Kenyan health start-up Flare gets Sh30m funding

Kenya emergency response start-up Flare has claimed a share of the Kofi Annan Award for Innovation in Africa, recognising solutions aimed at sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The first edition of the prize focused on SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being which emphasises the importance of financial risk protection, access to quality essential healthcare services and safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.

To address the urgent healthcare needs of people across Africa, the Kofi Annan Award for Innovation in Africa is an initiative of the Austrian Federal Chancellery in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP) Innovation Accelerator, the Austrian Development Agency and the Kofi Annan Foundation.

The winning teams were announced at an award ceremony on July 11, 2022, in Vienna (Austria) with the other two including myPaddi by MOBicure (Nigeria), and Vaxiglobal (Zimbabwe).

“Each team will receive about Sh30 million (250,000) in funding, and has been invited to participate in the WFP‘s Innovation Accelerator Sprint Programme — a structured 12-month programme where the teams will have access to tailored mentoring and coaching support and cohort-wide networking events.”

Social impact

Organisers said the call for applications was open to African social entrepreneurs and purpose-driven enterprises with measurable social impact and a sustainable business model.

Covering a wide range of subject areas, the majority of innovations were focused on essential health services (48 per cent), followed by those that targeted the improvement of supply chains for medical care and vaccine delivery (17 per cent), prevention and prophylaxis (17 per cent), financial protection via mobile money and micro-insurance (11 per cent), and access to psychological support and others (7 per cent).

Kenya’s Flare provides a 24/7 one-stop national emergency response network platform targeting the needs of 1.2 billion citizens in Africa that currently live without access to an emergency response system such as 911 or 112.

„The Flare digital platform helps aggregate and coordinate the fragmented ecosystem of emergency vehicles to dispatch the closest vehicle within minutes, thereby drastically reducing waiting times.“ The firm currently has enabled access to about 1.2 million users. Founded in 2016, the company employs 30 full-time employees, 50 per cent of whom are women.

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