Down to Business

Down to Business was launched last year as a part of the World Challenge competition for sustainable businesses. The mission is to provide practical help for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) throughout the world, with a special emphasis on turning sustainable ideas from niche businesses into mainstream enterprises. We will revisit previous World Challenge finalists and, through them, solve the challenges facing hundreds of thousands like them globally.

Down to Business pitching event - audience favourite announced

Wed, 14 Dec 2011 11:45 At the end of the Down to Business series the four projects featured were invited to London to pitch their ideas to business experts. You can now find out what questions the audience asked them and which business they picked as their overall favourite.

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Lloyds TSB bank supports Global Entrepreneurship Congress

Wed, 23 Nov 2011 17:28 Banking group Lloyds TSB have pledged £100,000 to become gold sponsor of the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, to be held in Liverpool next spring.

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Global Entrepreneurship Week celebrated

Tue, 22 Nov 2011 11:51 Around the world business and political leaders marked last week's celebration of entrepreneurship.

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Agha Khan Development Network

The agencies of the AKDN are private, international, non-denominational development organisations. They work to improve the welfare and prospects of people in the developing world, particularly in Asia and Africa. Their areas of activity include environment, health, education, architecture, culture, microfinance, rural development, disaster reduction, the promotion of private-sector enterprise and the revitalisation of historic cities.

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Ashoka is the global association of social entrepreneurs. Since 1981, they have elected over 2,500 social entrepreneurs as Ashoka Fellows, providing them with living stipends, professional support, and access to a global network of peers in 70 countries.

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African Guarantee Fund for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

The Africa Commission in 2009 called for the establishment of an African Guarantee Fund (AGF) for SMEs. The African Development Bank, the Danish Government (Danida) and the Spanish Government (AECID) are currently implementing this initiative. The AGF will be a permanent regional conduit for channelling guarantees and technical assistance to financial institutions in Africa with the aim of stimulating the SME sector.

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Label Soup - Making Sense of Voluntary Standards

Thu, 08 Dec 2011 Lara Koritzke is Head of Communications and Development at the ISEAL Alliance, an umbrella organisation that provides certification for quality standards such as Fairtrade and the Forest Stewardship Council. How can consumers know which labels to trust when trying to buy ethically?

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Letting Startups Lead - reflections from Global Entrepreneurship Week

Mon, 28 Nov 2011 10 days after the finish of Global Entrepreneurship Week we hear from organiser Jonathan Ortmans about how the event went. He sees positive signs that around the world informal networks of start-ups are using the market to bring their ideas to life.

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D2B Presenter Leo Johnson reflects on the series

Fri, 25 Nov 2011 This weekend sees the broadcast of the final episode of the Down to Business series. After a year spent guiding the four projects, Leo reflects on the series and what he has learnt along the way. In these times of economic uncertainty he sees projects such as Husk Power Systems as offering a glimmer of optimism that social enterprise can offer solutions to seemingly intractable problems in society.

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