29 firms that are involved in the African healthcare supply chain are receiving equity-free funding from i3, a pan-African initiative supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The initiative, which is now in its second year, is sponsored by Cencora (formerly AmerisourceBergen), Merck Sharpe & Dohme, Microsoft, and Chemonics.
A $50,000 award and introductions to potential clients in business, nonprofit organisations, and governmental bodies will be given to the chosen startups.
Along with the award, the chosen entrepreneurs will get assistance from groups like CcHUB, Villgro Africa, IMPACT Lab, and Startupbootcamp Afritech to help them be investment-ready.
38% of these firms are run by women, and they come from 21 different African nations.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Director of Global Health Agencies and Funds, Kieran Daly, issued the following statement on Monday: “As nations and international health organisations work to increase access to priority products, we urgently need to leverage solutions across the public and private sectors to improve health outcomes and strengthen local health systems.
Programmes like i3, he continued, “help us understand, support, and engage with technology-driven solutions emerging across Africa, hand in hand with our partners.”
The companies that were chosen for the programme are Afia Group Limited, Aimcare Health, Bena Care, BioCertica, Chari Pharma, CheckUps Medical, Chefaa, Dawa Mkononi, Drugstore Nigeria, Famasi Limited, Field Intelligence, Inc., GICMED, Grinta, Healthtracka, Kapsule, Medical Diagnostech, Medpharma Alliance International Limited, Octosoft Technologies Limited, Pharmarun, Pharmaserv Health Project Nigeria Limited,
“We are thrilled to have a second cohort of 29 innovative changemakers in African healthcare enter the programme,” said Yusuf Rasool, Director of Global Market Access, Sustainable Access Solutions at Merck Sharp & Dohme.
“Investing in these companies is a way to deliver lifesaving solutions and empower communities by ensuring that vital medicines are accessible across the continent.”
The initial batch supported 31 businesses, reaching 24,000 healthcare facilities in 26 African nations.
Other projects supported by the Gates Foundation that concentrate on healthcare in Africa include i3. 29 African experts were chosen in August to create artificial intelligence programmes for the continent’s healthcare solutions.