October 3, 2017
AXA is strongly committed to equality and inclusion. And with the conviction that these values contribute to a better future for us all, we have taken a broad approach, not only working to promote diversity from within, but helping to build a more inclusive society beyond our walls.
Globally, one-third of businesses are owned by women and strong growth in the number of women entrepreneurs can be observed around the world – for example, women-owned firms in the US are consistently growing at over twice the rate of other firms. At the same time, women are more likely to be underinsured relative to their male counterparts and often feel neglected by the insurance industry. Nonetheless, women are ready to invest up to 90% of their income to protect their households (versus only 40% for men). Whether they are entrepreneurs or heads of households, women are increasingly making the major financial decisions.
We want to foster women as an innovation territory, unlocking their decision-maker power and supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem as part of AXA’s ambition to become women’s most trusted partner.
To contribute to this goal, we developed a dedicated plan to empower women entrepreneurs, where one of the main pillars for this year has been launching the women entrepreneur mentoring program with our partner “Global Invest Her“:
During the first phase of the Global Mentoring Competition, 5 outstanding and ambitious women entrepreneurs were selected from over 260 applications. Each of these women will benefit from a six-month mentorship with a senior AXA leader and receive customized advice. The winners who partake in the program represent diversity both sectorial (HealthTech, MedTech, InsurTech and Internet of Things) and geographic (Asia, Africa, America and Europe).
Having struggled to provide a close relative with appropriate healthcare in Cameroon, Patricia Monthe, an ambitious and optimistic woman, launched MEDx eHealth Center a year and a half ago. This innovative HealthTech solution is a “digital hospital” tapping into the African diaspora to financially support family members back home and provide them with the necessary means to access healthcare. Additionally, it is a global IT SaaS Solution enhancing all levels of care, from primary to tertiary care management.
The scalability of this business model, combined with the contagious inspiration of its founder, has convinced us that its noble purpose can indeed become a reality: a decrease in death rates on the African continent.
Being aware of the challenges related to blood transfusion in emerging countries, Temie Giwa-Tubosun decided to act a year ago in Nigeria. She developed Life Bank, an innovative smart supply chain engine that mixes technology, big data and smart logistics to enable hospitals and clinics to procure medical supplies, particularly blood.
This intuitive blood donor platform and database makes blood available when and where it is needed by mobilizing blood donations, taking inventory of the available blood, and delivering it in the right conditions to the points of need.
Temie has been selected among the winners as her strong commitment and vision have enabled Life Bank to move 3,500 pints of blood to 100 hospitals in only 11 months, clearly helping to pave the way to improved healthcare in Africa.
It is well known that automatic defibrillators help save lives in the event of a heart attack. But what about acute brain damage? Mary Franzese, an up-and-coming Italian entrepreneur, realized the need to develop a tool to prevent acute brain damage. Enthusiastically, she launched Neuron Guard, a non-invasive portable temperature management system capable of actively heating and cooling patients. Neuron Guard is a MedTech product that resembles a neck brace and allows patients to return to normothermia when needed.
Mary’s business has the potential to scale up across European and American markets, enabling healthcare systems to significantly reduce current expenditure on acute brain damage. Her innovative solution, combined with her ambition, earned her a spot in the mentoring program.
In today’s world, data is vulnerable to theft, compromise, manipulation and loss. Cybercrime affects everyone across industries and countries. Considering this, Janine Darling, a professional and motivated entrepreneur has founded Stash in the United States. Stash, a datacentric B2B and B2B2C solution that focuses on the security of the data itself stands out from its competitors by turning data into unreadable -- and above all unstealable -- digital confetti.
Janine’s innovative customer-centric business model has inspired AXA’s fight against cyber-risks, and we are confident that her ambition and commitment will enable her to thrive in the program.
What if we could detect an epilepsy attack before it occurs? What if we would support the 55 million people living with chronic neurological disorders in the world today? Rajlakshmi Borthakur, an inspired mother of a young boy with epilepsy and the winner of the 2015 Innovate for Digital India, has committed herself to this cause. She founded Terra Blue XT, a holistic solution for end-to-end management of these disorders.
Her company’s business model rotates around two products: the flagship product Tjay, a patent-pending IoT solution in the form of a smart glove; and Xaant, smart waterproof jewelry that will cultivate calm in patients’ lives by providing mental health insights.
It is no surprise that Rajlakshmi was selected among the winners as she is an inspiring, ambitious woman with an innovative idea that clearly responds to a pressing need to fight neurological disorders.