Accelerating the learning curve: guides to help entrepreneurs steer obstacles into opportunities and more in this week's News Roundup!

Program News:

In just over a decade Narayana Health has become one of India’s leading health care networks. Narayana is now spreading their network to the Grand Cayman Island, initially offering expertise in cardiac surgery, cardiology and orthopedics. 

In India, social enterprises like Operation ASHA are being praised for their rapid ability to attack some of the country’s most pressing health issues. This Guardian article examines the growing private sector movement. 

Named by the Guardian as one of the top Twitter accounts to offer insights into poverty through business solutions is Hapinoy, a a network of small stores offering affordable, nonprescription and over the counter medicines in the Philippines. Follow them on Twitter here

With minimal or no access to health services in Guatemala, people often turn to self medication or expensive, lengthy trips to far away clinics. To tackle this problem, several organizations came together to establish Tiendas de la Salud or TISA, a network of 70 financially sustainable health stores that provide affordable, high-quality medicines and basic health products. Read more about the organization and their implementation practices that have helped them to become successful here


Save the Date: the SHOPS project will host a special session on "The Role of the Private Sector in Family Planning: Past, Present, and Future” on March 20 in Washington, DC. The session will feature presentations from USAID, Maries Stopes International, and the SHOPS project. 

HarvardX is offering “Innovating in Health Care,” an eleven week online course on evaluating and crafting business models that attain alignment between an entrepreneurial health care venture and the six factors that critically shape new health care ventures - Financing, Structure, Public Policy, Consumers, Technology, and Accountability. The course begins March 31

The world’s largest social enterprise focused Summit is back, and it is bigger than ever before. Last year, the Sankalp Unconvention Summit saw over 1,000 donors and startups converged from 22 countries. This year’s Summit will be held April 9 - April 11 in Mumbai, India. Don’t miss your opportunity to participate in this summit, register here! Interested in learning how to create impact in your program? Vote for Swasti's  “Investing In Health – How Do We Create Impact” forum here

Duke University is offering “Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” a six week online course focused on sustainable innovation, introducing entrepreneurial students to the realities of problem identification and solution design within the complex world of healthcare. The course begins April 21

Villgro is piloting a 12-month in-residence program for very early-stage entrepreneurs through their Villgro Entrepreneur in Residence Program. The program has been designed to give first-time entrepreneurs an opportunity to convert their innovative ideas for a product or service into a social enterprise. Learn more here



In Microinsurance Paper #29, lessons from nine subsidized insurance schemes for government and donors on how to effectively design and implement “smart” subsidies for both agriculture and health micro insurance are examined.

Microinsurance Paper #21 reviews literature and 13 insurance schemes that are using mobile phones in their work. The brief explores lessons and good practices to consider when implementing mobile-based microinsurance activities.

McKinsey Global Institute has created the Empowerment Line, an analytical framework that determines the level of consumption required to fulfill eight basic needs—food, energy, housing, drinking water, sanitation, health care, education, and social security—at a level sufficient to achieve a decent standard of living rather than bare subsistence, applying it to India. Read more about their findings here

What can be learned from failure? Issue 11 of Business Innovation Facility identifies ten reasons why inclusive business get delayed or stalled and what can be done to turn nonfufillment into success. 

With a growing variety of new and emerging health innovations pouring into resource-poor markets, it’s important that entrepreneurs have access to information about the variety of incoming obstacles they may face as they grow. In this Global Health Innovation Guidebook, Lyn Denend and Amy Lockwood outline seven key lessons that entrepreneurs should consider as they venture into the world of health innovation.

Access to mobile phones has the capacity to revolutionize the world of social entrepreneurship, especially in developing countries where eighty percent of overall mobile subscriptions exist. Nextbillion provides this Mobile for Development Resource for innovators seeking to learn about the market and join the community of mobile operator members. Learn more here

General News:

To address Ghana’s 20 percent childhood diarrhea prevalence rate, SHOPS team is providing mobile technology services to drug sellers as a way to supervise activities more effectively. Read more about the supportive supervision model here

Through a 2011 USAID-funded SHOPS business training program Alice Mainza, a registered midwife, improved her financial record-keeping, re-evaluated her clinic’s performance, diversified  her practice and became the only clinic in Kamwala, Zambia to offer expanded family planning and maternal and child health care services. Learn more about Alice’s experience with SHOPS training here