In Nigeria’s healthcare entrepreneurship ecosystem, there is seemingly low visibility and support for female entrepreneurs, as gender diversity continues to grow.
This is changing, as women are showing dexterity in churning out disruptive innovations aimed at improving the country’s health outcomes – especially for vulnerable populations. They are confidently making their mark in the fast-paced, ever-evolving health sector.
The Nigerian Healthcare Innovation Marketplace (NHIM), an initiative of the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN) recognised the vacuum, and created the Female Founders Network (FFN) to spur interactions, provide relevant business support and build a sustainable community.
According to the NHIM Team, “The Female Founders Network (FFN) aims to support entrepreneurs with a strong purpose by connecting them to the brightest business minds locally and internationally. The network will provide access to the Nigerian healthcare start-up ecosystem, industry specialists, fellow entrepreneurs, global partners, talent, and capital.”
The team states that the value-added incentives for female entrepreneurs belonging into the FFN include that innovators will gain access to PHN’s global network, of which benefits incorporate referrals/recommendations to local and international programmes, and linkages with partners.
They say selected innovations will have the opportunity to be showcased on NHIM’s online portal consisting of over 1000 users, and on its social media platforms. However, Start-ups will gain unlimited access to NHIM’s knowledge database consisting of country data and stats, research papers, and academic & business reports both local and international.
The team added that entrepreneurs would gain access to NHIM’s Innovation Challenges and Hackathons where they will get opportunities to pitch their start-ups for grant funding. Also, innovators would have the opportunity to network and collaborate with other start-ups, experts and investors in the NHIM community through events, workshops, webinars, and mixers.
PHN led by business leaders as the country’s foremost private sector coalition that seeks to complement the government’s efforts to improve health outcomes in Nigeria by mobilising and leveraging private sector capabilities, resources, reach and expertise.
PHN launched the Nigeria Health Innovation Marketplace (NHIM) as its innovation arm serving as a convergence platform for key players in the health innovation ecosystem. The marketplace focuses on identifying, supporting and investing in promising innovations addressing critical challenges.
NHIM has made efforts to grow its community through the various components of the marketplace. In order to build a sustainable convergence platform, the marketplace is determined to cater to the needs of all key players hence the launch of the Female Founders Network (FFN).