April 9, 2014 |

Social entrepreneurs: here are two rules to ensure impact

A smiling health worker reaches for three vials of vaccine.
Vaccine vial monitors (the purple circles shown on these vaccine vials)—developed by PATH, the World Health Organization, and Temptime—show when the vaccine has spoiled due to heat. Photo: PATH/Umit Kartogulu.

“Everyone talks about cross-sector partnerships, but what does it really take to effectively solve global problems and have a viable business?” asks PATH president and CEO Steve Davis on the Skoll World Forum website.

Portrait of Steve Davis.
Steve Davis. Photo: Auston James.

In advance of his participation at this week’s 11th Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship in Oxford, England, Davis wrote about two ways even the smallest entrepreneurs can make a big impact on pressing global health issues through partnership:

  • Know what’s in it for you and what’s in it for your partner.
  • Think big even when you’re small.

From PATH’s work on the vaccine vial monitor—the “world’s smartest sticker”—to a mobile phone–based sensor that can monitor safe pasteurization of breast milk, we rely on partnerships to get lifesaving solutions into people’s hands. Social entrepreneurs can tap into the expertise of PATH and other organizations to overcome product development hurdles, grow their markets, and create social good.

As Davis points out, “If you’re smart, creative, and eager, there is plenty of room at the table to turn great ideas into tremendous lifesaving solutions.”

To read the full commentary, see the Skoll World Forum website.

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