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Summary The idea centres around addressing inefficiencies of financial markets in developing economies. It aims to reduce the information asymmetry present in credit markets by providing lenders access to financial information of the borrowers. The effect will be to reduce interest rates being charged to small businesses, and allow them to reap greater rewards from financing. It is about making rural credit markets more efficient, by making it more transparent. Current Issue with...

William Lee
by William Lee
14 Votes
Comments 5
William Lee

I have just shared this idea with the ERS team, but it is definitely worthy of a bigger picture Ideas Box post. RFID is a really cool technology that is really simple in its operation. consisting of 2 parts, a passive tag (can be inset in plastic like a credit card: paywave, or a paper sticky tag) and an active reader. The reader makes contact with the antenna on the RFID tag, passes though it, picks up the unique code and then comes back to the reader all in a split second. Countless...

Kai Faulkner
by Kai Faulkner
7 Votes
Comments 3
Kai Faulkner

There are clearly many ways of tackling this enormous challenge space. Particularly as we look at the Empathise stage of design thinking. I think empathise is a bit of a misunderstood term and it is not all about simply talking to people and finding problems so that we can define a problem. It is more a point of developing a level of understanding so that you may develop a solution that delivers on the social purpose and impact. So in this case I believe the perfect place to start is with...

Kai Faulkner
by Kai Faulkner
10 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 2
Kai Faulkner

  FarmEd is a business which provides a consultancy service to Fijian farmers looking to increase the health of their farm and improve their crop yield and productivity. The FarmEd consultancy service will be offered at three different price levels. At each level a consultancy report will be provided to varying degrees of detail. A paid consultancy report is created for a farmer to provide a culturally appropriate report that recommends (agronomical) farming practices, soil health...

Amelia Gartner
by Amelia Gartner
9 Votes
Comments 6
Amelia Gartner

Using IBM Watson we could create a chatbot that draws from databases on farming knowledge and can provide answers with an attached probability rating. The advantage with IBM Watson is that it can understand natural language and interact with users in a human way. The chatbot will assist farmers by providing answers to their questions, giving advice and recommendations on specific farm problems. For example, farmers could take a picture of the pest/disease affecting their crop and the...

Ashley Xu
by Ashley Xu
4 Votes
Comments 5
Ashley Xu

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Flying in, its 9pm local time on a half full Vietnam Airways plane. Flying over Hanoi there are lights and you can see that it is expansive, but there is something different that flying over Sydney or Melbourne. Very little height. It's all flat. Walking through the airport, it is absolutely huge. Masses of space which seems to go unused. Truly vast. Getting through customs is all a blur and then i walk outside and i get hit by a blast of warm, wet air, truly like a sauna.


Uber, the ridesharing powerhouse holds a strong market share in Hanoi so I order one and in minutes a small Hyundai i10 rolls up, I jump in and say hello. From that moment it is obvious that the language barrier is going to be significant. Post ride I look at my bank account to “check the damage”... 8 bucks! I was in the car for at least 40 minutes and I was charged 8 dollars. Thinking about this, I know that instantly Uber has that 2 of those 8 dollars, for the 50km travelled thats a dollar or two of petrol, then there is maintenance of the car so all in all the driver can’t have made more that $1.50 profit from my 40 minutes. Is this representative of business in Vietnam in general or is Uber just really screwing its Vietnamese drivers?


This really provokes thought about the economy of Vietnam and in particular what state is it in to be a hub for startups and entrepreneurial work. The truth I have been discovering throughout this journey and work, is that the world is built on money. The delivery of social impact rides on the back of being able to develop an economically viable, sustainable and scalable business. With this being said, Vietnam is well and truly primed for social business.This is evidenced by the huge startup culture here, with more co-working startup spaces in a single city than I have ever seen.

The trick is going to be finding our niche that we can create impact in. Of course we are looking into that of water and agriculture at the moment which piggybacks off our continued success with FarmEd in Fiji. An interesting study which is currently underway will be investigating the viability of a ‘FarmEd type’ system in Vietnam and then from there pulling out the bits that work, the bits that don’t work and altering the system so it is fitted to the particular sphere that we are in. Personally I am hypothesising that we will find a PMF for the product particularly in the Rice industry, which accounts for 7.4% of global rice exports. So far the research indicates that there are many smaller holdings and the industry is disjointed.


With our Water assessment aswell there are a number of paths to go down. Currently the team is looking into water pollution and supply of potable water which is clearly an issue as you still can’t drink the tap water safely in Vietnam. But there is also the potential to look into agricultural water management in a much deeper scope.


The game is truly afoot here in Vietnam. The teams are excited. I’m excited. And Vietnam is ready for us to shake up the game a bit.



Kai Faulkner

Sydney, Australia

Joined this community on Dec 22, 2016

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