Soso Care, a Nigerian micro-insurance start-up, recently launched a health micro-insurance platform in Nigeria. It enables disadvantaged populations to pay their monthly insurance costs with recyclable waste.
Sustainable cities and territories #19. Our series in partnership with the Africa-France 2020 Summit.
Nigerian slum dwellers have recently been able to benefit from low-cost health insurance thanks to the Nigerian start-up Soso Care. In February 2020, the company launched a health micro-insurance platform for one dollar (around 368 Nigerian naira). The Nigerian start-up’s new service is based on an innovative approach.
People who take out Soso Care’s health insurance can pay either in cash or by delivering recyclable waste to Soso Care’s agents every month. This includes bottles, glass bags and plastic bags. This waste must have a value equivalent to one dollar. Through this approach, the Nigerian start-up wants to help poor uninsured populations (pregnant women, children…) to access insurance and earn points that can be converted into food vouchers.
To subscribe to the insurance, Soso Care has teamed up with Hygeia HMO, a health and medical aid insurer in Nigeria. The Nigerian start-up also signed a partnership with the country’s supermarkets to obtain food vouchers. “We felt it would be wise to use a problem to create a sustainable solution, so we linked recycling to health insurance premiums and food vouchers,” says Nonso Opurum, the managing director of Soso Care. “Nigeria produces more than 34 million tons of waste per year and about 20 billion PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles, causing sanitation and health problems,” he adds.
Waste resold for recycling
The waste collected by the start-up Soso Care through its new micro-health insurance platform is resold to recycling companies as raw materials. The funds are converted into health funds to finance the premiums. “With a small personal marketing and sales budget, we already have around 550 users in the first month. I am convinced that we will exceed our target of three million users next year,” says Nonso Opurum, Managing Director of Soso Care. The start-up has been self-financing since its launch in October 2019. It is currently looking for investments to support its actions and promote its development. “We hope to be able to raise funds quickly so that we can establish ourselves in larger cities and states such as Lagos. We are planning to expand in Africa and Asia, mainly in the Philippines, Indonesia and Pakistan,” says Nonso Opurum, the Managing Director of Soso Care.