Worldwide delivery of mobile hospitals to UN organizations
Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, local residents of a village in the Congo and war refugees in Syria. They have one thing in common: they live in disaster areas where there is hardly any access to healthcare. While that care is desperately needed there. The Hospitainer company from Vaassen saw this as an opportunity and now delivers mobile hospitals worldwide with the help of RVO.nl.
What do you do if you are a care provider in a developing country and you see again and again that the hospital facilities are inadequate? Simple: you are going to build mobile hospitals yourself. At least, that was what former aid worker Rolof Mulder, owner of Hospitainer, did. A good idea, but getting those mobile containers onto the international market is not easy.
Corinne Abbas, advisor International Organizations at the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO.nl), says: “If you want to do business on such a scale, then a good network is indispensable.”
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In 2014, Hospitainer participated in a mission from RVO.nl to Copenhagen. They were introduced to the buyers at the headquarters of UNFPA (the UN Population Fund). Hospitainer then spent a year researching mobile solutions for childbirth, and won a tender from UNFPA. That was the first success: Hospitainer was allowed to deliver mobile maternity clinics to Syria, Iraq and the Philippines.
Conquering new markets
Thanks to the delivery to UNFPA, Hospitainer was able to quickly expand to other UN organizations: “The World Health Organization asked for 3 test laboratories during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone.” And so the ball started rolling. Hospitainer has since become a strategic partner for UNFPA and other UN organizations, such as the Humanitarian Affairs Coordination Office (OCHA). They mainly deliver to disaster areas. Partly as a result of this, their sales in 2017 increased to € 12 million.
In 2017, Hospitainer went on a trade mission to Colombia with RVO.nl. There may be opportunities in difficult-to-access jungle areas, where the population barely has access to care. With the help of the DHI subsidy scheme, Hospitainer is going to do a demonstration project there. So maybe soon there will also be mobile hospitals of the Dutch company in Colombia.
“Hospitainer started small, but with the right contacts it could grow into a world-class company.”
What can TIO do for you?
The International Organizations Team (TIO), part of RVO.nl, has a large network worldwide. This includes embassies, financial institutions such as the World Bank and regional development banks, and the United Nations (UN). It is extremely difficult for start-up companies to get a foot in the door at organizations like the UN. TIO links Dutch companies to these influential parties.