the more systematic diligence and portfolio management that comes with paid investment management. In his experience, the only people funding high impact start-ups where individuals that lack the time, focus, and (let’s face it) personal motivation to make sure each investment has real … read more
>by Sean Smith
There is no longer any doubt that mobile phones are a groundbreaking tool in the fight against poverty. Today, mobile phones are enabling credit and financial transactions for the unbanked, increasing the efficacy of HIV medicines, providing access to markets and enabling long-distance communications from previously unconnected rural areas.
Yet most of these solutions are currently focused on utilizing traditional cell phone technology to bring about social change: namely SMS and … read more
>FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Unreasonable Institute Empowers the Public to Choose the Next Wave of High‐Impact Social Entrepreneurs
Global donations will determine which entrepreneurs gain admission to esteemed mentorship program
BOULDER, Colo. –– Starting Jan. 20, 45 social entrepreneurs will showcase their ventures in an online platform called the Unreasonable Finalist Marketplace (http://marketplace.unreasonableinstitute.org/). For 50 days, people from around the world are invited to vote with their wallets on the most viable ventures. The first … read more
>Twenty eleven might have started nearly a month ago, but the real work for ID has just begun. We started our 3rd calendar year in a BIG way; launching the BSP Fund with our partner Blue Sky Projects and kicking off two multi-month research projects with MIT’s SEID program and a group of student interns from Northeastern. We are also welcoming three new key players to the ID team: Christina Tamer as Marketing Intern, Serrano … read more
In our last post we introduced our Pareto Holdings concept. Pareto is a socially oriented holding company that swaps Preferred Stock shares in nescient (but profitable) impact ventures for its own Common Shares. The thought is that a large holding company’s Common Shares will be increasingly more liquid than a single investors Preferred Shares in an early stage company.
Over the last few posts we have been sharing our thoughts on the industry in general. We started ID last year because there was a need in the market for seed investment capital for impact-oriented startups. We thought the solution was simple. Let’s do what they did in Silicon Valley! Then came reality.
Silicon Valley has throngs of experienced industry executives with deep pockets fresh off their latest IPO. They not only throw money at … read more