A success story from Kenya

How can companies tap into new markets and simultaneously foster sustainable development? This example demonstrates how innovative business models address challenges in developing countries and find new outlet markets for products and services.

The Challenge

Although public health insurance is available, millions of Kenyans cannot afford to pay for health services. The reason is also a cultural mindset: Why spend a part of their scarce income on health insurance now if it is uncertain that they will need it in the future? This leaves as many as 35 million Kenyans excluded from quality health care coverage.

Business Solution

A team of German and Kenyan companies and public sector representatives took on the challenge and developed Food4Health, an innovative financing mechanism for health care in Kenya. Food4Health is a bonus programme that allows users to collect points for their regular grocery shopping on a mobile phone app. The points can then be traded for health services at various facilities.

By linking routine purchase transactions with the provision of health care coverage, Food4Health creates a win-win situation for both, participating companies and customers. Customers can build up health savings at no additional cost while the involved food manufacturers and supermarkets increase the demand for their products by giving customers an additional reason to buy their goods. Participating food producers and health care providers also benefit from a higher visibility in the Kenyan market, an improved reputation among the population and a valuable cross-industry network.

“It is not so much about finding the overlap in existing activities between all parties, but creating new business models from scratch while integrating everyone’s individual capabilities“, summarizes a former Project Manager of the lab of tomorrow.

By summer 2018, a total of 419 customers were registered and 2700 vouchers were issued that can be redeemed at more than 600 hospitals and health care centers.

Cooperation Partners

lab of tomorrow (by GIZ), Boehringer Ingelheim, Changamka Microhealth Ltd.

*The lab of tomorrow supports businesses in co-creating and implementing viable and innovative business models. Based on a specific development challenge from a developing country or emerging economy, participating businesses, experts and political actors develop market-based solutions for the local context in an open innovation process. The lab of tomorrow is implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

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