With the final chapter of the MIT Entrepreneurship Forum Arab Start-up Competition looming ahead, there is little we can do but highlight some of the social entrepreneurship start-ups in the MENA region. The competition aims to promote and reward entrepreneurship. We at BarakaBits spoke to Medicine For All regarding their inspiration for this venture and hopes for this competition.
What is Medicine for All about?
Medicine for All is a system created to fill the gap between the need for access to medicine (by low income groups) and the waste of medicine (by high income groups). What we do is collect medicine from different resources like pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies and individuals that would generally be casted out. Then we go through various lengths and measures to make sure that they are uncontaminated and valid for use and that they also meet the requirements set by the Ministry of Health. Finally we go through a distribution process that involves NGO and government channels. But even handing over the medicine has a process, and every patient that comes to us has to provide certain documents like their medical report, prescriptions and their ID which we then file and store and provide them with monthly medication with little cost compared to the market cost.
Why did you apply for this competition?
This competition is a very good medium for us to publish our work in the Arab World. Because (the) Arab world has this problem, we aim solve this problem where we can. There are countries like Saudi Arabia, Palestine and Iraq where this idea can be applied and benefited from.
In your opinion what are some of the benefits of such competition in the region?
For us (entrepreneurs) first of all it helps us to develop our ideas. It gives us a platform and reach to publish our work more and more through out Egypt and in the Arab world. And the competition itself is a good idea because we get to meet social entrepreneurs from all over the Arab world and that is good because social entrepreneurs get no time for personal development or meetings since they are working all the time. And this gives us a chance to meet social entrepreneur from all over the world, this gives us a good experience and helps us develop by implementing some idea or methods learned from these other entrepreneurs.
Any tips for those who may want to participate in similar competitions in the future?
What I would advise them to do is to have a clear idea on what they want to do and do not stop for any obstacle that will challenge them.