Friday
January 4
2019

NextBillion Editor

See Who Won NB’s Top Post of 2018 Contest

Thank you to everyone who voted in NextBillion’s seventh annual Top Post of the Year contest. Here are the winners and their vote percentage totals as well as the complete results for this year’s competition. Congratulations to the top three winning contributors for their articles, which both challenged and enlightened us. And Happy New Year to all of our readers.

 

First place (29 percent)

The Trouble with ‘Free’: Why Treating the Poor as Customers Works Better than Charity

Lack of access to safe water is a leading cause of illness in developing countries. Yet for years, Guatemalan entrepreneur Philip Wilson’s family foundation worked to distribute free water filters across the countryside, only to see recipients repurpose them as flower pots and garbage cans. After going into the field to meet real families that were living with unsafe water, he came up with a better approach: a business model that treats the rural poor as consumers of products rather than objects of charity. He explores the reasons this model is working, and the challenges it has faced.

 

Second Place (20 Percent)

As Impact Investors We Often Miss One Thing: Who Has the Power?

Impact investors are rightly focused on the social impact of the businesses they invest in. But they often overlook a fundamental question: How does the enterprise localize power? Galen Welsch, co-founder of Jibu, explores why the need to empower local markets should be at the core of social business and investing decisions.

 

Third Place (14 Percent)

PayGo vs. MFIs: What Works Better for Energy Access Consumer Financing – And Does it Have to Be Either/Or?

Many last-mile customers can’t afford clean energy products without financial solutions to help pay for them. Energy enterprises often meet this need in two different ways: by partnering with microfinance institutions (MFIs) to provide loans to customers, or by offering pay-as-you-go (PayGo) financing options. The United Nations Capital Development Fund’s CleanStart program has supported energy providers using both of these models, and Teresa Le, an energy finance consultant at the program, explores their relative merits and challenges.

 

What was the most influential NextBillion post of 2018?
The Superplatforms are Coming … And They Will Transform Financial Inclusion - By David Porteous and Olga Morawczynski
1%
Inclusive Innovation: How Two Mobile Technology Startups are Changing the Game in Microfinance - By June Sugiyama
5%
As Impact Investors We Often Miss One Thing: Who Has the Power? - By Galen Welsch
20%
Serving Smallholder Farmers in the Digital Age: Why it Requires Treating Data Like an Asset - By Bobbi Gray and and Ellen Galdava
6%
Does Greater Inclusion Lead to Financial Health? New Research Raises Pointed Questions for the Industry - By Sonja Kelly and Evelyn Stark
0%
How Western Definitions Perpetuate Ethnocentric Bias – Even Among the Social Impact Crowd - By Rebecca Kaduru
7%
Ease Off on the Accelerators: Why GALI’s Latest Study on Accelerator Programs May Be Overstating Their Impact - By Nicky Khaki
6%
The Vanishing American Dream: The Long Road to Financial Stability - By Jennifer Tescher and Tilman Ehrbeck
0%
The Trouble with ‘Free’: Why Treating the Poor as Customers Works Better than Charity - By Philip Wilson
29%
Homegrown, African-Owned: A New Approach to Building Africa’s Off-Grid Energy Industry - By Dan Murphy and Andreas Zeller
8%
PayGo vs. MFIs: What Works Better for Energy Access Consumer Financing – And Does it Have to Be Either/Or? - By Teresa Le
14%
Power Problem in a Changing Climate: The Renewable Energy Movement is Shortchanging Women and the Poor - By Neha Misra
3%

 


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