Recent Posts

Social-Based Lending: Using Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for Financial Good

A forward-looking company is radically changing the rules of the game in the financial industry. This is the view advanced by Lenddo, a social enterprise started in 2011 with the goal of economically empowering the middle class in developing countries. Founded by Jeff Stewart and Richard Eldridge, two businessmen who formerly worked in the financial and technology industries, Lenddo is based in Hong Kong and has a data science team in New York City. Despite a small staff of only 66, the company has grown to more than 380,000 members in the Philippines, Colombia and Mexico in the past two years. This extraordinary success is due to the company’s innovative online model.

The F-Word [Failure] Comes to the World Economic Forum

Let’s face it, failure sucks. Failing is neither particularly fun nor particularly rewarding. And yet entrepreneurs do it all the time. According to a recent study from Harvard, three-quarters of venture-backed start-ups fail. At the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions last week, failure and the resilience required to bounce back from it were discussed as necessary requirements for future entrepreneurs.

Increasing Population – the Elephant in the Forum

Population was on the mind of many attendees of the World Economic Forum’s 7th Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dalian, China this week, even if the word was rarely spoken. The theme of this year’s meeting was “Meeting the Innovation Imperative.” Implicit to the theme, however, was the fact that the imperative for innovation is driven in large part by a bloated global population that reached seven billion in 2011 and is on its way to nine billion by 2050.

China’s Next Growth Challenge

On September 8th, 2013, the Financial Times invited a rather special guest to write an op-ed. Li Keqiang, the Premier of China, described his vision for the nation’s future economic development. Li wrote that the country needs to carry out an important round of reforms, a follow-up to those started by Deng Xiaoping more than thirty years ago. Li’s set of reforms, often called “Likonomics” by Western observers, comprises various policies designed to sustain economic growth, notably through an opening-up of the private sector.