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Startup Huddle with Jelma Herbal & Innovarx Global Health

The Startup Huddle Serekunda Chapter had its second session on Friday 2nd December, at 4pm at The Hub. With our guest founders Mrs Fatou Manneh of Jelmah Herbella and Mr Jagan Njie Operations Manager at Innovarx. Moderated by Basiru Drammeh the Manager of The Hub.

  • Mr Jagan Njie, The operations manager at Innovarx Global Health, a health tech startup with a mission to transform healthcare delivery in Sub-Saharan Africa through accessible, affordable & innovative, patient-centred healthcare.

  • Ms. Fatou Manneh of Jelmah Herbella, an agribusiness startup that processes locally grown herbs and cereals into teas, honey, herbal seasoning and baby food with a blended recipe that gives customers a unique taste and healthy diet.

During the 2 hour session, Jagan explained how the first Huddle session he attended made him confident enough to now want to register his own business immediately after the session. Mr Jagan explained the work that IGH is doing and the services offered by the company. Among them are: clinical services, community pharmacy, Agatha Electronic Medical Records software, Retail and wholesale distribution.

Innovarx Global health was founded in 2015 and started operations six years later. Its Model is rooted in the continuity of care and preventative health services . They have 65 employees in Gambia and Ghana and hope to replicate it in Lagos, Nigeria.. The company selected Gambia as a starting point because it has a smaller population and they can control a lot of variables in the market. They also believe that there is a need because only 4 percent of Gambians have health benefits.

Huge gap talent they say was part of their challenges when they started , they had to put significant resources into developing a team to operate at a high level.

Fatou mentioned how she persevered and believed in her ideas until she made Jelmah herbal tea the best in The Gambia. Among her challenges was to get the target market and also how to source the raw materials that she uses. Fatou recently won the Women Agripreneur of the Year Award (WAYA) 2022, Young Female Agripreneur (Rising Star) category, The award recognised Fatou as one of the high potential young African females under 35-years demonstrating innovation and leadership in agribusiness in the continent. Fatou Holds a BSc in Development studies and completed her Master’s programme in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Università Degli Studi Di Milano Bicocca, Italy. She also participated in a pitching contest for start-up and scale up for SDGs in Geneva during the Global Entrepreneurship Week in 2018 and Women in Africa WIA54, 2020 Laureates for Gambia.

Jelma Herbella plans to make local tea available all round Gambia with the cheapest of price and also the leading local tea supplier in the Gambia and beyond.


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