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WiNFUND to Use NFTs to Fund Women-Led Startups Addressing Health Issues

Women in Innovation Fund (WiNFUND) is a nonprofit launching today using NFTs to accelerate women-led start-ups tackling health challenges.

Women in Innovation Fund (WiNFUND) has announced its launch of the WiNFUND NFT Africa collection, a group of unique digital artworks that will create a community of innovators, investors, and supporters to champion the next generation of African women tackling some of Africa’s biggest health challenges.

WiNFUND was co-founded by Reckitt and the Health Innovation and Investment Exchange (HIEx), in partnership with the Kofi Annan Foundation and the Eco Bank Foundation with the aim to address two significant areas of people’s lack of access to essential healthcare, and women receiving venture capital funding despite evidence their ventures generate stronger returns.

Pradeep Kakkattil, Founder and CEO of HIEx and co-founder of WiNFUND, said, “WiNFUND is about enabling equitable access to investments and accelerating women-led health enterprises.” “It can be transformative and it is a win-win as it impacts healthcare access and builds economic resilience.”

WiNFUND will unlock the potential of women entrepreneurs and invest directly in those who are already implementing home-grown solutions to some of Africa’s biggest health challenges.

WiNFUND will be partly financed through the sale of WiNFUND NFTs designed by Rwandan artist Christella Bijou. The collection has been supported and made available in close collaboration with Tokenproof. In addition, funding will also come from mission-aligned donors, partner organizations, and high-net-worth individuals.

Since September last year, WiNFUND began receiving applications and more than 300 applications from women entrepreneurs in seven African countries Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, and Uganda have been submitted. The company will announce the shortlist on March 8th, 2023. All shortlisted applicants will receive business support to help them scale, while the top few selected will receive direct funding from WiNFUND.

Some of the applicants include Shamim Nabuuma Kaliisa and Dr. Mercy Ashaba from Uganda. Nabuuma founded Community Healthcare Innovation Lab (CHIL) to screen women in remote locations for cervical and breast cancer using artificial intelligence while Ashaba founded Peleyta Health, a micro-savings, and lending platform that helps Ugandans on low incomes afford quality healthcare.

By investing in companies like these, WiNFUND will directly support women entrepreneurs to scale their enterprises, extending their reach and helping more people than ever access high-quality healthcare. WiNFUND’s ambition is to replicate this model on other continents in the future.

Patricia O’Hayer, Global Head of External Affairs for Reckitt and co-founder of WiNFUND said,¬†“Women¬≠-led companies are already achieving amazing things: improving access to healthcare and saving lives.”

She further explained that WiNFUND is an innovative model that will help them grow by building an engaged, global community that will provide business support and financing through the sale of unique NFTs. “These entrepreneurs are addressing some of the world’s biggest challenges, and through them, we believe WiNFUND can transform access to healthcare for the people who need it most.”

Pradeep Kakkattil, Founder and CEO of HIEx and co-founder of WiNFUND, said, “WiNFUND is about enabling equitable access to investments and accelerating women-led health enterprises.” “It can be transformative and it is a win-win as it impacts healthcare access and builds economic resilience.”

WiNFUND builds on Reckitt’s Fight for Access (FFA) Accelerator, a program to support and scale early-stage social enterprises across the world, which has improved access to healthcare for 1.5 million people in its first year alone.

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Joan Banura

Joan Banura is an aspiring journalist with a passion for all things tech. She is committed to providing insightful and thought-provoking content that keeps our readers informed and engaged.
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