Credit for All: Increasing Women’s Access to Finance

Financial inclusion is important for accelerating economic growth, reducing income inequality, and decreasing poverty rates. Unfortunately, women face more difficulty than men in access to credit, limiting the development of their full market potential and hindering economic gain and entrepreneurship. Discriminatory practices in the granting of credit may mean that qualified applicants do not have the same opportunity to receive credit simply due to their gender.

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International molecular symposium to promote research commercialisation

The seventh International Symposium on Macro- and Supramolecular Architectures and Materials (MAM) will reinvigorate the link between academia, industry and international partners to stimulate the application of local research and growth of the economy, says science council Mintek Research and Development GM Dr Makhapa Makhafola. The symposium will be held from November 23 to 27 at Emperor’s Palace, in Kempton Park. It will showcase how to move from research and breakthroughs to innovation and commercialisation, with speakers who have established spinoff companies from research conveying their experiences.
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The Hidden Pitfalls of Inclusive Innovation

By Raghav Narsalay, Leandro Pongeluppe, & David Light

A few years ago, a large multinational corporation
developed a new food product
designed for low-income people in emerging
markets. The product was highly nutritious
and low-priced. To win the trust of people
in remote rural communities, the company recruited a sales force
of local women, who in turn developed recipes using the product
and helped teach community members how to prepare those dishes.
A yearlong trial confirmed the product’s potential: consumers
found it easy to use and less expensive than common alternatives.
Success seemed all but guaranteed. Read more

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Life skills training for engineering students a success

According to professional services firm SMEC South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal-based office, its workplace integrated learning and training initiative for civil engineering students from previously disadvantaged communities – the life skills training programme that has been incorporated into the Durban University of Technology’s (DUT’s) Singakwenza Ndawonye training scheme run on the Pietermaritzburg Campus in KwaZulu-Natal – is yielding positive results. SMEC KwaZulu-Natal regional head Kresen Manicum tells Engineering News that the company started working with the Singakwenza Ndawonye training scheme in 2003, by offering several final year engineering DUT students an opportunity to complete their in-service training to meet their diploma requirements.
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The engineering and nonengineering challenges behind the salvaging of Costa Concordia

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The story of the salvage of the Italian cruise liner Costa Concordia, which took place from May 2012 to July 2014 (the refloated ship was towed into Genoa harbour on July 27, and is now being scrapped) is well known in general outline, as is the fact that the Salvage Master for the operation was a South African, Captain Nick Sloan. The ship ran on to rocks just off Giglio Island, off the coast of Tuscany in North West Italy, on January 13, 2012. It rolled over on to its starboard (right) side, 32 people losing their lives (the body of the 32nd and last victim was only recovered from the wreck in August this year).
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