cvs shows the way for social entrepreneurship companies


Social Entrepreneurship Companies Come in All Sizes

Can large global corporations also be social entrepreneurship companies? Yes, they can, and CVS Health is a terrific example. The company removed all cigarettes and tobacco products from its shelves in 2014. The move was part of CVS’s efforts to promote public health and reduce the number of people who still smoke. CVS replaced all its tobacco items with products designed to help smokers quit. Although only a small percentage of Americans still smoke, it is still a public health concern.

Smart Rebranding

The move benefits customers, but also helped CVS rebrand itself as a healthcare company. CVS even partners with established healthcare providers to make it easier for patients to see a primary care provider. Every day, CVS is leading the charge of social entrepreneurship companies that are driving change in our healthcare system.

In addition to removing tobacco products, CVS is greatly expanding its Minute Clinic program. The Minute Clinics located in CVS stores treat walk-in patients for minor ailments. The clinics check blood pressure, screen for diabetes, and provide vaccinations. People seeking help do not have to find a care provider or face a long wait. They can see a provider a few minutes after walking in and signing up. The minute clinics also work with insurance companies. People without insurance are also able to get treatment that they might not receive without the clinics.

New Name, New Mission

When it rebranded itself by removing tobacco products, CVS set an example for other social entrepreneurship companies by changing its name. The company previously went by the name CVS Caremark. Changing its name to CVS Health shows the company’s commitment to being a healthcare destination. They want to be seen as somewhere people can go for healthcare. Customers can also buy health care products. CVS no longer wanted to be a place where people could drop in, buy products that may be unhealthy, and leave. They have positioned themselves as both a pharmacy and a healthcare provider. Customers can have these needs met while still shopping for retail products.

The Bottom Line

Like other social entrepreneurship companies, CVS decided to do something about a pressing issue. Access to affordable healthcare is one of the greatest public health crises of our time. The changes to CVS’s mission empower employees and customers alike. CVS shows how social entrepreneurship companies can balance profit with the goals of affecting lives and making a better world for everyone.


CVS commits to not selling cigarettes to all of their pharmacies. They are also encouraging smokers to quit through the help of their new comprehensive program.


A woman sharing her story about how she quit smoking.


A woman whose family owns a tobacco farm shares her one good reason on why she stopped smoking – she wanted to live.


Everyone wishes for good health – that’s why CVS Health designed a comprehensive program for those who wanted to quit smoking.


CVS Health aims to offer an accessible and affordable form of health care services through Minute Clinic.

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