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Health Entrepreneurship Advancement Leveraging Research Program

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Program Overview

The HEALR program features three phases: Ideation, Creation, and Implementation. The Ideation phase trained over 25 aspiring entrepreneurs in fundamental business skills and concluded with an opportunity for teams to pitch their business ideas for Creation. Of the 16 pitches, six were selected through a competitive judging process.

Launched in January 2023, Creation is a 6-month course that supports the teams in refining their health business ideas, culminating in completing a business plan. Through lectures, mentorship, and homework assignments, participants define their problems, identify their customers, analyze current solutions, articulate their value propositions, and develop operations, marketing, and financing plans.

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The Creation Phase is a 6-month course designed for participants to identify and define health challenges, invent, and evaluate possible solutions. 

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Ideation is a 3-month course designed to support aspiring health entrepreneurs in developing and implementing innovative solutions to the health challenges facing Liberia. 

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. At the end of the Creation phase, successful teams will be invited to become entrepreneurs-in-residence at the University of Liberia College of Health Sciences.

Background

Leveraging Proven Models for Impact

CTLI has partnered with Liberian non-profit tech hub iLab and the Consortia for Improving Medicine with Innovation and Technology at Mass General Hospital to design and implement programs.

 

In May-June 2022, the CTLI team conducted a learning exchange trip to Nairobi, Kenya and Accra, Ghana to understand proven strategies for supporting ventures through the ideation, incubation, and acceleration stages. The team visited a wide variety of universities, innovation hubs, and start-ups, and is already applying the lessons learned to activities within CTLI. These partnerships will ensure that programs reflect global best practices, as well as facilitate connections to mentorship and resources for entrepreneurs through CTLI.

Responsive to Liberia’s Business Ecosystem

To ensure that the Innovation program prepares learners for the entrepreneurial environment in Liberia, CTLI and partners undertook a scoping assessment, including a literature review and interviews with key stakeholders, which revealed 3 key challenges facing Liberian entrepreneurs:

1.      Lack of access to financing

2.     Lack of business skills

3.     Lack of cultural and structural support for entrepreneurship

The Innovation program has designed courses that address these challenges head-on, helping innovators and entrepreneurs to flourish and drive improvement in Liberia’s health sector.

Watch CTLI's inaugural Health Innovation and Entrepreneurship Seminar

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The ULCHS CTLI is a national public-private-academic hub for research utilization education, training, and collaboration throughout Liberia’s health sector. CTLI provides a long-term institutional home for sustaining programs developed through BRIDGE-U: Applying Research for a Healthy Liberia (BRIDGE-U Liberia) and other funded projects. CTLI also provides a place for faculty, students, policymakers, clinicians, entrepreneurs, and others to gather for project activities and trainings as well as networking and collaboration.

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