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The Empowerment Lab

From 2008-2010, The Empowerment Lab actively worked to promote innovations that extend the reach of markets in developing countries. The Lab focused on research and activities to promote growth and economic inclusion, uncovering, promoting, and applying sustainable ways to empower the global poor by providing them with access to key markets. Founded with a seed grant from the MPOWER Foundation, the Lab was led by CID Director Professor Ricardo Hausmann.

To achieve its mission, The Empowerment Lab (EL) conducted and supported research that expands the boundaries of our knowledge about access to markets for the underserved. The EL awarded five grants to faculty throughout Harvard University - including Harvard Business School (HBS), Harvard Kennedy School of Government (HKS), and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) – and to one Harvard PhD student.

These include:

About the MPOWER Foundation
The MPOWER Foundation is the philanthropic arm of MPOWER Ventures, a socially committed venture capital fund investing in financial service with a focus on international payments, mobile payments, and retail financial services. MPOWER's mission is to empower the underserved by accelerating the growth of businesses that bring new and needed products and services to underserved markets.

"There is no way we can hope to solve the problems of economic inclusion without research into the systemic causes. We need to engage the academic community to know if we're headed in the right direction."

-Suzi Sosa, President, MPOWER Foundation