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The Mobile Maternal Entrepreneurs

What would it look like to apply a social enterprise model to the mobile tech/maternal health inquiry? VisionSpring developed a mobile eye glass business to improve eyesight for millions of low-middle income families and created jobs in the process. Could the same concept be incorporated to develop the most effective mobile tools and immediate care? Could it be applied to a CHWs existing toolkit (in both areas of education and levels of care)? Not everyone can afford a smart phone with all the tools that might be needed for assessment but what if there were a few who had all the tools in their "business in a bag" or "health services in the rucksack"?

Photo of Kara Pecknold
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From their site:

"To reach the hundreds of millions of low-income consumers in the developing world, VisionSpring empowers local individuals to launch their own businesses selling a simple, yet powerful tool – eyeglasses. Each Vision Entrepreneur:

    * Conducts marketing & educational outreach

    * Screens & sells eyeglasses

    * Refers those requiring prescription glasses to optometrists

Business in a Bag

Each Vision Entrepreneur receives his or her own Business in a Bag, a microfranchise sales kit containing all the products and materials needed to market and sell eyeglasses. Vision Entrepreneurs undergo a three-day training in basic eye care and business management and receive close, ongoing support from staff.

Equipped with their Business in a Bag, Vision Entrepreneurs conduct educational outreach on vision care and offer screenings in their communities. To maximize their efforts, Vision Entrepreneurs partner with reputable local institutions such as schools and churches to host mobile vision campaigns."

Would a business model like this allow for innovations to emerge, human connections to be maintained and the relevant data to be included in the mobile solutions for women?


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Photo of Kara Pecknold

Great link, Nicholas! I'm also curious to uncover what alternative business ideas could emerge. Beyond a phone business, what are the other potential services that could be developed where mobile tech is applied.

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