In March 2016, GE and Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship launched the healthymagination Mother and Child Program to address maternal and child mortality by supporting African social entrepreneurs operating in the health sector. The program took social entrepreneurs through months of dedicated training and mentorship aimed at improving maternal and/or child health outcomes in Africa.

GE believes there is much that social enterprises and large businesses can learn from each other. As the drivers of change social entrepreneurs are key to building Africa’s sustainable future. The GE and Miller Center collaboration took an innovative and highly practical approach to reaching this goal by providing social entrepreneurs with some of the skills and resources needed to extend the effectiveness of their interventions.

After a rigorous evaluation process, social entrepreneurs from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Uganda and Zambia were selected to be in the first cohort of the healthymagination Mother and Child Program. Finalists attended a three-day workshop in Nairobi, Kenya, followed by a six-month online accelerator program that included weekly, in-depth mentoring from Silicon Valley–based executives and local GE business leaders. The program was designed to help the social entrepreneurs acquire fundamental business skills, improve their strategic thought processes, and articulate a business plan that would demonstrate impact, growth and long-term financial sustainability.

This accelerator and mentorship program culminated in a “Premier Investor Showcase” that took place at the Sankalp Social Impact Investing Conference in Nairobi, in February 2017, where 14 finalists presented their respective enterprises to an audience of potential investors and supporters.

Addressing the global health challenges of women and children living in sub-standard conditions or facing high-risk pregnancies demands all the determination, diligence and creative thinking we can muster. The first cohort of social entrepreneurs has emerged, ready to begin making a tangible difference in maternal and child health by leveraging GE’s healthcare expertise and the business-building skills imparted by Miller Center’s Silicon Valley mentors.

GE and the Miller Center will continue partnership in the healthymagination Mother and Child Program and will be launching a second cohort of social entrepreneurs in July 2017, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Learn more here about GE’s healthymagination Mother & Child Program.