Press Release: Announcing the African Healthcare Funders Forum
The African Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA), Ashoka, and Social Innovation Circle, sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim as part of their “Making More Health” and Boehringer Ingelheim Social Engagement initiatives, are joining forces to launch the African Healthcare Funders Forum, a first-of-its-kind year-long gathering of Africa’s leading funders and social entrepreneurs to drive the transformation of the African healthcare sector.
The Forum is dedicated to bridging the current healthcare funding gap, advancing innovative financing models, and providing funders as well as social entrepreneurs with the tools and networks needed to catalyze sustainable growth at the speed and scale required to achieve maximum impact on the continent.
“Africa’s health sector, which has been traditionally viewed as a sector for the public good, represents a massive investment opportunity, estimated by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa to be worth $66 billion annually. Helping more funders and founders to connect, collaborate and scale innovative healthcare solutions is critical to the growth of the sector. The Forum will provide a collaborative space to meet, discuss and learn from peers on how to best mobilise and deploy capital into African healthcare ventures and overcome funding challenges”, says Dr Frank Aswani, CEO of AVPA.
Institutional capital and the expertise that typically comes with it are critical to achieving growth in this sector. This will require the establishment of new relationships between private and development sector players, the development of new impact delivery models, and the wide adoption of innovative financing principles like Impact Investing.
“To partner for impact is a key element of our strategy, and it is even the theme of this year’s Making More Health (MMH) Convention on October 4/5, 2022. Both MMH and Boehringer Ingelheim Social Engagement, our impact investment vehicle, are built on the notion that we can achieve much more together. Thus, we are delighted to sponsor this Forum, participate, and collaborate on building up the Impact Investing Ecosystem in SSA”, says Christian Bausch, Project Lead Boehringer Ingelheim Social Engagement.
Impact Leadership Programme
The African Healthcare Funders Forum offers a year-round programme of networking events and learning opportunities for impact leaders. It will launch in September 2022 with a three-month Impact Leadership Programme spread over 12 touch points, where funders across the capital spectrum, from grantmakers to debt providers and private equity players, will meet online to network and learn about the latest innovations in impact investing and healthcare.
The Programme has been curated and will be run by Social Innovation Circle, an experienced impact investment coaching team that has been training impact entrepreneurs and investors for over a decade, in close partnership with Ashoka.
“Social Innovation Circle is very excited to collaborate with leading partners and stellar experts to build this unique Impact Leaders Forum bringing together funders and founders dedicated to accelerating healthcare innovations in Africa,” says Mark Cheng, Founder and Managing Partner, Social Innovation Circle.
Applications to the Programme are officially open. For its inaugural Leadership Programme, the Forum will bring together social investors – grantmakers, debt providers, private equity and venture capital fund managers, angel investors, impact investors, and mainstream and development finance institutions – actively deploying or planning to deploy capital in African healthcare, whether as philanthropists, equity investors, or lenders.
Alongside impact funders, the Forum members will include CEOs of pioneering healthcare ventures carefully selected and nominated by Ashoka, the global network of social enterprise founders. These CEOs will join funders in the Leadership Programme to share their perspectives on which business models and innovations are delivering impact on the ground and how to improve the flow of capital into the sector.
Over the course of three months, the programme will provide the Impact Leaders with a comprehensive overview of the challenges and opportunities of funding African healthcare, through a series of guided conversations with leading industry experts and market participants, and an exploration of how impact finance can be used to increase the flow of capital for innovative healthcare ventures.
The AVPA CEO, Frank Aswani, will be hosting Forum co-conveners Mark Cheng and Christian Bausch for a Fireside Chat on 24th June to introduce the Forum and discuss the African healthcare sector.