The aim of the Innovate for Life Fund is to bring to scale innovative, home-grown solutions for health, with a focus on primary care. In this initiative the African health organization Amref Health Africa works with the experienced impact investor Grassroots Business Fund. Entrepreneurs are offered access to an (international) network of stakeholders in health, in-depth knowledge of African health systems and access to capital.
Amref NL, Elsevier Foundation
The Innovate for Life Fund is an initiative of Amref Health Africa in conjunction with the Elsevier foundation and Grassroots Business Fund. Through the Innovate for Life fund, Amref Health Africa works with innovative entrepreneurs from all over Sub Sahara Africa to help them bring to scale their unique healthcare solutions by offering them the training, mentoring, and access to networks and over 60 years of experience in the African healthcare landscape.
The objective of the acceleration program is to produce enterprises that are ready to face potential partners, funders and investors, engage with them based on a well packaged business case, and negotiate to raise funds. At the end of the program the entrepreneurs should have a clear business plan, a documented business and fund raising strategy, concise financial projections, and an investor teaser/pitch.
Major activities/Intervention Areas
Under the Accelerator programme, participants are invited for 2 intensive weeks, one per month for two months in, after which a maximum of 3 entrepreneurs are selected, with whom Amref starts a mutual commitment strategic relationship after or simultaneously with the 3rd intensive week. We look for passionate entrepreneurs with an innovative product or service that is already in the market and aims to improve primary health care in Africa. The solution must have proven successful in a smaller setting through verifiable traction, including revenue generation, which we support to scale. To stimulate home-grown innovation, the Innovate for Life Fund targets entrepreneurs based in Sub Saharan Africa countries with 50% of the founders being from a Sub Saharan Africa country.
Achievements to date by Objective Areas
To date, the programme has had two rounds of support, hosting a total of 12 entrepreneurs (2017 and 2018 innovators) from sub Saharan Africa.