Weekly Review February 5-11

This week, we read about growing entrepreneurial opportunities in our target investment markets: India, Africa, and Latin America. The movement of human and financial capital in (and out) of emerging markets is increasing steadily thanks to changing demographics and blossoming economies. This presents exciting opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs alike.

MIT Partners With Startup Accelerator Wayra, Helping Create Silicon Valleys Across Lain America” by Lauren Landry on BostInno

Latin America’s fastest growing business accelerator program, Wayra, announced a partnership with MIT NextLab.  The new program, “Wayra Entrepreneurship at MIT” provides opportunities for MIT students to learn about and help overcome the challenges that entrepreneurs face in launching a business in emerging markets. In return, Wayra entrepreneurs gain access to talent, training, and mentorship.

Look Beyond India’s ‘Poor Man’s’ Market” by Megha Bahree on Wall Street Journal India Real Time  Blogs
The WSJ Blog reports on new research from consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). PwC advises that the biggest market potential is the global emerging middle class, the “Next 4 Billion.” This market segment includes people in India, China, Indonesia, and countries throughout Latin America and Africa. Currently, the market segment consists of about 2.3 billion; by 2021, the market will grow to 4 billion with a purchasing power of more than $6 trillion. However, it will be important for companies to create innovative solutions that are adaptable in markets where there is a lack of existing infrastructure.

Africa is Open for Business” by Ndubuisi Ekekwe on Harvard Business Review Blog
The continuous growth in Africa is supported by “entrepreneurial energy,” as Ekekwe describes it. Despite political instability, Africa’s increasing education standards, a skilled diaspora, intra-Africa trade and growing infrastructure, offer opportunities for entrepreneurs in Africa.  Most notably, the promising growth sectors are energy, minerals, agriculture, and technology.

Top Trend in Impact Investing 2012 #9: A Gap in Seed Investing in India Gets Closed” on Village Capital Blog
In a direct response to the growing number of early stage entrepreneurs in emerging markets, many investors are beginning to look at earlier stage investments. The Village Capital team points to this, in India particularly, as a top impact investing trend for 2012. First Light’s Mark Hand reports that there are a number of VC-like funders entering the market and offering seed stage investments around the $300K mark, which is often all that’s required for SMEs in emerging markets to get started. Check out the Village Capital blog as they count down ten impact investing trends for this year.