Save For Life!

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Save For Life!: Micro-insurance powered by mobile money

Gulu, UgandaGulu, Uganda
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
Project Stage:
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We seek to leverage the successes of mobile money in Africa to improve health financing by developing a revolutionary digital solution for micro-insurance. 

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if mobile money could make micro-insurance possible and improve access to quality healthcare for low income and underserved populations in Uganda
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

Access to healthcare services is still inadequate for most low-income and excluded populations in Africa; attributed majorly to failures in healthcare financing. The choice of how, whom and how much rests majorly with governments. Existent private sector players must deal with a demand side that is insufficient and with a low ability-to-pay; and a supply side in dire need for help to reach a critical mass and geographic reach to meet demand

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

We seek to leverage the growth in mobile phone ownership and successes of mobile money in Africa to develop a digital product that provides the means and ease for providers of health financing and insurance to deliver affordable, flexible and custom-made products in the form of micro-insurance for low-income and excluded populations in Africa. The solution will include a robust payment gateway, SMS-based messaging tools to ease user education and promotion; and cloud-based profiling and data engines for analytic. With this solution, service providers will gain a huge cut in operational costs and a critical mass market that incentives them to offer subsidized insurance and increased options for low-income and excluded populations in Africa.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Rita Achom is newly married. She is expecting her first child. A moment like this should come a long with joy and excitement. Instead for Rita, it comes along with fright and worry. She was just recently diagnosed with Autoimmune disorders and will require specialized care during pregnancy. In an economy with a Public healthcare systems known generally to be inefficient, and costly private care, How much can Rita afford with a $50 monthly wage? Our solution will provide Rita a $1,500 year- long insurance cover for an annual premium less than half her monthly wage! By combining mobile money to enable flexible, micro payments Insurers can scale rapidly to the largest under-served market and stay profitable with subsidize premium offer.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

Since 2012, Ensibuuko has worked with grassroot farming communities providing mobile banking solutions to credit associations. Through our work, we have built a loyal market base, reaching over 200,000 people every year. Our impact and growth over the years has earned us the endorsement and partnership of the Government of Uganda, major telecommunication service providers, development partners and stakeholders. Since In 2014, we explored new markets by adapting our solution into a digital product for a solar companies, Village Power who now implement the of mobile money to enable a PayGo Rent-To-Hire sales strategy that has earned them 150% growth in sales over 6 months. We are now seeking to use our industry expertise, experience - and most importantly client-base to expand the use of mobile money into health insurance and model a case of success for Africa's health sector.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

We will ride on our current relationships with Savings Coops / Savings and Credit Cooperatives - SACCOS to achieve a successful last-mile distribution. Our current experience proves that Community-driven approaches (Where providers work with grassroot community-led organisations through win-win engagement) in distributing financial products / services have a high-likelihood to succeed and scale faster since they benefit from higher numbers, confidence, trust. Uganda alone has over 5000 registered SACCOS serving 58% of the population. There is even a much bigger untapped SACCO market in Africa!

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

During early stages, this project requires upfront funding to facilitate Research and Development, prototyping as well as promotion that we hope to raise through grants and impact investors. However, the project will be designed to be commercially viable. We will earn revenue from agency commission / fees earned from both Insurance companies and Telecommunication Companies; and could (Through a potential Bi partnership) explore the data market

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

Micro-Insurance is not an absolutely new product in the insurance industry. Many insurance providers have made several attempts to implement micro insurance with little success. Our solution innovates upon the success of past attempts by introducing an additional ingredient, mobile money. Of course, enterprises like ChagaMuka in Kenya have explored mobile money innovations to deliver micro-insurance. By working with Savings Coops (Known commonly as SACCOS), we are using a last-mile distribution model by bundling insurance with other financial services into a single product.

Founding Story

Ensibuuko was inspired by the shared childhood experiences of Gerald, my Co-founder and I, raised in rural under-served and farming communities. Our goal has been to foster financial inclusion for under-served people in Uganda, working closely with grassroot savings organisations. It was common for us to make routine visits to far-off rural communities. What we observed and heard brought us face to face with reality; access to credit means nothing when children die of curable diseases and women die in labor. Financial services is not really the access to money, but the things that money can buy. This is what shaped our vision to increase access to essential services through digital finance.


We are privileged to work with a team of 10 dedicated and very talented staff with a combined of ten years’ multi-sector professional experience ranging from ICT, Telecommunications, Finance. Our board is comprised over experts and industry leaders from both health, ICT and finance industries. I have a rich startup experience having helped grow two successful tech start-ups before. My recent job was as Sales Manager of a fast growing renewable energy company in Uganda; and regional coordinator for yet a similar company. He was employed for years before transitioning to a full-time role at Ensibuuko. I hold a Bachelors of Economics from Makerere University. Gerald, my Co-founder was raised at a hospital where his mother continues to work as a local nurse. His mother had hoped he would be a Doctor, instead Gerald opted to study Development Economics at Makerere University. He has at a senior management role of a youth focused non-profit before moving to Co-lead Ensibuuko. He is also an Acumen Fellow, a program for social impact leaders in East Africa.
CO-CREATION IDEA: Please offer a brief description of how you imagine a win-win partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim to better serve unmet needs in health. (Hint: Please mention the underlying business model envisioned that would make such a partnership sustainable.)

There is a more than close alignment between our vision and BI's "Value through innovation". This partnership presents BI the opportunity to gain more presence in the African healthcare market by exploring and co-establishing a new line of innovation in disruptive digital space in Africa. Not only would this partnership enable BI expand its innovation mandate into two phenomenal theme areas; mobile money and micro-insurance, There is an under-explored opportunity in consumer behavioral health data. BI's medical research efforts would benefit greatly from data analytic and business intelligence that a digital solution we propose in this challenge could potentially provide. Access to such data would greatly inform BI's research efforts.

NEEDS: Based on you response above, please specify which of the following resources, operations or expertise by Boehringer Ingelheim you imagine leveraging to actualize the proposed co-creation opportunity. Please check all that apply. (Hint: while financing is often critical to scale, we are also interested in understanding what other assets or expertise could be leveraged).

Research and Development, Specific Disease Expertise, Relationships/New Contacts, Marketing/Communications Support, Human Resources, Technology Expertise, Access to Capital.

EXPLANATION OF NEEDS: Please explain your choices in more detail.

We believe a disruptive and highly technical solution such as this would require more than funding. Whereas mobile money innovation is our area of expertise, the use of mobile money technology to power micro-insurance for health is honestly a gray areas and for us and many innovators. The though of this challenge excites us, but also reminds us of the importance of partnerships and collaboration that enables us to tap into new knowledge, skills, resources and contacts. It is only a combination of these inputs that can deliver the magic!

OFFER: What are the main assets you may contribute in a co-creation partnership with Boehringer Ingelheim that would better serve unmet needs in health?

Deep understanding of an unmet need in a specific market/context, Access to and established trust with customers/beneficiaries, Insights into pricing and financing of health products/services, Insights into marketing, Insights into distribution, Insights into behavior change.

FOCUS AREAS: Which of the following best describes the main focus of your project? (select all that apply)

Improving the affordability of healthcare (e.g., microinsurance, reducing the economic cost of care), Models that engage other industry players (e.g., nutrition, athletic, mobility organizations)..

Please share what your organisation and Boehringer Ingelheim will Co-Create together
Please specify what your Co-Creation will result in:

If you selected "other" above, please explain:
Please provide a 1-2 sentence summary of your Co-Creation idea
How does this project link to the core mission of your organisation?
Beyond social impact, how does this project link to Boehringer Ingelheim’s core business?
What are the specific inputs and actions that each side will contribute to this Co-Creation idea based on each of your unique competencies and experiences?
Please describe the potential revenue model for this Co-Creation idea.
What possible risks or challenges do you foresee?
Is there anything else you would like to share about your Co-Creation idea?
How much input do you hope to receive from Boehringer Ingelheim?

If you selected "other" above, please explain:
Besides Boehringer Ingelheim, what other types of partners might be valuable to carrying out your Co-Creation idea, and why?
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