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Where the fight against poverty goes to the grassroots -- in 42 countries

Tom Grubisich's picture

Rats enlisted to fight TB…flowers that bloom from sewage…tree leaves transformed into vitamin pills. Welcome to where the grassroots fight against poverty-related problems is being waged – the Development Marketplace.

To tell the whole story of the 2007 Global Development Marketplace competition, which the World Bank is co- sponsoring May 22-23 in the Atrium of the Bank's main building (1818 H St. NW in Washington), we're putting up a blog. It's the best way, we think, to try and wrap our arms around this big annual event. It's not one story, in fact. For starters, it's the stories of the 104 out-of-the box entrepreneurial finalists from 42 countries and the scores of evaluators, and maybe the stories of some of the more than 2,500 entrants who didn't make it to the finals but have come up with great ways for "Improving Results in Health, Nutrition and Population for the Poor," the theme of this year's competition.

We're inviting everybody who is involved in the 2007 Global Marketplace, or who has an opinion about it, to contribute to hot ideas/cool projects.

Before we forget, if you want to attend the two-day event, you can sign up till May 17 at the Development Marketplace registration area.

Based on previous years' experience, we're guessing this year's entries -- which involve costs ranging mostly from $80,000 to $140,000, will be ingenious but also very practical, and designed to succeed at the grassroots level. Is there any better way to fight poverty?