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
We pause at the start of 2013 to reiterate what drives us in what we do. As you may well know, Maternova is building an online marketplace for technologies and protocols that save the lives of mothers and newborns. We want to remove epic layers of red tape to make it easy for clinicians and researchers to access life-saving technologies. We'd like to make it as easy as click and ship.
We worked with the firm Undefined Creative, a New York based studio, to develop our first motion graphics video. How did we do it? Well, the secret sauce was @catchafire. This startup partners professionals with social enterprises--and Maternova was one of the founding members of the Boston 'edition' of Catchafire. This enables professionals in specific categories (editors, financial forescasting motion graphics, SEO, etc.) to partner in what they do best with social enterprises needing a specific time-limited projects.
In the midst of our focus on innovation, we pause to take a moment to recognize and reflect the stark realities faced by midwives in low-resource settings. Some areas have access to basic equipment needs, and are innovating in the technology realm: designing lower cost, solar-powered lights, power and blood banks. But in many places the challenge is making do with an indescribable shortage. Our advisor, Dorcas Kamanda, reminded us that in Sierra Leone she teaches women to take a piece of a plant to tie the umbilical cord because string is simply not available.
Beyond Profit is a new social enterprise magazine covering new models to bring innovative solutions to challenges related to poverty, climate change, education, and health. They present the stories, people and ideas behind these innovating social ventures by bringing you first-hand insights and expert commentary. In a week in November when maternal health ventures were featured, Maternova was covered alongside stellar providers of care including LifeSpring Hospitals.
The availability of skilled professionals is key to maternal and neonatal health. At Maternova, we are interested in mapping the current locations of skilled birth attendants--but just as interested in highlighting the precise areas where access is most inadequate. A new study documents health workers shortages country by country in Africa and I briefly cover it here.