Women in Global Health - Start-up innovation challenge Movemeback African initiative cover image


Gender inequities in global health security are undermining the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the achievement of health for all. Strong health systems that can withstand the next global health crisis must be built on equality, and gender equality is fundamental. Strong health systems harness the best possible talent, expertise and diverse perspectives in decision making. Currently, women are the vast majority of health and social care workers but largely excluded from decision making, to the detriment of everybody's health.

As the world learns to live with the corona virus, the #BuildBackBetter Digital Innovation and AI Challenge will offer a platform for women-led start-ups to advance both gender equity in health security and systems, with a special focus on low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Specifically, the #BuildBackBetter Digital Innovation and AI Challenge will identify innovative digital and AI solutions addressing health security during COVID-19 and future health emergencies with the potential to: 

  • Increase the number of women as creators of digital health and AI solutions
  • Increase the number of women as leaders of digital health and AI companies and initiatives
  • Ensure that that digital health solutions enable health systems to meet the health needs of all genders


  • Your start-up must be (co-)founded by a woman
  • Your start-up must be based in a low-middle income country, as defined by the World Bank
  • Your start-up must have a health emergency-focus and your idea must support greater gender parity in global health security during COVID-19 and for future pandemic preparedness
  • Your idea must be a digital or AI innovation
  • A member of your team must be available to pitch during the finals in November 2020


  • The winners of the challenge will be awarded $10,000 and the runners-up will receive $5,000 to develop their innovation further
  • Both the winner and the runner up will receive guidance from an innovation mentor

About Women in Global Health

Women in Global Health (WGH) is a US 501(c)(3) founded in 2015 to achieve gender equality in global health leadership. Today, WGH is a global movement with more than 25,000 supporters across more than 90 countries and continues to grow. The Executive Director, and the global team work with a network of WGH chapters in every region to challenge power and privilege for gender equity in health by mobilizing a diverse group of emerging women health leaders, by advocating to existing global health leaders to commit to transform their own institutions, and by holding these leaders to account.