Scott Anderson

February’s ‘NextBillies’ : The most-read, most shared posts for February

Welcome once again to the “NextBillies,” our monthly awards recognizing the most-read and most-discussed posts on NextBillion from the previous month. Unfortunately, we have no trophies, no Oscar-like awards to hand out, and no black tie optional gala. On the upside, we offer something far superior to our winners: Deep and abiding appreciation for their efforts. And isn’t that better than some chintzy trophy or glitzy after-party?

In February, we completed one series – “BPO for the BoP” – that explored the emerging impact sourcing trend, and launched another series, “What’s Next for Impact Investing?” For the latter series, which you can find on our The Big Idea blog, we’re hearing from practitioners – also known as the folks cutting the deals and managing the funds investing in social enterprises.

Right out of the gate, the first post in this growing collection What’s Next for Impact Investing?: The value of a formal fund structure to maximize impact by Bob Webster was the most-read post of the month, even though it was published on Feb. 25. Webster, who is the chief operating officer of Grassroots Business Fund (GBF), makes the case for a for-profit/nonprofit hybrid model for developing entrepreneurs and investing in them.

Money quote:

“GBF took a giant leap in this direction by recently establishing a hybrid model that includes: (1) a formal fund with institutional and angel investors (with the rigor, transparency, and performance they demand); and (2) its not-for-profit serving as both the fund manager and the vehicle for ‘side-car’ business advisory services, providing support for the fund’s portfolio companies.”

Our other winners for “most-read” this month, listed in the order of popularity, include:

Pushing Back on ‘Scalable’: Reconsidering the buzz word for a successful social enterprise by Daniel Ferratoni

Village Capital: Lessons Learned from our First 15 Programs: And announcing our 16th and 17th By Ross Baird

Building India’s Social Enterprise Ecosystem – Where it Matters By Nilima Achwal

Special Series (Part 4): BPO for the BoP – Work+Study=Job: Understanding of employment impact of a mid-stage Impact Sourcing Service Provider in Africa By Sateen Sheth

Most Shared for February

The three most-shared articles on Twitter and Facebook this month were:

Village Capital: Lessons Learned from our First 15 Programs: And announcing our 16th and 17th By Ross Baird

Changing Our Priorities: When we don’t actually want what we ‘need’ By Josh Cleveland

Nutrients For All: Envisioning a new food system By Kristie Wang

Hidden Gem

Good show! How an NGO convinced commercial TV to serve the poor By Emily Ostrowski

This is my pick for a post you should be reading, but might have overlooked. We have a cable channel for just about every niche and interest imaginable. What about a pro-social business, anti-poverty channel? Here’s hoping the new cable TV network from Jeff Skoll’s Participant Media, set to go live in summer 2013, will include similar programming. Stay tuned.

Please join me in thanking this month’s contributors and feel free to read, or re-read, February’s posts.