We stand before unprecedented opportunity to improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people in emerging markets. Powerful trends—from the rapid spread of mobile phones to growing middle classes, from the global uptick in entrepreneurship to the increased flow of capital toward developing economies—have made possible commercial innovations serving populations once excluded from market access. Consider: alternative credit scores to allow those who can’t get traditional bank loans to invest for the future; affordable solar lighting to enable children without reliable electricity to study at night; job-matching marketplaces accessed on a mobile phone that allow workers in informal markets to connect to better employment opportunities.

Individually, such innovations can tangibly improve the lives and futures of hundreds of millions of low- and lower-middle-income people across developing and emerging economies. Collectively, they have the potential to create new industries and accelerate economic growth.

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