Our 2018 editorial calendar will include five (or possibly more) special series focusing on specific issues, trends or challenges in social business in emerging markets. Though these topics may evolve with our readers’ and writers’ interests over the course of the year, these series will initially include:
A SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR RAISING CAPITAL
Social entrepreneurs and impact investors often seem to be speaking different languages – and their divergent priorities often lead to misunderstandings and mutual frustration. This series will explore the kinds of support entrepreneurs most need from investors – and the things investors wish more entrepreneurs understood. We’re seeking frank insights, practical guidance – even the occasional horror story (and the lessons it taught) – from both sides of the negotiating table.
We all love digital innovation – if you’re not amazed by the social impact and business opportunities that mobile tech is delivering around the world, you’re not paying attention. But we’ve noticed a tendency, on and off NextBillion, to make “innovation” synonymous with “the latest app” – and this leaves out an intriguing array of advances happening offline. From water pumps to cold chain storage, from new applications for 3D printing to feats of ingenious engineering – if you’ve come across cool innovations that aren’t based on tapping and swiping, let us know.
Everyone loves a success story, and we’re always happy to publish the latest from well-known enterprises and their media-savvy leaders – indeed, some of these folks are among the oldest friends of our site. But the social business media also needs to make space for fresh faces and new voices – including entrepreneurs who are just starting out. In fact, the unique challenges and opportunities facing startups can lead to valuable insights for enterprises of all stages. So if you’ve got a new social business and a story to tell, contact us – we’d love to draw attention to your work.
COURSE CORRECTION IN SOCIAL ENTERPRISE
Sometimes big dreams don’t translate to big profits. Other times, profits outstrip social impact – and new products or strategies lead to unexpected consequences for an enterprise or its customers. When does it make sense to compromise your social mission, change your business model or strategy, sell out to a bigger company – or shift from for-profit to nonprofit (or vice versa)? Whatever the reason, we’re looking for candid stories of social enterprise transitions – and useful insights on how to execute them successfully.
HIGH TECH BUZZWORDS: HYPE OR REAL IMPACT?
There’s been a lot of attention in the global development sector on a number of buzz-worthy innovations – some are futuristic (artificial intelligence, robotics, 3D printing, drones), others are somewhat inscrutable (blockchain) – and some are intriguing but potentially problematic (the sharing economy). What will be the true impact of these innovations on low-income communities in emerging markets and beyond, and how are they currently being put to use on the ground? Could they actually provide solutions to the age-old problems of poverty, or will their potential be limited by technological complexity or unexpected downsides? If you have a business model to discuss, or just an (informed) opinion to share, let us know.
If you’d like to write a post or pitch an interview related to any of the series above – or to any topic in the broader social enterprise/BoP business space – please contact NextBillion editor James Militzer (firstname.lastname@example.org).