Category Archives: Economy and Society

Using Innovative Finance to Scale Up Corporate Base-of-Pyramid Initiatives

Did you know that 2.5 billion people worldwide are disabled? The disability in question costs billions of dollars in productivity every year and reduces the economic opportunity and personal safety of those afflicted. For all of the danger and the trouble that this physical trait causes, only $37 million dollars annually actually goes to helping people who need prosthetics to correct for their refractive error. The issue in question is, of course, uncorrected poor vision. This common phenomenon is a prime example of a problem that base-of-pyramid market financial innovation is poised to solve in a more efficient, effective, and wide reaching way than ever before. Jayanth Bhuvaraghan and Jasjit Singh of Essilor International and non-for-profit INSEAD Social Entrepreneurship Program (respectively) detail how financial innovation has great potential to be harnessed for good. Read more>>

The Absolutely Necessary Role Of Startups In Urban Neighborhoods Trying To Stage A Comeback

What do cities as different as Miami, Denver, and Philadelphia have in common with one another? The answer, according to Khai Tran of Forbes, is in the way they are approaching to frame their urban revitalization. Typically, cities pin a resurgence upon the acquisition of large businesses to move in and offer a number of low wage jobs in exchange for huge amounts of taxpayer credits. Rather than doing this, Tran maintains that the quickest and most effective panacea for economic rejuvenation is entrepreneurship and startups. Not only are these small businesses paying above the national average and amassing diverse teams of locally sourced talent, but they are breathing life and culture back into cities that were almost written off. Read more>>

Accounting for Time

What is time worth? We all know the simple equation: “time equals money”. In traditional corporate America we forget the equivalency of the two. If you’ve ever wondered, “Is this worth my time?” you are in good company. Ashley Whillans and Hanne Collins of  Harvard Business School decided to do the math, assigning a happiness value to time through the survey and subsequent statistical analysis of the self-reported happiness of  working adults in the United States. The results of their study may convince you to take those extra vacation days. How much happiness equivalent could you be losing by focusing on money over time? Read more>>

 

Porsche launches on-demand subscription for its sports cars and SUVs

Subscription-based car programs are increasingly an option automakers are looking to change up ownership and deal with the changing demands of customers.Porsche’s new Passport subscription program could be just what you’re looking for. The on-demand short-term rental program allows anyone in Atlanta to subscribe for $2,000 per month, which will provide access to eight models of Porsche including the 718 Boxster, Cayenne and Cayman S at launch. Read more>>

Startup Accelerators Have Become More Popular in Emerging Markets — and They’re Working

oct17-02-168261058For decades, we have heard that emerging markets are poised for huge growth that will yield even greater prosperity. But a long list of obstacles always seems to be getting in the way of realizing this potential. Startup accelerator programs have been touted as one path to faster progress. Much like their famed Silicon Valley counterparts, emerging market accelerators aim to boost startups’ potential for raising growth capital. This research shows that the effects of acceleration are remarkably similar for entrepreneurs across countries and even continents. Read more>>

Unsexy Flexport scores $65 million as software eats shipping

Freight forwarding is a multi-trillion industry of moving boats, trucks and planes full of stuff across the world. Historically, freight forwarding has been handled by a mess of paper manifests, emails and spreadsheets. Flexport is both a traditional freight forwarding service and a data provider. It has just raised a $65 million Series B at a valuation well over $300 million to make freight forwarding programmable. Read More>>