The name “Lafiya” has been chosen because it means “health and wellness” in Hausa, a local dialect present in both Senegal and Ghana.

Lafiya Innovators is a startup incubation program to support and accelerate early to mid-stage startups addressing challenges around health and determinants of health throughout emerging economies.

Why another startup incubation program?

By 2030, it is expected that 85% of the world’s population will be living in Low and Middle Income countries (LMICs). The substantial gap between the need for healthcare and the level of access in these countries has been well established over the past years. In 2015, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimated that over 400 million people in LMICs lack access to essential health services — including family planning, antenatal care, skilled birth attendance, child immunization, antiretroviral therapy, tuberculosis treatment, and access to clean water and sanitation. The same report states that 5.9 million deaths occurred in children under 5 years of age, with a disproportionate concentration of deaths occurring in LMICs. At the same time, rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and other noncommunicable diseases (NCD) in LMICs are increasing faster, in young people, and with worse outcomes than in wealthier countries. More than ever do we need innovative solutions to tackle these health challenges, and to do so we need to collaborate, share knowledge and expertise, and build bridges globally.

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Objectives of the program

Lafiya Innovators is a startup support program funded by Fondation Botnar and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) Global Programme Health, developed by Impact Hub Basel, and implemented in collaboration with Impact Hub Accra, Impact Hub Dakar, Impact Hub Medellín and the African Health Innovation Centre, the program supports ambitious entrepreneurs throughout the venture lifecycle, from determining a basic business model to completing the due diligence process necessary for fundraising.

The Lafiya Innovators Tracks

The Lafiya Innovators program is a six-month incubator taking place in one South American and two West African cities. The Starter Track will support three early-stage startups in Dakar, Senegal and the Growth Track will support three mid-stage startups in Accra, Ghana. Specialized health innovation support will be provided directly to startups in both communities.

The Starter Track supports three early-stage startups in Dakar, Senegal.

The Growth Track supports three mid-stage startups in Accra, Ghana.

Lafiya Innovators: Medellin Track

coming soon

Who are We Looking For?

Aiming to deliver impact at scale, the program focuses in particular on technological innovations and systemic solutions targeting underserved populations, including adolescents (and children) and women. In addition, the program seeks to strengthen the local health ecosystem and health entrepreneurship capacity by bringing together and engaging a strong community of health stakeholders, both locally and globally. Specific criteria is listed below:

  • Open to for-profit and non-profit startups
  • Startups may be focused in any area of health and wellness, including but not limited to clinical care, public health, community-based health, nutrition, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). Startups may also focus on core operational areas, such as health-focused logistics, fintech, or edtech solutions.
  • Solutions may be focused on both the public or private sectors and may have a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C) approach.

What do You Gain from Participation?

Six months of direct incubation support from Impact Hubs Basel, Accra, Dakar and Medellín – locally rooted, globally connected

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An all-expenses paid one-week immersion trip to Switzerland, incl. ecosystem tours and participation at the Global Health Forum

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Six months of direct health innovation advisory and networking support from the African Health Innovation Centre

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Modest financial support for startups throughout the six-month incubation period

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Any questions, ideas or other input? Email [email protected] or call +41 76 500 40 53

Executing Partners

Funding Partners