Results - 25 of at least 51 items found
Feb 10, 2022
This report, developed by IFC and Stellaris, examines the growing potential of India’s AI-led software as a service (SaaS) start-ups and analyzes the role that the country, which is already a leader in the global software ecosystem, can play in an AI-led future. India is well-positioned to be at the forefront of the AI revolution. By 2030, AI applications and services together have the potential to create $500 billion of market value and almost 5 million jobs. The report is based on an industry-wide study and insights from the AI4Biz Challenge, organized to identify and recognize groundbreaking, early-stage Indian AI SaaS companies.
English | 80 Pages | IFC 2022
Jan 13, 2022
Despite near-universal access to financial services in advanced economies, financial exclusion is stubbornly persistent in many emerging markets, leaving huge swaths of low-income populations unbanked or underbanked. FinTech companies, which apply innovative technologies to deliver such services in new ways, have begun to tap into the enormous unmet demand that this represents. These companies are starting to thrive in emerging markets, though regulatory issues, particularly weak consumer protection measures, remain to be resolved in many countries. If these can be overcome, and more progress toward universal access to digital infrastructure can be made, FinTechs will continue to scale and spread.
English | 8 Pages—January—Note 109 | IFC 2022
Nov 18, 2021
The accelerated use of digital services during the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of high-speed Internet access. Yet a large share of adults in emerging markets still live in cities where the availability of high-speed Internet is limited. There is a strong case to be made for municipal broadband networks, which are fully or partially facilitated, built, operated, or financed by local governments, often in partnership with the private sector. There are three basic models for creating and operating these networks, and every network must work in the unique context of the city it will serve. But if they are well implemented, these models can offer digital access to city residents, help close the digital divide, and create opportunities for private sector players in both advanced and emerging markets.
English | 8 Pages—November—Note 107 | IFC 2021
Oct 28, 2021
Deep tech companies—those built on advances in biotechnology, robotics, electronics, artificial intelligence, and other advanced technologies—aim to solve complex social and environmental challenges. Today the majority of deep tech companies are being launched in developed countries, yet the solutions they can provide are applicable globally. Many of these solutions are especially critical to emerging markets, as the intractable challenges of climate, health, and connectivity, among other issues, disproportionately affect these nations. Addressing these challenges is a strategic priority for development finance institutions and governments worldwide, so financing deep tech companies and boosting deep tech ecosystems in order to deliver new solutions globally is a pressing matter. Doing so, however, requires substantial capital and carries a higher degree of risk than ordinary venture investments. This note examines the process of financing a deep tech company, including the benefits an
English | 8 Pages—October—Special Note 1 | IFC 2021
Jun 17, 2021
Sharing mobile network infrastructure through specialized companies called towercos is a business model with the potential to accelerate access to quality mobile connectivity for individuals and businesses in emerging markets. A significant number of developing countries have yet to adopt this model, however, and many others continue to struggle with competition issues within their tower markets. This note provides the rationale and policy options for a light regulatory regime that can enable the entry and sustainable development of a dynamic market for towercos in emerging markets. The note also discusses the evolution of the towerco model into small cells and distributed antenna systems, both of which help enable high-speed mobile connectivity technologies like 4G and 5G.
English | 8 pages—June—Note 104 | IFC 2021
Apr 28, 2021
This note proposes a high-level framework to assess challenges and policy options to enabling private sector-led investment in 5G connectivity in emerging markets. 5G is the latest mobile network technology and it has the potential to provide high-speed Internet connectivity and enable digital transformation across multiple sectors of an economy. The proposed framework leverages industry data to articulate the digital divide and benchmark the enabling environment for 5G connectivity in emerging markets. The note concludes with recommendations on policy options and business strategies, drawing from early experiences in advanced markets and major opportunities and challenges in emerging markets.
English | 8 pages — April —Note 102 | IFC 2021
Mar 19, 2021
The latest trends in AI and how investors, clients, and governments can harness its full potential in emerging markets while minimizing its risks is explored.
English | 148 pages | IFC 2021
Jan 4, 2021
Tertiary and vocational learning is widely recognized as critical for all countries’ economic success. While progress has been made toward achieving the 4th United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 4) by 2030—“Ensure Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education and Promote Lifelong Learning for All”—a 2019 UN report shows that some 750 million adults are functionally illiterate. These statistics illustrate the enormous challenge of adequately preparing the workforce for rapid technological change that will require continual reskilling. Although machines with artificial intelligence are likely to replace millions of workers across the world, AI also has great potential to enable workers to keep up with technological change and remain employable. This note attempts to illustrates how AI can support post-secondary learning across the entire tertiary and vocational education sector in emerging markets.
English | 8 pages—January—Note 97 | IFC 2021
Nov 20, 2020
Deep tech companies aim to address the world’s biggest challenges. These include providing Internet access to the unconnected, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, significantly increasing productivity gains across industries, and helping to solve many other intractable problems, particularly in emerging market and developing economies. A deep tech company brings transformative technology from the lab to the market, and democratized research infrastructure and increased available funding has led to the rise of deep tech companies globally, including in emerging markets. Yet commercialization is critical to realizing the benefits of deep tech solutions, and deep tech firms often struggle to successfully commercialize their breakthroughs.
English | 8 pages—November—Note 94 | IFC 2020
Nov 11, 2020
What will financing for small and medium-sized enterprises look like in 2030? Entrepreneurs, bankers, officials, executives, and innovators share their visions.
Sep 30, 2020
Significant investments in health technology, including those using digital health and artificial intelligence, are expected to contribute to bridging the health service gap in emerging markets, given the potential of these new innovations to reach underserved patients. Many health-tech innovators are integrating AI into their product solutions, with early examples showing promise in improving diagnoses, reducing costs, and enabling access to remote health services.
English | 8 pages — September — Note 91 | IFC 2020
Sep 8, 2020
This report explores the latest AI applications and trends in emerging markets and includes several examples of how AI is expanding opportunities and contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. It also sheds light on how investors, clients, and governments can harness its full potential while minimizing its risks—when managed effectively and with safeguards in place, AI can facilitate private investment to reduce poverty and improve lives at a pace inconceivable only a decade ago.
English | 117 pages | IFC 2020
Jul 27, 2020
As advances in machine learning, computer vision, and robotics help manufacturers around the world improve their processes and produce new and more complex products, artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming an integral tool of modern manufacturing, and one that is increasingly important to the industry’s future. By combining large volumes of data with the computing power to simulate human thinking, AI is increasing the efficiency, capacity, and complexity of factory floors, and is introducing robotics, the Internet of Things, and other cutting-edge innovations to manufacturing value chains across the globe.
English | 8 pages – July – Note 87 | IFC 2020
Jun 23, 2020
Achieving gender equality will require significant amounts of accurate data about the situations and struggles of women and girls. Globally, however, there is a major gap in data that is disaggregated by sex, and this gap often renders women’s societal, cultural, and economic contributions and obstacles practically invisible. It can also exacerbate existing gender divides, feeding and reinforcing biases in social programs, access to financial and other services, economic opportunities, and even development programs designed to address gender inequality. Part of the solution may be in the form of big data, which, if used effectively, can provide the volume of data needed to portray women and their situations accurately, which in turn can inform the creation of evidence-based solutions.
English | 8 Pages - June - Note 86 | IFC 2020
May 20, 2020
The COVID-19 crisis is expected to roll back some of the progress made against global poverty over the last two decades, with the greatest impact on individuals at the base of the economic pyramid. Inclusive businesses that expand access to goods, services, and livelihoods for these individuals are responding to the crisis by reorienting and adapting their inclusive business models and operations. This note highlights seven actions that companies are taking to address needs at the base of the pyramid. We present their actions here as examples of what other businesses could do in response to the needs of those at the base of the pyramid.
English | 8 Pages - May - Note 84 | 2020 IFC
May 7, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic shows that digital connectivity is critical to societal resilience and business continuity in times of crisis. For digital infrastructure providers in emerging markets, higher demand for connectivity may be counterbalanced by a series of negative shocks. These could affect broadband operators and smaller companies, leading to less competition, limited availability of open-access broadband infrastructure, and reduced technological innovation. However, the perceived value of digital connectivity is likely to rise, creating opportunities to implement policy reforms to accelerate the rollout of 4G and 5G. Digital infrastructure companies, however, may accelerate their migration toward diversified business models. Against a background of funding withdrawal from emerging markets, financing for smaller or independent companies in the poorest economies may require substantial support from development finance institutions to preserve competition, improve resilience, and pr
English | 8 Pages - May - Note 83 | 2020 IFC
May 5, 2020
Business models utilizing artificial intelligence can help meet rising global demand for food and support a more inclusive and sustainable food system by: (1) enhancing the resilience of farming methods; (2) reducing the cost of quality inputs and services to underserved farmers; and (3) improving market access to facilitate smallholder farmer integration into regional and global supply chains. Although nascent in emerging economies, applications for artificial intelligence in agribusiness will proliferate as farmers’ access to the Internet and adoption of smart devices increases across low-income countries.
English | 8 Pages - May - Note 82 | 2020 IFC
Apr 28, 2020
The energy sector worldwide faces growing challenges related to rising demand, efficiency, changing supply and demand patterns, and a lack of analytics needed for optimal management. These challenges are more acute in emerging market nations. Efficiency issues are particularly problematic, as the prevalence of informal connections to the power grid means a large amount of power is neither measured nor billed, resulting in losses as well as greater CO2 emissions, as consumers have little incentive to rationally use energy they don’t pay for. The power sector in developed nations has already begun to use artificial intelligence and related technologies that allow for communication between smart grids, smart meters, and Internet of Things devices. These technologies can help improve power management, efficiency, and transparency, and increase the use of renewable energy sources.
English | 8 Pages - April - Note 81 | 2020 IFC
Mar 16, 2020
The adoption and diffusion of artificial intelligence and other disruptive technologies will play an important role in market creation and growth. Development finance institutions have a role to play in leveraging their investments to ensure that these technologies sustain both growth and development objectives. To this end, the authors propose adoption of a Technology Code of Conduct as a framework, supported by a set of practical tools for its operationalization, to assist IFC’s clients engaged in technology intensive projects.
English | 8 Pages - March - Note 80 | IFC 2020
Mar 16, 2020
The Progression Matrix is a tool that helps companies adopt the Technology Code of Conduct—a framework designed for IFC clients engaged in technology-intensive projects. In this addendum to Note 80, the Matrix identifies technical and business practices that help companies put principles of sustainable technology into practice in a way consistent with their stage of financing and maturity, including emerging, later-stage, and mature companies.
English | 8 Pages - March - Note 80a - Addendum to IFC EM Compass Note 80 | IFC 2020
Feb 28, 2020
Digital connectivity has enormous potential to support development. Yet today some four billion people in emerging economies remain offline, partly due to a lack of affordable Internet access. Sharing infrastructure among operators and across sectors is a potential solution. It can accelerate digital connectivity at lower cost, especially in the least developed markets where returns to investment can be limited. It can also reduce investment costs and operating expenses for investors and operators, and increase their balance sheet sustainability. Sharing models can also benefit consumers by increasing competition, lowering prices, and raising service quality. The private sector has already embraced this model; further expansion requires targeted policies that promote competition and facilitate sharing.
English | 8 Pages - February - Note 79 | IFC 2020
Feb 11, 2020
Population growth and urbanization in emerging markets will mean expanding cities and rising demand for new housing in urban areas around the world. These trends represent an enormous opportunity to design, build, and operate the homes of tomorrow in intelligent ways that minimize energy consumption and carbon emissions, lower building and homeowner costs. Artificial intelligence will play a pivotal role in this effort by using data—including grid data, smart meter data, weather data, and energy use information—to study and improve building performance, optimize resource consumption, and increase comfort and cost efficiency for residents. AI will also analyze data collected from multiple buildings to improve building design and construction and inform future policy making related to construction and urban planning.
English | 8 Pages - February - Note 78 | IFC 2020
Dec 18, 2019
The intersection of artificial intelligence and 5G mobile technology has enormous potential to deliver dramatic improvements in productivity, efficiency, and cost across business sectors and broader society, delivering innovative products and services not previously possible. Though mainstream applications that combine AI and 5G have yet to emerge, key emerging markets sectors such as agribusiness, healthcare and education will be transformed by the combination of AI and 5G. While many mobile operators remain focused on recouping their investments in previous network standards, there is a growing interest in 5G networks globally.
English | 8 Pages - December - Note 76 | IFC 2019
Nov 6, 2019
Transport in emerging markets often faces acute challenges due to poor infrastructure, growing populations, urbanization, and in some regions rising prosperity, which increases vehicle traffic, cargo volumes, and pollution. Artificial intelligence offers new solutions to these challenges by making market entry easier and allowing countries to reach underserved populations, creating markets and private sector investment opportunities associated with them.
English | 8 Pages - November - Note 75 | IFC 2019
Oct 31, 2019
Rapid increases in computing power and data generation have turned artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things into potent technologies that are rapidly gaining use in many areas of society and commerce, with significant potential benefits for economic growth and development. These innovative technologies face multiple obstacles to implementation and—particularly in the case of AI—a general wariness of their potential implications for human society. Fortunately, an integrated implementation of the three technologies may be a solution that can restore human trust in AI and blockchain applications, resulting in new business models that deliver data security and privacy, efficiency, and inclusion along with their many other benefits.
English | 8 Pages - October - Note 74 | IFC 2019