Intrepid Entrepreneurs has recently announced the 9 selected startups that represent the inaugural cohort of the Next Health Accelerator, that aims to support African, female entrepreneurs disrupting the sexual and reproductive health. The 9 startups chosen represent 7 countries: The DRC, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Uganda.
Next Health Accelerator is a 6-month program to catalyze startups for investor readiness and value chain access. The program’s focus is on sexual and reproductive health and self-care and is founded on the premise that unmet need for sexual education, menstrual hygiene management, family planning, medication abortion, and STI diagnosis and treatment will be most sustainably delivered by local African businesses.
5 startups are addressing the issue of menstrual hygiene management with the intent of transforming period poverty to period pride. Girls Pride provides menstrual hygiene management education and skills training to create reusable pads in The Gambia. Pad-Up Creations employs over 100 people in Nigeria to produce single-use, chemical-free pads sold in 16 countries. Valorigo manufacturers single-use sanitary eco-friendly pads made from locally grown bamboo in the Congo. The Grace Cup delivers SRH education and reusable menstrual cups in Kenya. Kosmotive provides SRH information and access to SRH self-care products in Rwanda. Each of these startups addresses the lack of basic sexual and reproductive health education to normalize all aspects of puberty, menstruation, and fertility. These startups exist to provide solutions for girls and women to confidently live their lives and achieve their goals every day of the month.
Since the pandemic, telemedicine has taken center stage as a health care solution. Sexual and Reproductive Health access through telemedicine and last-mile delivery are included in the tech innovations at Next Health Accelerator. Massira delivers SRH information interactively as well as access to SRH services and products through an online community in Ghana. Rocket Health provides telemedicine and pharmacy services for SRH needs including convenient lab test retrieval and medication delivery in Uganda. Verifie delivers STI self-tests and treatment products via doorstep delivery in Ghana.
Many of the Next Health Accelerator startups deliver products and services for family planning and beyond. Pharmaserve specializes in delivering high-quality pharmaceuticals in Nigeria through a fully integrated inventory monitoring system.
Sexual and Reproductive Health issues directly affect 300 million women and girls in Africa and the productivity of the entire continent. Remarkably, this sector has been shrouded in stigma. As a result, populations have greatly suffered from a lack of information about typical processes, solutions, and treatments. Addressing common issues such as period poverty is paramount to increasing girl’s educational attainment and full participation in the workforce. The startups of the Next Health Accelerator will scale to contribute to fulfilling these vast needs and normalizing sexual and reproductive health for women and girls as well as the continent overall.
Participating startups receive $15K in seed funding and access to 20+ experienced mentors.