Innovative Solutions for Building Economic Inclusion: Bizzell’s Entrepreneurial Initiatives

Innovative Solutions for Building Economic Inclusion: Bizzell’s Entrepreneurial Initiatives

By Editorial Staff

Global progress, economic inclusion, and entrepreneurship are catalysts that drive transformative change. When not only used as a buzzword, economic inclusion embodies the belief that everyone deserves an opportunity to fuel advancement. Economic inclusion is not only ethical but also can provide a source of inspiration when applied in communities. Paired with entrepreneurship, this combination can become a key to sustainable development, which can inspire anyone to contribute to society.

One of the profound ways economic inclusion and entrepreneurship intersect is by dismantling barriers to economic entry points. For aspiring entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds, accessing traditional avenues of business support will have many challenges. Economic inclusion initiatives strive to level the playing field, ensuring that underrepresented entrepreneurs receive the mentorship, resources, and capital necessary for their ventures to thrive. This enhances individual economic standing and contributes to the diversification and enrichment of the broader business landscape.

Innovative solutions to economic inclusion involve creative approaches and strategies to foster equal opportunities and promote financial participation for individuals who may not otherwise have an entry point into business. Some of these include digital financial inclusion, blockchain for financial identity security, and the creation of new microfinance models. Leveraging digital technologies such as mobile banking, using blockchain to secure digital identities, and using microfinance models to provide funding for entrepreneurs solidifies access to both security and capital. Community investment platforms, social impact bonds, skill development catalysts, and partnerships with social enterprises can all also positively impact budding entrepreneurs, providing community support and opportunities for skill building, coupled with financial and social capital to bring ideas to life. Cross-industry collaboration is another strategy to promote increased inclusion as entrepreneurs across sectors can share knowledge, networks, and resources.

Unfortunately, despite all the innovative ideas outlined, we are still far from strategically rolling out these solutions nationwide. Implementing these strategies requires collaboration between governments, financial institutions, technology companies, and social organizations to create a more inclusive and equitable economic landscape.

At Bizzell, our corporate programs focus on providing efficient and effective youth empowerment and economic development solutions that improve overall quality of life. Using participatory approaches, we leverage our team’s combined experiences to develop both our Job Corps program and Small Bizzness Accelerator. Job Corps is a renowned organization dedicated to providing education and vocational training opportunities to young adults across the United States. Our mission is to empower youth and emerging adults with the skills and knowledge to pursue successful careers. This program continues to connect us to the vision and foundation of Bizzell, committed to building healthy, secure, connected, and sustainable communities across our nation and around the world. The Bizzell Small Bizzness Accelerator aims to foster entrepreneurship and economic development by supporting startups with planning, guidance, and resources.

In the dynamic and intricate terrain of the business landscape, aspiring entrepreneurs face multifaceted challenges. Navigating these complexities requires not only vision, and determination, but strategic guidance and insights. In today’s interconnected world, inclusion is recognized as a moral imperative and a strategic advantage for any enterprising organization. We stand at the forefront of this with global initiatives such as the XcelHERate challenge. This program, launched in 2024, supports young women entrepreneurs aged 18-35 years with existing businesses that demonstrate resilience. This program benefits any women-led businesses that offer unique, scalable products or services with a positive social impact on the community. The challenge winner will gain access to the SNDBX workspace and its community of over 35 entrepreneurs from various fields, facilitating potential collaborations and partnerships to scale their businesses and explore new markets.

At Bizzell, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of economic inclusion and encourage entrepreneurs, both budding and established to continue to move the needle in our national and global economies.

Pioneering Innovation in Infectious Disease Surveillance: Bizzell’s Impact on Global Health

Pioneering Innovation in Infectious Disease Surveillance: Bizzell’s Impact on Global Health

By Editorial Staff

In the context of global health outcomes, innovative infectious disease surveillance is crucial. As the world grapples with emerging health challenges, the role of robust data collection is pivotal. At its core, infectious disease surveillance can be simplified into a three-pronged framework. At Bizzell, this structure is Detect, Monitor, and Respond, or simply DMR, which emphasizes the capability to detect, monitor, and respond to infectious diseases accurately and precisely.

1. Early Detection: Time is of the essence when it comes to infectious diseases. Innovative surveillance mechanisms can serve as early warning systems, which help detect emergent diseases in their infancy. We believe that building strong and resilience health systems against public health threats begins with a strong health system that provides capacity and capabilities to detect threats. Identifying outbreaks swiftly can make or break global health responses. Proactive approaches are instrumental in preventing and protecting our most vulnerable communities nationwide. Proactive approaches in data collection and detection strategies also allow for the appropriate allocation of resources. Understanding the biological dynamics and trajectory of new and emerging threats can assist in deploying limited personnel, medical instrumentation, and funds in the most effective and strategic ways to maximize efficacy. Bizzell supports early detection processes through data analysis, corrective action plans, and monitoring progress. We provide technical assistance to agencies to establish or improve sentinel sites through standard surveillance-based indicators and community event-based surveillance.

2. Monitoring: Infectious diseases have no concept of borders, race, nationality, or religion. Facilitating real time data exchanges between nations and international health organizations is crucial in fostering global collaboration. Monitoring allows for a collective response to health threats, allowing shared resources, pooled knowledge, and insights to be shared both nationally and internationally. Monitoring also allows for the development of more accurate predictions of pathogenic behavior. This can help develop more concrete and strategic preparedness plans which reduce the impact of infectious diseases on communities.

3. Rapid Response: The speed in which we respond to infectious diseases plays a pivotal role in minimizing the economic impact of outbreaks. By containing diseases at an early stage, countries can avoid widespread disruptions to trade, travel, and productivity. This proactive stance safeguards economic stability and ensures that societies can rebound swiftly from health crises. The response to new health threats is one of the most important pillars in our framework as it is crucial in building public trust and confidence in government and health systems. Compliance has an enormous impact on prevention and stabilization during a health crisis. Appropriate, accurate and innovative communication about infectious disease surveillance, data, and best practices will encourage efforts to control the spread of disease.

There are many new examples of emerging technologies for infectious disease surveillance. Some of these recent technologies include wastewater surveillance, which has gained popularity through testing wastewater for COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2 levels, to determine infection rates[1]National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS) captures%20presence%20of,or%20decreasing%20 in%20a%20sewershed

Other examples of innovative technologies include digital epidemiology, syndromic surveillance, social media monitoring, and artificial intelligence or machine learning. Bizzell uses real-time technology such as eIDSR (under the DHIS2 and the CEBS) for data collection, record, analysis, and interpretation public health to assist with public health decision making. A strong surveillance program is one that can integrate the digitalization of the laboratory system which is the backbone for epidemiological surveillance.

Driving innovation in infectious disease surveillance is not just technological but strategy-based as an imperative for global and national health security. The ability to detect, monitor, and respond to health threats with more precision and innovation can be the difference between safeguarding the health, prosperity, and livelihood of future generations or succumbing to mass loss of life. Knowing this, we provide technical and professional support services in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to support the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Global Health Protection (DGHP). We provide services and support in field epidemiology, surveillance, emergency management, and laboratory activities that enhance the CDC’s capacity to monitor and support the implementation of the DRC’s vision to promote a healthier, safer world that can prevent, detect, and respond to disease outbreaks and public health threats.

At Bizzell, we prioritize global solutions to health. We are committed to developing collaborative strategies, weaving together multidisciplinary approaches, strategic partnerships, and innovative technologies. By leveraging diverse expertise and fostering collaborations, Bizzell enhances global health outcomes, ensuring a comprehensive and unified response to complex health challenges. We hope that other health leaders duplicate the DMR framework for infectious disease surveillance as we all continue to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and other emerging threats.


Navigating COVID-19 and Beyond: Bizzell’s Response to Pandemics and Emerging Global Health Challenges

Navigating COVID-19 and Beyond: Bizzell’s Response to Pandemics and Emerging Global Health Challenges

By Editorial Staff

As we enter 2024, our thoughts are filled with hope, new goals, and resolutions for the new year. Unfortunately, the impact of COVID-19 has followed us all into 2024. The U.S. faces a surge in COVID-19 cases nationwide as we have returned to the office work, and school. The result? Infection rates are just as high as last year’s around the same time. JN1 is the most prominent COVID-19 variant and has evolved to be more resistant to vaccination, and more resistant to natural immune responses of those previously infected with COVID-19[1]

There are many ways to protect yourself and your loved ones even as the virus continues to evolve. Many protocols set during the height of the pandemic to keep individuals and communities safe are still applicable today. These protocols include staying up to date with vaccinations, washing hands frequently with soap and water, wearing a facemask when in public settings, and covering your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing. Immunocompromised individuals should still limit travel to places with large crowds. Everyone should continue to stay up current on local and state guidelines and guidelines and continue to disinfect widely used items such as phones, laptops, and doorknobs[2] We must all do what we can to keep each other safe on an individual and community level.

On a national level and beyond the current COVID-19 crisis, Bizzell US continues to lead healthcare innovation with a forward-thinking stance. Investments in research, technology, and partnerships reflect our organization’s commitment to enhancing global health resilience. On an international level, currently, Bizzell supports COVID-19 efforts in Thailand, Guatemala, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and other countries through partnerships with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Central American Regional (CAR) Office. Bizzell provides technical assistance focusing on surveillance, infection prevention and control, border health, community mitigation, laboratory strengthening, and vaccine preparedness.

The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated a path to solving complex emerging health threats. The insight gained through the pandemic will be invaluable in the future, especially in the realm of emergency preparedness. The pandemic continues to highlight the need for resilience and adaptive capacity, global solidarity, collaboration, and the importance of remote and digital infrastructure. We have consistently emphasized to national leaders the significance of bolstering healthcare preparedness and strengthening healthcare systems. As a leader in the healthcare sector, Bizzell prioritizes the need to strengthen hospital infrastructure and the healthcare workforce. Appropriate allocation of resources, both financial and personnel-based, will ensure readiness for future crises. Utilizing data and science as a strategy for decision-making will also continue to be crucial in shaping effective responses to health challenges.

In our collaboration with the CDC’s Division of Global Health Protection and Security, we have led many professional and technical services supporting global health mandates and security. We provided analytical support, performance monitoring, epidemiologic analysis, global health investments and economic costing studies, return on investment analyses, and statistical and econometric support. Investing in scientific research and valuing expert opinions, such as our Bizzell consultants, are critical for navigating the continued complexities of the pandemic. One such consultant is Nancy Bateman, MSW, a Senior Public Health Advisor for Behavioral Health Services at Bizzell. As one of our senior public health leaders, she has developed whitepapers and other resources discussing the impacts of trauma, trauma informed care, and COVID-19 on a changing Healthcare landscape. Her work, “Engaging Patients through Trauma-Informed Care in the Age of COVID-19”, was featured in the October 2022 Behavioral Health Spotlight created by the Behavioral Health Advancement Resource Center (BHARC).

Bizzell’s preparedness extends beyond the immediate COVID-19 challenges, laying the foundation for a robust response to future health uncertainties. One way we pride ourselves in preparedness is through data sharing and collaboration. Collaboration is a cornerstone of Bizzell’s impactful health-centered response to emerging threats. Emphasizing the importance of working together with government agencies, healthcare institutions, and international organizations, we actively foster partnerships that contribute to a collective response against global health challenges.

Through our global partnerships, we have provided capacity-building training, partnership support, monitoring and evaluation (M&E), data collection, internal communication support, social media and analytics, communication product development, scientific writing, and policy coordination. This collaborative spirit amplifies the effectiveness of interventions and initiatives. As the pandemic unfolds, Bizzell will continue to drive global change through innovative health solutions and adapting to the ever-evolving health landscape.

The global COVID-19 pandemic continues to severely impact healthcare systems on the local, national, and international levels. We at Bizzell believe in supporting strained healthcare systems, collaborating with appropriate organizations, contributing to crucial research efforts, and doing our part to respond to global health crises as they arise.

Recovery: Breaking the Stigma of Addiction

Recovery: Breaking the Stigma of Addiction

By Bizzell Editorial Staff

Deadbeat. Druggie. Drunkard. Hopeless. These words are still part of the stigma associated with the disease of addiction. And, unfortunately, feeling stigmatized can make people with substance use disorders (SUDs) less willing to seek treatment [1]Hadland, S. E., Park, T. W., & Bagley, S. M. (2018, May 7) Stigma associated with medication treatment for young adults with opioid use disorder: a case series. Addict Sci Clin Practice, 13(1),15. doi: 10.1186/s13722-018-0116-2. PMID: 29730987; PMCID: PMC5937046.. September is Recovery Month, a time dedicated to inspiring hope and raising awareness that recovery from SUDs is possible. This month carries significant meaning for many individuals, families, and communities as a time to honor those recovering from the disease. Those in recovery serve as beacons of hope, shining light on the many challenges faced by millions and highlighting the successes achieved through resilience, determination, and support. Breaking down the stigma associated with SUDs is a vital purpose of celebrating Recovery Month.

Stigma is the prejudicial attitudes and discrimination that people battling SUDs often face. Examples of stigmatic behavior can include inaccurate or unfounded beliefs that people with SUDs are dangerous, incapable of managing treatment, have moral or value failures, or are otherwise at fault for their condition. The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine is removing these barriers by providing guidance and resources to help families navigate existing stigmas and help them avoid perpetuating negative stereotypes. By openly discussing recovery pathways and sharing stories of healing, we can foster an environment where people feel safe to ask for help and access needed support.

According to the National Institute on Drug Addiction (NIDA), stigma affects people with from SUDs by:

  • Reducing the willingness of individuals to seek treatment. 
  • Leading others to feel pity, fear, anger, and a desire for social distance from the person due to stereotypes. 
  • Influencing language, e.g., “alcoholic,” that negatively impacts the perceptions of healthcare providers.  

Shatterproof is a leading national organization dedicated to combating the stigmatizing effects of addiction. They share best practices and resources to positively impact individuals and families grappling with addiction. Examples include:

  1. Change your Language
  2. Take a Pledge
  3. Crisis Resources
  4. Resources for Family & Friends
  5. Resources for Peers
  6. Treatment Resources
  7. Resources for Loss

Recovery Month also sheds light on the significance of accessible and effective treatment options for SUDs. Advocates use this month to raise awareness about the importance of evidence-based quality care, early intervention, harm reduction and the elimination of barriers to treatment. Addiction is a condition that can have a devastating impact on young adults, but it is often not treated effectively.

According to the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 94 percent of people aged 12 or older with a substance use disorder did not receive any treatment. Nearly all those with a substance use disorder who were not treated at a specialty facility did not believe that they needed treatment. Organizations such as Young People In Recovery (YPR) are mobilizing efforts to address the imbalance in care. YPR embraces all pathways to recovery including 12-step, harm reduction, medication-assisted treatment, and others to help young adults struggling with addiction.

Bizzell is committed to supporting those in their recovery journey. Earlier this year, we published “Peer Recovery Support Services: A Promising Approach to Combat Substance Use Disorders.” This spotlight describes how peer recovery support services are used to extend the capacity of healthcare workers and to offer ongoing SUD treatment. Bizzell continues to partner with federal agencies to address these issues through a variety of avenues. Through our work with NIDA’s Clinical Trials Network, we produced online educational resources on topics related to screening, fentanyl overdose prevention, and treatment for methamphetamine use disorder.

As September unfolds, remember that healing is possible, and hope is ever-present. Recovery Month encourages us to look beyond the challenges and setbacks, focusing instead on the strength and resilience that lie within each individual and their families and communities. Here are four things you can do to help #StoptheStigma of addiction:

  1. Educate yourself and others about addiction and recovery. The more people understand about addiction, the less likely they are to stigmatize those in recovery.
  2. Use person-first language. Instead of saying “addict” or “alcoholic,” say “person with an addiction” or “person in recovery” to focus on the person, not their condition.
  3. Challenge stigma when you see it. If you hear someone making a negative comment about addiction or recovery, use the opportunity to educate them about how their comments are harmful and offer a more accurate perspective.
  4. Be supportive. Let people facing SUDs know that you are there for them and consider offering practical help, such as rides to meetings or childcare.


[1] Hadland, S. E., Park, T. W., & Bagley, S. M. (2018, May 7) Stigma associated with medication treatment for young adults with opioid use disorder: a case series. Addict Sci Clin Practice, 13(1),15. doi: 10.1186/s13722-018-0116-2. PMID: 29730987; PMCID: PMC5937046.