As gender diversity within the healthcare innovation ecosystem continues to grow, women have constantly shown dexterity in churning out disruptive innovations aimed at improving the country’s health outcomes – especially for vulnerable populations. Women are confidently making their mark in a fast-paced, ever-evolving health sector.
However, within the healthcare entrepreneurship ecosystem, there is seemingly low visibility and support for female entrepreneurs in Nigeria. Recognising the vacuum, the Nigerian Healthcare Innovation Marketplace (NHIM), an initiative of the Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (PHN) 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 startup ecosystem, industry specialists, fellow entrepreneurs, global partners, talent, and capital.”
Value added incentives for female entrepreneurs belonging into the FFN include:
- Innovators will gain access to PHN’s global network, of which benefits include referrals/recommendations to local and international programs, and linkages with partners
- 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.
- Startups will gain unlimited access to NHIM’s knowledge database consisting of country data & stats, research papers, and academic & business reports both local and international.
- Entrepreneurs will gain access to NHIM’s Innovation Challenges and Hackathons where they will get opportunities to pitch their start-ups for grant funding.
- Innovators will have the opportunity to network and collaborate with other start-ups, experts and investors in the NHIM community through events, workshops, webinars, and mixers.
- Coaching and strategy sessions from key expert mentors (virtually or physically).
The Private Sector Health Alliance of Nigeria (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 mobilizing 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).