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Archive for the ‘Third World Business’ Category

World Economic Forum in Africa 2008 – Cast Your Vote Now

In Africa, Environment, Human Condition and Treatment, Third World Business on May 29, 2008 at 4:16 am

If you have a point of view or perspective on what is imporant for Africa’s future or what should be the focus, cast your vote on this exciting interactive feature.  More on this later… but cast your vote.

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The Real Wealth Gap is Worse than Imagined

In economy, mindset 3.0, Third World Business on November 15, 2007 at 3:57 am

Forty-five percent of black children whose parents were solidly middle class in 1968 — a stratum with a median income of $55,600 in inflation-adjusted dollars — grew up to be among the lowest fifth of the nation’s earners, with a median family income of $23,100.  Only 16 percent of whites experienced similar downward mobility. At the same time, 48 percent of black children whose parents were in an economic bracket with a median family income of $41,700 sank into the lowest income group.   To read the full story, click here.   Now, you think this is troubling, something even more compelling to consider and even more serious is the map below:

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The projected wealth of China in 2015 could mean it producing 27% of all the wealth in the world, if the economic trends established between 1975 and 2002 continue for another 13 years. In year 1 of the current era China produced 26% of the wealth in the world, but very slowly declined to generating only 5% of the world total in 1960.   One might ask, what has this got to with the issues and socio-economic problems here in D.C., Detroit or Houston?  A lot!

We continue to feed the insatiable appetite for more, more, more.  More clothes, purses, shoes, toys, you name it.  But here is the opportunity, and listen carefully especially the young people.  Leave home now.  Go work abroad and get some international experience.  You see it with young people from Asian countries like India, Europe and Africa.  Yet, most African-Americans born in the United States can’t imagine living in Dubai, making $200,000 a year tax free for five years.  Or doing a student exchange in Beijing for a year.  This is how we can close this gap.  We must get out of our comfort zone and Just Do It, instead of just buying it.

Third World Innovation to Help People “See”

In economy, Hot Third World Products, india, marketing, mindset 3.0, Third World Business on July 28, 2007 at 5:02 am

We have an exciting new member in the Spangy community, and her name is Miriam Stone. She works for a truly innovative organization called Scojo. Here are the first two bullets of their mission, which is to create a company that:

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  • Creatively balances the financial and human needs of our stakeholders: employees, customers, consumers, suppliers and shareholders;
  • Diligently ensures that our business is sustainable: meeting the needs of our customers and the recipients of our services…

Again, this is what Spangy.com is all about. Free advertising to innovation that meets the needs of the world’s poorest people. We look forward to hearing from you.

Innovation Update from Peru: Relevant and Real Sustainability

In janneke smeulders, peru, Sustainability, Third World Products on July 5, 2007 at 2:41 pm

Greetings from Spangy! As many of you know the Live Earth concert starts July 7 to bring attention to Global Warming, worth a look. But to more immediate ways to impact the world, we introduce to the world, Fairmail. This is an innovative group started by Janneke Smeulders. She teaches relevant skills to women in Peru and they produce the most amazing greeting cards you will want to buy. This is the type of gift for the person or company who has everything, or truly wants to make a statement.

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At Spangy, we believe the route to relevant and real economic sustainability for the world’s poorest people is through economic empowerment by making real transactions and not donations. Our mission is to bring product and service innovations that change lives for the world’s poorest 4 billion people, many of whom live on less than $3 dollars a day and often much less.

Next, our featured member on Spangy.com is Josef Borat from Germany. He is a reporter for OhmyNews International and he has exceptionally articles on his Spangy.com member page, so check him out.

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Spangy.com is a social networking community whose mission is to provide free advertising for entrepreneurs and social change agents of developing countries to improve the lives of people in developing countries. Our vision is for the world’s poorest people to participate fully in the global economy without charge to get them started on the road to viable economic sustainability without relying on donations.

Women Create Successful Recipe for Business

In mindset 3.0, social networking, Third World Business on June 24, 2007 at 6:11 pm

Known as a “kitchen incubator,” La Cocina (la-koh-SEE-nuh) is a shared-use space created two years ago to provide a platform for women entrepreneurs without assets. Offering a low hourly rate for access to 2,200 square feet of restaurant-quality kitchen space, the nonprofit La Cocina also provides training from high-profile mentors and technical assistance on creating business plans and building marketing programs. To read the full story, click here.

When I read these stories, it is further validation that the basis for our social networking site, which is to provide “free of charge” marketing to people from developing countries or in support of people from developing countries, is further evidence we have a tremendous business opportunity on which Google and Yahoo have not given much credence to, at least not yet.

Visit the La Cocina, to see relevant and real-life innovation at work. Taken from the La Cocina website. “Welcome to La Cocina Community Kitchen, a nonprofit shared use commercial kitchen and business incubator. La Cocina was founded to serve as a platform for low-income entrepreneurs launching or expanding their food businesses. La Cocina assists low-income food entrepreneurs by providing access to a fully approved and equipped commercial kitchen and to the training and technical assistance they need”.

So, the more people that know about La Cocina, the more opportunity. Again, we focus on synergies that can help these innovators create scale, earn more business and create value for their families. This is www.spangy.com up-close and personal on why our business is so exciting.

Paris Hilton Could Impact Lives in India

In Environment, Hot Third World Products, Human Condition and Treatment, mindset 3.0 on June 4, 2007 at 12:39 pm

Seem like an odd title, but after she gets out of jail and see how the other half lives, a terrific way to support global sustainability is to wear it.  By this, Paris should endorse this great company based in India to make a fashion statement that she means business about the environment. We will be in touch with her representatives over the next several weeks to see what we can come up with.  I could see her wearing this bag for a night out.  Trends start because something is cool, typically worn by a famous celebrity.  Hollywood stars can afford to drive $450,000 automobiles, but many of them are choosing to drive a $23,000 Prius.   So, Paris can start by ordering the handbag or shoes we show below. 

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This bag represents the ultimate in promoting environment sustainability, while adding economic value to the lives of women in India who face social injustice each day.  To be clear, these items are made from recycled polythene bags!  Yes, those flimsy bags you get at most grocery stores, assuming you don’t ask for paper.  CONSERVE, a non-profit organisation, using a blend of creativity, design & innovation have turned, what was once a dull environmental hazard, into a clean, funky and fashionable material, from which have been crafted a range of appealing handbags and fashion accessories.

The company doesn’t stop there.  With the support of the Asian Development Bank, we are currently working on a project to generate income, through the production of this material, for the less advantaged communities in Delhi.

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4 Billion People will Count on Spangy, but Why?

In big media MySpace advertising global, mindset 3.0, News Corp., product design, Sustainability, Third World Products on June 1, 2007 at 5:39 pm

It is the end of the week and due to family vacation last week and the Memorial Day holiday here in the US, there were just not enough days to provide my usual dose of powerful innovations from entrepreneurs of developing countries.

Someone recently asked what is Spangy about and what makes it so special. I always get excited when someone asks this very important question? It is quite simple, and actually extraordinarily powerful: we are the first global social networking site dedicated to helping entrepreneurs, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), governments, individuals and global corporations bring attention to innovation, sustainable solutions that protect the environment, create jobs, eliminate disease, provide economic stability, completely eradicate human trafficking and modern-day slavery by offering free of charge advertising space for their product innovation, service or solution.

The market opportunity we see, is to remove this important barrier for most smaller entities to create meaningful access to eyeballs who can purchase, promote and collaborate to drive economic sustainability.

In this community, we are limited only by our imaginations and ways of thinking, which is why we call our blog Mindset 3.0. To illustrate, here’s an example: would you buy edible cutlery and use as part of your regular set of utensils?

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Well, this is our purpose? To mobilize our global community to actually consider purchasing innovative products, raising investment capital, sharing ideas, spreading the word, making connections that facilitate meaningful commerce for people who need it the most in a current, fun and informative atmosphere.

What if Wal-Mart, as a member of our site makes a decision to purchase this cutlery for use in their corporate cafeteria for daily use? Or, would you buy fine paper made from elephant dung? For more, check out ecomaximus, winner of the 2006 World Challenge, another Spangy innovation partner. What if News Corporation decides to print all their holiday cards on this paper or better yet, what if Oprah decides scarves and throws from Shokay (a Spangy innovation partner) are the new item to have?

The point is this, similar to MySpace, which started out by promoting bands in the Los Angeles area, Spangy promotes innovations that help empower developing countries to reduce the number of people living on less than $3 dollars a day. You are part of a community that will be bigger in terms of global impact than MySpace over the next 36 months. We won’t have 200 million people keeping in touch with people they already know. Rather, we hope to influence the quality of life for 2-3 billion through participating in conversations that are relevant, related and real to help solve serious problems.

To be sure, Spangy’s site is not perfect today, so be patient with us. However, we are fortunate to recently obtain the donation of technical services to assist with making some needed changes that you will notice over the coming weeks. So visit us, as the content changes on the site daily to see what’s happening in the world beyond the Iraq war.

We also kindly ask that you update your member section (assuming you don’t mind) with your preferred email, so other Spangy members can reach out to you and also share a picture. We also have a blog for you to share information as well as storing up to 50 video links and 50 article links. So just imagine what kind of resource we become if everyone is using just a fraction of our capabilities. Visit my profile to see the possibilities of what you can do, because I am part of your community at spangy.com. Have a wonderful weekend!

Design that Solves Problems for World’s Poor

In Africa, brazil, mindset 3.0, product design, Third World Products on May 30, 2007 at 12:38 pm

Imagine this: you are an independent, high-end product designer and you have 50 core customers with whom you work, but only three (3) of your design ideas get implemented each year and make it to market. These ideas represent a product experience for the world’s richest 10 percent.Now, let’s turn this thinking on it’s head. What if you have 4 billion core customers and three (3) of your design ideas get implemented each year that benefit directly 90 percent of the poorest people in the world? And, with your ideas you contribute to improving the quality of life, that allows families to eat the entire year, not just part of the year. You contribute to improved health because of your ability to ease the burden of carrying 20 gallons of water three miles, twice daily on the top of your head and on your back. Your design eliminates the possibility of deadly disease because your simple and elegant design allows people to experience safe drinking water. Here are some examples for you to comment on, tell your colleagues and perhaps explore ways to bring these to market with the help of your company or NGO.

The Big Boda is able to carry hundreds of pounds of cargo or two additional passengers easily, at a substantially lower cost than other forms of human-powered utility vehicles. It was designed to transport goods to and from market for entrepreneurs and consumers in developing countries.

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About half of the world’s poor suffer from waterborne diseases, and more than 6,000 people, mainly children, die each day by consuming unsafe drinking water. LifeStraw, a personal mobile water-purification tool is designed to turn any surface water into drinking water. It has proven to be effective against waterborne diseases such as typhoid, cholera, dysentery, and diarrhea, and removes particles as small as fifteen microns.

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Millions around the world, especially in rural Africa, live kilometers from a reliable source of clean water, leaving them vulnerable to cholera, dysentery, and other water-borne diseases. Water in adequate quantities is too heavy to carry. The Q Drum is a durable container designed to roll easily, and can transport seventy-five liters of clean and potable water. Rolling the water in a cylindrical container, rather than lifting and carrying it, eases the burden of bringing water to those who need it.

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Currently, only 16% of the world’s population have access to the most basic computing technologies. AMD’s Personal Internet Communicator (PIC) was designed specifically to provide basic computing functionality, including Internet access, at affordable prices. AMD’s 50×15 initiative is an effort to develop new technology and solutions that will help enable affordable Internet access and computing capability for 50 percent of the world’s population by the year 2015.

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For more in-depth product information in the coming days and links directly to these products and organizations bringing these solutions to the world, please visit our social community at spangy.com.  Also, please visit one of the most important projects in the world that is taking place now.

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Yak’s Make Nice Thows and Scarves

In Hot Third World Products, mindset 3.0, Sustainability, Third World Products, Tibet on May 17, 2007 at 5:01 am

At Shokay, we aim to impact the lives of Tibetan herders in China oppressed by poverty. Herders will earn incremental income immediately from our direct sourcing of raw yak fiber. Creating greater income for a traditional industry that is environmentally-friendly enables the local nomadic communities to preserve their traditional culture and way of life. As Shokay grows, a portion of our profits will be reinvested back into a community development fund that will serve the communities in areas of greatest need. In the long run, by introducing yak down to the world as a luxury fiber, we hope to increase the value of the raw fiber so that herders in yak-dependent regions (Tibet, Sichuan, Qinghai, Yunnan, Inner Mongolia, Mongolia, India, Nepal) can generate more income for the same amount of fiber sold. We earn no commission or profits from sharing this wonderful product. Oprah would love this. Look for this later in the year on her “Favorite Things” show. This is real sustainability, not a handout or a one-time feel good donation.

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Economic Oppression Kills: South Africa Apartheid Continues

In affirmative action, apartheid, cause marketing, mindset 3.0, South Africa, Third World Business on May 16, 2007 at 5:07 pm

After years of affirmative action to correct racial inequalities left by decades of apartheid, management of the South African economy remains largely in white hands, a report said Tuesday. Black people were largely consigned to support functions in areas like human resources, corporate affairs and government liaison, according to a report by the Commission for Employment Equity. “The pace of transformation has been painfully slow,” commission chairman Jimmy Manyi was reported as saying.

The number of blacks in top management rose by a “very shocking” 9.5 percent from 2000 to last year. The number of professionally qualified blacks employed by South African companies declined by 7.6 percent, while that of whites rose 6.1 percent. The top management representation of white women, who qualify for limited affirmative action promotion, grew from 4.5 percent to nearly 15 percent — three times their percentage of the economically active population.

The perception for many illegal immigrants is to seek better opportunity for their families and themselves in South Africa. However, I can only imagine that encumbent South African blacks are reaching, if they have not already done so, a level of frustration that this country is bound to explode from within. This is what I believe people are beginning to see. The statistics in the United States reflect a different story to be sure; however, what you do tend to see, I believe, is a striking resemblance of the imbalance of power or representation in terms of corporate roles where minorities and in particular African-Americans tend to be in lower level jobs.

In terms of entrepreneurial endeavors, the scene is startingly different. What you tend to see if you look closely enough is that “high velocity” roles in the fields of high-tech start ups, venture capital, private equity, large scale social entrepreneurship tend to dominate with whites. By contrast, “safer” jobs including HR, compliance and customer service, those jobs with lower levels of risk and pay tend to be reserved for blacks in the United States.

In the case of South Africa, the numbers reflected in this report will change when the Microsoft’s and the global investment banks and large mining companies like BHP Billiton say something and do something even bigger to hold partner companies accountable for such disparity and walk the talk themselves in this region. This is the recipe for change to be sure. Feedback from you.

How Do Fish and Mobile Phones Promote Economic Growth?

In Third World Business on May 13, 2007 at 3:35 am

This article from the Economist is the best way to start off the week for sure. The piece is instructive, motivating, exciting, encouraging, makes sense and you can make something happen for yourself or your community or your country it. Here we go:

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“YOU are a fisherman off the coast of northern Kerala, a region in the south of India. Visiting your usual fishing ground, you bring in an unusually good catch of sardines. That means other fishermen in the area will probably have done well too, so there will be plenty of supply at the local beach market: prices will be low, and you may not even be able to sell your catch. Should you head for the usual market anyway, or should you go down the coast in the hope that fishermen in that area will not have done so well and your fish will fetch a better price? If you make the wrong choice you cannot visit another market because fuel is costly and each market is open for only a couple of hours before dawn—and it takes that long for your boat to putter from one to the next. Since fish are perishable, any that cannot be sold will have to be dumped into the sea. For the rest of the article, click here.