How innovations help health entrepreneurs create large-scale impact

How innovations help health entrepreneurs create large-scale impact

Aidsfonds’ project with partner Healthy Entrepreneurs (HE) has been selected as one of the groundbreaking innovations at the ‘Health Rights Innovation Exchange’ during the
World Health Assembly, taking place in Geneva 21-23 May. This new innovation exchange is established by UNAIDS in partnership with global health and financing entities to showcase health innovations that are likely to deliver large-scale impact for countries.

A collaborative approach focusing on local communities

The project is innovative in all aspects; the business model, based on social entrepreneurship and a lean operating model sustains a profitable organization that is scalable and eligible for private (and public) investments. Individual entrepreneurs are financially self-sufficient, and the HE organization is financially sustainable at scale. An innovative and effective combination of technology supports the end-to-end supply chain. This includes solar-powered tablets, algorithms for health information and advice, off-line videos in local languages, online ordering, mobile money.


Improving local health outcomes via economic empowerment
Aidsfonds and HE jointly introduced a viable and sustainable last-mile delivery model to improve access to disease prevention and health services, enhancing health outcomes in rural and remote areas. HE selects community health workers and trains them as community health entrepreneurs (CHEs). Each health entrepreneur pays a commitment fee and receives a starter kit containing basic health products (including over the counter medicines) on credit, and a solar-powered tablet with information, a health info app and educational videos on relevant health topics in local languages. They make a living selling reliable and affordable high impact products, (e.g. fortified porridges for mother and child and ORS with zinc), distribute condoms, offer HIV-self testing and referral, and improve awareness and knowledge on health exclusively in their remote communities. Each CHE  covers a few villages containing, on average, 300 households. With approximately five people per household, 1,500 women, men and children gain access to essential health services.

Aidsfonds & Innovation

Aidsfonds strongly believes that leveraging innovation is not optional, that it is essential to achieve the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an inclusive Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the UNAIDS Fast Track targets (90-90-90). New technologies, service delivery models and financing solutions are required and need to be implemented at scale. With the Healthy Entrepreneurs Project, Aidsfonds and HE aim to disseminate innovative health models in needed communities.

Visit us at the World Health Assembly in Geneva

Aidsfonds and HE will showcase the Healthy Entrepreneurs project during an exhibition at the World Health Assembly, taking place in Geneva 21-23 May. The interactive presentation demonstrates 15-20 selected innovations in the fields of HIV, TB, digital health and health systems, with a cross-cutting focus on rights, gender and inclusion. The exhibition immerses visitors in an experience allowing them to link the innovations with real-life needs of people. Throughout the event, innovators can connect with decision-makers, investors, and more than 3000 participants, including over 100 Ministers of Health in Geneva.

Wish to meet us at the World Health Assembly and see the projects’ demonstration? Visit us at our booth in the Health Innovation Exchange Marketplace (Building E, by Door 40, in the Palais des Nations, Geneva).

Learn more about the project

To learn more about the joint work of Aidsfonds and Healthy Entrepreneurs, and see what we have achieved in the countries we work in, follow some community health entrepreneurs in their journey.

  • Milly’s story – A 21-year old working as a peer counsellor for adolescent girls in her community
  • Teddy’s story – A mother of 8 children, working as a farmer and improving the lives of young girls in her community
  • Pamela’s story – A health volunteer transitioning into a community health entrepreneur and educating adolescent girls
  • Lynet’s story – A mother of 4 children who was deprived of an education due to lack of funds and got a second chance uses cookies to offer the best website experience possible and to anonymously analyze website behaviour. More information.