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Next Billion Looks to Enterprises to Create a Global Middle Class

By: Tiana Reid - Published: • References: nextbillion.net & twitter
Next Billion is an online resource, website and blog that connects social entrepreneurs, non-governmental organizations, business leaders, policy makers and academics on issues that explore the relationship between development and enterprise. Next Billion serves as a place to foster discussion, create spaces for networking and also as a resource of knowledge for everyone interested in how enterprise and development can be intricately connected using market-based strategies for a social and/or environmental aim.

Founded in May 2005, Next Billion is an initiative of both the World Resources Institute’s Markets and Enterprise Program and Acumen Fund. The partnership with Acumen Fund came about in April 2008, and now both of the organizations co-own and co-manage Next Billion.

The name ‘Next Billion’ has two meanings. Firstly, it signifies the next billion people that will rise out of poverty and into the middle class from the the bottom of the economic pyramid (BoP). Secondly, it signifies the next billion(s) of dollars in profits that businesses can fill market gaps by merging the bottom of the pyramid with formal economies.

With volunteer staff writers that contribute to the site at least twice a month, Next Billion has a variety of different features to its website. At the center is the Next Billion blog which includes news, events, interviews, research studies and in-depth analyses and case studies. Next Billion also posts job opportunities in the sector, so it has become a resource for employers and employees to connect with each other. The ‘Take Action’ part of the Next Billion website brings tangible solutions how individuals and organizations alike can make positive changes in the world through market-based strategies. Another element that gives Next Billion an edge, is its Spanish-language sister blog, ‘NextBillion en Español,’ which isn’t a simple translation of everything on the original blog. Rather, NextBillion en Español reflects the Latin American worldview.

Whether you are affiliated with an NGO, the government, a business, or simply looking to make positive social change, Next Billion is a comprehensive resource that invites discussion in order to provide opportunities for underdeveloped communities.

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