On 20th of September of 2020 Stowelink held the biggest Knowledge Exchange Session yet on these event series hosting 54 participants from 4 countries in the world. the knowledge session attracted participants from Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria and Jerusalem. This session had outstanding young guests who really broke down the topic of health and entrepreneurship. Bridging the gap. With rising concerns over the problems faced by an overburdened public health care system and the imminent emphasis on the role of entrepreneurship in achieving a self-sustaining and developed economy, it is health entrepreneurship which guarantees the best of both worlds.
The panel which consisted of successful health entrepreneurs in Africa shared a lot of insights and nuggets of wisdom and here are just a few of the highlights from the session.
Assessment of Needs through Market Research
Before venturing out, health entrepreneurs need to assess the needs of the market in order to tap on to them. Extensive market research and an in-depth study of different specializations in healthcare are essential starting points.
By analyzing the local demand for a variety of health products and services, entrepreneurs can choose the right field(s) in the vast scope of healthcare. They can carve a niche in an untapped market or even maintain standards in a competitive market through continuous research. Successful health entrepreneurs are those who understand the market needs and can connect better with the customers by filling in a necessary gap in available health services.
Choosing the Right Investors
No one can undermine the role of an investor in any entrepreneur’s journey. Just like it is a tough challenge to find the right investor in case of any entrepreneurial firm, a health start-up faces similar challenges.
It is essential to find someone who shares your vision, both for profitability and advancement in health science. A friction with the investor, in terms of goals and values, might lead to major challenges in the long run. To discover someone who possesses first-hand knowledge of your health field is an added bonus. But even if health proficiency is not guaranteed, someone with an insight of the current health economy is required in order to guarantee long-term growth and survival of business.
Adequate networking, association with health and academic organizations and being well-equipped with market research and knowledge about the industry norms and opportunities help in attracting the right investors in your given field. A big name can even help in giving you clinical validation and promote your brand.
Balancing Between Social Responsibility and Profitability
One of the major moral dilemmas faced by a health entrepreneur is the need to establish a profitable business while maintaining their social responsibility to the general public health.
A major issue in healthcare today is the dearth of affordable health treatment and services, especially for the poor and the widened rural-urban gap in availability of health professionals.
While entrepreneurs may not be able to break even if they take on the burden of free clinics for the same, an association with NGOs and regular voluntary work by employees in rural camps helps in fulfilling their social responsibility.
For those looking to provide relatively affordable service in the private sector, cost effectiveness is integral to ensure profitability. Investment on health research to assist the government with preventive and curative measures in significant health issues is also an important move to establish one’s social entrepreneurship.
Constant Technological Innovation
Innovation is key to any successful entrepreneurial venture. Health entrepreneurs need to keep up with the changing technological environment in healthcare and stay ahead with trends. From electrical health records, telemedicine, digital marketing campaigns to advancement in health technology, enhancing patient treatments, medical equipment and surgical procedure, the technological prowess is everywhere.
One can uncover dormant or unmet needs by asking simple questions on how to improve their services and gain competitive advantage through creative innovation.
Know your Limitations
It may be tempting to take up a profitable line of service, but lack of knowledge can be a thorn in your path. Keep in mind the ability of your team of health consultants and know your limitations.If your team works in primary care, then a move towards a specialization without the right human resources and training will be detrimental to your success.Constant flow of feedback from the customers can also highlight areas to improve upon.
Don’t Be Afraid to Play to Your Strengths
Ambition is what makes a successful entrepreneur. Every health entrepreneur must set certain goals for themselves and the health industry and help in achieving them by playing to their strengths. These could range from research and development in chronic diseases to enhanced customer service to a digital revolution in medicine.
In the end, remember that a bit of healthy competition is always good for the nation, especially when it results in saving lives.
Lets change lives
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This content was originally published here.