Scott Anderson

What Was 2014’s Most Influential Post?: You tell us – VOTE

I’m resistant to place a label on a year. Media types love to do that. “It was the year of mobile money.” Or, “The year of impact investing,” or “social enterprise” or “social capital.” Economic and global development do not easily fit into the convenient confines of 12 months. Nor do sectors move in monolithic lockstep. You can’t herd them like sheep, or even like cats. To take a line from Curt Bowden’s recent post, “getting nonprofits, companies, government agencies and others to organize feels like herding cougars, i.e. really big cats.”

But we can track what most appealed to our readers during a calendar year. And with the launch of NextBillion Financial Innovation, our new(ish) sister site, in late 2013, we published hundreds of posts about the how and why of new strategies and financial products reaching the underserved. And that showed up in the results of 2014. There was a lot of compelling content, some spirited debates and a few controversies. Readers also were treated to new approaches to affordable housing, supporting smallholder farmers, research on technology adoption at the BoP and what it means to run a “social enterprise” as a profit seeking endeavor.

Now it’s your turn. We need your vote for NextBillion’s annual Most Influential Post contest. Last year’s contest attracted more than 16,000 ballots. That was huge – we’d be thrilled to do even better this year if we can. So please vote early and vote often. You can vote once a day, and for multiple posts if you choose. Please share this link or the contest link itself with your friends, family and colleagues.

Between Dec. 25 and Jan. 3 we will be re-publishing the top 12 most read posts sorted by month, each day of our break. In 2014, we published more than 570 blog posts. And regardless of how popular or how shared any one of these posts might have been, writing is tough. And most of our contributors are not writers by trade. Putting yourself out there with research, a viewpoint that goes against the grain, or “simply” covering a social conference (it’s anything but simple), is no easy endeavor. So from the team here at NB, I’d like to extend a formal THANK YOU to all of our contributors in 2014 and we look forward to working with you again in 2015.

And now, the full list of our most popular articles, listed by month:

JANUARY: NexThought Monday (1/20/14) – The Tragic Failure of Microcredit:Yunus’ dream has become a nightmare for the global poor By Milford Bateman

FEBRUARY: NexThought Monday (2/10/14) – The Kiva Fairytale: It’s a microlending superstar – but who is it really serving? By Hugh Sinclair

MARCH: A Visionary Approach to Financial Inclusion: Nachiket Mor discusses his groundbreaking plan for universal financial access in India – Part 1 By James Militzer

APRIL: Better Loans for Better Housing: How housing microfinance and strategic value chains can help alleviate the low-income housing deficit By Gary Carrier

MAY: Impact and Risk Metrics…in Smallholder Finance and Beyond: Three new metrics collaboration tools from the Initiative for Smallholder Finance By CJ Fonzi and Sara Wallace

JUNE: Who Is the ’User’ In ’User-Centred Design’?: When it comes to financial products, don’t discount the role of intermediaries by Graham Wright

JULY: 5 Success Factors for Technology Distribution and Adoption in the Last Mile By Tomohiro Hamakawa

AUGUST: The Supply Chains of the Future: How Tau Investment Management is using strategic supply chain investment to transform the garment industry By James Militzer

SEPTEMBER: NexThought Monday – Why Did Vittana Close Down?: The real question: why don’t more organizations pull the plug? By Kate Cochran

OCTOBER: When For-Profit is the Right Answer for a Social Enterprise: Nuru International’s transformation toward profitability, without losing its social values by Nisha Chakravarty

NOVEMBER: Curbing the “Impact Impostors”: The growing movement toward transparency in impact investing By William Burckart

DECEMBER: Cash Versus Cows (Part 1): Looking at the benefits of asset versus cash transfer programs By Rod Dubitsky and Sadna Samaranayake

Base of the Pyramid, financial inclusion, impact investing, smallholder farmers