Julia Tran

Changemakers Competition a Magnet for Health Innovations

Ashoka’s Changemakers competition, “Disruptive Innovations in Health and Health Care” closed today, and it looks to be a treasure trove of business model innovations that are bringing health solutions to the BOP. There are entries from microinsurance, franchising, direct selling, telemedicine, and biotechnology projects, among many other project types. Projects focused on improving healthcare in the US are interspersed with those that focus on healthcare for the BOP, raising interesting possibilities of North-South knowledge sharing.

A number of the business models have been mentioned on NextBillion in the past–e.g., Living Goods, Abhay Clinics, Medicine Shoppe India–and their competition entries provide tantalizing details on their operations and financials. Three entrants, Mi Farmacita, Scojo Foundation, and CFWshops Kenya, have been the subjects of our full-length What Works case studies. There are also several projects that have not been explored on NextBillion, such as Freedom From Hunger’s MicroBusiness for Health, and MicroClinic in Ghana, among many promising others.And the fun doesn’t stop there. We can participate by giving feedback to entrants and voting on who gets the competition money. Judges will choose 12 finalists from the 300-odd entries. From there, public voting will determine the three winners who will each receive $5000 in prize money. Voting is open from August 15-August 28.