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A Question of Scale for Off-grid Energy Access

The Northern state of Uttar Pradesh was described as dazzling cities surrounded by an inky black sea, in an Economist article titled “Out of the Gloom” in 2013. The vast gap of access to energy in India is symptomatic of the gap between these islands of prosperity amongst seas of paucity (Dreze and Sen, 2013), where conservative estimates suggest that 300 million people do not have access to reliable energy. The Government, at both the Central and State level, is trying to bridge this gap. During the presentation of the annual budget for 2017, the Indian Government has promised complete electrification by 1st May 2018, allocating over 48 billion rupees, or approximately US$ 750 million, towards electrifying rural villages in India.

In contrast to Government-led intervention, in the densely populated states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, a number of ‘Impact Enterprises’ have used market-based solutions to bridge the gap for the ‘Base of the Pyramid’ (BoP) through renewable energy. They range from those that provide lighting products, including Solar Home Systems, to small-scale Direct Current (DC) pico-grids to larger Alternating Current (AC) mini-grids. Each solution is relevant to a different aspect of the energy access ladder.

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Are you #Businessworthy?

The annual Business for Peace Summit brings together leaders from around the globe across business, society and politics, to advance their vision: business leaders must be “businessworthy,” i.e. they must work in an ethical and responsible way to create value for both business and society.  This May, IIX’s founder, Prof Durreen Shahnaz, was invited to receive the prestigious 2017 Oslo Business for Peace Award.

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Impact Forum is coming to Singapore

IIX and Shujog are hosting our biggest Impact Forum to date on June 25 and 26 in Singapore as a culmination of our pioneering achievements thus far, including the upcoming launch of Impact Exchange – Asia’s first social stock exchange.

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THE MEANING BEHIND THE BRAND

CORUM PRIORITIZES CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Luxury brands are under more scrutiny than ever before. Increasingly, customers are demanding to know not just what a global niche luxury watch brand like Corum values, but also how it stands behind these values. “Today’s consumer likes to go beyond the marketing tag line to see what values the brand truly stands for,” says Corum’s Regional Managing Director Deepa Chatrath. What does this trend mean for corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives?

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SHUJOG IN BANGLADESH

In April 2011, Shujog sent its research team, Magnus Young and Shlesha Thapaliya, to Dhaka, Bangladesh as part of its impact assessment mission. The team was continuously reminded of the importance of leveraging local knowledge to empower people in a broad-based sustainable way – a primary principle underpinning all of Shujog’s impact assessment work. What did local entrepreneurs have to say?

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ACTIVE SOLUTIONS

HONG KONG ADOPTS IMPACT INVESTING TO CURB SOCIAL PROBLEMS

Hong Kong is home to diverse parties willing to invest financial, intellectual and human capital in innovative ways to achieve social impact. “No one will deny that Hong Kong has crowds of enthusiastic businessmen, corporations and people who want to give a helping hand to society,” says Francis Ngai, founder and CEO of Social Ventures Hong Kong. Why does social enterprise play a critical role in Hong Kong and China?

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INVESTING IN ASIA

VENTURE PHILANTHROPY NETWORK TO LAUNCH IN SINGAPORE

The Asia Venture Philanthropy Network (AVPN) plans to help the venture philanthropy (VP) space across Asia grow with its new Singapore-based platform set to launch in 2012. According to AVPN, experience, capital and knowledge exchange between its members can multiply social impact. Why does AVPN believe Asia is more than ready for VP and impact investing?

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