Ignite Health Services, Nigeria

Website: http://tomike-health.webs.com/about-us

Franchise Background

Each year, 250,000 women and over a million babies do not survive childbirth in Africa. However, 75-80% of these mortalities could be prevented by access to reproductive health services and the presence of skilled health care providers during childbirth. Ignite Health Services was founded by Michael Iyanro, with the mission of providing high quality, affordable, maternal healthcare services in under-served communities; and the vision of transforming maternal healthcare in West Africa by demonstrating a sustainable service model to both public health authorities and capital markets.

The Ignite model is a combination of two tightly-integrated services (a) mobile clinic that create a direct link with the target audience, generate demand and healthy outcomes through antenatal care and birth preparedness; and (b) Ignite Clinics (aka Nazareth Clinic) near the slums where women can go for respectful obstetric care, safe delivery, family planning, and postnatal care. The mobile outreach vans are equal parts social marketing and clinical innovation – they provide antenatal care and serve as emergency vehicles, but also help build the brand and overcome the barriers that prevent many women from reaching facilities. The Ignite Clinics themselves include top-notch medical care to address most causes of maternal mortality – but at the same time include process innovations to keep prices low enough that most of the target market can afford them. 

Ignite Health Service has provided respectful obstetric care, safe delivery, family planning, and postnatal care to over 1,400 women in the pilot location of Abeokuta, Nigeria. There, a single clinic has provided necessary laboratory tests to over 150 women, impacted many lives through childbirth delivery, and reached over 1450 women with their mobile health services van. At scale, Ignite has the potential to assist in 30-40,000 safe deliveries per year, and provide 300,000 women in Nigeria with high-quality reproductive health care.

The vision for Ignite Health for the next five years is to be recognized as the clinic of choice by placing patients at the centre of everything we do, based on principles of quality and safety, access and accountability and continuous improvement. 

Protégé Background
Michael Iyanro, Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Iyanro holds a degree in Medicine and is a skilled community advocate with experience in women’s right and maternal and child health in Nigeria. He is the founder of Ignite Health Services, a company that is dedicated to low-cost, sustainable, and scalable maternal health care in West Africa. Ignite Health is a social venture that aims to set a new standard for maternity care in West Africa by combining clinical and franchise business ideas to create a fully self-sustaining clusters of clinic that provide reproductive health services to poor urban women.

Mentor Background
Julie McBride, MSA Worldwide
Ms. McBride is a Senior Social Franchise Consultant with more than 20 years of experience in health care marketing and health services franchising and is a thought leader in the rapidly growing and evolving field of social sector franchising.  She is currently a consultant at MSA Worldwide, and is leading the firm’s efforts to better serve the needs of social franchisors.

Prior to joining the MSA team, she worked as a Senior Social Franchising Advisor for a large global non-profit, PSI, where she oversaw 31 healthcare franchises in 30 countries, and built the capacity of PSI country offices to operate effective social franchises.  Ms. McBride has authored and contributed to several publications related to social franchising, including a case study for Stanford Business School. She earned her Masters in Public Health from New York University and her Bachelor of Science from the University of Washington. Ms. McBride serves on the Advisory Board of the Social Sector Franchise Initiative, which is a project of the Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise at the University of New Hampshire.  


Michael Seid, MSA Worldwide
Michael is recognized as a leading authority on franchising and business expansion strategy. In addition to helping business owners franchise their companies, he also assists established franchisors, multi-unit companies, and multi-branded companies in tactical planning, franchise relations, crisis management, expert witness, litigation support, mergers and acquisitions, and the strategic restructuring of franchise systems. 

He is the founder and Managing Director of MSA Worldwide, a provider of domestic and international franchise advisory services and the chairman of the IFA’s Social Sector Franchising Task Force and have held numerous leadership positions in the association including as a trustee of the IFA’s Educational Foundation.   Mr. Seid serves on the Board of Directors of the William Rosenberg International Center of Franchising at the University of New Hampshire and serve on several other public and private boards and advisory boards, including for the Salvation Army in Connecticut.


Living Case Study Accelerator Solutions Iteration Process


SSFI Roundtable Breakout Group

Alison End Fineberg

Clinton Health Access Initiative

Carlyla Dawson

Street Business School

Kim Alter

Virtue Ventures LLC/Grassroots U

Clea Finkle

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Marissa Day

UNH Carsey School of Public Policy

Ian Vickers

Global Partners in Hope

Michael Iyanro

Ignite Health Services

Josh Merin


Julie McBride

MSA Worldwide

Anna Dekker

PharmAccess Group

E. Hachemi Aliouche

Rosenberg Intl Franchise Center

Ada Gomero

Intl Planned Parenthood Federation

Anna Gerrard



Angela Coral


Rabin Martin/Merck for Mothers


   Critical Issues

Michael identified his primary issue as a need to develop a business plan and economic modeling at the unit level.

Michael sees the mobile unit aspect of his model as a path for franchising, and a way to better reach underserved communities. His goal is to operate as a hub and spoke model; with doctors running the clinics and nurses running the mobile clinics and other operations. However, through the discussion it was revealed that before diving into the franchise structure and attracting investors, it was necessary to clarify and establish several aspects of the Michael’s model.
Mentors and experts Josh and Julie guided the conversation to further illuminate the social problem and the business opportunity. It was first suggested to look to existing models to see if the conceptual solution already exists—making incremental changes versus reinventing the wheel. Throughout this discussion, Michael explained how complicated the current system was, and maintained that there wasn’t a one-size fits all solution.

“It’s a double edged sword. Different regions have different problems. It depends where you go. Some don’t have any clinics, some have substandard.” –Michael Iyanro

Some of the key considerations that were revealed were:

  • Legal qualifications versus cultural expectations for doctors, nurses, and midwives
    • Urban versus Rural expectations
  • Currency exchange rate issues in supply chain
  • Wariness of outside organizations/NGO’s
  • Franchising is the mode of execution—not the starting point!

Through a continued discussion, Michael identified that his current existing clinic was approximately 12 to 18 months away from breaking even. With the knowledge that one must be profitable to begin franchising,  worked to refine the critical issues and began developing a new set of initiatives to strengthen and promote Michael’s dreams of bringing affordable, accessible, and high quality maternal care to the families of Nigeria.

Next Steps

  1. Readiness Analysis: Josh to provide Michael with a Social Sector Task Force Readiness Analysis tool to help determine if Ignite is ready to franchise
  2. Collection of regional data to inform what facilities exist—are any of them modifiable or scalable?
    • Who’s out there?
    • What’s the need?
    • What are the problems to solve?
    • What is the absolute minimum of what fellow providers are doing?
    • What are the existing standards?
  3. Expand and illustrate Problem Statement: Why do you exist?
    • Reduce Infant and Maternal Mortality
    • Close holes in health system
    • Provide affordable, flexible, quality care in a timely manner to poor women
  4. Compose Business Plan: Before searching for funding, expanding services, and attracting franchisees, the group determined that Michael needed to have a comprehensive business plan in place, clearly identifying the following for Ignite:
    • Mission and Vision
    • Financial, social and environmental objectives
    • Target market, operations, and metrics of success
    • Marketing, legal, and human resources  considerations
    • Budget and funding