NextBillion is an open forum for the development through enterprise sector. We provide a platform for discussion of business models and innovations that address development challenges in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Based at the William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan (WDI), the site publishes guest-written content from entrepreneurs, investors, researchers and others working in LMICs, along with occasional interviews with executive-level leaders and others who are shaping the business sectors in these countries. 

Our goal is to disseminate knowledge about both the opportunities and challenges of doing business in developing markets, while supporting the enterprises and initiatives working on the ground. Though the vast majority of our coverage focuses on LMICs, we also sometimes cover businesses and initiatives serving low-income communities in the United States. We edit and publish articles from authors with many different viewpoints, and guest writers are welcome to share their opinions freely. But publication on the site doesn’t imply an endorsement of their views by NextBillion or our parent organization, WDI.

NextBillion also offers a curated newsfeed, a calendar of events, and a jobs board highlighting positions available across the development sector. All our content is published free of charge, and promoted extensively on our social networks and weekly e-newsletter.


According to our most recent reader survey, over 60% of NextBillion’s readers are either entrepreneurs/business owners, or executive-level leaders at their organizations. Roughly 50% work at small businesses or nonprofits (with 5-100 employees). According to Google Analytics, around 25% of our readers are based in the U.S., with around 20% based in India: The U.K., Kenya, South Africa, Germany, Pakistan, the Philippines, Nigeria and Canada round out our top 10 reader locations, as of 2022.


NextBillion launched in May 2005 as an initiative of the World Resources Institute’s Markets and Enterprise Program. What began as a blog forum to facilitate early discussions around “base of the pyramid” research and business models has evolved into a comprehensive platform exploring the growing spectrum of market-based solutions to development-related challenges. WDI joined the World Resources Institute in the NextBillion partnership in 2010, and it has managed the site since 2012.


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