General Electric, the world’s Digital Industrial Company and Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship have announced a partnership to support social entrepreneurs solving maternal and child health problems in sub-Saharan Africa through a blend of Silicon Valley entrepreneurial acumen and venture impact investing.
The partnership will focus on a training and mentoring program for social entrepreneurs through GE’s healthymagination Mother & Child program.
The entrepreneurs will be helped to strengthen their business models, refine business plans, reinforce organizational development, manage talent and learn how to scale sustainably.
“This program supports GE’s long track record in developing innovations for emerging markets while increasing positive health outcomes,” said Sue Siegel, CEO, GE Ventures and healthymagination.
She added, “We are excited to join Miller Center to accelerate the growth of social enterprises and commercialize innovative ideas while serving as a resource for entrepreneurs working to improve access, affordability and quality of maternal and child health in sub-Saharan Africa.”
The program will begin with a three-day, in-person workshop in Nairobi, Kenya, followed by a six-month online program accompanied by weekly, in-depth mentoring from Silicon Valley-based executives.
Additionally, by introducing the entrepreneurs to GE’s portfolio of products, organizations will gain specialized support and training on technologies and resources for the maternal and child health sector.
“We share GE’s healthymagination vision for innovating new ways to address global health challenges,” said Thane Kreiner, Ph.D., executive director, Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship.
He added, “The partnership between GE and Miller Center highlights the potential for social entrepreneurship to improve maternal and child health in a region of the world that has limited access to skilled health care providers.”
From the numerous applications received for the program, a panel of judges from GE and Miller Center will announce the selected finalists after a formal review and interview process.
The finalists, about 15 to 20, will have the opportunity to pitch their enterprises and health care innovations to a large and wide-ranging group of active investors in early-stage social enterprises at an Investor Showcase in Nairobi in February 2017.
“The healthymagination Mother & Child program will empower sub-Saharan African social enterprises with skills training and economic development needed to improve maternal and child health across communities,” said Jay Ireland, President and CEO of GE Africa.
Image Credit: Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA).