- Melinda Gates asks the question – what can non-profits learn from Coca Cola? According to Gates, Coca Cola sells over a billion (!!) servings a week, has reached the farthest most villages on the planet because of three things: real-time data, harnessing local talent and innovative marketing. At it’s core, Coca Cola markets the product based on the kind of life people want to aspire to – just like the Cambodian water filter I wrote about a few weeks ago. (Interestingly, the water filter is also supported by the Gates Foundation.) It is worth watching the video just to see one of Somali’s rap artist sing one of the Coca Cola theme songs. I promise you’ve heard it, I promise that it will make you happy, and I promise you had no idea he was Somali.)
- Energy Links, part of the Centre for Financial Inclusion at Accion International, recently completed a 3 year study on energy and microfinance. They found most success selling small renewable energy products like lights and stoves through independent savings groups (managed by the groups themselves) rather than microfinance institutions. They found savings groups reached into poorer, less electrified areas. One of the most interesting papers I’ve read on the topic thus far.
- I’ve posted about one of my favourite Filipinos – Ludeline – on the Good Return blog. “Ludeline joined SECDEP in part because she could use the small loans to purchase bananas to sell, but more importantly SECDEP gave her a safe place to store her money.”