Updated: Nov 10, 2021
My belle is a social enterprise dedicated to improving the quality of healthcare provided for mothers in Nigeria. It was Co-founded by Inspire Africa for Global Impacts Initiative's IGL alumnus Abdulhammed Babatunde.
Treatable conditions such as severe preeclampsia are responsible for over 15% of maternal deaths worldwide. In Nigeria too, there is a growing number of maternal mortality. Most of these deaths would be avoidable if pregnant mothers had access to information that would help them prepare for challenges in their pregnancies better.
This has inspired Abdulhammed and his team to devise a solution, the My Belle application, that will increase access to free maternal healthcare information and services to pregnant women in Nigeria.
Before Abdulhammed joined the Fishbowl challenge (a six month innovation challenge which eventually granted MyBelle seed funding) he had been part of the IGL digital Transformation in July-August August 2020 where he was part of a team that designed a social application for people living with hearing impairements.
“The IGL was definitely of great help and prepared me well for the fishbowl challenge” he says. “At the Fishbowl challenge, it was mostly a self-learning process and you had deliverables you were accountable for but without necessarily having an intensive training on the process of designing solutions. So the Human Centered Design thinking process I went through with Inspire Africa was crucial as it meant I was prepared and knew how to design solutions without much support.”
Asked about My Belle and what stage the enterprise is at now, Abdulhammed says it is designed to “improve the pregnancy experience of mothers” by giving them valuable information throughout their maternity.
For now, they have conducted a small number of physical surveys (about 100) which have brought in an overwhelming positive response rate thus far. They do, however, intend to ramp up their surveys before the year ends to collect enough information that will enable them to move to the next stage of progressing this social enterprise.
As a word of advice to young entrepreneurs, Abdulhammed says: “I am constantly looking for opportunities online. I learnt valuable digital and human centered design thinking skills from Inspire Africa and soon after, I was able to apply that in another challenge that helped scale my idea."