BlueStar proving a social franchising success

17th July 2009

Social networking is all the rage via websites such as Facebook and Twitter, but Marie Stopes International (MSI) is also setting an encouraging new trend: combining ambitious social service-provision goals with a franchise model, and targeted social networking of its own.

As much of the developing world has to rely on private sector healthcare to provide contraceptives and sexual and reproductive healthcare, MSI has pioneered the use of social franchising under the BlueStar brand to significantly expand access to high quality services through existing local providers.

Arising out of a trial in Kenya named AMUA ("decide" in Kiswahili), BlueStar has expanded significantly over the last year, and has now reached almost 120,000 clients across eight countries. This has not only resulted in vital services reaching more communities faster than via organic growth; it has also empowered around 900 social businesses in a replicable and sustainable model that provides hope to reach even more of the developing world in the future.