Let’s start the new year by profiling one of the most innovative, exciting and successful social impact business models of the last few years. Sproxil, a Massachusetts-based company started in 2009 with operations in five countries; Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, India and the US is revolutionizing the pharmaceuticals market and fighting back dangerous counterfeit drugs which kill approximately 700K people in developing countries a year. Sproxil is doing this through the empowerment of consumers to know what they are buying using their mobile phones. It is a novel idea, and it is working. Sproxil is growing quickly and gaining lots of recognition along the way including being named a White House Champion of Change and Fast Company most innovative healthcare company in 2013.
As the global economy almost came to a collapse over the debate about the right to public health care insurance in the United States. I thought it would be an interesting moment to share the story of a successful for-profit business model to provide affordable health care services to underserved BoP communities in South Africa. Unjani Clinics, which means “How are you?” in Zulu are a sustainable fee for service based business model that provide basic health services such as basic eye care in refurbished containers operated as franchises by certified nurse practioners. It is a model that has gained steam and expanded from three to seven clinics in the last year. Those looking to figure out better ways to better serve the BoP with healthcare services should take noticed.