The Innovate for Life Fund is designed by Amref Health Africa to support homegrown innovations for better health in Africa. The Innovate for Life Fund aims to invest in African health entrepreneurs to accelerate homegrown health solutions for the African market. In 2018, the fund will offer a health specific 4-month accelerator embedding a maximum of six talented entrepreneurs. The accelerator will combine virtual and in-residence interactions at Amref Africa headquarters in Nairobi. The entrepreneurs will enjoy the support of Amref Health Africa’s facilities and their extensive health network in addition to tailored business coaching by Grassroots Business Fund as Moses Cheruiyot reports.
Applications are now being accepted for Amref Health Africa’s Innovate for Life Fund, a five-month accelerator program specifically designed for African health entrepreneurs. Now in its second year, the Innovate for Life Fund aims to support African entrepreneurs to accelerate homegrown health solutions for the African market.
In line with the Lancet Commission on the future of health in sub-Saharan Africa’s efforts, Amref Health Africa believes that African-based, local innovations, with the realities of each country and each community embedded at their core, are vital for lasting health solutions.
“Local entrepreneurs know the needs and characteristics of the market well and therefore their solutions are often very appropriate and sustainable,” says Dr. Githinji Gitahi, Group CEO, Amref Health Africa.
“Local solutions for local challenges are in the DNA of Amref Health Africa, which makes the Innovate for Life Fund programme such a good fit. For more than 60 years we have partnered with communities and governments to improve health in Africa. This experience is invaluable for entrepreneurs.”
The Innovate for Life Fund is supported by the Elsevier Foundation. “We believe strongly in Amref Health Africa’s vision and the creative potential of Africa’s youth,” said Ylann Schemm, Director of the Elsevier Foundation. “With our long-standing commitment to improving global health, we recognise that the Innovate for Life Fund bridges a real gap – stimulating localised tech-driven health solutions for and by Africans.”
In 2017, the first group of six entrepreneurs from three different African countries took part in the Innovate for Life Fund accelerator programme. “The Innovate for Life Fund is unique because it is the only programme specific for African start-ups in the health sector and it offers unrivalled knowledge of the health ecosystem and business coaching to help health start-ups achieve scale faster,” says Charles Akhimien, founder of Nigerian-based MOBicure and participant in the 2017 Innovate for Life Fund programme.
The 2018 Innovate for Life Fund programme begins in September, and applications are open until June 15, 2018.