2013 Action Project – Healthy Innovation by Empowering Cross-Cultura


Ahmed Ahmed, Haroun Habib, Amr Ismaeil, Leslie Lang


To address existing needs in the health and economic sectors through the introduction of microclinics, and the establishment of a foundation that will support the creation of similar health-sector entrepreneurial programs.


Egypt and the US find themselves facing a number of healthcare issues. Both countries have growing and aging populations which have shifted their healthcare priorities from infectious diseases to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and other chronic diseases. In fact, NCDs represent a significant portion of the rising costs of healthcare in the US, and take a toll on the economy as they a result of their impact workforce productivity.

Both countries are also facing unemployment problems, particularly among youth. A recent report on work in Egypt stated that "young entrepreneurs need more training and mentoring in areas such as developing business plans and other core business skills.” The same can be said about the next generation of American entrerpreneurs.

Microclinics, comprised of preexisting social groups of 2-8 people with shared access to education, technology, and social support, represent a paradigm shift in healthcare. In the US, they are emerging as a new healthcare model, specifically for the treatment of NCDs and other chronic diseases. The establishment of microclinics in Egypt would provide new healthcare options based on traditional social models while creating an opportunity to develop an entrepreneurial training program. It would also serve to facilitate Egyptian-American cooperation on healthcare, education, and business models that can have long-term benefits for both countries.

“The projects will be charged with adding value to the Egyptian health system and providing real benefits to patients, families, and communities.”


Project This project will create a network of microclinics, as well as a training module to provide participants with pedagogical and hands-on experience identifying existing needs, creating practical solutions, and designing projects that can add value to the health and economic sectors of their own countries.

Program managers from a successful microclinic network in Kentucky will train Egyptian medical students from the University of Alexandria. This student volunteer cohort will recruit community members suffering from NCDs to participate in the program, and then launch the clinic-conducting screenings, educational sessions, and providing social support to promote healthy behaviors. Medical screenings will be conducted at the beginning and end of the project, providing measurable data on key health indicators to assess the impact and success of the project.

Meanwhile, participants will complete a 6-week guided course on "Health-focused Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation," created by the Gabr Fellowship team. Using an online platform, participants will learn market-based approaches, review case studies, and analyze how real-world healthcare issues have been solved through social entrepreneurship.

After completion of the course, Egyptian students will be matched with students from Boston University to form teams for a business plan competition. The projects will be charged with adding value to the Egyptian health system and providing real benefits to patients, families, and communities. Projects will be judged based on the degree of social impact, entrepreneurial ability, and real-world applicability.