NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 6 – General Electric has announced its commitment to equipping more social entrepreneurs in the area of healthcare on the continent of Africa.
Through its healthymagination Mother and Child Programme, the firm plans to build capacity through training and mentorship in a bid to scale impact and improve healthcare on the continent.
So far over 11 firms from across the continent have benefited from the program with two groups graduating.
“The skills and practical knowledge we received has enabled us to transform our business model for greater impact. Thanks to the programme, we managed to secure investment from global development partners for the expansion of two additional oxygen plants which will increase access to affordable, safe and quality life-saving medical oxygen in Kenya,” said Steve Adudans whose HewaTele has attracted over USD2 million in additional investment since completing the programme in March 2017.
The program was launched in 2016 in partnership with Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship.
After a rigorous evaluation process, the social enterprises selected to participate in the programme attend a three-day, in-person workshop in Johannesburg, South Africa followed by a six-month online accelerator program that includes weekly in-depth mentorship from Silicon Valley-based executives and local GE business leaders.
This approach is designed to assist entrepreneurs operating in the healthcare space to acquire business fundamentals that will help them build and grow their impact.
The accelerator and mentorship programme culminates in an investor showcase event during which the finalists pitch their respective enterprises to an audience of potential investors and supporters.
“We are proud of the major strides that the first cohort of enterprises has made since they graduated, and are thrilled that a second stellar group of passionate entrepreneurs is now better equipped to expand their reach and save the lives of more mothers and children across the continent. GE is committed to continue partnering with Social Entrepreneurs to support sustainable healthcare development especially through capacity building and skills transfer,” said Robert Wells Executive Director, New Growth Markets, Business Innovations at GE.
Some of the Kenya social entrepreneurs that have now completed the healthymagination Mother and Child Programme include Afya Research Africa, a social enterprise led by Dr. Moses Ndiritu that works with communities to set up and manage medical centers and develop medical technologies that tackle access, cost and quality issues associated with healthcare services in Kenya; and Cedars Diagnostics, led by Payan Ouko, which is a social enterprise serving the urban poor by providing access to quality and affordable diagnostic healthcare. They provide access to medical equipment, expertise, training, and support to like-minded organisations that provide primary care to underserved communities.