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In Bangladesh, ThinkWell is delivering locally-generated evidence and contextual expertise to transform the Surjer Hashi Network (SHN) – one of the largest private healthcare network in Bangladesh – into a self-sustainable, pro-poor social enterprise.

The guiding vision for the SHN is to become “a sustainable network of clinics, offering high quality, customer-oriented, and affordable healthcare services for the poor.” With funding from USAID, and with a network of local and international partners, ThinkWell is supporting the development a business strategy, revenue generation plan, and an innovative service delivery model to maximize both client impact and cost recovery.

Breaking New Ground

We lead a social enterprise incubator for the SHN, helping to cultivate, nurture, and prototype ideas, strategies and approaches with the potential to increase the sustainability and impact of the network.

Challenges

The long-term sustainability and growth of SHN depends on its ability to provide reliable and affordable high-quality services. Building on this base, it will be necessary for SHN to attract outside investments (from both private capital and the Government of Bangladesh), to develop strategic partnerships, to establish referral linkages to higher level health services, and to diversify its income streams.

One of the key challenges facing SHN is striking a balance between increasing the rate of cost recovery (to ensure the long-term sustainability of the network) and ensuring that services remain accessible to clients, regardless of their ability to pay. ThinkWell has provided cross-spectrum support to identify operational costs savings, as well as identify opportunities for increased revenue generation.

Approach

Using innovative, context-specific strategies to test, evaluate, and iterate system improvements, we are strengthening the social enterprise’s capacity to respond to marginalized people’s needs. All efforts to improve services within the network are developed through a rigorous prototyping process in a range of business-critical areas including: service package design, equitable pricing, customer satisfaction and business growth.

To support SHN on the road to sustainability, we help through activities such as creating different revenue diversification strategies and implementation plans as well as establishing partnerships with government and private organizations.

We bring evidence-based insights to SHN’s leadership to help inform critical business decisions, including, for example, modelling the financial and health impacts of extending clinic opening hours or introducing specialist doctors within higher volume facilities. Our practical, embedded approach also includes supporting the SHN to develop work plans, financial projects and service development budgets for the future to help support sustainable growth.

Through these and many other areas of support, ThinkWell uses innovation, evidence, and a close partnership with front-line stakeholders to help deliver sustainable, smart growth for the Sujer Hashi Network and impact for the clients who rely on its affordable services.

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