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)
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)
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)
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.