Resources

Hammond, Allen L. / Kramer, William J. / Katz, Robert S. / Tran, Julia T. / Walker, Courtland / 2007. The next 4 billion.
Innovations 2 (1-2): 147-158.



In an informal suburb of Guadalajara, Mexico, a growing family is struggling to expand its small house. Help arrives from a major industrial company in the form of construction designs, credit, and as-needed delivery of materials, enabling rapid completion of the project at less overall cost. In rural Madhya Pradesh, an Indian farmer gains access to soil testing services, to market price trends that help him decide what to grow and when to sell, and to higher prices for his crop than he can obtain in the local auction market. The new system is an innovation of a large grain-buying corporation, which also benefits from cost saving and more direct market access. A South African who lives in an impoverished, crime-ridden neighborhood of Johannesburg has no bank account, cannot order items from a distant store, and is sometimes robbed of her pay packet. She finds that a new financial service offered by a local start-up company allows her mobile phone to become a solution—her pay is deposited directly to her phone-based account, she can make purchases via an associated debit card, and she carries no cash to steal. In a small community outside Tianjin, China, a small merchant whose children have been repeatedly sickened by drinking water from a heavily-polluted river is distraught. He finds help not from the overwhelmed municipal government but from a new, low-cost filtering system, developed by an entrepreneurial company, which enables his family to treat its water at the point of use.


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Appeared in

Sector: Agriculture Home Loans, Microcredit, Mobile Phone Money Sanitation Mobile Phone Money
Region: Southern Africa Central America East Asia, South Asia