Making More Health - the ecosystem approach to make change happen

Ten years ago, Making More Health (MMH) was founded by Boehringer Ingelheim in cooperation with the social entrepreneurs’ network Ashoka. Based on the shared value approach, MMH is already more than a social initiative supporting social entrepreneurs - it has become a movement of change inside and outside the company.  

Shared value vs conventional business

In contrast to traditional business, where companies do not automatically connect social and environmental issues to the heart of the business activities, shared value means that social innovation and environmental protection have to be part of the daily core business activities. Through co-operations with NGOs, social entrepreneurs and other local stakeholders on a regional and community level, social and environmental challenges can be addressed andtogether can be developed solutions -  a win-win for all parties involved.

In 2020, MMH started its fourth implementation phase with the aim of building a sustainable and holistic ecosystem. The experience and work of the last 10 years has enabled us to implement many projects and activities in our areas of operations in India and Africa - together with local partners, NGOs, our employees, other social entrepreneurs and stakeholders. Now it is time to link these projects globally and create more health and social innovation through co-creation. Together we want to discover new markets and build a holistic program, which supports our communities in a sustainable and effective way.

What is needed to build such an ecosystem approach?

These are some basic factors who helped Making More Health to become a very successful initiative within and outside the company:

The right Corporate Culture:  It requires a corporate culture that enables disruptive thinking and unusual partnerships that allow the integration of social innovation and social entrepreneurial ideas. MMH is the intersection between traditional social entrepreneurship and conventional business.

Holistic solutions: Unusual partnerships across the traditional borders of business lead to new ways of questions and – answers. Listening, understanding, networking, building trust, finding solutions WITH people on the ground, not FOR them - this is what the MMH ecosystem is built on.  By building holistic solutions together with others to tackle the daily challenges by the people living on the ground.

Partnerships across traditional borders: Through unusual and cross-functional partnerships, we aim to achieve a system change that creates social impact.  

Networking tools: As part of this solution, we offer free materials on our resources platform my.makingmorehealth.org. These materials are tackling several challenges people live day by day: from health to wealth, from education to infrastructures. All materials have been used in our communities and have been created by our partners and colleagues during training sessions. These materials cover various health and hygiene topics, as well as safety and business know-how and also income generation ideas for less privileged people in the villages. Sharing is caring – please feel free to share these materials with your communities and partners. In case you have interesting materials to share on this platform, please contact us at info@makingmorehealth.com

Different way of project management: Particularly in the current pandemic, we have already seen how ideas could be shared easily in different geographical areas and how communities in the slums and rural areas could benefit from each other.  Many of our local partners have been able to joined forces to help each other.

With the network – oriented solution in place it is important that all stakeholdershave access to the most important facts, projects and people involved.  Always and from everywhere. That’s why also innovative ways of communications and project management are needed. We created e.g. a mobile online platform "MMH Africa", which lists all our projects and partnerships in details and allows that the individual stakeholders can easily connect. Independent where they work, if they are social entrepreneurs, local stakeholders or employees engaged. That’s what makes systemic change agile, quick and disruptive.