We thought we'd share with you, dear readers, why we are bullish on our for profit social enterprise marketplace approach to global health technologies.
1) Suppliers and manufacturers: suppliers and manufacturers are accustomed to dealing with other businesses. We find that being a business and operating with business principles is optimal when negotiating contracts with suppliers and manufacturers.
2) Like products should be marketed together: the status quo is that there are now literally hundreds of global health entrepreneurs all going after many of the same markets. Each time, the entrpreneur has to learn the ropes from scratch, often spending years in the process. We think it is a no brainer for like products to be marketed together in one online marketplace
3) Some products will fail: Yes, some products will fail. That's right, and so impact investors ought to invest in a suite of products just as they invest in a suite of startups. We believe that our approach to marketing a range of products gives us not only a very strong portfolio, but it also allows certain products to fail and not undermine the overall mission of the social enterprise.
4) Customers want and need choice and a trusted source: We are building the Maternova brand so that it becomes the trusted place for customers (governments, faith based organizations, private hospitals, midwifery schools) to rate, compare, research and purchase innovations.
5) Products need champions! and we want to be that champion. What do we mean by a champion? We have researched dozens of innovations which have lost steam or become stuck at the point when they finally reach the manufacturer-- manufacturers do not typically champion products! This is not well understood in the global health community. Often technologies are stuck because the proper amount of marketing has not surrounded them-- they are not widely known and thus the manufacturer who has agreed to produce them can't reach minimum order quantities.
That's a wrap for now. Let us know your thoughts.