Understanding International Social Enterprise (6) – Health Improvement

Health Improvement has been a critical model to address the health issues of the poorest parts of the world. Populations suffering from illnesses have limited access to medical treatment, health services and insurance. Examples of outfits addressing these issues are abundant. One example is VisionSpring, which is a widely known social enterprise that addresses eyesight problems in the developing world by training local people to conduct vision camps, check eyesight, and sell affordable reading glasses. Its slogan "Business in a Bag" represents its micro-franchise model that fosters economic growth for local communities.

Another large international social enterprise, PATH, has been working in over 70 countries worldwide. Their broad services and programs aim to reduce global diseases, develop necessary health technologies, enhance childhood health, promote reproductive concepts (i.e. family planning), and offer universal vaccination.

Let's recall the common business approaches of international social enterprises that we've presented: microfinance, fair trade, energy efficiency, education empowerment, and health improvement. Have you ever heard of these international social enterprises before? Realistically, these business approaches are not panaceas to poverty. Instead, they provide impoverished people with more feasible and sustainable opportunities to obtain employment and income, and ultimately, to increase their financial independence and improve their living conditions.

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