World Health Day: How local business can keep a community healthy

On this World Health Day, I was wondering about what to get for lunch. The Scottish classic of square sausage in a roll or something a bit healthier. The daily dilemma.  Luckily for my health, I was inspired to go for the healthier option (and to go outside) after reviewing some of the Enterprise Recommendations presentations from our Challenges Worldwide ICS volunteers aka our Business Support Associates (BSAs) in Zambia.


Hi, I’m Lewis and I am one of the Portfolio Analysts at Challenges Worldwide and my main role is crunching the numbers that our BSAs produce during their placement. We then use these numbers to inform our strategy for Enterprise and Value Chain Development. This data is invaluable as our approach is unique in that we critically evaluate enterprises from within instead of surveying owners once and hoping the right information is given.

Umoyo Natural Health is one of the enterprises we are currently working with and specialises in providing natural health products; medicinal products, foods, supplements and cosmetics.

How does this relate to world health day?

Prevention is the best policy when it comes illness

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, so the saying goes. In 2016, close to half of the children under 5 were stunted (low-height-for-age) as a result of malnutrition with another negative impact being a decrease in academic performance.

How does enterprise development impact health?

Well, it’s about the long-term, we want a solution, not a plaster. There are 3 ways in which enterprise development will reduce malnutrition:

Increasing Distribution: By providing technical assistance the enterprises we work with will be in a position to approach investors, confident in the knowledge that they meet investment criteria beforehand. By expanding their business, Umoyo will be able to increase the number of people they can provide their health goods to.

Reduction in Price: As the enterprise grows, it will be able to benefit from economies of scale as the unit cost is reduced (the first car wasn’t cheap!) and consequently becomes a realistic option for people on lower incomes.

Increase Incomes and Demand: Umoyo has over 35 (19 female) employees and over 140 suppliers. As the business grows, enterprises must take on more staff, their demand for inputs from suppliers increase and they may need to find new suppliers. When you consider the women between 45 and 49 were surveyed their ‘completed family size’ was on average 6. Ultimately, it will be those in the household of employees that will benefit.

This is by no means a silver bullet (health warning for werewolves) and educated assumptions are always made, please see here, here and here. However, at the end of the day, if a parent’s income increases I’d bet it’s more than likely they will spend it on improving their children’s welfare. Why don’t you join us to implement lasting solutions?…and have a healthy dinner while you’re at it!

You can join us in supporting enterprises such as Umoyo by taking part in the Uk Government funded Challenges Worldwide ICS programme for 18 -25 year olds from the UK, Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia.

Complete your online application today and help businesses like Umoyo reach their potential for delivering positive social and environmental impact on the communities in which they trade.

Lewis Meechan

Written by Lewis Meechan,

Challenges Worldwide Portfolio Analyst