School of Public Health and Community Medicine

YSBHH Research

Microfinance scheme in Tunduru

Microfinance scheme in Ruvuma region - Tanzania was started in July 2017, the aim of the initiative is to create jobs and alleviate poverty. The initiative “Microfinance scheme in Tunduru” explores opportunities and barriers influencing micro-enterprises’ access to finance in rural and semi urban areas, and provide alternative solution to existing challenges. The initiative gives micro-enterprises and informal-economy businesses access to capital money to start and develop small business and to secure savings and borrowings with transparent costs, low interest rate and without time burden to return the loan. Objectives of the microfinance scheme in are:

  1. To provide low interest loans to individuals and groups of women and young entrepreneurs, to enable them to establish or develop their small businesses, to increase their income.
  2. To provide entrepreneurship training to groups of entrepreneurs and individuals to enable them to reach business goals.

 

Social enterprise, digital health & citizen engagement for integrated healthcare delivery: a conceptual framework

As public healthcare systems in developed nations seem to produce only limited gains in population health, policymakers are increasingly looking elsewhere for convincing solutions to improve population health. In developing countries, public health systems are notoriously underfunded, and precariously overloaded; the need for other actors to step in and fill the gaps in healthcare service delivery has been evident for a while. Social enterprises hold great promise in being able to meet these needs in both developed and developing nations, and many efforts are already underway in this regard. Social entrepreneurs involved in health service delivery are harnessing the capacity of digital health (including eHealth, mHealth, health informatics, etc.) to improve service delivery, while also lowering the cost of care. Critically, this in turn enables those at the bottom of the economic pyramid (who were previously priced out of the market) to now have access to these essential services. Crucial to the design and delivery of effective services using a social enterprise business model and digital health, is robust citizen engagement, involving two-way communication in an iterative process of continuous improvement. This interdisciplinary project aims to develop a conceptual framework for utilising Social Enterprise, Digital Health, and Citizen Engagement to deliver Integrated, Patient-Centred Health Services. The project bridges the WHO Collaborating Centre for eHealth, and UNSW’s Yunus Social Business Health Hub (YSBHH), and is being undertaken by Dr Myron Anthony Godinho, a Scientia PhD Scholar at the School for Public Health and Community Medicine, UNSW Sydney.


 

Social business concepts and practices in healthcare service delivery in Australia

In Australia, particularly in the context of government policy and programs (e.g. tax system and business laws with a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation, new Entrepreneur visa from Nov, 2016 and 6.4% estimated growth of community-based care business), Social Business-the part of the third sector engaged in business- can act as potential ‘business’ model of healthcare service delivery at community level. In the social business model, the business runs as a non-dividend business that is created with an objective to address and solve a social problem by applying business principles (Villis et al., 2013). The three main features distinguish this model - it endeavours to eliminate social problems and poverty; it must be operated in a sustainable manner; and all profits – when they are made – are to be reinvested into the business instead of being distributed among its shareholders (Yunus et al., 2015:46). This research aims to document good practices in the operation and management of socially responsible community-led organisations serving in the disadvantageous communities of Australia.


 

Understanding small-entrepreneurs for community’s well-being: social business perspective

The objective of this study is to understand the unique social business model of small scale entrepreneurs and analyze its growth rates towards community’s well-being. Social business research has matured rapidly in recent times and anecdotal reports of spectacular success stories have appeared in the popular press. There is also a growing urgency to articulate ‘How to make social business for small-entrepreneurs work for community’s well-being of your country?’, ‘What are the differentiating factors of social business operational model.’ Our current research suggests that social business through small-entrepreneurs can unlock the potential of dramatic growth and employment in any society; consequently, achieve well-being of the community.


 

Social business involvement by company that is counterproductive to health and wellbeing

Discuss in relation to business ideas e.g. Danon Yogurt usually has high sugar content. Worldwide, Diabetes mellitus has been found to be the leading cause of death and disability (Lozano et al., 2012; Murray et al., 2012) and sugar, processed food all has been implicated in increased risk of diabetes mellitus (Gross et al., 2004). Another example, in India hand rolled tobacco or ‘bidi’ is considered to be a cottage industry which employs a lot of women and local products (kendu leaf, locally grown tobacco) are used. However, the occupational health hazards of the bidi workers have been well documented (Khanna et al., 2014) and long term and permanent health challenges that tobacco evokes all points towards serious health hazards. Given these facts, how social business can approve a business proposal making yogurt rich in processed sugar or a small-business making ‘bidi’? Can the long-term health impacts be ignored for short-term gains? Is there a greater need of more rigorous process of evaluation before a business proposal be approved and invested on?