The First Group Of Healthymagination Social Entrepreneurs Look Forward to Changing the World
The idea behind the Healthymagination Mother and Child Programme, being run by GE and the Santa Clara University’s Miller Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, is to empower small business owners to develop ways of improving maternal and child healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the One Organisation, a woman’s lifetime risk of maternal death is 1 in 180 in developing countries such as those in SSA and it is 1 in 4,900 in developed countries. SSA recorded the highest number of child deaths globally with about 3-million in 2015.
Seventeen healthcare-based social entrepreneurs were selected from the SSA region for the programme, which seeks to bridge the gap between medical knowledge and practice, and 14 of them graduated. This first group of social entrepreneurs underwent an extensive evaluation process last year and proved to be adept at affecting change on a scale that could potentially develop its own momentum and staying power. They were chosen for their progressive plans to upscale the state of primary healthcare for mothers and children.
Each entrepreneur attended a three-day workshop in Nairobi, Kenya, followed by a six-month online accelerator programme. Weekly comprehensive monitoring from Silicon Valley-based executives and local GE business leaders ensured that the social entrepreneurs were equipped with the acumen needed to create longevity in their strategic operational processes. This involved learning business fundamentals such as creating a business plan that included projections of measurable impact, business growth and financial sustainability. This accelerator and mentorship programme culminated with a “Premier Pitch” event that took place in Nairobi in February, during which the 14 finalists presented their respective enterprises to an audience of potential investors and supporters.