Issue 4: Spring 2009Subscribe via RSS

Sustainability key to economic survival

by Sarah Rich, The Australian, 22 April 2009. (Reported by Xander Wheen) The value of sustainable business practices has been thrown into question on the back of the Global Financial Crisis. Some believe that a down market begets a singular focus on profit maximisation. This article from The Australian traces a series of high profile individuals who tend to disagree. Sustainability in business remains key to Tyndall’s Roger Collison, Insurance Australia Group’s Mike Wilkins, and … Continue reading

Posted in Issue 4: Spring 2009 | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

A Partial Marvel: Microcredit may not work wonders but it does help the entrepreneurial poor

The Economist; 18 July 2009. Has microcredit delivered on its promise to lift borrowers out of poverty? Academics have had a hard time finding evidence to answer this question. Part of the challenge of studying the impact of microcredit is selection bias. A scientific survey requires that you compare those who get a microcredit loan with a control group of similar people facing the exact same economic hardships and external market constraints. Microcredit loans may … Continue reading

Posted in Issue 4: Spring 2009 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Does Microlending Really Help the Poor?

The BBC World Service; radio broadcast; 29 July 2009. To listen to the voices of borrowers, lenders, and regulators engaged in microcredit BBC radio reporter Jo Fidgen goes to the streets in Zambia. She uncovers the “debt trap” into which some Zambian borrowers have fallen. According to one microcredit borrower who runs a sewing shop: “After I pay off the interest on my loan every month, there is no money left to invest in my … Continue reading

Posted in Issue 4: Spring 2009 | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Emerging Markets, Emerging Models: Market-Based Solutions to the Challenges of Global Poverty

The Monitor Group; March 2009. Although microfinance may be the best known example of serving low-income groups through a market solution, many other models are now emerging to serve a large and growing population of poor people. Half the world’s population lives on less than $2 per day: that is 2.6 billion people. During the last few decades of increasing aid the livelihood for those at the “bottom of the pyramid” has not gotten better. … Continue reading

Posted in Issue 4: Spring 2009 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Book Review: Creating a World Without Poverty

Book by Muhammad Yunus. Reviewed by Barbara Merz. Creating a World Without Poverty could easily have been a retrospective. After all, its author has plenty to reflect upon. Instead, the book is unmistakably forward-looking. This book presents a compelling vision for the future of capitalism. It envisions a market where social businesses emerge to address social issues. Muhammad Yunus could have rested on his laurels when he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. … Continue reading

Posted in Book Reviews, Corporate Responsibility, Ethics, Issue 4: Spring 2009, Social Enterprise, Social Investment | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Financial Inclusion, Market Failures and New Markets: Possibilities for Community Development Finance Institutions in Australia

by Ingrid Burkett and Belinda Drew, A Foresters Community Finance Occasional Paper; October 2008. Foresters Community Finance of Queensland argues that the lack of access to affordable capital is the major challenge to the growth of the fourth sector in Australia. In this report, authors Burkett and Drew broaden the traditional definition of financial exclusion in Australia to include not just individuals and families but also groups and organisations such as civil society organisations, social … Continue reading

Posted in Issue 4: Spring 2009 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Spring 2009: Social Impact Investment

Welcome to the fourth issue of Knowledge Connect, CSI’s quarterly review that seeks to share insights from publications on social impact. This issue features articles about the rapidly evolving field of social investment. Social investment has started to take hold in at least three sectors of the economy: 1) finance, in the form of microcredit loans, 2) health, with investments in immunisation bonds, and energy, through support for clean technologies. Typically, social investment funds aim … Continue reading

Posted in Issue 4: Spring 2009, Issue Front Page, Social Investment | Tagged | Comments Off

Investors’ Perspectives: A Time for Community Bonds

by Maureen Stapleton, Alliance; June 2009. Alliance magazine is a quarterly journal aimed at informing philanthropists and social investors about the latest trends in the field worldwide. It may be a sign of the growing popularity of new financial instruments pitched to philanthropists, that the magazine is now featuring financial products. This article provides a brief introduction to yet another social investment opportunity: community bonds. According to the author, community bonds are in use in … Continue reading

Posted in Issue 4: Spring 2009 | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

The Phoenix Economy: 50 Pioneers in the Business of Social Innovation

Volans Ventures Ltd, London, UK; 2009. If you are looking for concrete examples of social enterprise, flick through this report. “The Phoenix Economy” features fifty examples of social innovation pioneers including businesses, financial investment houses, and governments. According to the report, the chosen fifty “create value blends across the triple bottom line agenda.” Some of the pioneers are household names including Google, General Electric, and GlaxoSmithKline pharmaceuticals. Many examples deal with the environment. For a … Continue reading

Posted in Issue 4: Spring 2009 | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

Microfinance Banana Skins 2009: Confronting Crisis and Change

by David Lascelles and Sam Mendelson, Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation; June 2009. For a clear risk report on the microfinance industry, the folks at the Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation give us “Microfinance Banana Skins 2009.” The “banana skins” in their title refers to potential risks, as in the classic cartoon slip-up. This report spotlights current risks associated with the microfinance industry. The risks are identified and ranked by investors, … Continue reading

Posted in Issue 4: Spring 2009 | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off