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The New York Times

David Bornstein

17 April 2013

Bangladesh

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1500-3000 Words

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There is much debate about microfinance and whether it actually works. The founder of Grameen Bank, Muhammad Yunus, discusses the fight to eliminate poverty through his micro-lending bank and the future of social busi...

NPR

Daniel Zwerdling

4 April 2013

Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Radio

5-15 Minutes

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An innovative program by an unusual bank allows low-income people in Cambodia to take out a 15-year fixed mortgage with little or no documentation - contradicting traditional loan assumptions and creating means for so...

The New York Times

David Bornstein

3 April 2013

Karnataka, India

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To combat hunger and malnutrition, Digital Green, an N.G.O., is creating and delivering videos about cheap, innovative farming techniques that can substantially increase small farmers' production of staple foods in In...

The New York Times

Amy Yee

21 March 2013

Bangladesh

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Saving money while conserving water and electricity is a win-win for the textile industry in Bangladesh. After a joint effort to improve the mechanics and upgrade the factories, the industry saw a savings of 1.2 milli...

The New York Times

David Bornstein

6 March 2013

Oakland, California, United States

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In Oakland, a company created an online crowdfunding platform that allows users to earn interest by financing clean energy projects and gives people with good social intentions a direct line of action. Across the worl...

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

13 February 2013

Alaska, United States

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Alaska has created a way for residents to financially benefit from the state's dependence on oil revenues. By giving residents a yearly portion of the revenue, the state has been able to see positive effects from an o...

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

16 January 2013

Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India

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Twelve million people are blind in India, and are robbed of their livelihoods as a result. A hugely successful chain of cataract hospitals in India helped its business by treating half its patients for free.

NPR

David Kestenbaum

14 December 2012

New York, New York, United States

Multi-Media

Under 800 Words

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School MS 53 in Queens experienced extremely poor student attendance, a high rate of student suspensions, and an increase of staff and teacher resignations—all causing the city’s department of education to give the sc...

Next City

Mark Bergen

11 December 2012

Mumbai, India

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For a megacity with more than 18 million people in its metro area, Mumbai, India is not a particularly vertical city. Many of its inhabitants squeeze into low-rise slums crammed into the urban space. But an ongoing sl...

Time Magazine

Victor Luckerson

10 December 2012

Tucson, Arizona, United States

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Like their for-profit counterparts, charities are starting to embrace Big Data as a means to perform more efficiently and share that performance with potential donors. Data gathered is used both to measure successes a...

FastCompany

Ariel Schwartz

4 December 2012

San Francisco, California, United States

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Yerdle is a website that allows companies to resell their used and returned items in a way that is helpful for customers and the environment. The three co-founders have experience at ZipCar, Walmart, and the Sierra Cl...

The New York Times

Gareth Cook

29 November 2012

Denmark

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Over 3000 Words

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Thorkil Sonne's experiences with his own gifted, autistic son led him to start a company called Specialisterne, founded on the idea that - given the right environment - some autistic adults could not just hold down a ...

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

21 November 2012

Kolkata, West Bengal, India

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In many parts of the world, not owning one's own land is more directly correlated to poverty than other factors such as illiteracy, but land reform is controversial, difficult, and expensive. A new program called Land...

FastCompany

Whitney Pastorek

15 November 2012

United States

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While implementing fruits and vegetables into a daily diet is recommended for optimal health, the lack of longevity for produce is often a problem that leads to food waste. Fenugreen FreshPaper, invented by Kavita Shu...

FastCompany

Whitney Pastorek

1 November 2012

India

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In rural communities throughout India, having access to clean water does not always come easy. Sarvajal, originally a non-profit experiment, believes that water insecurity is a solvable issue, however. By helping thos...

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

10 October 2012

Uganda

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A successful program in Uganda trains village women to sell medicines, fortified foods and other important goods using the Avon model, aiming to create a self-sustaining system for delivering essential health products.

The Guardian

Katia Savchuk

8 October 2012

Cape Town, South Africa

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Though well-meaning, many poverty alleviation and development efforts treat the receivers of aid as subjects rather than capable people. Urban Poor Fund International, the first global fund to give poor people direct ...

TreeHugger

A.K. Streeter

2 October 2012

New York, New York, United States

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Under 800 Words

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Conventional merchants are afraid to lose parking spaces to bike parking or bike lanes. New York and Portland are finding cyclists increase local economies, and spend more money too.

The New York Times

David Bornstein

11 July 2012

United States

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An Irish-based company, ALISON, provides free, high-quality e-courses to people around the globe in order to help close the gap between education and workplace skills. Particularly focused on providing access to areas...

The New York Times

David Bornstein

27 June 2012

New York, New York, United States

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Funding with too many strings attached makes it hard for non-profits to grow and be impactful. An American organization, Nonprofit Finance Fund (N.F.F.) Capital Partners division, is finding ways to finance non-profit...

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

20 June 2012

United Kingdom

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When a government needs to invest in an expensive capital project — a new sewer system, bridge or highway — it issues bonds. The hot new idea in social programs – finance prevention programs to cut recidivism, reduce ...

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

6 June 2012

India

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If rich people need life insurance, poor people need it more. Here’s how millions of poor people are getting it – including people with AIDS.

The New York Times

Tina Rosenberg

23 May 2012

New York, New York, United States

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New York City black tar roofs cause a number of environmental problems, including air pollution, heat absorption that raises energy consumption, and storm water runoff in the sewer system. Efforts to turn these old ro...

The New York Times

Sarika Bansal

9 May 2012

New York, New York, United States

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The philanthropic practice of buy-one-give-one can be ineffective if communities are given ill-fitting donations or if the donations supplant local markets. The company Warby Parker ensures lasting change by financing...

Wall Street Journal

Seth Stevenson

27 April 2012

Ventura, California, United States

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Yvon Chouinard, the founder of outdoor adventure retail company Patagonia, vowed to run the company from an eco-conscious perspective. From donating a portion of the store's income to registering as a benefit corporat...

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Photo Credits: Almudena Toral; Cody Pope; Matt Stokes; Kriston Bethel; Noah Friedman-Rudovsky

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