GE and Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship have launched the second cohort of social enterprises that will receive training and mentorship as part of the healthymagination Mother and Child Programme, an initiative aimed at accelerating health innovations in Africa.

After a rigorous application and evaluation process, 14 organisations were selected to be in the programme’s second cohort of social entrepreneurs. They attended a three-day, in-person workshop in Johannesburg facilitated by senior-level Miller Center mentors and GE business leaders.

The 14 social enterprises that have been selected for the second cohort of the healthymagination Mother and Child Programme are: Afya Research Africa – STONE HMIS®, Cedars Diagnostics, doctHERs, Early Reach, Liberian Energy Network, Maternity Foundation, MDaaS, MOBicure, Neopenda, Sevamob, Sisu Global Health, Southlake Medical Centre – under LiveWell, SubQ Assist and Totohealth Tanzania.

The programme is designed to help the organisations acquire business fundamentals, improve their strategic thought processes, and articulate business plans that demonstrate impact, growth and long-term financial sustainability.

“Solving local health challenges calls for locally-adapted interventions and innovations, and Social Entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa are playing a major role in this regard. The healthymagination Mother and Child programme will continue to provide them with mentorship and in-depth training, accelerating health innovation and furthering our goal to increase the quality, access and affordability of maternal and child health,” said Executive Director of healthymagination, Robert Wells.

“GE’s mission to work on better health for more people is evidenced by our continuing partnership to help social enterprises scale their impact,” added Executive Director of Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Thane Kreiner, PhD.

“This cohort’s impact aligns with the target indicators for United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #3. Miller Center is honoured such amazing social enterprises applied to this Mother and Child accelerator programme,” continued Kreiner.

The kick-off workshop will be followed by a six-month, online accelerator programme with in-depth mentorship from Silicon Valley-based executives and local GE business leaders. The accelerator and mentorship programme will culminate in a “Premier Pitch” event in Africa where the 14 organisations will present their respective enterprises to an audience of potential investors.

“Nurturing a vibrant social entrepreneurship ecosystem is key for sustainable healthcare development and is a major focus area for GE in Africa,” said President and CEO at GE Healthcare Africa, Farid Fezoua.

“Through their various initiatives to strengthen mother and child care, these social entrepreneurs are bringing innovative approaches to tackle some of Africa’s biggest challenges and this is truly exciting. By leveraging GE’s domain expertise and the business-building skills imparted by Miller Center’s Silicon Valley mentors, we are honoured to provide mentorship and guidance to these great organisations,” concluded Fezoua.

The first cohort of social entrepreneurs completed training and mentorship and graduated from the programme earlier this year. The programme was launched in 2016.

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