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Wol Kolade founded LivingBridge in the mid-1990s as a way of promoting entrepreneurial businesses. The midmarket private-equity firm supports entrepreneurs and foresaw the shift in the healthcare sector from centralized systems to more innovative enterprises. “Today we have consumerization of healthcare — not privatization, as people talk about,” he told Business Insider.
That consumer-focused model allows Kolade and LivingBridge to take risks that the UK’s National Health Service couldn’t, with potentially more significant results.
“We can experiment and do things the system can’t, because it’s our own money, that in the end will benefit the system,” he says.
It includes focusing on prevention, rather than the cure, and taking a longer-term, more holistic view of the health- and social-care sector that government-controlled oversight can’t do.
As well as growing and building businesses, including a chain of private dental practices and a mobile operating theatre business used by the NHS, Kolade advises the health service, and is the chair of Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Charity, an adjunct to the London hospital of the same name that has since been spun out. There, he oversaw a significant shift in approaches to public health in two London boroughs, Lambeth and Southwark, aimed at delivering systematic healthcare.