NextBillion.net - one of the Web’s top business blogs - today announced a new look intended to make it the go-to online resource for discussions about business-model development aimed at helping poor people.
“What we need is for iconic companies doing things at the bottom of the pyramid to be highly publicized,” said University of Michigan business professor C.K. Prahalad, a fan of the site and author of The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid. “NextBillion.net can provide stories that allow people to understand that this is a real market opportunity, that the poor can be extraordinarily good micro-entrepreneurs, micro-producers, micro-consumers, and micro-innovators.”
NextBillion.net serves as a resource for corporations, foundations, students and professors at business schools, poverty-focused non-profits, development organizations, and many others. Topic areas include telecommunications and IT, successful business models, policy, financial services, consumer products, agriculture, health, education, energy, and strategy.
Originally launched in May 2005, NextBillion.net now has 10 staff writers and editors and more than 40,000 unique visitors per month. Those visitors include employees from Fortune 500 companies like Google, SC Johnson, Lenovo, DuPont and Microsoft, to name a few.
NextBillion.net has a dual meaning: on the one hand, the phrase represents the next billion people to rise into the middle class from the base of the economic pyramid (BoP); on the other, it indicates the next billions in profits for businesses that fill market gaps by integrating the BoP into formal economies. The site highlights business strategies that open opportunities and improve the lives of the world’s approximately 4 billion low-income producers and consumers. Successful business models - inherently versatile, innovative, and driven by the profit motive - can sometimes tackle development challenges more quickly and effectively than government and aid mechanisms.
The Web site’s new look includes:
<img src="/sites/default/files/Next%20Billion%20logo.JPG" width="167" align="right" height="61" />
“This is the online hub for all business innovation for poor people at the base of the pyramid,” said Francisco Noguera, co-editor of NextBillion.net and a research analyst at the World Resources Institute (WRI), which developed the Web site in partnership with Acumen Fund.
“The research and vast amount of ideas compiled at NextBillion.net over the past four years is extremely user-friendly and allows people to find each other and really be part of this business community,” added Robert Katz, co-editor of NextBillion.net and an associate at Acumen Fund.