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Medolac and The Mothers Milk Coop featured in Entrepreneur

Preterm Babies and the Story of Medolac: How one entrepreneur was moved by the plight of premature infants to develop a new company and a new business model.

A Focus on Social Impact

Many businesses are finding success by focusing on the social issues impacting society today. And, in that context, the lack of nutritional assistance for preterm infants is one area that entrepreneur Elena Taggart Medo has selected as her area of focus.

The reason is the significant need that an estimated 15 million pre-term infants around the world (preterm, or premature, meaning born before 37 weeks' gestation) have because they lack access to nutritious human breast milk.

Hospitals have been struggling to help these babies but have had to ration donor milk, providing it only to the smallest, sickest babies. Such rationing has meant a shortage of what infants in neonatal invensive care need most: mother's milk.

This is why entrepreneur Elena Taggart Medo not only founded Medolac Laboratories but founded it as a public benefit corporation, which fits with her philosophy of how a social impact company should look. Medolac "banks" donor milk, which can be stored at room temperature and shipped in 4-ounce sterile packets to locations around the world.

A public-benefit corporation, created by the state of Delaware, views profits as a means to fuel growth in social impact, as well as to generate attractive returns for stockholders.

As Medo told me during a recent interview: “We couldn’t work this hard just for money; we really want to change things for the better. When Delaware made it possible to convert to a public benefit corporation, we jumped at the chance and got a unanimous vote from our shareholders to do so."

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