Social Entrepreneurs: Correcting Market Failures (B)

By James Phills, Lyn Denend
2005 | Case No. SI72B | Length 4 pgs.
David Green, Victoria Hale, and Jim Fruchterman had each developed unique and innovative solutions that addressed glaring “market failures.” For Green, and his organization Project Impact, it was a new approach to manufacturing low-cost, high-quality medical supplies. For Hale, of OneWorld Health, it was an organization and process for developing drugs to treat infectious diseases affecting millions of the world’s poorest people. Fruchterman, of Benetech, had created a host of technology-based products that supported the disabled, the vulnerable, and the forgotten. Yet, while these three social entrepreneurs had made great strides in understanding and inventing new approaches to persistent and neglected problems, they all found that their ultimate impact hinged on how effectively they could get these solutions into the hands of their intended beneficiaries. Without timely, cost effective, and broad distribution, the remarkable innovations they had engendered would fall short of their potential. This paper explores the challenge of distribution, particularly for non-profit entities seeking to bring their products and services to hard-to-reach places around the world. It also describes the creative solutions employed by three innovative organizations. This case has a video supplement, Social Entrepreneurs: Correcting Market Failures.
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