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Accelerating the impact of social enterprise

Updated: Jan 18, 2021



As the landscape for development shifts, how can NGOs adapt their business models to continue to generate impact?


Help future-proof PSI’s offering for sustainable consumer powered care

Global trends call for traditional approaches to development to shift. Building off of its 50 year history of marketing at scale, PSI seeks to transition donor funded development activities to thriving social businesses. Allowing for incentive and subsidy alignment and commercial discipline across markets and with enterprise innovation and innovators.



Enable a subset of PSI’s businesses to pursue both commercial viability and health impact

With PSI we recommended the establishment of commercial business unit to scale commercially viable solutions in primary care. The unit will also take a new approach to a set of PSIs existing businesses and will forge strategic alliances with innovators, social enterprises and commercial partners.



PSI has a history of transitioning programs from donor-support to commercially viable businesses. PSI affiliates in Latin America successfully transitioned away from donor support ten years ago. Today they are vibrant, commercial enterprises that create sustainable health impact for their customers.

While PSI has made investments in a Social Enterprise function, its existing structure is not always fit for purpose to enable this transformation across its entire product portfolio. A commercial business unit is required to enable other regions to accelerate the impact and commercial viability of their product businesses.

The commercial business unit can also leverage strategic partnerships to accelerate the future of consumer-centered care. The commercial business unit can also partner to accelerate the uptake of high-impact commercial innovations that serve customers, the health workforce or strengthen the health care enabling environment in geographies of focus.

Through learning and experimentation, PSI can pave the way towards new models for development. Global health donors are increasingly interested in market-based mechanisms that support self-reliance. PSI’s work can help light the way towards new models for impact at scale.

"One of the more promising approaches is to turn our non-profit programs into social enterprises ... to continue to deliver health impact and meet the health needs of our consumers.”

Karl W. Hofmann – President & CEO, Population Services International



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