Managing Partner/CEO of Alta-Semper, Afsane Jetha, served on the Learning Committee of industry stakeholders steering the project that worked to examine how blended financing approaches can accelerate the growth and impact of start-ups and mid-sized distributors of health products in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Uganda to improve the availability, affordability, access and quality of essential medicines.
The report said the study found that “for start-ups and distributors to grow and scale efficiently, they need: Risk-tolerant capital to develop and deploy technology-driven innovations; Access to timely, affordable foreign currency to optimize product importation; Affordable working capital in local currency to ease cash conversion cycles; The ability to secure affordable debt; and Regulatory approaches that enable start-ups to expand scale and scope, while maintaining patient safety.”
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation facilitated the study together with other stakeholders, the report said.
“In comparison, opportunities to blend highly risk-tolerant grant capital with debt and equity to address market failures in health product distribution appear under-explored. Ambitious, rigorous and action-oriented approaches are required. To jump start thinking on potential action, early ideation in two areas was undertaken”