Next Billion Series

  • January 10- World's Largest Social Enterprise Directory, iuMAP, Gets a Makeover

    In July, Ayllu released iuMAP (read why we built it here) in media partnership with NextBillion. Since then, it has grown by 50% and is easier to search. iuMAP now lists the majority of the world's social enterprises (450 enterprises in 65+ developing countries), and it has been visited by users in 133 countries!

  • December 15- Milaap Bridges the Gap for Microfranchisors

    Getting the finance right is key to implementing a successful microfranchise model. In fact, it's often about mitigating the risk of the microfranchisee. When an entrepreneur wants to sell a highly desirable product, a solar lamp for example, product acquisition can be tricky. First, the capital investment is expensive. Secondly, it involves risk; if the entrepreneur fails to sell her inventory, she's stuck with the liability. What's needed is a financing mechanism that reduces the risk borne by the already vulnerable entrepreneur. That's where an organization like Milaap comes in.

  • November 30- The Next Level of Micro-credit: Distributor Finance

    Financing distribution networks isn't exactly a sexy topic. Yet, distributors are a key part of any value chain, and without them, there would be no way for a product to reach a large number of customers. Many social enterprises focused on BoP customers use independent or franchised distributors that also are from poor communities and need financing to cover startup costs, such as equipment and initial inventory. Given the emphasis and urgency to scale solutions, finding workable ways to fund distribution systems is a critically important - but difficult - endeavor.

  • August 26- Support for Microfranchising: Knowledge, Funding and Missing Links

    Originally posted on This post is the final entry in a series introducing iuMAP, focused on microfranchising.  There has been some great discussion of microfranchising recently (such as this SSIR article), and this series provides an...

  • August 25- Investing in Microfranchising: What Should I Know?

    Originally posted on This post is part of a series focused on microfranchising, a common way many social enterprises distribute their products.  There has been some great discussion of microfranchising recently (such as this SSIR art...

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