The Mulago Foundation is a private foundation focused on the prospect of creating a better life for the world’s poor. Concentrated in rural settings in developing countries, the Foundation’s work is in four areas that contribute to this overarching goal — livelihoods, health, education, and conservation. The Mulago team looks for investment opportunities in promising products and services that address these high-priority problems. When it comes to health, the organization is particularly committed to improvements affecting the lives of mothers and children.
The Mulago Foundation explicitly seeks to get involved with early-stage entities in these target areas so that it can grow with the organizations it supports. However, one common challenge of getting involved with early-stage enterprises is that they sometimes focus too narrowly on the product and don’t think enough about the development of the team and the capacity of management to perform consistently and effectively over time. This mini-case study explores how the Mulago Foundation evaluates prospective investments and the factors it considers before committing funds to any project or organization.
This story is part of the Global Health Innovation Insight Series developed at Stanford University to shed light on the challenges that global health innovators face as they seek to develop and implement new products and services that address needs in resource-constrained settings.
Acknowledgements: We would like to thank Laura Hattendorf of the Mulago Foundation for her participation. This research was supported by the National Institutes of Health grant 1 RC4 TW008781-01.