Ikpeme Neto, founder and chief executive of Wellahealth Technologies, has secured the prestigious Africa Business Heroes (ABH) Prize in its 5th edition, a flagship philanthropic initiative by the Jack Ma Foundation aimed at supporting entrepreneurs across Africa.
At the Wellahealth Africa Business Heroes Winner’s Homecoming event, co-hosted by Founders Factory Africa (FFA), Neto expressed gratitude for the $300,000 prize, emphasizing its pivotal role in accelerating the realization of Wellahealth’s goals. Wellahealth, under Neto’s leadership, focuses on providing affordable micro health plans, starting from N400 per month, covering prevalent conditions like malaria, typhoid, and cold.
Neto outlined the significance of the award, stating, “The $300,000 award goes to the company, helping us forge partnerships swiftly with banks, phone network operators, and healthcare providers. Our ambition is to serve one million people in 18 months and extend our impact to 10 million across Africa in the next five years.”
According to him, the mission of Wellahealth, aiming to be a trusted brand for affordable healthcare and highlighting the organisation’s commitment to addressing healthcare disparities.
“Everywhere I go, I want to feel proud of being a Nigerian. I get more satisfaction doing what I am doing in Nigeria than abroad, because I was delivering health service to Europeans, while people at home, including my mother were not having good healthcare, I had to return to Nigeria.
“At the moment we are serving over 300,000 people, our goal is to achieve one million in 18 months and 10 million in the next five years. Not just in Nigeria but over Africa, a lot of African countries are calling us to say come home we want you in this country.
“In the next five years, we also want to be a trusted brand for affordable healthcare; we intend to cover thousands of Nigerians across the country with affordable healthcare.
“I have always felt it was unfair to do amazing things for these people whereas people at home didn’t have access to any good healthcare,” said Neto.
Meanwhile, ABH’s mission is to showcase and grow local talents, positively impacting their communities and beyond and inspiring a movement of African entrepreneurship.
ABH, with a 10-year mission, aims to showcase and nurture local talents, positively impacting communities and inspiring an entrepreneurship movement in Africa.
The organisation’s vision is “By 2030, 100 Africa’s Business Heroes will inspire millions more.
The program has already recognized 50 top 10 heroes, 30 top three businesses, and five champions across the continent in its fifth year.
The ABH awards, distributed annually, include a $300,000 grant for the winner, $250,000 and $150,000 for the first and second runners-up, and $100,000 grants for the remaining seven heroes. Notably, Founders Factory Africa, a significant investor in Wellahealth, plays a crucial role in supporting ventures, investing up to $250,000 at various stages, including idea, pre-Seed, and Seed stages.
Ikpeme Neto’s triumph exemplifies the impact of African entrepreneurs and their potential to drive positive change within their communities and beyond.