Penda Health is a for-profit women’s medical care centre in Kenya. It was initially going to open as a family planning services operation, but field research showed that local women were apprehensive to pay strictly for those services. It turned out, however, that they were willing to pay for a health centre that addresses multiple women’s sexual and reproductive health issues.
From day one, the founders of Penda Health set up the organization to operate under a for-profit model, selling a broader range of services and products relevant to the region. This includes treatment and testing for STDs and STIs, urinary tract and yeast infections care, cancer screening, and sale of products that range from female hygiene to nutrition products.
As for their business approach, Penda Health’s founders believe a for-profit model allows for social contribution on a much more sustainable, scalable level than if they operated under the restrictions of a non-profit.
“Many people hearing about Penda Health are surprised that we have chosen the for-profit model,” says Penda Health manager Stephanie Koczela in the Nonprofit Quarterly. “We are providing health care to low-income women in Kenya, which sounds like the perfect project for a nonprofit. And yet, I feel confident that our decision to be a for-profit social enterprise rather than a nonprofit one will not only make us more sustainable and able to scale quickly, it will also ultimately result in higher quality services for the women of Kenya.”
She goes on to describe the advantages of using a for-profit model, and notes that non-profits are dependent on donors, thus allowing donors to shape organizational practices based on their own ethical and religious points of view. On the other hand, operating as a for-profit organization, with income generated by the Kenyan women who visit the clinics, allows the organization to offer services according to latest research, as well as the current needs of the communities at stake.
Penda Health, which is based in Nairobi, focuses primarily on woman contract employees at factories, women attending university, and women who meet in small groups.
Penda Health Website
Penda Health on Linkedin