Johnson & Johnson announces Africa Innovation Challenge winners


Healthcare company, Johnson & Johnson has announced the three winners of the Africa Innovation Challenge at the Global Entrepreneurship congress, which took place in Johannesburg.

The three winners submitted ideas around early child development, maternal health, empowering young women, and improving family well-being.

“Africa is one of the fastest growing regions of the world, and Johnson & Johnson is proud to support this growth through strong collaborations that encourage innovation and accelerate advancements in the continent’s health systems,” said the CSO and MD of Johnson & Johnson, Paul Stoffels, in a press release to Ventureburn.

“We are seeing a surge of activity among entrepreneurs and health system leaders to develop important solutions that overcome longstanding health and societal challenges. By working together, we hope to bring meaningful solutions to patients and consumers more rapidly, to help cultivate the next generation of scientists, and to support Africa’s entrepreneurial base,” Stoffels continued.

Johnson & Johnson will aim to support the challenge winners with funding and mentorship

The prizes, which consisted of US$100 000 in funding and mentorship, was announced by deputy president of SA, Cyril Ramaphosa and CTO of Johnson and Johnson, Josh Ghaim.

The winners of the challenge are:

  • Kernel Fresh — Produces organic cosmetics from local palm kernel oil which is purchased from more than 1000 female farmers.
  • Project Agateka — Provides reusable sanitary pads to help young girls.
  • Project PedalTap — Provides pedal-powered taps to reduce the spread of infection and germs as well as water wastage.

“This was an extremely difficult competition to judge as there were many terrific ideas,” said Ghaim.

“The three winning projects demonstrated a strong benefit to local communities and the ability to empower young women, and they also have the potential to deliver ongoing economic support. We look forward to working with these entrepreneurs over the course of the next year to help them build sustainable operations,” he concluded.



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