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Havas SO Supports Reckitt on Launch of Non Profit Fund WiNFUND


WiNFUND will be partly financed by sale of NFTs to help accelerate women-led start-ups tackling the continent’s biggest health challenges

Havas SO Supports Reckitt on Launch of Non Profit Fund WiNFUND

Havas SO, Havas’ purpose-built healthcare communications agency, has partnered with Reckitt on its  Women in Innovation Fund (WiNFUND) – a 100% not-for-profit project and community-built initiative to advance women-led innovations for health with real-world impact at its core. 

A joint initiative with the Health Innovation and Investment Exchange, in partnership with the Kofi Annan Foundation and the Eco Bank Foundation, WiNFUND will invest in women entrepreneurs leading innovative healthcare companies, help to create economic resilience in communities and improve access to healthcare. In a unique funding model, WiNFUND will raise capital through donors, corporate partners and HNIs, as well as the sale of WiNFUND NFTs.

Fellow Havas agency Conran Design Group created the WiNFUND brand, while Havas SO was tasked with launching WiNFUND, including the WiNFUND NFT Africa collection – unique digital artworks, designed by Rwandan artist Christella Bijou, that will create a community of innovators, investors and supporters to champion the next generation of African women tackling some of the continent’s biggest health challenges. Each one is a unique work of art, with iconography based on African culture as well as three key health priorities: sexual health, self-care and water and sanitation.

Since applications opened in September last year, WiNFUND has received more than 300 applications from women entrepreneurs in seven African countries – Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda. Sixteen finalists will be announced today (International Women’s Day) at a live event at Africa Health Agenda International Conference in Kigali, Rwanda. 

These include Shamim Nabuuma Kaliisa from Uganda, who launched Community Healthcare Innovation Lab to screen women in remote locations for cervical and breast cancer using artificial intelligence, after being treated for breast cancer herself; Dr Mercy Ashaba, also in Uganda, who is helping people manage the cost of healthcare through the fintech company she co-founded, Peleyta Heath; and Umra Omar in Kenya, founder and director of Safari Doctors, who is leading her team of medics delivering primary healthcare to some of the country’s most remote regions. 

By investing in companies such as these, WiNFUND will directly support women entrepreneurs to scale their enterprises, extending their reach and helping more people than ever access high-quality healthcare. WiNFUND’s ambition is to replicate this model on other continents in the future. 

It builds on Reckitt’s Fight for Access Accelerator, a programme to support and scale early-stage social enterprises across the world, which has improved access to healthcare for 1.5 million people in its first year alone.  

Patricia O'Hayer, global head of external affairs for Reckitt and co-founder of WiNFUND said, “Women-­led companies are already achieving amazing things: improving access to healthcare and saving lives. WiNFUND is an innovative model that will help entrepreneurs grow by building an engaged, global community that will provide business support and financing through the sale of unique NFTs. These entrepreneurs are addressing some of the world's biggest challenges, and through them, we believe WiNFUND can transform access to healthcare for the people who need it most."

Stephanie Bunten, CEO of Havas SO, said, “As an entrepreneurial inspired agency and with many women in our leadership team, we are proud to be Reckitt’s communications partner for the WiNFUND launch. By supporting African women entrepreneurs who are developing solutions to a wide variety of healthcare challenges, WiNFUND takes a new and exciting approach and has the potential to be a game-changer in improving access to healthcare.”

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Havas UK, Wed, 08 Mar 2023 10:58:28 GMT