The Awesome Foundation Lusaka launched in last month and has awarded its first micro-
grant of 3,000 Kwacha to the most awesome idea submitted in the inaugural monthly funding round. The grant is made possible by a group of 12 Zambian and international trustees that donate their personal money. Every month, they award the most outstanding submission agrant, no strings attached, to help propel the idea forward.
“We are really excited to be a part of the support network that is fostering innovation in Lusaka; there are so many fantastic, world-leading ideas coming out of Lusaka these days” said Mike Murray, Founder of AF Lusaka. “We were thrilled that the decision to choose the winning idea in our first month was so difficult, I tried to narrow down the list of finalists to three but there were so many worthy ideas, I couldn’t pare it down below seven.”
The winning idea that was selected by the trustees is a mobile phone application that allows anyone in Zambia to chat directly with a doctor saving them time, travel and money, all while receiving quality health information. The Co-Founder and COO of the Teledoctor mobile application, Sam Musariri said “Getting this grant will allow us to roll out the Teledoctor mobile appto reach more users by making the app available on all major mobile platforms. Currently, over 8 million Zambians have access to a mobile phone and that number is growing every year, this service will enable them to access medical advice early and cost-effectively, empowering them to make the best health decisions for themselves and their families.” Mr. Musariri added that “this app means a faster and cheaper way of accessing vital health information in a country where the doctor/patient ratio is over 1:12,000 in comparison the WHO recommended ration of 1:5,000.”
The launch of the Awesome Foundation Lusaka seeks to spur ingenuity without all the typical red tape normally associated with grant applications. Mr. Murray noted that “because each donor contributes a relatively small sum of money, there are few complexities to address. Besides, it’s our personal money, so we can act quickly and ensure that all of the money goes straight to the idea.” The application process exemplifies the rapid and non-bureaucratic nature of the program; there are only three questions to answer and applications can simply be submitted through the Awesome Foundation website.
The deadline for applications is the last Monday of every month and the recipient is announced the following week. If you have an awesome idea that needs a bit of cash to get off the ground or you want to follow the ideas coming out of Lusaka, visit their website or follow them on Twitter @AwesomeLusaka
To contact Awesome Foundation Lusaka, please email mik[email protected] or call +260 962 490 690.