ColaLife and Johnson & Johnson win FT/IFC Transformational Business Award

Tonight (12-Jun-14) ColaLife and our first project funding partner Johnson & Johnson won the FT/IFC Transformational Business Award in the health category.

FT/IFC Business Transformation Awards
FT/IFC Award Winners - 12-Jun-14

The other shortlisted entries were:

  • Operation ASHA, India
  • Sida (with USAID, Norway, DfID, CIFF, CHAI, and The Gates Foundation) Sweden/Norway/UK/US [we are not sure what this is]

We are delighted about this and it is especially significant that we won it with the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Citizenship Trust (who submitted the entry) and were our very first project backers. They didn’t only commit unconditionally to our vision and initial plan, which helped leverage the other funders we needed, but they also put us through the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Innovation Boot Camp to toughen us up a bit!

Why is this transformational? As a big brand, Johnson & Johnson, have been willing to help ColaLife to support a small local Zambian manufacturer with working capital to kickstart the manufacture of the Kit Yamoyo anti-diarrhoea kit for a market we are creating here in Zambia. The way we’re supplying this working capital support is also very interesting (and simple – that was our idea!).

The judges were also very interested in our open innovation and open source approach.

We are also grateful to our other funders and supporters who helped make this possible.