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Funding women healthcare ventures key to boosting access


Increased funding targeting women led small and medium sized businesses in the health sector could lead to enhanced access of healthcare services according to experts. 

In a bid to support the SMEs, Medical Credit Fund (MCF) says it has devised ways to improve access to finance for healthcare entrepreneurs in Africa.

Speaking at a pioneering event, female healthcare entrepreneurs shared insights and experiences of navigating the complex landscape of healthcare financing.

“When we were looking to buy land for our hospital, MCF came along, not just a loan or money, they came up with solutions. It has really been an experience and I look forward to working with them, not just for the money but for future experiences,” said Anne Waita, Chief Executive Officer of Nairobi Radiotherapy and Cancer Centre (NRCC).

A study conducted on women’s entrepreneurship in Africa in 2020 stated that banks are a key source of financial support for business owners. However, only 34pc of women in Africa engage with the banking sector, as opposed to 47pc of men.

MCF has similarly developed an MCF Cash Advance that helped to address the barriers that women face such as lack of collateral and asset requirements, limited network and access to information and lack of awareness.

“When you look at Medical Credit Fund and their products, they don’t say you are a woman and you don’t have collateral, so we are not going to speak with you. They have several products and services designed for everyone,” stated Audrey Obara, Regional Director, Swedfund East Africa.

According to MCF, since 2017, the share of MCF loans disbursed to women spike from 19pc to almost 29pc.

“We offer blended financing that’s tied to quality improvement,” added Kennedy Okongo, Medical Credit Fund East Africa Director.

Sally Namuye
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