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Next Billion

NextBillion.net is a website and blog about how business drives positive social and environmental change in low-income communities. We serve as a discussion forum, networking space and knowledge base for individuals and organizations interested in the "next billion" – the next billion people to rise from the base of the economic pyramid (BOP), and the next billion in profits for businesses that strive to fill market gaps by integrating the BOP into healthy economies. Our goal is to promote the development and implementation of business strategies that open opportunities and improve quality of life for the world’s 4 billion low-income producers and consumers.

Website: http://www.nextbillion.net/


Derek Newberry-dnewberry@wri.org

Using Microfinance to Bring Safe Drinking Water to Rural India
March 25, 2008 09:29 AM - , Next Billion

Yakalakshmi lives in Nekkunda village, part of the Telengana region of Andhra Pradesh, with her husband and two children. Though she has water piped to her house by the village panchayat, her entire family fell ill for a month last monsoon season by drinking water directly from the tap. "We all got high fever and severe diarrhea," and as a result, "we had to spend around Rs. 4000 ($100) on health care, which was very difficult for us." So, when Yakalakshmi got the opportunity this past January to buy an effective water purifier through her Self Help Group (SHG) on an installment basis, she was one of the first to sign up.

Great Innovation: The Brazilian Waterless Car Wash
March 24, 2008 09:24 AM - , Next Billion

If you have ever gotten service at a car wash in Brazil, you know that many of them make up the phenomenon Hernando DeSoto calls dead capital. They operate outside of the formal economy, paying low wages off the books, skipping out on taxes and side-stepping regulations. This is the environment the owners of DryWash stepped into when their business first opened in 1994. I had the chance to talk to a partner of their International division recently and our discussion reminded me that the day in and day out work of the entrepreneurs and small businesspeople in developing countries is sometimes the most overlooked sustainable development initiative.

Is Nano a No-No? Nanotechnology Advances into Buildings
March 6, 2008 11:31 PM - , Next Billion

It’s revolutionary, it’s the next big thing, and it’s going to change everything. The media and industry representatives have described nanotechnology with so much excitement in the last decade, and at such a growing pace, that to illustrate the trend one investment firm has measured the explosion of this coverage with what it calls a nanotechnology hype index.

Exploring the Green-BoP Nexus Pt. 1: A Nano-Sized Car Reveals
February 27, 2008 10:34 AM - , Next Billion

The launch of the Tata Nano, the ridiculously low-priced car that could open a floodgate of new drivers in India and elsewhere, is undoubtedly one of the milestone innovations marking the early years of the 21st century. This is not just because of the unprecedented feat of technological and design innovation it represents but because of the huge rift it exposes in the public debate over the linkages between two crucial concepts, poverty and environment.

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