The way we see ourselves: Social Commitment & Entrepreneurial Actions
Ever since the Public Health Foundation was established in 1996, the guiding principle of its work has been to address shortcomings in society, for example the lack of transparency in healthcare, with entrepreneurial actions. Here, economic efficiency is sought to further the charitable cause, not vice versa.
This approach has become known as “Social Entrepreneurship”, a term and concept which has increasingly found its way into the German language and thinking.
Social enterprises resemble commercial ones in so far as they think and act economically. However, social entrepreneurs are not motivated by monetary gain but by the creation of wider social benefits. In the case of the Public Health Foundation, this means promoting greater transparency in healthcare.
Why the Support Association matters
Foundations can sponsor social entrepreneurs, supporting them financially and with their expertise, particularly during their start-up phase. Alternatively, foundations can take action themselves. As an operative foundation, the Public Health Foundation runs its own projects. These projects are financed through its own resources, namely from the returns of the foundations’ entrepreneurial pursuits.
An example: The Arzt-Auskunft (“Doctor Search”) offers a service free of charge to consumers enabling them to search for doctors via telephone and on the Internet. In order to sustain this service, the running costs must be met, and funding must be found for further development work and updates. After all, who would like to be referred to a doctor’s office that closed six months ago?
While the Public Health Foundation generates part of the funding for its projects, sometimes additional help is required, particularly to start new projects or take already existing ones to the next level. Then the Support Association steps in and assists the Public Health Foundation within the scope of its available resources. Over time, the Support Association has been able to contribute significantly to the initial implementation and constant improvement of the Arzt-Auskunft.