Ivey Publishing
LifeNet International's Transformation of African Healthcare via Social Franchising
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11 pages (8 pages of text)
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Case (Field)
LifeNet International was a social conversion franchise concept aiming to provide basic, quality and sustainable healthcare to poor and underserved populations in sub-Saharan Africa. The founder and president had relied on the assistance of others to help bring about his idea of affordable healthcare. In 2012, the executive director for LifeNet International’s operations in Burundi, began focussing on developing the company in Burundi. She was excited to see LifeNet International’s presence expanding into Uganda. Her vision for LifeNet International, however, was much bigger. She envisioned LifeNet International as a sustainable organization that could provide quality healthcare and medicine to millions of people around the world.

If it planned to expand internationally and bring healthcare to more of the world’s population, LifeNet International needed a solution to tie its services together to further scale, replicate and measure its social impact. How could LifeNet International bring its social conversion franchising model to other African nations and internationally? Would LifeNet International’s model work logistically, financially and culturally? What adaptations would LifeNet need to make and what legal challenges would it face in the process of expansion? Furthermore, what structures would LifeNet need to put in place to manage the complexity of its growing network of partner clinics and operations?
Learning Objective:
This case is appropriate for use in business courses to introduce discussions on franchising, conversion franchising, social franchising, modes of entry, entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship and international business. This case provides a real-world example of the opportunities and challenges of sustainability, scalability, replicability and impact measurement beyond one nation and/or region, with a focus on franchising and social entrepreneurship.
  • Allows students to familiarize themselves with different modes of entry and business models.
  • Exposes students to the unique challenges associated with socially focused businesses.
  • Enables students to think critically of the challenges associated with international expansion in a political, economic and cultural context.
  • Encourages students to use qualitative and quantitative data to arrive at a recommendation or solution.
General Management/Strategy,  International,  Entrepreneurship
Health Care Services
Burundi, Small, 2012-2013
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$4.25 CAD / $4.25 USD Printed Copy
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$3.75 CAD / $3.75 USD Digital Download
Associated Materials
Translations: Simplified Chinese (11 pages)
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