Why is This Web Site Called Next Billion?
We chose Next Billion for its 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 billion(s) in profits for businesses that fill market gaps by integrating the BoP into formal economies.
NextBillion.net 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". Our 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.
NextBillion.net launched in May 2005 as an initiative of the World Resources Institute's Markets and Enterprise Program. The site has evolved to become a blog, newsroom, research tool and career center - all dedicated solely to exploring the "next billion" and the base of the pyramid ideas.
In April 2008, the World Resources Institute entered a partnership with Acumen Fund to co-own and co-manage NextBillion.net. Acumen Fund is a non-profit global venture fund that uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty. In January 2010, two leading organizations in the base of the pyramid space joined NextBillion's as partners and sponsors: the William Davidson Institute (WDI) at the University of Michigan as a Managing Partner, and Technoserve as an Associate Partner. Acumen Fund stepped down a few months later, but continues as an Associate Partner.
Under the terms of the partnership, each organization (WDI and WRI) supports NextBillion.net with staff time and shares the costs of developing, hosting and maintaining the site. At WRI, the staff of NextBillion.net are also part of the Institute's New Ventures initiative.