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Women in healthcare meet to explore financing solutions


More than 100 women in healthcare business met in Nairobi last week on how they can venture in the healthcare industry, and access financial support.

The event, titled ‘Empowering Female Healthcare Entrepreneurs’ discussed the financial woes facing women, especially those related to accessing finance for their businesses. 

Nairobi Radiotherapy and Cancer Center chief executive Anne Waita said it was critical to bring together women entrepreneurs from the healthcare sector to discuss opportunities and to find solutions to the challenges. 

“Despite the significant efforts that have been made to boost the financing of healthcare businesses, female entrepreneurs still encounter challenges to access adequate financing, with only 34 per cent of women in Africa engaged with the banking sector, as opposed to 47 per cent of men,” she said.

During the event, successful female healthcare entrepreneurs shared their insights and experiences of navigating the complex landscape of health financing. 

It was revealed that financing was now available through the Medical Credit Fund (MCF), which was accessible by women healthcare business proprietors to better serve their needs.

The firm is a leading organisation dedicated to improving access to finance for healthcare women entrepreneurs in Africa. 

According to Medical Credit Fund East Africa, director Kennedy Okongo, the project was developed in 2017 as a cash advance programme. 

“The programme has proven to address some of the barriers women experience such as lack of collateral, and since then, the share of MCF loans disbursed to women grew from 19 per cent to almost 29 per cent, and keeps on increasing,” he said. 

The event was sponsored by the Swedish development finance institution, Swedfund.

“We could be financiers, but you are the only one who knows where the shoe pinches, which is why we offer blended financing that’s tied to quality improvement because we believe MCF is not just about the money, it’s about the life of the business,” said Okongo. 

MCF is a blended fund that works with a wide network of partners to provide health SMEs with loans and technical assistance so they can expand their businesses and invest in quality improvement.


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