Building the investment thesis of an impact investing fund in Kenya

Although the healthcare sector in Kenya is fast-growing and demand for healthcare services is strong, accessibility, affordability and quality of care remains a key issue across the full continuum of care. As Kenya develops, it needs to strengthen its healthcare system to address increased demand and more complex healthcare needs.

With public funding covering only 34% of the total healthcare expenditures of the country, the government policy explicitly supports private sector involvement in the healthcare sector, which would require an estimated US$ 1.4Bn per annum to meet the increased demand.

These challenges represent an opportunity for market-based solutions to transform the healthcare system in Kenya, whether funded through grant financing, impact-first or finance-first investment. The Johnson & Johnson’s Global Community Impact (J&J GCI) team partnered with KOIS to articulate its new impact investment thesis that will guide their investment activities in Kenya and serve as a blueprint for its overall impact investment strategy in other countries.

In a first phase, after a detailed analysis of the Kenyan macroeconomic and healthcare sector, KOIS conducted a detailed landscape analysis of investment opportunities in Kenya, both on the demand side (i.e., what are the most promising business models with potential for scale and transformation, and what are their financing needs) and the supply side of capital (i.e., what instruments are needed to fulfil the identified financing gaps).

KOIS supported J&J GCI in defining its vision for success in Kenya and how it considers its strategy (impact-first vs. finance-first investing, early-stage vs. growth-stage enterprises, etc.). In analysing both overall social impact and investment attractiveness, opportunities that were best aligned with J&J GCI’s impact investment thesis were prioritised. In 2019, J&J GCI invested in two of them.

The first investment supported the expansion of a maternal health hospital in Nairobi, which offers high-quality and affordable care to more than 25,000 patients per year and ensures over 1.500 safe deliveries annually.

The second investment supported a primary healthcare facility serving low-income flower farm workers and communities in rural Kenya, where the incidence of preventable diseases is high and quality healthcare options are limited.

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