How a money-tracking tool is helping businesses grow in India

Women in Avadi, a suburb of the city of Chennai in southern India, try InVenture's phone-based accounting tool InSight. Photos courtesy of InVentureWhile growing up in northern India, Shivani Siroya says she encountered entrepreneurs on a regular basis. Now, she's helping them track their finances in order to boost their businesses.It all began in 2008 while she was working for the U.N. Population Fund.

Is "Ambient Data" from Social Media Channels Useful for Funders?

Last week the Packard Foundation hosted a convening on “Data Informed Philanthropy,” an effort to explore and build digital systems that enable philanthropies to be truly data-informed.This term means having effective systems for collecting, analyzing, and making sense of datato inform and enable greater impact with funding.Here’s a small list of articles and blog posts that help frame this topic, including how the term “Data-Informed” was using in my recent book, “Measuring the Networked Nonprofit.”The convening used participatory methods to id

On World Toilet Day UN Women calls to increase access to basic sanitation

On World Toilet Day, UN Women is calling attention to the urgent need to increase access to toilets stressing that women are disproportionately affected by the lack of basic sanitation. This undermines their dignity and safety from sexual and gender-based violence.Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment supported the construction of "ecosan" toilets in schools in rural areas of Armenia. Photo: Armenian Women for Health and Healthy Environment Today, 2.5 billion people still do not have access to proper sanitation, increasing their

Looking Good and Doing Good

It appears the store with the red soles has a good soul, as well. Now on display at Christian Louboutin Design District, view photographer Hugo Tillman’s work where proceeds from the sales go toward the Grameen Foundation — an organization committed to freeing the world from abject poverty. In 2011, Tillman sojourned to India to photograph the progress of impoverished women bettering their lives through microfinance loans.

Woosh Water is reinventing the drinking fountain

Water conservation is a huge concern in Israel and the rest of the Middle East. An interesting startup in Israel called Woosh Water is helping conserve water and reduce plastic consumption by reinventing the public drinking fountain with a high-tech and networked solution. Woosh Water stations allow users to refill water bottles and reduce the consumption of disposable plastic water bottles. The stations can be used by anyone, but the system works best when users join the network. After joining online, users receive a small keychain sensor to login when they refill their bottle.

We need new ways to measure poverty, UN meeting told

Experts say using a single figure of $1.25 to measure poverty fails to address its complexities, and a wider index is neededPoverty experts say a multidimensional index will provide a more nuanced picture. Above: a slum in Manila, Philippines. Photograph: Val Handumon/EPAThe international community needs to move away ...

Why the Middle East is Beating Out the World in Female Tech Entrepreneurs

Why the Middle East is Beating Out the World in Female Tech Entrepreneurs© Wall Street Journal It was recently revealed that 35% of tech entrepreneurs in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region are women, a surprising statistic, considering the global norm of 10%. Nicknamed the "start-up ...

Newest YouTube user to fight a takedown is copyright guru Lawrence Lessig

Illegitimate or simply unnecessary copyright claims are, unfortunately, commonplace in the Internet era. But if there's one person who's probably not going to back down from a claim of copyright infringement, it's probably Larry Lessig, one of the foremost writers and thinkers on digital-age copyright. Lessig has been ...

How Women Drive Innovation and Growth

Women represent a growth market more than twice as big as China and India combined. They control $20 trillion in global consumer spending, own or operate between 25-33% of all private businesses, and earn an estimated $13 trillion. This "power of the purse" is growing rapidly; expectations are that it will swell to $18 trillion by 2014. For companies that figure out what women want, the future looks rosy indeed. But CTI research reveals that, while most companies target women as end-users, few effectively leverage the talent most likely to ...