I love to explore. I love seeing where one Google search takes me. I love how watching one TED talk by the founder of the Acumen Fund, Jacqueline Novogratz, leads me to find NextBillion.net. In their words, Next Billion is a website and blog bringing together the community of business leaders, social entrepreneurs, NGOs, policy makers and academics who want to explore the connection between development and enterprise. It is a discussion forum, networking space and knowledge base for individuals and organizations interested in the “next billion”. Their goal is to highlight the development and implementation of business strategies that open opportunities and improve the lives of the world’s approximately 4 billion low-income producers and consumers.

Next Billion bases itself on creating business models that engage low income communities as producers and consumers. While development aid and political reform are essential components in poverty eradication, successful business models can sometimes tackle development challenges more quickly and effectively than government and aid mechanisms.

Next Billion uses the term BoP, an acronym for “base of the (economic) pyramid.” This term was first introduced by Professors C.K. Prahalad and Stuart Hart in their 2002 article, “The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid.” It has come to designate not the poverty but the potential of the world’s poorest citizens as entrepreneurs, employees and discerning consumers. It also refers to the approximately four billion people whose incomes are less than $3000 per year (PPP), based on analysis done at the World Resources Institute.

The site has a blog, research, news and career links all related to this idea of
bringing smart enterprise to low income communities so that they become self-sustaining. I have tagged this site on delicious and am following it on LinkedIn and Twitter. Seems like a great resource.