ProjectBoP Health Sector Dialogue in Buenos Aires
The market size of the health sector in Latin America and the Caribbean amounts to US$31 billion in PPP and is expected to grow steadily in the coming years. Even with very limited disposable income, people spend a considerable proportion of their resources on health care and medicines. Reaching into these markets is not business as usual. Health systems are typically not functional. Key structures and actors that companies usually rely on are missing. Qualified doctors and pharmacists, proper regulation, logistics systems, insurance and other financial services – all these market enablers are frequently lacking or are of poor quality.
As a side event to the Ashoka Globalizer conference in Buenos Aires, GIZ hosted a workshop for Ashoka Fellows in the health sector. This workshop, implemented by Endeva and Ashoka, engaged social entrepreneurs as well as participants from NGOs and the public sector in a peer-to-peer exchange on best practices of doing business in the healthcare sector, engaging in partnerships as well as scaling and replication.
The workshop brought together different stakeholders from the health sector in Latin America. Innovative social entrepreneurs, such as Javier Lozano from the diabetes clinics Clinicas de Azúcar, shared his solution to increase affordability and awareness of the highly prevalent disease in Mexico. The workshop also introduced two potential partners to the entrepreneurs. Matthias Fuchs, Innovation Leader Corporate Strategy & Development at the pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, talked about how the company supports social entrepreneurs through the “Making more Health” initiative, contributing their knowledge, skills, experience, and network. Ana Botero, Director of Social Innovation at the Latin American Development Bank CAF, presented how CAF supports and finances the replication of the German business model “Discovering Hands” to the Columbian context. The social enterprise leverages the touching skills of blind women for the early detection of breast cancer. The networking space was used to share success factors and challenges and talk about possible partnerships.