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Archive for the ‘Public Private Partnerships’ Category

On June 1 – 2 2011 in New York City, the Global Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria (GBC) will celebrate 10 years since being founded by the late Ambassador Richard Holbrook.

The GBC’s 2011 Conference and Awards Dinner looks set to be an engaging event focused on the corporate world’s response to global health challenges and the identification of new avenues for future business action.

The speaker line-up is likely to inspire and provoke substantive debate, with a fantastic selection of global thought leaders, inspirational business executives, and influential government officials.

The engagement of the private sector in global health challenges is an imperative and this conference is a valuable contribution bridging together diverse stakeholders in global health to explore the avenues for future business action and engagement.

With over 500 participants from the private sector, non-profit sector, governments, and academia, for anyone working in the field of global health this is without a doubt an event to put in your calendar this year. For more information, and to register for the conference, follow this link: GBC Conference and Awards Dinner 2011

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A Practical Roadmap for Next Generation BOP

I just finished reading Next Generation Business Strategies for the Base of the Pyramid, a new book by co-editors Ted London and Stuart L. Hart. The book sets out to lay the foundations for the second generation of bottom of the pyramid (BOP) innovation,”BOP 2.0″ if you will, fundamentally shifting the framework from finding the fortune at the BOP to creating fortune with the BOP.

Lying at the heart of this crucial and innovative concept of creating fortune with the BOP is market creation, rather than market entry in and of itself. Recognizing that the world’s poor are not just four billion consumers, but also a source of entrepreneurial talent, this book sets out to redefine the boundaries of BOP business strategies with cross-sector partnerships between multi-lateral donors, development organizations, and the poor themselves, to create new markets at the BOP and tap into these markets collaboratively. A multitude of incentive structures secure the value of this new concept, one that paves the way not only for potential corporate profits in a new market, but also the the development community’s goal of poverty alleviation.

This cross-sectoral approach, and the potential of these partnerships, makes this book not just insightful reading on BOP strategies for businesses and entrepreneurs, but also for those leading and designing innovative programs in international development, recognizing that we still have a long way to go in alleviating poverty and that such inclusive growth strategies and cross-sector solutions might bring us closer towards this goal.

The insight from this new book provides a wide-reaching re-framing of the challenges and opportunities at the BOP. The highlight in reading the book however is that it’s chock-full of practical insight from both stories of success and failure of new business ventures at the BOP, with the co-editors and co-authors weaving together expertise in corporate venture development with deep practitioner experience at the BOP.

To find more information about the book and buy a copy, visit www.nextgenerationbop.com

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Hanoi, Vietnam: I recently met Trang Nguyen, a 22 year old, born around the time economic reform began here in 1986. After telling her that I had visited and worked with the orphanage where she was brought up, she shared her story and her hopes for the future with me:

Trang was born into a poor rural family in Central Vietnam. At the age of six, she was placed in an orphanage in nearby Danang. The orphanage put her through school, and when her time came to enter the workforce, a partnering international NGO, spearheaded by an Australian, sponsored her to undertake hospitality training in Ha Noi. Now at 22, she has been working at one of Ha Noi’s newest five star hotels for the past year and a half. She makes enough money to send some home to her family who were too poor to raise her. Her mentors over the years have been humanitarian businessmen and she hopes to step in their footsteps. One day, she hopes to have enough money to be able not only to support herself and her family, but give back to the orphanage that raised her and that continues to provide hope for children in central Vietnam.

Subtly woven into her life story are the opportunities that a globalized development network can create, from the orphanage and the hospitality training school, to her career in the hospitality industry in one of the world’s top hotel chains, in Hanoi, catering to an increasing number of foreign businessmen and tourists entering Vietnam. These opportunities would have been unthinkable in the early ‘80s in Vietnam, and I believe they speak to the value of partnerships/cross-sector partnerships, where development is working.

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The World Health Organization believes that 25% of the medicines sold around the developing world are inauthentic copies containing little or no active ingredients. Medication like this increases the resistance of pathogens to first-line medication and in many cases causes fatality.

But what if a mother caring for her sick child who needs a prescription drug in rural Ghana, could determine by a quick SMS/text-message via her cellphone that the prescription drug she intends to purchase is safe for her child and not a fake?

mPedigree, a Ghanaian start-up, is working to make this a reality throughout Africa. I recently met one of the founders, Bright Simons, a dynamic, young social entrepreneur from Ghana, who is on a mission to find partners and investors and spread the word about mPedigree. If mPedigree is able to forge the public-private partnerships necessary between governments, the pharmaceutical industries, and telecom giants, this technology may well become a revolutionary force in bringing access to safe drugs to people across the developing world.

Read about mPedigree’s approach and Bright’s efforts in this interview with him in June 2008:
MPedigree: Combating Counterfeit Drugs

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