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Taking Reproductive Health Care As Her Personal Business: The Story Behind PREGGIFY

Tell us a little about yourself and your business

I am Dr Ifunanya Lilian Igweze, a medical practitioner and the founder of Preggify, an all-in-one platform that offers convenient and timely maternal care for career-oriented women. Prior to establishing Preggify, I founded and headed the team at Live Mother and Child Initiative, a non-profit organization that delivers free maternal care to underserved communities in Anambra State, Nigeria.

My birthplace and upbringing took place in Anambra State, Nigeria, where I obtained my Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery degree from Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University.

I take pleasure in writing and speaking about women's health, lifestyle, and career, while also enjoying playing football and volleyball.

What inspired you to start your business?

In 2021, my client lost her pregnancy at 38 weeks due to a preventable cause. She blamed the poor outcome on her inability to access pregnancy education and care in the hospital due to her busy career schedule. As I ruminated on this, I stumbled on one of the researches published by Jobberman stating that 7 out of 10 women are likely to leave their job involuntarily due to pregnancy and childcare related responsibilities.

This means that more skilled women will leave the workforce or risk pregnancy-related complications trying to navigate work-life and pregnancy at the expense of pregnancy and post-Birth routines.

In order to solve this problem, Preggify was created to serve as a one-stop platform for busy career women to provide convenient, timely and accessible maternal health care from pre-pregnancy to early years of post-birth and childcare.

Placing side by side your skills or the solutions we believe you are providing and looking at the major gaps in your sectors, do you see these challenges or gaps brought down to their barest minimum?

I would say that Preggify not only sees the prominent gaps and addresses them, but it goes beyond that to anticipate more invoices challenges which it addresses in a most innovative way, all while extending comprehensive fulltime support to our end-users. I believe the innovative strategies we use at Preggify will lead to a significant improvement in eliminating the challenges facing women in accessing proper maternal care. And for me, it is most exciting and fulfilling to see all these efforts being put into creating accessible maternal care for women who dedicate their time building wealth. This was and still is my dream for founding Preggify.

Can women balance their career and maternity? If yes, please briefly give an expert overview or summary of how you believe this should or can be achieved.

The current maternal care given to women is far from what women deserve.

The current system was created for women who were in total control of their time. You know before now, women were raised to be nurturers and they lived the rest of their lives doing that. However, time has changed.

Women are pursuing their career goals and still desire to raise a family of their own. In order to help them achieve this, we put into consideration that these women do not have the luxury of time for the long waiting time in our Hospitals. Through the many services we provide at Preggify, we have availed most of the care they need during pregnancy and after-birth at their convenience in a timely manner. This also involves prioritizing their needs and individualizing their care.

Tell us about a few Enterpreneurs/Founders who inspire you.

Being in the startup space has been a place of learning for me. I've been inspired by a lot of men and women doing great things in Africa. To mention just a few, I am greatly inspired by Babatunde Akin-Moses, the CEO of Sycamore, a peer-to-peer lending platform in Nigeria. He also serves as my mentor. Another person whose growth and life inspires me a lot is Ife Durosinmi-Eti, the founder of Herconomy, the first digital bank for women in Africa. In a special way, Freda of EBH Africa has shown me how a young person can be focused on her goals and that has been a source of inspiration to me.

I can't mention everyone here but I draw inspiration from a lot of stories out there, especially stories of women who are keeping their heads above the water.

What message do you want to share with Enterpreneurs who aspire to be changemakers?

First, believe in yourself. Be open to good counsel. Be patient with your expectations. Practice consistency and embrace mentorship.

How has EBH AFRICA welcomed you in its community?

I want to scream this! EBH Africa is a family. In just one year, EBH Africa has changed a lot about me. When I joined the community, I wasn't so knowledgeable about a lot of things, however, through the webinars and resources shared in the community, my knowledge has significantly improved.

I have also contributed to the community growth which earned me an award as the Top 10 most enterprising individuals in 2022.

Being in the community also helped me to learn how to better manage and grow our community at Preggify.

I love EBH Africa! Every budding entrepreneur should be there.

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