AVPA launches African Healthcare Funders Forum

The African Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA), Ashoka, and Social Innovation Circle, sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim as part of their "Making More Health" and Boehringer Ingelheim Social Engagement initiatives, are joining forces to launch the African Healthcare Funders Forum

AVPA launches African Healthcare Funders Forum
Photo credit: The African Healthcare Funders Forum

The African Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA), Ashoka, and Social Innovation Circle with sponsorship from Boehringer Ingelheim have launched the African Healthcare Funders Forum.

The first-of-its-kind year-long gathering of Africa’s leading funders and social entrepreneurs will drive the transformation of the African healthcare sector. The forum is dedicated to bridging the current healthcare funding gap and advancing innovative financing models.

The African Healthcare Funders forum will provide funders as well as social entrepreneurs with the tools and networks needed to catalyse sustainable growth at the speed and scale required to achieve maximum impact on the continent.

The program offers a year-round programme of networking events and learning opportunities for impact leaders. It will launch in September 2022 with a three-month Impact Leadership Programme spread over 12 touch points, where funders across the capital spectrum, from grantmakers to debt providers and private equity players, will meet online to network and learn about the latest innovations in impact investing and healthcare.

The Programme has been curated and will be run by Social Innovation Circle, an experienced impact investment coaching team that has been training impact entrepreneurs and investors for over a decade, in close partnership with Ashoka.

"Social Innovation Circle is very excited to collaborate with leading partners and stellar experts to build this unique Impact Leaders Forum bringing together funders and founders dedicated to accelerating healthcare innovations in Africa," says Mark Cheng, Founder and Managing Partner, Social Innovation Circle.

Applications to the programme are officially open. For its inaugural Leadership Programme, the Forum will bring together social investors – grantmakers, debt providers, private equity and venture capital fund managers, angel investors, impact investors, and mainstream and development finance institutions – actively deploying or planning to deploy capital in African healthcare, whether as philanthropists, equity investors, or lenders.

Alongside impact funders, the Forum members will include CEOs of pioneering healthcare ventures carefully selected and nominated by Ashoka, the global network of social enterprise founders.

The CEOs will join funders in the Leadership Programme to share their perspectives on which business models and innovations are delivering impact on the ground and how to improve the flow of capital into the sector.

Over the course of three months, the programme will provide the Impact Leaders with a comprehensive overview of the challenges and opportunities of funding African healthcare.

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This will be done through a series of guided conversations with leading industry experts and market participants, and an exploration of how impact finance can be used to increase the flow of capital for innovative healthcare ventures.

Institutional capital and the expertise that comes with it are critical to achieving growth in the health sector. This will require the establishment of new relationships between private and development sector players, the development of new impact delivery models, and the wide adoption of innovative financing principles like Impact Investing.

The African Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA), established in late-2018, is a Pan-African network of social investors interested in collaborating to increase the flow of capital mobilised and deployed for maximum social impact.

AVPA envisions an African continent where collaborative and effective social investment results in exponential and sustainable social impact and achievement of the SDGs.

"Africa's health sector, which has been traditionally viewed as a sector for the public good, represents a massive investment opportunity, estimated by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa to be worth $66 billion annually. Helping more funders and founders to connect, collaborate and scale innovative healthcare solutions is critical to the growth of the sector. The Forum will provide a collaborative space to meet, discuss and learn from peers on how to best mobilise and deploy capital into African healthcare ventures and overcome funding challenges," Dr Frank Aswani, CEO of AVPA said.

Ashoka is a network of social entrepreneurs in the world an organisation that identifies and supports the world's leading social entrepreneurs. It learns from the patterns in their innovations, and mobilises a global community that embraces these new frameworks to build an "everyone a changemaker world".

Social Innovation Circle is a partner of Ashoka, providing tailor-made social finance courses to its Fellows and partners. It combines experiences and networks in building the leading coaching platform for social innovators raising finance. It has expertise in social, blended, and ecosystem finance.

Boehringer Ingelheim is sponsoring this forum as part of their "Making More Health" and Boehringer Ingelheim Social Engagement initiatives. The MMH global initiative, which is a collaboration of Boehringer Ingelheim and Ashoka,  aims to create a healthier world for individuals, animals, and their communities.

By supporting social entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurial thinking MMH will lead to innovative solutions and create social impact as well as help to find innovative business models.

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Christian Bausch, the Project Lead Boehringer Ingelheim Social Engagement said, "To partner for impact is a key element of our strategy, and it is even the theme of this year’s Making More Health (MMH) Convention on October 4/5, 2022."

"Both MMH and Boehringer Ingelheim Social Engagement, our impact investment vehicle, Bausch added, are built on the notion that we can achieve much more together. Thus, we are delighted to sponsor this Forum, participate, and collaborate on building up the Impact Investing Ecosystem in SSA." Bausch added.

Boehringer Ingelheim Social Engagement, an extension of MMH, is a GmbH (company with limited liability) endowed with 50m to provide healthcare-focused financing for impact to social businesses in vulnerable communities through non-traditional financing options, combined with a partnering approach.

Meanwhile, the AVPA CEO, Frank Aswani, will be hosting Forum co-conveners Mark Cheng and Christian Bausch for a Fireside Chat on 24th June to introduce the Forum and discuss the African healthcare sector.

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