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.
Tunisia: CFE Partners SANAD to Help Entrepreneurs Tackle the COVID-19 Crisis
The SANAD Fund for MSME (SANAD) and Centre Financier aux Entrepreneurs (CFE) have again partnered to channel crucial liquidity to Tunisia’s micro and very small enterprise segment. With a fresh senior loan of EUR 600,00. The fund aims to strengthen CFE’s ability to provide emergency liquidity to entrepreneurs whose business operations have been hampered by the COVID-19 crisis.
Since its establishment as a greenfield microfinance institution in 2015, CFE has grown to become a major provider of microfinance in Tunisia. As micro and very small enterprises constitute a majority of income generation and employment in the country, CFE’s strong commitment to this segment makes it a strategic partner in enabling SANAD to generate positive economic impact through dedicated finance.
The new loan will enhance CFE’s liquidity position and boost its efforts to ensure clients’ access to financing tailored to help them withstand the difficulties of the ongoing crisis. Moreover, as with the previous SANAD facility, the loan will also be part of a back-to-back structure with a local bank, whereby CFE will receive doubly leveraged local currency funding to decrease potential exposure to exchange rate risk.
According to the SANAD Board Chairperson Dr. Daniela Beckmann,
“CFE has stood by local business owners in this tough period. Many entrepreneurs already face difficulties accessing formal financing in parts of Tunisia.”
Dr. Daniela added that Centre Financier aux Entrepreneurs (CFE) has not only shown its commitment to closing this gap in the past, but has also proactively approached micro and very small enterprises in recent months with solutions to help them overcome the challenges of the pandemic. Some of which included payment of moratoria and specially designed emergency funding.
Finally, she expressed their pride in joining forces with CFE once more to promote healthy business development in Tunisia.
On his part, Mr. Kamel Saibi, General Manager of Centre Financier aux Entrepreneurs (CFE), remarked that,
“In this period of economic crisis, SANAD has demonstrated its continuous support to our institution and indirectly to microentrepreneurs in Tunisia.”
This financing, he explains, will be used by Centre Financier aux Entrepreneurs (CFE) exclusively to strengthen the capacity of their borrowers in order to permit them to overcome this difficult phase, not only through financial services but also through non-financial services.
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