Scott Anderson

June’s Most-Read, Most-Shared Posts on NextBillion

Maria Eitel was provided with a team of two staffers when she took the helm at the Nike Foundation. She had just completed an assignment as Nike Inc.’s first-ever vice president of corporate responsibility. The nascent foundation was similarly a blank canvas. Eitel could have focused on anything from inner city gang violence to animal rights, but she honed in on a more fundamental issue: alleviating poverty among adolescent girls as a key to addressing the countless problems that cascade from it.

Of course, not everyone can have a $39 million foundation behind their efforts. But Eitel’s story and her actions are highly relatable: provide a vision, build a business case, and stick to it. She explained how Nike’s “The Girl Effect” initative is doing more than raising money and awareness (it’s become a campaign all its own), during the Women Deliver Conference. The event attracted more than 4,500 leaders and advocates – representing over 2,200 organizations and 149 countries – in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

As Nilima Achwal, who leads the SEED program at Villgro Innovations Foundation, wrote in her June post on NextBillion, Eitel:

“… made the economic case to Nike, which recognized the strength of the proposition and supported the endeavor. Soon, Eitel had succeeded in placing adolescent girls on the global agenda and mobilizing resources to impactful organizations. Every move the foundation makes, in true Nike form, is guided by a rigorous business plan – Eitel hopes their strategic action will allow them to impact 50 million adolescent girls by 2030. ‘The Girl Effect’ is one platform that has allowed them to mobilize key stakeholders.”

Nilima’s overview post, Women Deliver Conference 2013: Why it pays to invest in women and the follow-up Women Deliver Conference 2013: A holistic approach to reaching scale respectively were our most and second-most read posts of the month. That second article profiled many of the “Women Deliver 25,” a pool of 25 global social enterprises chosen from the Echoing Green semi-finalists.

The popularity of these two posts reinforces a trend we regularly see here at NB: there’s high demand for information and inspiration about forming, investing in and managing businesses and nonprofits that serve/empower women and girls. Nilima’s articles had plenty of both.

The third most-read post in June, Geeks vs. Quacks: How Swasth Health Centers is out-competing informal providers, was penned by Rose Reis from the Center for Health Market Innovation. She profiled the growing chain Swasth Health Center and its founders Sundeep Kapila and Ankur Pegu, who are using their alpha geek status to cut prescription drug costs for patients. Key quotes:

“Thanks to their connections in the pharmaceutical industry, they have cut out several layers of middle men, purchasing medication at a steep discount, and still pricing it at about 40-50 percent less than their competitors.

Internal monitors track medication and equipment stock, assets, customer details and their 80 staff members, who are managed by Kapila’s wife Garima, another McKinsey alum. Swasth is starting to customize versions of the information system for other health care companies, such as the eye care company ERC, in Assam—they joke that they’ll call this side business “Swasth Inside’”

Rounding out the top five most-read posts in June were:

Understanding What Makes Impact Accelerators … Accelerate : New ANDE/Village Capital report, by Ross Baird and Saurabh Lall


NexThought Monday – Want to Help Africa’s SMEs? Improve Their Internet Access: A new report from Dalberg highlights the Web’s huge social and economic potential by Daniel Kaplan


Most Popular on Twitter

The Profit vs. Nonprofit Tug of War: From investors to employees, why my social business did a 180 by Saba Gul


Diagnosing Jaundice by Phone: How ClikJaundice is using mobile technology to empower parents at the BoP By Perzen Patel

Most Popular on Facebook

No Fortune at the BoP?: Globe-trotting economist Paul Clyde on the promise (and limitations) of health care delivery models that serve the poor – Part 1 By James Militzer

Match Return Expectations to the Market You’re Serving: (With video) Omidyar Network shares lessons learned from the impact Investing field (Pt 2) By Paula Goldman

Editor’s Pick

Here’s a post you may have overlooked, but shouldn’t. NexThought Monday: What business can teach philanthropists By Doug Balfour. It’s a great perspective from an executive who has walked both the nonprofit and for-profit worlds of development.

If you haven’t already checked out these highly read and highly shared posts, check ‘em out now, or bookmark them for your digital summer reading list. Congratulations to all of our writers this month, and thank you for your contributions.