Bill Gates Foundation Funds 30 African Startups in Healthcare Supply Chains

Bill Gates Foundation Funds 30 African Startups in Healthcare Supply Chains

  • About 30 startups in the health supply chain would benefit from about $7 million fund from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • The eligible startups spread across the African continent would get about a $50,000 grant from the programme
  • Under the aegis of Investing in Innovation (i3), the firms would be housed in various hubs across Africa

A pan-African support initiative for health supply chain startups, Investing in Innovation (i3), has announced its first cohort of 30 firms from 14 African countries that would benefit from its $7 million fund.

The eligible startups would receive an N35 million grant and support to spur growth-driven collaboration with other donors, industries and institutions.

Startups, Africa, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Bill Gates supports African startups Credit: Mike Lawrence / Contributor
Source: Getty Images

Bill Gates leads the way

The i3 initiative is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and sponsored by Merck Sharp & Dahome, the World Health Organisation Regional Office for Africa, AUDA-NEPAD, and AmerisourceBergen.

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The programme seeks to bridge the gap between African-led firms, investors and donor agencies.

The i3 programme unites frontline donors, industry and African institutions to kickstart new ways of doing business to aid innovations in health from Africa.

Women lead about 47 per cent of the firms, and 30 per cent operate in Francophone Africa.

Senior Programme Officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Ann Allen, digitally enabled and locally-led innovations have massive prospects to help address the challenges of accessing medicines for unserved patients across Africa.

Associate Vice President of Global Market Access at MSD stated that the inventions represented by the selected startups are inspiring.

Hubs to incubate startups

The programme is coordinated by Salient Advisory, SCIDaR and SouthBridge A&I and is operated by tech hubs across Africa.

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The hubs include CCHub for West Africa, Startupbootcamp for Southern Africa, IMPACT Lab for North and French-speaking Africa and Villgro Africa for East Africa. They are responsible for the selection process and the follow-up of the startups all through the programme.

The selected startups include:

  • Chekkit Technologies
  • Disrupt Pharma Tech Africa (Medsaf)
  • DrugStoc Ehub Limited
  • Erith Health Services
  • Gricd
  • LifeBank
  • Lifestores Healthcare
  • OneHealth
  • ClinicPesa
  • Damu Sasa
  • The Pathology Network
  • Negus Med
  • Signalytic
  • Viebeg Technologies
  • Zuri Health
  • Xetova
  • Cure Bionics
  • DeepEcho
  • Dr Sett
  • Infiuss Health Limited
  • Medevice
  • Meditect
  • Sobrus
  • Valorigo
  • Azanza Health
  • Appy Saude
  • Aviro Health
  • Contro
  • VaxiGlobal
  • Zinacare.

New report shows African countries with the highest number of women entrepreneurs

Recall that reported that the 2021 Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs has ranked Botswana, Uganda and Ghana as the countries with the highest number of female entrepreneurs for the third consecutive year.

Botswana came tops with a 38.5 per cent increase in women who run businesses in the country, followed by Uganda at 38.4 and Ghana at 37.2 per cent.

Business Insider said the index is calculated as a percentage of total business owners. This edition of the ranking spotlights the impact of women businesses on the socio-economic contribution of women entrepreneurs across the globe, including in Africa and it gives insights into the elements propelling and hindering their progress.


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