Kenya GE

Ambassador: Kaleigh Killoran , Canada

After attending the One Young World Summit in 2015, Kaleigh was inspired to work with other GE young professionals, identifying ways to contribute to GE Foundation projects. She established three global teams which provide pro-bono business planning advice to local social business partners in Kenya addressing healthcare issues such as lack of medical oxygen supply, safe water and bio-medical engineering and technicians. At the Bangkok summit she met the CMO of GE Foundation who put her in touch with the entrepreneurs of Hewa Tele.

In 2014 GE had provided $1 million start-up capital to a group of Kenyan doctors who were launching a medical oxygen manufacturing and distribution company called “Hewa Tele” (which translates to plentiful oxygen in Swahili). After a year the pilot project was successfully serving 11 hospitals and financially breaking even, but they needed money to build additional plants. Kaleigh led the GE team in coaching the entrepreneurs to improve the operations of their current plant and write a business plan to support raising additional capital investment.

Today the original plant serves approximately 50 medical facilities treating over 60,000 patents and serving a community of over eight million people. $3 million was raised to launch two new plants in neighbouring counties in Kenya which are expected to serve 375 facilities, save 80,000 lives and improve over 350,000 lives in Kenya by 2020.

Five county governments in Kenya have expressed interest in developing a similar model, two of which have made financial commitments to begin building new facilities. Hewa Tele is in discussion with the Rwanda Health Minister about using the oxygen supply model as a potential solution for the whole country. Tanzania and Uganda are in similar discussions with stakeholders in their own countries.