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From Start-Up to Scale-Up: EPCON, A Social Enterprise on the Rise

Updated: Jun 3

Not every business venture is focused solely on profit margins. At the core, we at EPCON define ourselves as a social enterprise that places public health objectives above purely financial gains. This dual-purpose mission – to achieve financial viability through astute business strategies while simultaneously tackling public health issues – fuels our daily operations.  

The concept of the social enterprise emerged in the UK during the late 1970s as a counterpoint to traditional commercial ventures. At EPCON, we proudly uphold the defining attributes of a social enterprise, including:

  1. Mission-driven: We are driven to make a real difference in public health. This commitment even supersedes our financial objectives. As a health tech company, our mission is to leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to accurately assess health risk across various regions and populations, and on an individual patient basis.

  2. Innovative solutions to social challenges: A hallmark of many social enterprises is their use of innovative methods to achieve social objectives. We harness the capacities of AI for a range of applications aimed at bolstering public health systems, from forecasting disease burden and identifying gaps in the service offering  to supporting intervention and treatment strategies.  

    1. Disease Burden: Utilising socio-demographic and contextual data, we can identify disease ‘hotspots’. This allows for a targeted approach in addressing areas with higher incidences of diseases, ensuring resources are directed where they are most needed.

    2. Micro-planning: This module aids in determining where healthcare systems should prioritise screening and intervention efforts. It includes integration with tools like Google Maps and Excel spreadsheets for efficient planning and resource allocation. 

    3. Network Optimisation: In consultation with government bodies and policy makers, this module works on optimising the healthcare delivery network. It aims to improve the overall efficiency of public health interventions, ensuring that policies and strategies are well-informed and effectively implemented.

    4. Treatment Outcome: By focusing on people living in more vulnerable areas, characterised by accessibility and factors like poverty and low vaccination status, this module helps in identifying individuals who are more likely to default on their treatment programs. It enables the provision of enhanced follow-up care to those who need it most.

  3. Maximising Health Impact: The essence of our social enterprise lies in the significant impact we create through our services. We run projects across three continents - Europe, Asia, and Africa - in nine diverse countries including Pakistan, Nigeria, the Philippines, South Africa, the Democratic Republic of Congo amongst others, thereby benefiting over 500 million people. In our journey of expanding our reach, we have broadened our focus to include a range of critical health challenges like Covid, TB, Leprosy, HIV, Ebola, and Lassa Fever. Our global presence has grown in tandem, with offices now established across three continents, including our recent expansion into the US. We are committed to enhancing our impact further by empowering our regional teams to operate independently through capacity building, thereby tailoring their efforts to the unique health needs of their communities.

  4. Prioritising Inclusivity: Recognising the importance of various stakeholders — including patients, NGOs, healthcare partners, local communities, and our team — is central to our approach. We adopt an inclusive decision-making process, often involving workshops to deeply understand the unique needs of each partner in each region. This strategy ensures that we tailor our solutions precisely for the specific challenges and contexts of different areas.

In sum, our journey as a social enterprise demonstrates the power of blending technology with empathy, demonstrating that for us the true measure of business success lies not just in financial gains, but in the profound positive impact we create in global public health. 


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