Seven Kenyans are among the top innovators recognized by the General Electric for their contribution in improving maternal health. The seven were among the group of 12 selected from the sub-Sahran Africa who showcased their enterprises to potential investors and supporters in Nairobi under the theme “healthymagination”, GEs flagship to improving healthcare.
Those recognized on February 24th 2017 were Dr Daphine Ngunjiri, for her integrated community health through a chain of micro-clinics in in slums and a Healthy Schools Programme that delivers check ups, treatments and training to children in schools. She said “our goal is to provide accessible healthcare which in turn improves mother and child well being”.
Mr Julius Mbeya of the Migori-based Lwala community Alliance were feted for their unique community-led approach to healthcare focusing on women and girls empowerment. Mr Mbeya said: “Our approach appreciates that healthcare is not all about doctors but spreading the knowledge and skills to the local community where some of the health challenges are numerous.”
Other innovators were drawn from Uganda, Nigeria, Rwanda and Ghana.
Mr Robert Wells, General Electric’s Executive Director of healthymagination, said: “The GE and the Miller Centre collaboration takes an innovative and highly practical approach to combating this challenge , by providing social entrepreneurs with skills and resources they need to expand the positive impact of their innovations.”
Finalists attended a three-day workshop in Nairobi, Kenya, followed by a six-month online accelerator programme that included weekly, in-depth mentoring from Silicon Valley-based executives and local GE business leaders.
The programme was designed to help the social entrepreneurs acquire business fundamentals, improve their strategic thought processes and articulate a business plan that demonstrates impact, growth and long-term financial sustainability. Fourteen businesses have now graduated.
“GE believes there is much for social enterprises and large businesses to learn from each other. As the center of the ecosystem, social entrepreneurs are key to building Africa’s sustainable future,” said Robert Wells, executive director of healthymagination.
The 14 social enterprises that completed the programme were Access Afya (Kenya), ayzh (Kenya), Health Builders (Rwanda), Health-E-Net (Kenya), Hewa Tele (Kenya), LifeNet International (Uganda, Burundi and DRC), Lwala Community Alliance (Kenya), Nurture Africa (Uganda), Outreach Medical Services (Nigeria), Peach Health (Ghana), PurpleSource Healthcare (Nigeria), Telemed Medical Services (Ethiopia), The Shanti Uganda Society (Uganda), and Village HopeCore International (Kenya).