07 innovative projects join the Next Health Accelerator for its 3rd cohort

Following the call for applications launched on November 18, and after a rigorous selection process, 7 new startups have joined the Next Health Accelerator (NHA) program for its 3rd cohort. They stand out for their innovation and their ambitious vision to revolutionize the health sector in Africa by integrating technological solutions adapted to the realities of the continent.

Next Health Accelerator (NHA) in a few words

Intrepid Entrepreneurs’ accelerator program, Next Health Accelerator (NHA) , has been in existence since 2021 to accompany and support startups innovating in the field of health with a particular focus on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Selfcare. Since its inception, the program has supported about 20 startups from different African countries and founded or co-founded by women.

Each of the selected startups benefits from a 6-month online program focused on opportunity assessment, integration of solutions into existing value chains, and regional expansion. In addition to these elements, entrepreneurs have access to tailored coaching and mentoring, a capital investment of up to $20,000 USD, and access to an extensive network of partners.

NHA’s 2023 cohort hosts 14 entrepreneurs representing 6 African countries (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, South Africa, Uganda, DRC). Discover their exceptional solutions here:

  • Alliance Pharma (Burkina Faso) is a mobile application that allows a pharmacy to contact one or more other pharmacies with a single click to search and find a health product for a patient in need.
  • LukaPharma (Democratic Republic of Congo) is a mobile application that facilitates access to quality medicines in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Users can check prices and availability of their medicines in the nearest pharmacies in less than 3 minutes.
  • Zinacare (South Africa) is a South African company that provides home healthcare services. From lab tests to virtual consultations, Zinacare enables patients to access convenient, affordable, and reliable essential health services.
  • ELLES (Benin) is a mobile application designed to meet the specific health needs of African girls and women. It provides reliable sexual and reproductive health information and services.
  • Ekose Rx (Cameroon) is an online pharmacy dedicated to Francophone Africa. It provides patients and health care providers with access to quality medicines at affordable prices.
  • MobiKlinik (Uganda) develops digital tools that enable basic health care training, health care delivery and access to affordable health services in Africa.
  • Laafi Concepts SAS (Burkina Faso) focuses on the development, manufacturing and delivery of digital solutions for various sectors. It particularly specializes in monitoring equipment for pharmaceuticals and other temperature sensitive products.

We are confident that these startups will make significant progress in the coming months and look forward to continuing to work with the entrepreneurial community to help drive growth and innovation.

If you are interested in updates and results from the program feel free to follow us on our social networks and website.

Afia Pharma: Makes medecine more affordable and easly accessible to billions people accros africa

Papy Biganza is a Rwandan entrepreneur, who is striving to revolutionize the traditional pharmaceutical industry in Africa. He has been working in the e-commerce sector since 2014 and is currently the CEO of Afia Pharma which operates in the E-health sector.

What is the story behind your startup? 

I had a grandfather, who lived in a rural place alone , in 2019,died of asthma. One of the main reasons was because the medicine was so expensive and he couldn’t get easily to the city to purchase medications. 

Who are your target customers, and what problem are you solving?

Our target market is patient because we are dealing with challenges such as High Cost: Prices in private pharmacies were twice as high as they were in public pharmacies (median price ratios = 1.99). in addition to inaccessibility, there’s also: 25 percent of Rwanda’s 417 pharmacies serve a rural population of 10 million people.


What are your challenges?

The startup does not own a proprietary stock. It obtains supplies on order from a pharmaceutical depot for any order greater than $10 (minimum purchase amount authorized at the level of this depot), and from local pharmacies for orders of an amount less than $10. In the latter case, the margin made on the sale is zero. The drug is then resold at the purchase price

What is your vision for your startup? What does success look like?

The African pharmaceutical market is worth approximately $40 billion dollars, and Afia pharma’s ambition is to acquire 5% of that in the next five years.

Why did you apply for NHA? Why NHA and not another accelerator? 

We anticipated that with the mentoring and professional connections provided by Next Health Accelerator, as well as initial capital, Afia pharma would be able to increase in size and value while scaling up more quickly.

What were your expectations, and how was your experience with the program so far?  

We were able to find the strategic difficulties we’ve been dealing with so far and precisely outline our customer journey thanks to the Office Hours session.

Have you met someone who inspires you since participating in NHA?

Senam Beheton’s personality and enthusiasm for entrepreneurship have truly inspired me. 

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

I’d make medicine more affordable, accessible, and available to Africa’s billions of people.

Do you have any last comment or advice you would like to share with your fellow entrepreneurs?  

Start small and think big

MaiSoin, easy home care for all!

MaiSoin’s mission is to provide each patient with an easy and pleasant digital health journey. The Ivorian social enterprise offers a web and mobile platform that simplifies contact between patients and health professionals while collecting data to improve decision-making and the effectiveness of public health interventions. Being part of the NHA program was an opportunity for the startup to be in contact with professionals who are passionate about health issues and can help them achieve their goals.

Please introduce yourself


My name is Dédé Zeinabou Cissé, co-founder and CEO of MaiSoin. I am a specialist in public health, health unit management and health policy.

What is the story behind your startup?

My partner, Mario Romero, and I have a combined 15 years of experience working with international NGOs in implementing community-based public health projects. We met while working in Chad on the world’s largest active epidemiological surveillance program for Guinea worm eradication. 

From our different experiences, we learned that often small changes can positively influence access to health care for populations. Thus, we have become passionate about concrete and modern solutions that allow better access to health care for the population.

Who are your target customers ?

Today, to consult a health professional in Abidjan, it is common to wait two hours in the waiting room of a private clinic. In public institutions, the wait is even longer. This is due to the fact that the majority of health facilities in the city refuse to give patients specific appointments. The medical secretaries simply tell the patients the time slot during which the healthcare professional is present at the clinic.

The patient comes to the clinic and consultations are held in order of arrival. The existing system creates long waits and discourages many people from attending health centers. With MaiSoin, we target people who need to see a healthcare professional in Abidjan without having to waste time in a waiting room.

What are your challenges?

Currently our biggest challenge is to increase the awareness of our existing solutions so that people who need our services know that we exist.

What is your vision for your startup? What does success look like?

We consider ourselves successful if we can increase the number of people accessing the preventive health services they need: whether at home, online or in the clinic. Our vision is to reduce existing barriers to improve access to health for populations.

Why did you apply for NHA? Why NHA and not another accelerator?

Next Health Accelerator presented itself to us as an interesting opportunity to be in contact with professionals who are passionate about the same things we are and want to help us achieve our goals. So it was an easy decision for us.

What were your expectations, and how was your experience with the program so far?

Having participated in other programs, we were certain that we wanted to join an acceleration program that adapts to the needs of the startups that participate and, above all, that has flexibility in terms of interactions and interventions.

Have you met someone who inspires you since participating in NHA?

The program was punctuated by several great meetings, both with founders of other startups and with the NHA team.

What significant progress have you made in your business since joining NHA?

Joining the NHA program allowed us to refine our market research and reorient our strategy. We were also able to add a brand new service to our offer.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

I would like to see anyone in need of medical attention have access to the quality care they need immediately, and that never again does a woman die in childbirth due to lack of care or inadequate management, leaving behind an orphaned baby. 

Urukundo Initiative, the friendly, safe and trustworthy platform that informs youth about sexual and reproductive health

Founded by 4 young Rwandans, interested in bringing reliable information to adolescents and youths, regarding their sexual and reproductive health, the startup Urukundo Initiative existed since 2019. It offers through its board game ”Urukundo” a user-friendly, safe and reliable platform that provides access to factual information on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Please introduce yourself

My name is GIRANEZA UWANTEGE Christelle. I’m the co-founder and marketing director publics relations officer at Urukundo Initiative. 

What is the story behind your startup?  

The origin and inspiration arose from the research we conducted in different schools in Huye District – Rwanda that served to understand the root cause of surge in number of teenage pregnancy among adolescent together with students from Jefferson University, where 81.7% was found to have information gap around Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights. 

Later on, we developed URUKUNDO Life Skills Board Game, a friendly, trustworthy, evidence based and inclusive game that avails sexual and reproductive health information with the focus of upbringing a healthy thriving generation free from teenage pregnancies, unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS. 

The affection which adolescents misunderstand thus engage in risky sexual practices, the love that parents have for their children and the love we have for young adolescents and their families gave us an inspiration name ‘’URUKUNDO’’ which means “LOVE” in Kinyarwanda.


Who are your target customers ?

We target adolescents and teenagers aged 13-19 years of age living in Rwanda and sub-Saharan Africa.

What problem are you solving?

According to WHO about 17 million adolescent girls give birth every year and most of these births occur in low- and middle-income countries. As per Rwanda Demographic Health Survey, teenage pregnancy rate increased from 4.1% in 2005 to 6.1% in 2010, 7.3% in 2015 and about 5% in 2020.

Currently 1 in 5 Rwandan adolescent girls start child bearing before their 19th birthday. These numbers are projected to be worsened by COVID19 pandemic. Young people in Rwanda report an information gap around Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) up to 81.7% evidenced by our grass root research.

With the use of gamification (ULSBG), we are providing Sexual Reproductive Health information, in a friendly, evidence based yet inclusive way thus tackling problems that arise from engaging in risky sexual behaviors including but not limited to teenage pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDs.

What are your challenges?

 COVID-19 Pandemic affected our enterprise in various way. First in line of complying with government measure to prevent the spread of infection we were unable to forge many partnerships with various organizations in order to extend our market. Developing URUKUNDO Life Skills Board Game Application has been a challenge due to lack of game developer in the Team and insufficient funds. Being students have limited our full time樂威壯 participation in the company.

What is your vision for your startup? What does success look like?

Our vision is to become on the leading global providers of innovative health related solutions, we always strive to work hard in order to reach where we want to get. Our success is to live our dream where URUKUNDO Initiative will be one of health related innovative company addressing various global challenges.

Have you met someone who inspires you since participating in NHA?

The person who inspired us the most during the program was Senam Beheton.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

It is injustice, we want to live in world where everyone should have equal right and opportunity.


Meet ApiAfrique, the Senegalese startup working to change the rules!

ApiAfrique is a Senegalese social enterprise that promotes innovative, local and environmentally friendly solutions for women and baby care. Founded by Marina and Abdoulaye Gning, the startup began operations in 2016 in Senegal. It contributes through its products, to the emancipation of women, the reduction of waste, the fight against exclusion and the creation of jobs.

In this interview, Marina Gning, co-founder of ApiAfrique tells us about the startup and its participation in the NHA program.

Please introduce yourself

My name is Marina Gning, co-founder of the social enterprise Apiafrique. I worked for 10 years in film production and then founded my first company in 2010 called ApiNapi; a specialist in cloth diapers and reusable hygiene products in general.

What is the story behind ApiAfrique?

When i was developing my first company Apinapi in France, we bought the products all over the world and sold them with the advice of the customers. My husband Abdoulaye being Senegalese, we often went to Senegal on vacation. It was during one of these trips that we offered cloth diapers to my sister-in-law who had just given birth. She was immediately intrigued: she was indepeda必利勁 nt and the diapers were beautiful. We thought about importing some brands, but the price would have been too high and some models were not adaptive.

After thinking about it, we finally decided to create a special diaper and manufacture it in Senegal to create local jobs. An idea we started working on by following the online MOOC “becoming an entrepreneur of change”.

Then, when talking with some women we discovered that there was also a great interest in washable menstrual pads. So we took that into consideration and today it is our flagship product.


Who are your target customers, and what problem are you solving?

Our clients are principally women, young girls, retailers and NGOs.

The problems we try to solve are of several kinds and are related to the management of menstruation and baby changing. We also address the health problems related to the chemicals that are in the composition of disposable pads, the high cost of disposable pads and diapers, the economic dependence of women and young girls for their purchase and the waste generated.

What are your challenges?

Our major challenges today are: the supply of raw materials, large-scale distribution in Senegal and human resources.

What is your vision for your startup? What does success look like?

Our vision is a world where every person uses a majority of reusable and healthy products in their daily lives.

Success will be achieved for us when our products are widely available in West Africa and used by at least 50% of girls and women. 

Why did you apply for NHA? Why NHA and not another accelerator?

We were introduced to the NHA program last year at the menstrual poverty event organized by Intrepid Entrepreneurs. We met a very knowledgeable team about menstrual poverty and the market for reusable sanitary pads because they had already worked withcompanies in this sector in Africa and ordered a research paper from Noru Capital. As a result, they published the first market research on reusable sanitary pads in Africa.We told ourselves  ‘’Great! Here is finally a team that knows our products, reusable sanitary pads, and the African market and wants to help impact companies to evolve’’. So for us, it was perfect.

What were your expectations, and how was your experience with the program so far?

Our expectations from the NHA program were mainly related to the scale change. Today, after five years of activity, we have benefited from several programs that have helped us move forward, but we are at a crossroads. We have a team of about thirty people, and to go much further, we needed high-level help. Today we need bespoke advice and experts who can work with us on each of our problems. This is what we expected from NHA and what we have today. Fully customized support with much professionalism and a lot ofgoodwill.

Have you met someone who inspires you since participating in NHA?

Each member of the NHA team brings something to the table and each one inspires us in their own way. The team is efficient and caring, and everyone is a real pleasure to work with.

What significant progress have you made in your business since joining NHA?

Since we joined NHA, our product distribution strategy has become increasingly clear and we have tools to help us make decisions.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

I would like every girl and woman to understand her menstrual cycle and to be able to thrive and no longer allow non-recyclable waste.

Do you have any last comment or advice you would like to share with your fellow entrepreneurs?

The advice I would give to entrepreneurs is don’t be alone. I always say that. If you think you have your idea, you want to keep it to yourself and move forward, but you can reach your limits quickly if you go through it alone, which gets tiring. So, surround yourself with other entrepreneurs, get help, get coaching, and don’t hesitate to participate in incubation and acceleration programs because that’s the key.

When I say that you shouldn’t stay alone and get help and support, it also means that you should share with others. When you’re an entrepreneur, you can’t just take, you have to share with other entrepreneurs, and it’s okay to say that you have problems or to show and explain your issues to others. That’s how you move forward. So also share your findings from your concerns; you will receive a lot in return, and that’s how you will grow.

Pharmatech: a promising solution for improving access to sexual health in Africa

On September 13, a unique conference was held at the Pullman Hotel in Abidjan on the rise of Pharmatech in Africa: an opportunity to improve sexual and reproductive health. About sixty people (entrepreneurs, representatives of international organizations, and health authorities) gathered to :

  • Identify the challenges faced by populations in accessing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services in Africa.
  • Discuss the unique opportunities offered by Pharmatech and the obstacles to its expansion.
  • Propose courses of action for better integration of Pharmatech in SRH.

The stakeholders’ meeting on this theme was very productive and highlighted the opportunities and obstacles to expanding Pharmatech on our continent.

During the presentations and the panel, discussions were at the heart of the issues presented by the Ivorian health authorities represented by Dr. Hervé Boni of the Order of Pharmacists and Dr. Anna-Maria Anet of the Ivorian Pharmaceutical Regulatory Authority (AIRP). In addition, obstacles in delivering health products online, such as traceability and human contact, were discussed at length.

Image pharmatech conference

The meeting especially opened unique perspectives for health and particularly for SRH. Indeed, entrepreneurs presented their solutions to increase access to these essential products. Innovative startups Afiapharma (Rwanda) and Pharmap (Benin) showed that technology strengthens the pharmacist’s role, allows users to use health products in an informed way, reduces costs, and improves health. Their mobile applications show the existence of hybrid solutions between face-to-face and virtual service that will not replace human contact but, on the contrary, extend the pharmacist-user relationship, improving access, quality, and outcome of care. Entrepreneurs from Côte d’Ivoire (OPISMS and Waba) also presented their technological solutions to the problem of access to care, a massive challenge for Africa.

The pharmacist has a public service mission.” What is important to remember about this statement by Dr. Hervé Boni is that it illustrates both the need to regulate the sector and the need to be open to innovations to serve the most significant number. Another striking statement of the day was that “pharmacies can be involved in the end-to-end value chain of selfcare in sexual and reproductive health” from Naofal Ali, the panel moderator. M. Ali is a partner at Noru Capital and author of the report on Improving SRH in Africa through Pharmatech, reinforced the need to adapt regulations and to position traditional pharmacy and pharmaceutical startups as pivotal players in the SRH

This meeting highlighted the complementarity between traditional pharmacy and technological innovation and the importance of proposing concrete actions in this direction.

Image pharmatech conference

The next step is the creation of a roadmap with all stakeholders in French-speaking West Africa to amplify the adoption of Pharmatech in the sub-region and to propose ways for its implementation in a supervised and sustainable manner.

Among the many participants were the representatives of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, USAID, Africa Forward Foundation, Impact Hub Abidjan, Ivory Angels, and the Ivorian Association for Family Welfare. Also present were representatives of major pharmaceutical companies such as Bayer and Novartis represented by Ms. Naomi Dick-Kaba and Mr. Parfait Touré, respectively.

The host of the organization, Intrepid Entrepreneurs, is a US based non-government organization with headquarters in Dakar. Intrepid Entrepreneurs runs the Next Health Accelerator which recruits African female/co-led health tech star犀利士 tups innovating to increase access to sexual and reproductive health.

More information about Intrepid Entrepreneurs’ activities can be found on their website and social networks Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter

Next Health Accelerator alum Rocket Health completes $5M Series A

When Ugandan startup Rocket Health joined Next Health Accelerator (NHA) in March 2021, it was looking to increase its sexual and reproductive health service offering, expand geographically, continually enhance provider quality, become investor ready, and identify investment partners. Rocket Health was an ambitious and focused startup striving to increase its health and wellness impact, which is what attracted Next Health Accelerator to the company.

Launched in 2012, Rocket Health operates a 24/7 telehealth consultation, sample collection, and medicine delivery service that began in Uganda but is now poised to expand across East Africa. Of particular importance is its ability to offer convenient access to quality and reliable sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, tests, and medicines in a discreet manner aligned with patient preferences.  Co-founder and Director of Pharmacy Services at Rocket Health, Hope Achiro explained, “We applied for the NHA program because we wanted to see growth, especially in our sexual and reproductive health service offering, which is what NHA specifically focuses on and (so far) it’s really been exciting. We’ve learned a lot.”

Rocket Health

Rocket Health’s STI/UTI screenings are the most ordered laboratory services, and family planning items (specifically emergency contraception and condoms) are the most ordered pharmacy items.  In its first four months in NHA, Rocket Health conducted over 1,100 SRH teleconsultations, completed over 2,100 SRH laboratory services, and provided over 350 SRH pharmacy products, demonstrating the demand for such services and the potential impact of Rocket Health on sexual and reproductive health across the continent.

Upon selecting Rocket Health to participate in the Next Health Accelerator, co-founders Senam Beheton and Lindsey Simmonds saw early potential. Senam said, “I was particularly impressed by their focus and clear understanding of what they wanted to accomplish in terms of growth for Rocket Health. They equally knew what they wanted from NHA and that was very helpful.” Lindsey continued, “In terms of Sexual and Reproductive Health, we particularly wanted to support the atypical way in which Rocket Health increased access, giving their clients more agency and more confidentiality through telemedicine.”

The bilingual (English and French) Next Health Accelerator recruits female/co-led African startups innovating in the health tech space with a focus on sexual and reproductive health. NHA provides business fundamentals, bespoke support, international mentorship, seed funding and value chain access.

Having started their fundraising campaign while participating in the NHA program, Rocket Health requested introductions to investors as well assistance with investment readiness aspects. The NHA team was able to develop an extensive investors’ mapping, a few soft introductions, and work with the Rocket Health team to improve its deck and fund parts of its ambitious expansion and growth 樂威壯 plan.

“We are so proud of the Rocket Health team for pulling off this fundraising with investors such as Creadev, Grenfell Holdings and LoftyInc Capital Management, and closing the round with $5 million in such a short time” said Awa Sarr, NHA Manager.

Reflecting on his experience at NHA, Dr. Davis Musinguzi, co-founder, and CEO of Rocket Health, says that he received “great constructive feedback on gaps and opportunities to scale the business and      deep engagement to get to the next level.” Dr. Musinguzi and team plan to spend the next two years scaling across East Africa and pursuing growth opportunities in West Africa in the long term. As it does for all its alumni, NHA will be there to provide support along the journey.

Meet Eight Startups Changing Sexual and Reproductive Health Across Africa

Intrepid Entrepreneurs is pleased to announce eight innovative startups selected to participate in the latest cohort of the Next Health Accelerator. All these startups are female/co-led, except for one. This cohort includes 21 entrepreneurs representing six countries (Benin, Côte D’Ivoire, Ghana, Rwanda, Senegal, and Togo). Together, they are united in their missions to improve sexual and reproductive health on the continent.   

Next Health Accelerator is a six-month-long program designed to catalyze startups for investor readiness and value chain access. Our focus on sexual and reproductive health and self-care is founded on the premise that the unmet need for sexual education, menstrual hygiene management, family planning, medication abortion, and STI diagnosis and treatment will be most sustainable when delivered by local African businesses. While participating in the accelerator, startups receive access to a streamlined curriculum for startup growth designed by experts, bespoke executive coaching and mentorship, up to $20,000 capital investment, and access to an extensive network of partners. Upon graduation from the accelerator, startups remain part of the Intrepid Entrepreneurs alumni community.  

Here are the startups joining the 2022 Next Health Accelerator: 

  • 犀利士 “https://afiapharma.com/” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>Afia Pharma (Rwanda) is a certified pharmaceutical e-commerce platform that allows patients to get medicine delivered to their homes at a lower cost with just a few clicks.   
  • ApiAfrique (Senegal) manufactures sustainable, quality menstrual hygiene products that reduce waste, protect health, and foster women’s empowerment by ensuring safe and legal working conditions for the women who make them. 
  • Bisa Health (Ghana) is a telemedicine phone app that provides customized medical advice and healthcare information to reduce cost, wait times, and stigma while ensuring access to care for all.  
  • Maisoin (Côte D’Ivoire) connects patients to a network of qualified health professionals who provide online consults or home-based care with ease.  
  • OPISMS (Côte D’Ivoire) is an online platform that tracks vaccination records and provides reminders for upcoming vaccinations to reduce preventable health incidents and protect women and children’s health. 
  • PharMap (Benin) is a digital solution that helps people find pharmacies near them and the product they are looking for without wasting time.  
  •  Reyha TV (Togo) is an online television platform that broadcasts talk shows to reduce stigma, raise awareness about sexual and reproductive health and domestic violence, and to create change in society. 
  •  Urukundo Initiative has created an evidence-based health education board game to educate youth and stimulate conversations about sexual and reproductive health. 

Sexual and reproductive health issues directly affect the health of 300 million women and girls on the continent and indirectly impacts on education and economic productivity. The startups of the Next Health Accelerator will scale, enabling them to contribute to fulfilling these vast needs while normalizing and enhancing sexual and reproductive health across the continent. We look forward to sharing their progress on this journey.

For more information about the Next Health Accelerator, please visit https://www.intrepidentrepreneurs.org/program/. 

Eight tips for successfully interviewing with an accelerator

The Next Health Accelerator (NHA) by Intrepid Entrepreneurs recently completed recruitment for our next cohort of 10 African female/co-led startups innovating in the sexual and reproductive health sector. Applicants apply for Next Health Accelerator by completing an application in French or English and uploading a pitch deck and a 1-minute video from the Founder(s). Upon review by the NHA selection committee, shortlisted applicants are invited for a 30-minute virtual interview that involves a brief introductory presentation by the Founder followed by Q&A from a panel of judges. Based on this experience, we have 8 tips for successfully interviewing with an accelerator:

1- Highlight the eligibility criteria

Our eligibility criteria are stated on the application and on our website. African female/co-led startups with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) innovating in the sexual and reproductive health space as well as self-care solutions are eligible for NHA.” When interviewing, be clear about how your startup matches each element of these criteria. Eligibility is the most basic reason that startups are removed from consideration so ensure that each criterion glows from your startup. Know your audience and deliver accordingly. 

2- Include your entire team

The strength of your team is very appealing to accelerators, investors, donors, customers, and anyone else looking to partner with you. A strong team with healthy, equitable relationships where all members speak freely and with a shared vision is pure gold because it can make or break the success of a startup even more than the idea itself. A strong team is refreshing, exciting, and attractive so be sure to showcase it.

3- Lead with your WHY

The most successful entrepreneurs are ones who have a clear sense of purpose. They understand the problem they are trying to solve and they never forget why they care about it. As tempting as it can be to focus only on your solution, instead try to lead with your WHY and stay connected to your problem – both in the interview process and as you move forward.

4- Keep answers concise威而鋼 trong>

Answer each question as succinctly as possible so that we can move on to the next reviewers’ questions. Our review panel is made up of 6 diverse experts. They each are assessing applicants from different angles and want to learn as much as possible about your startup in a finite period. If it takes more than 2 minutes to answer any single question you have likely lost some (or all) of your audience in this specific arena.

5- Know your numbers

What metrics are you tracking and how are you performing on those? How many clients have you treated? Have you signed up an increasing numbers of customers each month for the last three months? Is your income increasing month on month? Do you have repeat customers, how many? Have a clear understanding of your data and the difference between input, output, and outcome metrics so that you can show progress at as many stages as possible.

6- Know your competition

If you don’t know your competition you probably don’t know your sector. It is a huge red flag for the judging panel if you don’t know or deny your competition. Be informed and confident in presenting your competition and always explain what your sustainable competitive advantage is relative to your competition.

7- Have a growth mindset

The number one rule of entrepreneurship is to be in love with the problem you are trying to solve, not your solution. Entrepreneurship is a series of tests: Does my solution solve the problem? Is my target market interested in using my solution? Is the price point too high or too low? Every time you launch a new feature or expand to a new market, you are putting your startup out into the world and you have to be open to receiving feedback that the world is giving back. Stay open enough to absorb these learnings and humble enough to pivot your solution accordingly.

8- Be presentable 

Before our world was hyper-virtual, we used to say, “dress for the part you want.” Now “dressing” for the part means ensuring you are on time, you have a good Wi-Fi connection, your camera is on, you are well lit, and you are in a quiet environment so your voice can be heard. These factors indirectly tell the judging panel how seriously you are taking the process which can be reflected in how seriously they think you will take your participation in the Accelerator.

We share these tips to even the playing field amongst those that have had access to more training versus those that have not and to elevate the overall standard of entrepreneurship. We hope you find them useful and can apply them in your next interview. If you would like to reach out to us and let us know your thoughts on our tips or additions to our list, we’d love to hear from you.

Intrepid Entrepreneurs exists to catalyze the power and promise of women and youth to fundamentally advance their societies. You can learn more on our website.

Next Health Accelerator is a revolutionary bilingual, pan-African health accelerator for female and co-led startups innovating in the sexual and reproductive health sector.

Author : Lindsey SIMMONDS

Credit photo: Freepik (www.freepik.com)

Meet The Grace Cup, first reusable menstrual products company in Kenya

Ebby Weyime is founder of The Grace Cup, Kenya’s first reusable menstrual product company. She is also certified menstrual hygiene management trainer and strong advocate for freedom of choice. In her quest to grow and expand regionally, The Grace Cup had the opportunity to participate in the first cohort of the Next Health Accelerator.

What is the story behind your startup?  

I had a problem with heavy bleeding and having to use both pads and tampons during my period. I started using a cup and loved it so much I couldn’t stop talking about it. A few months later, it became my business.

Who are your target customers, and what problem are you solving? 

Target customers are urban women for retail and NGOs for bulk purchases.

Period poverty and lack on knowledge on sexual reproductive health is what I’m solving. We now have grace pads as well which are washable pads.

The Grace Cup

What are your challenges?

The cup is a hard sell. Convincing a woman to insert a cup in her vagina is not easy but they are slowly adopting it. Funds to travel and do training is also not easy to get.

What is your vision for your startup? What does success look like?

My vision is to turn it into a safe hub where women can freely talk about sexual reproductive health without feeling ashamed. Things like contraceptives, abortions, menstruation, sex etc.

Why did you apply for NHA? Why NHA and not another accelerator?

The Next Health Accelerator program (NHA) was very specific with solving Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) matters. It was the perfect union.

What were your expectations, and how was your experience with the program so far?

When I applied for the program, my main expectation was to find new ideas to develop my business. I was fulfilled beyond my expectations, the support of the team was extraordinary and I am very grateful.

Have you met someone who inspires you since participating in NHA?

During the program I met inspiring people in both online offline sessions.

What significant progress have you made in your business since joining NHA?

I have been a one woman show for quite some time, I am on my way to make a team!

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

I would emancipate the African female body.

Do you have any last comment or advice you would like to share with your fellow entrepreneurs?

Do good while doing well.