Intrepid Entrepreneurs, a non-profit designed to catalyze the power and promise of young people and women to fundamentally advance their societies, recruited nine startups for the inaugural cohort of the Next Health Accelerator.
Female, African entrepreneurs with a minimum viable product (MVP) from 26 countries applied to the program. After a rigorous review process, nine startups from seven countries were selected to begin the program in March 2021. The investor readiness accelerator is six months long and includes $15,000 seed funding, international mentors and partners, business support services, and value chain access.
The Next Health Accelerator’s focus on sexual and reproductive health is founded on the premise that unmet needs for sexual education, menstrual hygiene management, family planning, medication abortion, and STI diagnosis and treatment will be most sustainably delivered by local African enterprises.
Sexual and Reproductive Health issues directly affect 300 million women and girls on the continent and the productivity of the entire continent. For the continent to prosper and support its burgeoning youth population, it must harness the demographic dividend with access to equitable healthcare and economic opportunities. Next Health Accelerator addresses both.
The 2021 cohort includes:
- Rocket Health: Provides telemedicine and pharmacy services for SRH needs including convenient lab test retrieval and medication delivery in Uganda
- Verifie: Delivers STI self-tests and treatment products via doorstep delivery in Ghana
- Pharmaserve: Specializes in delivering high-quality pharmaceuticals in Nigeria through a fully integrated inventory monitoring system
- Girls Pride: Provides menstrual hygiene management education and skills training to create reusable pads in The Gambia
- Pad-Up Creations: Employs over 100 people in Nigeria to produce single-use, chemical-free pads sold in 16 countries
- Valorigo: Manufacturers single-use sanitary eco-friendly pads made from locally grown bamboo in the Congo
- The Grace Cup: Delivers SRH education and reusable menstrual cups in Kenya
- Kosmotive: Provides SRH information and access to SRH self-care products in Rwanda
- Massira: Delivers SRH information interactively as well as access to SRH services and products through an online community in Ghana
Lindsey Simmonds, the Co-founder of Intrepid Entrepreneurs in a press statement said,
She continued that, development policies made in Washington, D.C. or London need to make room for the power and promise of the youth and women on the African continent. And on this premises, their Next Health Accelerator catalyzes African startups to investor readiness to make scalable, sustainable impact imbued with the commitment and determination that only comes from homegrown ideas.
Visit the intrepidentrepreneurs.org to learn more about the Next Health Accelerator 2021.
Autochek Launches 1st African Online Truck Loans Marketplace to Drive Logistics Mobility
The auto tech startup aiming to build solutions for the African market, Autochek, announces the launch of its online truck loans marketplace in Nigeria and Ghana, in a bid to migrate the trucking industry to online transactions and increase financing penetration.
With hundreds of truck dealers across Nigeria and Ghana on its platform, the fleet ranges from Flatbeds, Semi-trailers, Tankers as well as Heavy, Garbage and Panel trucks. As part of the roll-out, Autochek is partnering with key logistics stakeholders in Nigeria and Ghana including Kobo360, to finance trucks for African e-logistics transporters and truck owners.
This means that customers interested in owning a truck can do that with financing at the best rates. The new platform is available via the Autochek Android app or website and all trucks undergo a 150-point check inspection process before being listed to guide the customers on the exact state of the trucks.
This latest announcement allows the company provide the same services to trucks as it does with the cars already listed on its platform; Autochek’s 360-degree solution provides truck financing through finance partners with core expertise in fleet financing such as Baobab Group & FundQuest with spread across Africa and competitive rates.
To ensure trucks are kept on the road in good conditions, truck owners also enjoy affordable and expert maintenance services from standardised workshops and technicians in the Autochek partner network.
John Egwu, the VP of Operations at Autochek commenting on the launch said that,
“Autochek’s focus has always been on transforming automotive trade on the continent. Now, it is time for us to extend our services to trucks, as we build out our network and support our partners by providing a structured market for them to purchase and maintain their fleet.”
He further reveals that, financing penetration for trucks is lower than 1% in Africa and their ambition is to migrate what is known to be a core offline market to a digital platform, in order to increase financing penetration and create a one-stop-shop that will not just meet partners’ needs but also ultimately increase earning capabilities and job creation across the value chain.
The autotech startup was launched in 2020 by serial entrepreneur, Etop Ikpe and backed by TLcom Capital, 4DX Ventures. It combines technology and data to enhance the buying and selling experience across African consumers, by creating a single marketplace for all automotive needs.
And to date, the Autochek app already has 20,000 unique vehicles listed on its platform, and more than 12,000 dealers and private sellers as well as a range of corporate partners and customers.
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