University students in China were given 1,000 RMB ($146, €112) each and told to turn their ideas into reality: ‘go into the streets, market the products and build something.’ A year later, most of them had something to show for their efforts.
Proctor & Gamble's Ariel detergent 'Turn to 30' campaign, launched in 2006, was aimed at bringing about long-term change in behaviour by getting people to wash their clothes at 30 degree celsius for the good of the environment, saving up to 40 per cent of energy used. Recently P&G came out with a detergent that washes at only 15 degree celsius, which is essentially cold water.
The solution to African development must be African and internally generated. However, it will need support from the developed world, mostly in terms of knowledge and training, as well as investment. This was the consensus of a panel at Net Impact’s Doing Good, Doing Well 2009 European conference held here.
For Noel de Villiers, founder and CEO of non-governmental organisation Open Africa, three issues are key for Africa’s development: the need for the emancipation of women, the need to overcome the debilitating effect of a lack of confidence among the people, and the need for people in rural and marginalised areas to get more exposure to success stories which could then inspire others. In his view, these three issues, if properly addressed, would help to reverse Africa’s poverty slide.
Micro health insurance is in its infancy but it’s expected to take off in the next couple of years, with the financial success of microfinance helping to speed up the process. Yet Johanna Mair, a former doctoral student at INSEAD (PhD 01Jul) who is now an associate professor of strategic management at IESE business school here, says microfinance and micro insurance are two very different processes.