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Commercial solutions to social problems

When you think about Coca Cola, do you think about the Christmas ad, their global footprint or the secret ingredient?

One entrepreneur Simon Berry saw Coca Cola as the way to get simple medicines that treat childhood diseases to some of the most remote places in the world.


In developing countries, 1 in 8 children die before their fifth birthday and the second biggest killer is diarrhoea.  That’s more than 16 times the average for developed regions (1 in 152).

The social enterprise he set up, ColaLife, designed an ingenious package for critical medicines that can slot in between soda bottles, piggybacking on Coca-Cola’s supply chain and potentially getting anywhere Coca-Cola does.

Retailers and the businesses in manufacturing supplying them with the goods they sell, rely on incredibly complex and well-built supply chains to keep the wheels of commerce moving ringing. Those involved in piecing together this logistical jigsaw are understandably completely immersed in the pieces they hold in their hands… sometimes it takes an outside entrepreneurial perspective to see a bigger picture and/or additional opportunities.

How often do successful businesses and the people creating and running them step back and consider how what they do can benefit others?

As case studies go, it’s about as good as it gets for demonstrating how massively successful businesses can listen to others, help society and also open up new markets for themselves.

And it came about when people stepped back for a different view of what it is they do.

You can learn more about this social enterprise here.