Brenda Katwesigye had a dream to become a medical doctor.
From age 6, she thought of the contributions she could make to address the many health challenges in her community.
The health systems in Kasubi, a suburb in Kampala where she grew up as a child left a lot to be desired. The clinics were poorly stocked and staffed, whereas the better health care centres were far and expensive.
As the years went by, Brenda found that she could not achieve her dream of becoming a doctor, yet her interest in transforming the health system of her community lived on within her, and so she thought to pursue a career that would give her the opportunity to make the impact she desired.
She went on to study Telecommunication Engineering at the Makerere University, where she began her entrepreneurial journey. She started by offering broker services and graphic designing to fellow students and other individuals for a fee.
While at the University, Brenda was also working on a medical project, which gave her a deep insight to the poor health care system in Uganda.
During her research, she went to a small village 500km (310 miles) away from a major city.
While there, she took ill and could not access health care. She said,
“I fell sick and I had absolutely no idea where I was going to get any help at that point. That’s when the concept of InstaHealth clicked.”
January 2014, Brenda took the big leap and registered her company Instahealth, an application that enables people to instantly have access to health information and services. In a few months, her company, registered more than 4500 minutes of calls within their pilot phase.
Their main goal is to create an Africa connected to health in the fastest and most convenient way possible. The InstaHealth mobile application enables anybody with a feature phone or a smartphone to access a doctor instantly. It uses geo-location and an interactive voice response (IVR) system to instantly connect users to health centres, specialists and ambulances.
Brenda believes that focus, perseverance and purpose got her to the top, and so she tells young and aspiring Entrepreneurs,
“A lot of questions will come up about how you make money. But if you focus on creating a quality product that people will use to solve real life challenges, there will always be opportunities to monetize your solution.”