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What OneHealth, Other Nigerian Startups Do Differently To Access Funding in Africa

When Google announced that it had chosen 60 startups for its Black Founders Fund in Africa, many Founders from different countries hurried to check out the successful businesses. Nigeria topped the list with 23 tech startups clinching a third of the total startups funded. 

In September 2022, six of the 30 startups from 14 different African countries selected by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the Investing In Innovation initiative were Nigerian startups. They were OneHealth, Lifebank and many others. 

In the same month, Disrupt Africa shared a report that revealed that Nigeria has led tech startup funding on the African continent over the last eight years. Naturally, many other African Founders have wondered what Nigerian startups including OneHealth, an online Pharmacy and healthcare platform, do differently that make them stand out when applying for such opportunities. Let’s take a look at what makes them such fundable startups. 

Solve A Major Problem

A common fact is that each funded Nigerian startup solves a major African problem. For example, OneHealth provides solutions to Africa’s lack of access to essential medications that prevent or treat illnesses in a timely manner. 

An article from the United Nations highlighted that at least 1.6 million Africans died of malaria, tuberculosis and HIV-related illnesses in 2015. These deaths could have been prevented with access to affordable and quality medications.

For OneHealth, access to medications is a basic human right and this is why the startup leverages technology for last-mile delivery of medicines, and aggregates partners with different health service providers to offer relevant health solutions to many people. So far, the startup has helped at least 8000 people gain access to pharmacare from a network of over 1000 partners across the 36 states of Nigeria. 

Founded by Adeola Alli, a graduate of the school of Pharmacy at the University of Manchester with an MBA from I.E Madrid, and licensed in Nigeria, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, OneHealth has proven that it can directly save the lives of people living in Africa by providing access to medicines and healthcare solutions for individuals and healthcare providers.

Join A Community Of Tech Leaders

Nigerian Founders also have a good community of partners, friends, colleagues, classmates, even family who in one way or the other invest in the country’s tech ecosystem. These Nigerian Founders build communities that help each other succeed and they get to share the best opportunities possible, grow their networks and drive their startups effortlessly. 

Based on Funmilayo Labulo’s discourse on communities for Startup Founders, she highlighted that communities are easier because they are immediate sources of information and support. 

For OneHealth’s Founder, Adeola Alli, “Community is everything, not just for the obvious reasons like business partnerships, but really as a support group. Who can better understand the trials and triumphs that come with running a startup?”. 

Healthtracka’s CEO & Co-founder, Ifeoluwa Dare-Johnson once said that, “The tech ecosystem is not as that clicker but finding your tribe, people that support you would make life easier in the tech space”.

Have A Scalable Startup

Many Nigerian startups are quite scalable. Zuckerberg visited Yaba, an area in Lagos known as Nigeria’s Silicon Valley in 2016 because he truly believed he could learn a lot from the startup ecosystem in the country. And he did. 

Zuckerberg singled out startups like Lifebank, a healthcare technology and logistics company for their ability to locate available blood supplies and deliver them to hospitals. 

Lifebank continues to scale because they have a track record and expansion trajectory. Many Doctors and patients will continue to need blood in hospitals and this automatically created a demand for Lifebank’s services. 

The same applies to OneHealth. The startup has a demand for medicines in hospitals, homes, schools, organizations, etc and Adeola Alli understands that scaling a startup requires grit, creativity, collaborations, learning and relearning especially when challenges arise. This is how every African Founder should think. 

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Nigerian Fintech Company, Shecluded Secures Google Grant To Drive Financial Inclusion For African Women

Leading Nigerian fintech company, Shecluded has been awarded an equity free grant funding by Google for Startups through the Black Founders Fund Africa to develop its technology-enabled platform for women. This funding will enable Shecluded to provide more access to financial services and business resources to women in Africa. 

The grant will be used to build Shecluded’s mobile application – expanding its capacity to simultaneously process thousands of loan applications and service requests. It will also enable the set up of operations across key regions in Nigeria and West Africa, increase its marketing efforts, and staff strength to meet growing demand.

Founded in 2019 by Ifeoma Uddoh, Shecluded has so far disbursed over $1 million in growth loans. The company has also enabled 17,500+ women with access to business development support, wealth advisory, health insurance, credit education, as well as financial and business literacy resources.

In line with its dedication to nurturing and enabling women for financial growth and business success, Shecluded is now focused on advancing its resources and developing an even more simplified and accessible technology platform.

“Our mission is to put more money in women’s hands and adopting more advanced technology will allow us to reach more women. We are super excited about this grant, as well as the mentorship and support that comes with it. We look forward to all the meaningful impact it will make for the women in our network” said Ifeoma Uddoh, Founder/CEO of Shecluded. “At Shecluded, we are seeing firsthand the urgent need for women to easily access key financial growth services. We believe that an advanced technology platform will go a long way to improve our ability to reach and provide these important resources to more women across more regions/locations.”

Shecluded has participated in several global programs aimed at driving the conversation of reducing inequalities and inclusive finance for women – including UK-Nigeria Tech Hub – Gender-inclusive economy Nasdaq, NASDAQ Milestone Makers (Spring 2021), US Consulate Academy for Women Entrepreneurs (AWE 2021), Financial Alliance for Women and the Women & Fintech Forum (WFTF Asia, 2021). 

About Shecluded

Shecluded is the #1 financial service and business resource company for women. The company’s mission is to enable women to attain and enjoy financial freedom by providing simplified access to financial growth services and business resources such as loans, wealth advisory, goal-based savings, business support, health insurance cover, and more.

Website: https://shecluded.com/
Instagram & Twitter: @shecluded

About Black Founders Fund:
Black Founders Fund, is a Google for startups program giving access to funding to startups in Africa. This fund provides grants, Google platform credits, and technical support to early-stage startups in Africa to grow their companies and create meaningful impact in their communities. The fund aims to bridge the existing fundraising gap for startup founders in Africa’s fast-growing technology landscape.

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