#Africa The startup caring for Africa’s elderly population


Africa’s elderly population is growing. As everywhere in the world, their families often struggle to cope with providing proper care and companionship.  This is where Nigerian startup Greymate Care enters the scene, with its mission to take the stress out of home care.

Launched in October last year by two female entrepreneurs with medical backgrounds, Chika Madubuko and Ogochukwu Obi, Greymate Care operates an online platform linking vetted caregivers with families in need of support for their elderly or disabled relatives.

Users can book intensive nursing for a period of illness, regular help in dealing with everyday tasks, or just a visitor to provide companionship to an elderly relative while the family is at work.

“There are currently 35 million citizens above the age of 55 in Nigeria with children or spouses who are working full time to earn a living [in]Nigeria’s current economic condition,” Madubuko says.

“Family members find it hard to provide their dependent loved ones the quality of love and care they deserve not because they do not want to, but because they are too busy with their jobs.”

Often, Madubuko says families resort to hiring untrained, unvetted, and inexperienced caregivers due to difficulties in locating the right home help.  This can lead to the mistreatment of vulnerable individuals, inadequate care, a lack of motivation to provide quality care, or even incidents of theft from the home.

Greymate Care seeks to address these problems, by providing a go-to access point for vetted, trained caregivers. All listed carers are provided with comprehensive remuneration packages, including perks like paid holiday, in a bid to incentivise diligent and long-term caring, rather than the ad-hoc approach often exhibited by strangers hired to help.

The startup conducts a series of governmental and biometric checks on carers listed on the platform; on passing all checks, Greymate Care provides training to caregivers to ensure a high quality of care.

“We provide convenience and peace of mind to our service users because our caregivers have undergone rigorous training to world class standard, have been background checked and are professional,” Madubuko says.

Self-funded since launching last year, the startup takes a 25 per cent commission on each care booking via the platform.  Madubuko says the company has so far generated revenues in excess of NGN53 million (US$148,000), from 500 one-off on-demand care requests, and 70 contracted care users.

Greymate Care hopes to scale quickly, with the aim of signing up over 200,000 service users in Nigeria, as well as plans to expand to Kenya, Ghana, and South Africa by 2030.

In a bid to push these expansion plans, the startup applied and has been accepted onto the She Leads Africa accelerator, during which time the co-founders hope to secure external funding to execute their ambitious plans.

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