Josephine Suleiman, a retired banker, was helping a friend to run a struggling hospital which opened her eyes to the great need for hospital services in Nairobi’s Sinai slum. This is a community that resides in iron-sheet-walled makeshift shacks with poor sanitation, living on less than a dollar a day.
Deeply moved by the deplorable living conditions, she founded Olivelink Healthcare. Josephine dreams big. She embarked on a mission to make primary healthcare services affordable for the 100,000 people living in the slums of Sinai and Lungalunga.
All beginnings are hard. Josephine quickly discovered the messy reality of entrepreneurship. The clinic struggled to retain staff to work in such a difficult area. Dependent on donor support, Josephine was trying to develop a business model that would allow her to operate sustainably.
Looking for a way out of the impasse, Josephine decided to join Scale for Success, TBN’s accelerator programme, in 2017. TBN’s mentors and coaches provided valuable advice to Josephine on Olivelink’s business model which helped make operations profitable.
When the demand for Olivelink’s services kept growing Josephine started planning a second clinic in Tassia slum in the Eastlands area of Nairobi. Olivelink had to attract investments to finance the new facility. TBN provided bespoke investment-readiness services and introduced Josephine to investors from the UK, US and Singapore at the TBN Investment Summit.
This secured Olivelink a loan to open a second clinic in 2018. In the first two weeks, the clinic treated 110 patients and created 12 new jobs. Low-income earners in Tassia that previously lacked affordable healthcare services now receive treatment at Olivelink’s clinic thanks to Josephine’s love for the people that she serves and the financial support of TBN’s investors.
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"TBN has opened a whole new world for me. I am now more motivated to create more impact to the community that we serve. With [TBN's] support, we will be able to see a better world. I now have a strong and well-aligned team. We have been able to do research to enable us to make an informed decision on our next move."
— Josephine Suleiman, Founder - Olivelink Healthcare Clinics