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South Asia

Entrepreneurship: it’s all about the genes?

What determines levels of entrepreneurship? I would normally argue the quality of business regulations, access to finance, education levels, ambition etc... – but some argue that genes may be the key. For example, one study:

MIT's social entrepreneurs

The MIT Entrepreneurship Competition, recognizing the best business plans to come from the MIT community, added a Development category for 2006. Last month the prolific social entrepreneur Illac Diaz and his company CentroMigrante won $30,000 in start-up money, besting an impressive group of semi-finalists.

Can beer bottle caps green Africa?

Beer bottle tops 'make ideal measuring pots for "micro-dosing", a technique that lets farmers focus precious nutrients where they are needed rather than wasting them. The results so far are encouraging… Steve Twomlow of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISCAT), based in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, established that about 5 grams of ammonium nitrate is enough to feed three plants: That’s one beer cap full. Conventional scattering of fertilizer uses five capfuls for every three plants…'

Mobile phone banking takes off

Man_on_phoneThe positive impact of mobile phones on development has passed into the realm of conventional wisdom. So what’s next for the tiny, powerful gadget? The provision of basic financial services via mobile phone.

More on China in Africa

In a pattern replicated across the world, China's voracious appetite for raw materials is helping push sub-Saharan economies to their fastest growth in three decades, and inexpensive Chinese-made products are suddenly available across the continent. Yet many Africans say the influx, while offering consumers more affordable goods, has not improved their economic situation and has hurt local companies.

Why aren’t Latin Americans smiling?

Ugo Panizza and Monica Yanez ask why Latin Americans are so unhappy about pro-market reforms. Theory #1:

What matters is the difference between expectations and actual outcome. Policymakers may have made the mistake of overselling the reforms by promising too much, and the disillusionment with reforms documented in this paper could be due to unmet expectations.

Theory #2: