Big plans are in store to spread the Internet across all of Africa. However, despite the hype surrounding Silicon Savannah in Kenya, the digital economy on the continent is but a strand in the World Wide Web. What obstacles must be overcome so that a true Internet revolution takes hold there? Innocent Munzaneya’s version of the global e-commerce site eBay, called Cyamunara (which means “Auctions”), seems like a great idea on the surface. Munzaneya decided to create the platform, which is in Kinyarwanda (Rwanda’s most-spoken language), after seeing people visit the capital city of Kigali from far away just to attend auctions.
The 16th International Business Forum took place this past October in Istanbul. It hosted many guests from emerging economies, a number of whom, naturally, were from Turkey. In terms of business, the best thing the republic can do for itself is ensure that its sizable youth population gets greater access to entrepreneurship. ISTANBUL, Turkey – As with other areas in the surrounding region, entrepreneurship has become a coal-hot issue for the Turkish government. In its eyes, it stands as the opportune nation for conducting business, as it boasts a modest corporate tax rate, low entry barriers, sky-high levels of tourism, a premium location, a close to double-digit growth rate and, most important, a very large, tech-inclined youth populace.
Resource efficiency in industrial processes is a key part of corporate social responsibility policies in developed countries. For almost 20 years, institutions have been promoting the same behavior in developing countries, arguing that investing in sustainable industrial processes is cost-effective, whatever the scale. How well does the Guatemala National Cleaner Production Centre’s work illustrate this point?
As various initiatives try to bring electricity to the globe’s most remote places (by way of solar energy), profitability looks to be blocking the light they bring. ISTANBUL, Turkey — Salinee Tavaranan has a quite determined face when she talks about solar energy and inclusive business. Nothing surprising, though—the entrepreneurial Thai woman is committed to both. She runs a local business installing solar panels in the off-grid villages of a mountainous area near the Myanmar-Thailand border. It’s one of the many remote rural places, still untouched by electricity, that compose “the last mile.”
SunSawang, her company, used to be a nongovernmental organization that aimed to implement and repair solar systems the Thai government bought in 2004 for the remote countryside.
Social projects that once depended on aid from donor agencies are shifting to what are known as “sustainable businesses.” But to stay sustainable, they need funding. Fortunately, as social issues arise, investors have changed how they invest capital. Instead of the biggest profit revenue, they are looking for the biggest impact—not to mention the healthiest snacks. ISTANBUL, Turkey — Somewhere in the middle of the lush, green mountainous region of Ecuador, groups of farmers are harvesting tons of potatoes, beetroots, parsnips and plantains. But instead of selling them as raw crops, they convert them into certified healthy snacks.
“What do you mean with ‘green’?” Emin asks while driving me to Atatürk Airport in Istanbul. This young Turkish taxi driver tells me (with his limited English, and even more limited body language, given he’s driving) he does not know what environmental taxes are, while pointing out the dozens of cars stacked in traffic on the right side, traffic he managed to avoid by maneuvering.
As a way to reverse harrowing global youth-employment numbers, youth entrepreneurship is seen as a bright light at the end of a very long tunnel. But how viable of a solution is it? ISTANBUL, Turkey — The numbers are terrifying. According to recent research conducted by The Economist, around 24.4 percent, or about 290 million, of the world’s young people are currently unemployed. No wonder they’ve been dubbed the Jobless Generation.
Mini-Series: Impact Istanbul features conference highlights, round-ups, interviews, Q&A’s, and speaker profiles. It is part of our International Business Forum 2013 live coverage. This time, a look at smallholder farmers: Over 2 billion people in the world depend on small-scale agriculture for their livelihood. How can inclusive business help smallholder farmers? After visiting Ethiopia, where coffee originates, Martin Elwert and Robert Rudnick became fascinated with the complexity and diversity of coffee aromas.