Spend your time and/or money getting high quality backlinks to your money site and start with Wikipedia. A link on Wikipedia is priceless and I think if you are successful you will see movement in the SERPS for your site very soon to follow.
Many people, including students, researchers, academic entities, news channels, blogs and more use Wikipedia to quote a bit here and there. So your backlink should put you into one of the legitimate sources of intelligence. They'll mention you if they think your post benefits them.
Like you've said. Wikipedia's external links are nofollow. Search engine still will get your link and crawl it like usual, but don't expect the Wikipedia's tasty juice to pass to your site.
Wikipedia's backlink won't give you any direct benefit. But indirectly? Absolutely yes.
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