Dutch social enterprise Healthy Entrepreneurs operates an innovative franchise network of micro–Community Health Entrepreneurs (CHE) in Sub-Saharan Africa. Providing families with basic health care products and primary health services in areas that otherwise would be difficult to access. A new share capital of Philips Foundation Impact Investments B.V. and Madiro, matched with a DGGF loan through Invest International, is boosting the network growth and accompanying impact.
Healthy Entrepreneurs has reached over 1,5 million families in East Africa with affordable last-mile distribution of health services over the past years. The company has proven that combining an efficient supply chain, using customer-friendly technology and collaborating with local health entrepreneurs can lead to significant improvements in rural health care. The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed Healthy Entrepreneurs in their top 10 of most promising innovations for primary healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa.Read more on Healthy Entrepreneurs
This seamlessly fits one of the drivers of the Philips Foundation’s impact investment vehicle and that of Madiro: providing access to affordable health services in rural areas throughout underserved communities. The parties commit to fund around 15 percent in equity in Healthy Entrepreneurs B.V., accelerating the growth of the network.
This, backed up by a EUR 4,5 million Dutch Good Growth Fund (DGGF) term loan managed by Invest International on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. With this sum closing the financing gap and accelerating scale-up. The ambition is to reach over 20 million African rural families with health services through the network of 90,000 Community Health Entrepreneurs.Read more on DGGF
Healthy Entrepreneurs has proven that combining an efficient supply chain, using customer-friendly technology and collaborating with local health entrepreneurs can lead to significant improvements in rural health care.
“With our DGGF financing we are keen to facilitate new and innovative business models with a scalable impact. In this case, access to health in rural Africa.”
Koen HamersHead SME & Mid Corp Finance at Invest International
“Madiro’s mission is to ensure health is no longer a barrier to people building better lives for themselves, their families and their communities”, says James Fraser, CEO of Madiro. “Healthy Entrepreneurs’ innovative micro-franchise model aligns the interests of community health workers, patients living in remote areas and the health system. It improves access to better quality health-related products and services while generating higher incomes for often forgotten health workers.”
“We are proud our efforts are acknowledged and that we now have the possibility to replicate our model in new regions”, indicates Joost van Engen, CEO of Healthy Entrepreneurs. After demonstrating success in Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania, the company is ready to enter new regions such as Burundi and Burkina Faso.
Rural families in Africa spend 55 percent of their health budget on transport since services are hardly accessible. Healthy Entrepreneurs brings health services to the people by:
Healthy Entrepreneurs is based on a commercial model, making it possible to offer continuity in product offerings and respond to customer needs. Head SME & Mid Corp Finance, Koen Hamers of Invest International adds: “With our DGGF financing we are keen to facilitate new and innovative business models with a scalable impact. In this case, access to health in rural Africa”. It lowers the dependency on traditional public funding, mostly earmarked for certain products and only provided temporarily.
“For a long time, supporting the health and well-being of populations living remotely seemed impossible. But it is not. With an entrepreneurial spirit, understanding the local needs with a focus on affordability – where health workers are trained within the community and make them feel proud of what they do – Healthy Entrepreneurs has found an inclusive healthcare delivery model, becoming financially self-sustaining,” says Margot Cooijmans, Director of Philips Foundation Impact Investments B.V. “In my view, that is the main way to improve access to healthcare sustainably.”