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Driving More Capital to Early-Stage Social Enterprises Focused on Maternal and Sexual & Reproductive Health

Melissa Tickle May 28, 2021

What does underinvestment in healthcare mean for women in Africa?

Picture this for a moment: A young woman who is eight months pregnant walks into a clinic complaining of headaches, nausea and blurred vision. The examining physician suspects pre-eclampsia, but she cannot rule out that these are simply standard pregnancy complaints. Unfortunately, the clinic lacks the capacity to carry out the diagnostic tests that might confirm her suspicion. What does the physician do? Refuse to prescribe treatment until there is a definitive diagnosis or try to get the woman admitted into the nearest hospital that may or may not be able to help her?

Even before COVID-19, this scenario was sadly commonplace across sub-Saharan Africa. Grossly inadequate public expenditure on health care means medical infrastructure and expertise are sparse and stretched. The UN estimates a $33B annual financing gap to meet maternal, family planning and reproductive health goals, which has only grown with the pandemic.

While governments must continue to invest in this sector, meeting the targets contained in Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Good Health and Well-Being) associated with maternal and childhood health will require that private sector solutions and dollars accompany public sector investments.
At present only 10% of private impact investing dollars are going to global health and only a fraction of that to maternal and childhood health. According to a recent report from USAID’s Center for Innovation and Impact (CII) investors perceive the sector as being high risk and innovators often have difficulty transitioning from grant funding to venture financing.

But change is in the air.

There are a growing number of sustainable healthcare business models in low- and middle-income countries. In addition the information system revolution is establishing an enabling ecosystem for impact-driven investments in companies with digital health solutions to improve maternal, family planning and sexual and reproductive health (SRH), and well-being. That the pandemic has spurred new ideas and new investment in digital/remote healthcare is perhaps one of COVID-19’s few silver linings.

This panel will explore how we can build off of recent innovations. It will explore the role blended financing approaches can play in mobilizing private capital and addressing cultural/financial factors that limit the use of life-saving care or access to maternal and reproductive health products and services.

This conversation will bring together private sector investors who have allocated substantial capital to the maternal health and SRH space along with executives from women’s health oriented social enterprises. Together they will offer a roadmap for how other players – from foundations and governments to asset managers and accelerators – can drive meaningful improvements in healthcare access, quality, and affordability for vulnerable populations.

Format

Fireside Chat

Meta Themes

  • Impact Investing

Themes

Global Health, Maternal Health, Sexual and Reproductive Health

Purpose and Desired Outcome

FINCA Ventures was selected to receive $3M funding from USAID / NPI Expand to provide financing for innovations that will contribute to USAID maternal, family planning and reproductive health goals across sub-Saharan Africa. This is only a drop in the bucket, as FV recognizes the large private sector funding gap that exists to meet these goals. In an effort to open up the conversation to other investors deeply imbedded in this space, FV is organizing a panel to provide an overview of the maternal and sexual and reproductive health investment landscape in sub-Saharan Africa, provide examples of innovative for-profit business models that are increasing access and affordability of care, describe strategies to support early stage for-profits with non-financial support to increase their ability to generate impact at scale and attract private capital, and demonstrate how COVID-19 has exacerbated challenges faced by women and girls, with the ultimate goal to increase interest and crowd in more capital from allocators who previously have not focused on this sub-sector of Global Health.

Audiences

  • Allocators (Family Offices, HNW Individuals, Foundations)

  • Accelerators & Incubators

  • Entrepreneurs

Speakers

  • NameOmer Imtiazuddin
  • TitleManaging Director
  • OrganizationFINCA Ventures
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameGenevieve Oni
  • TitleCo-Founder & CFO
  • OrganizationMDaaS Global
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameBrittney Dudar
  • TitleInvestment Associate
  • OrganizationGrand Challenges Canada
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameKanini Mutooni
  • TitleManaging Director
  • OrganizationDRK Foundation
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameAndia Chakava
  • TitleDirector
  • OrganizationGraca Machel Trust
  • StatusConfirmed
  • NameEstelle Westling
  • TitleCo-Founder & COO
  • OrganizationGrace Health
  • StatusInvited
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