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      Startup news for emerging markets
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  • Mobile money in emerging markets: where to next?

    We recently identified some of the main challenges that have faced mobile network operator (MNO) mobile money (MM) products, and why the concept's overall impact in emerging markets remains a bit of a mixed bag. This week, we look at whether the shift to interoperability heralds a new deal between banks and operators that offers a sufficiently compelling model to make services practical and affordable for the vast majority of the poor and unbanked. The aid and donor community has always strongly supported financial inclusion as a way of bettering the lives of poor people in emerging markets. But...

  • How big tech companies keep journalists under their thumbs

    David Weidner, a 15 year veteran reporter on the Wall Street beat, recently wrote an interesting article about the time he spent reporting on some of the world's biggest companies and financial institutions. He notes that much has changed and a lot hasn't in his time among America's financial elite. Presumably to mark each of his years covering the financial services sector he came up with 15 "takeaways." The one that caught my eye was number three: Too cozy for comfort: It's less of a problem since the financial crisis, but the business media are still too cozy with the powerful...

  • Why nurturing creativity is necessary for innovation

    Without creative individuals, we would not be able to enjoy the innovation that punctuates our lives on a daily basis. How can organisations retain this valuable skill while driving productivity? Creativity has always been the driving force behind human innovation. This unique quality is recognised as the primary contributor towards the ‘spark’ that has brought us each and every basic necessity, creature comfort and technology that we take for granted on a daily basis. Without it, the human race would be little more than creatures in the wilderness. It is creativity that sets us apart and has allowed us to...

  • Google+ to allow third party apps for brand pages

    Late last year Google+ launched Plus Pages as a way for brands to connect with users on the social network. The problem was that these pages couldn't be managed with third party apps. But it seems Google+ is about to change all that. "With Google+ Pages, millions of businesses and brands are now connecting with their followers in meaningful ways online," writes Googler Eduardo Thuler in a post. "... many brands use third party tools to manage their social media presence across the web." It seems over the last couple of months Google has been stealthy testing third party...

  • Nelson Mandela’s birthday: the online conversations [Infographic]

    You may have seen what Nelson Mandela's life story could have looked like if social media had been around since before the fall of apartheid, but what did internet users really have to say on his 94th birthday yesterday? His name trended world wide on Twitter and the YouTube tributes poured in -- and all the while, online reputation management company BrandsEye was monitoring the buzz. Birthday wishes and stories of how people were spending their 67 minutes on Mandela Day were sent from around the world -- from the White House and entrepreneur Richard Branson to South African celebrities....

  • YouTube launches first video sharing anonymity tool

    YouTube has launched a "face blurring" tool that allows users to protect the identity of people in videos. "As citizens continue to play a critical role in supplying news and human rights footage from around the world, YouTube is committed to creating even better tools to help them," said the video sharing site on its blog. This service is a first for online video sites -- according to the international human rights organization, "no video-sharing site or hardware manufacturer currently offers users the option to blur faces or protect identity." YouTube will offer this option when users upload video. They...

  • Technology is destroying our ability to pay attention, making us rude [Video]

    Technology is addictive and it's making us terrible at our jobs. It's not your fault though, it's part of our evolutionary wiring. That's according Excite founder and Google Ventures Investment Partner Joe Kraus. He argues that the more access we have to the internet the more distracted we're becoming. The numbers seem to back him up too. The average internet user visits 40 websites a day and switches between applications more than 36 times in just an hour. But your brain can’t handle all the information it’s being asked to process, which is why the more things you’re doing...

  • Google rolls out email from SMS service, starting with Africa

    This is very cool. Millions of people around the world have GMail accounts. But a sizeable number of those people who own "dumb phones" have only ever been able to access the service on a desktop computer. Until now. Google has just announced that it's rolling out GMail SMS, a service that lets you send and receive emails as SMSes on your mobile phone. The really cool part though, is that you don't have to be connected to the internet to use the service. Given the large number of people still using phones with zero or limited internet connectivity...

  • 8 YouTube tributes to Nelson Mandela on his 94th birthday

    Tributes have been pouring in for Nelson Mandela on today, his 94th birthday. We decided to cherry pick some amazing inspirational video tributes to South Africa's great leader and a global icon for freedom and democracy. There are so many of them out there but we really liked these ones up you do too! Have any cool ones we missed? Pop a link in the comments box! Mandela's life in social media: We've already written a standalone piece about this campaign, but it's so damn cool that it deserves an entry in this list too. The video plays out Nelson...

  • SA agency wins major US open education contest

    Creative agency Blink Tower has won an award from the US Education Department and Open Society Foundations for explaining why Open Education is important. The South African-based agency beat out 60 other entrants, with a video explaining how standard education models can leave students and teachers working with out-of-date materials and massive expenses. The open education solution would see relevant educational tools being put online, allowing them to be constantly updated and repurposed. The competition was launched in March 2012 to solicit creative videos that clearly communicate the use and potential of free, high-quality Open Educational Resources —...

  • Is your online brand exploiting Mandela Day? Stop it

    I hate it when brands or companies take a good thing, break it a part repackage and sell it for a premium. Example -- this morning I can a mail from Groupon in my inbox encouraging me to celebrate Mandela Day with its great deals. First Mandela Day is about doing good, not buying stuff. So please explain to me how buying something I didn’t need from a bulk purchasing site, like Groupon, is going to help me celebrate the life of one of the world’s greatest leaders?! As humble as a man can be, Nelson Mandela Day began when...

  • Mobile search to be worth $15bn by 2017

    Mobile search and discovery is about to get big. Seriously big. In fact, it's expected to be worth US$15-billion by 2017. According to UK-based tech analysis company Juniper Research, that means that market will nearly triple in the next five years. The primary drivers of this increase are expected to be click-through and cost-per-click rates for search & discovery, including web search, local search, augmented reality search and discovery apps. Juniper Research reckons that's because people are in the market for a discrete group of products or services, and can therefore be accurately targeted by advertisers. It also argues...

  • Who is looking at your incomplete LinkedIn profile right now?

    If you were applying for a job and were asked for your resume, you will provide the potential employer with a detailed account of your job history, what you do, your areas of expertise, your achievements and personal references from credible sources. If your company was bidding for a large contract, your bid will contain a detailed overview of what your company does, where you add value and all the resources that will be involved in the contract you are bidding for. You will attempt to make the document as concise as possible and will not purposefully omit anything. ...

  • 4 golden rules for making your online comments count

    I recently noticed an open discussion on the popular LifeHacker site around bookmarking in Chrome. My startup is in this space so I dived right into the conversation. I wrote one long reply to the posted question and two other replies to other comments. Over the next 24 hours over 130 visitors were referred to my landing page. I was able to add another 35 individuals to my invite list and even two emailed me directly asking to become early testers of our product. We can all learn four important lessons from this story: 1. Be active where your market is...

  • Meet Luna — light at your fingertips

    Ever walked into a bar and lamented the fact that you couldn't go to the nearest girl and say, 'hey baby, wanna come back to my place and check out my backlit keyboard?' Well now you can -- with the Luna from Moshi (SPOILER ALERT: don't use your keyboard as a pickup line, even if you do own the Luna from Moshi). Specialising in high-end Apple accessories, Moshi's range focuses on style -- it's not just a gadget, it's a lifestyle. Fortunately this electronic accessory just so happens to function pretty darn well too. Read more on Gearburn. var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");