Two lucky fintech entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa are about to get a big boost, as they are invited to join the Fintech Africa 2016 programme. By Staff writer
Village Capital is recruiting entrepreneurs across Sub Saharan Africa for the business development program, which will take place in Nairobi, Lagos and Accra.
Africa is fertile ground for new fintech services which are leveraging the power of communities and social media to make financial services more relevant, while using data to deliver more meaningful financial services on an ongoing basis. For more read: The unstoppable rise of African fintech is rapidly changing the way Africans transact
At the end of the program, two early-stage businesses will be selected by the other entrepreneurs in their cohort to win R1.3 million ($100,000) total in funding.
The mushrooming of new and successful fintech companies on the African continent can be directly linked to innovations that meet the needs of historically under-serviced market – the unbanked.
This has seen fintech itself become a facilitator of economic growth in Africa. It is lowering the barriers to entry for consumers by playing a development role and helping to reduce financial exclusion. And financial inclusion combined with a strong financial sector is the backbone of any thriving economy.
Village Capital, The MasterCard Foundation, and the DOEN Foundation are seeking to identify and support the next generation of fintech entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa.
These entrepreneurs are innovating in financial technology to increase financial health and improve livelihoods for low-income populations. Examples of this type of initiative include:
- Increasing the access, relevance, and affordability of savings, credit, payments, and insurance products through leveraging data analytics, blockchain technology, and digital identity verification;
- Increasing efficiency in supply chains and distribution channels across sectors through better market access, increased price transparency, increased connections to new suppliers, and access to other decision-driving market information; and/or
- Enhancing livelihoods of low-income small business owners through tools for value-chain tracking, smart logistics, business insurance, working-capital loans, and financial management tools to better handle risk and volatility.
Entrepreneurs will also have one-on-one time with mentors, industry experts, investors, top local business leaders, and potential customers.
Over the past decade, mobile phone penetration and mobile banking have revolutionized the financial services sector in Sub-Saharan Africa. Financial products and services have rapidly grown in reach and sophistication, providing a platform that entrepreneurs can leverage to enable access to a broader range of financial services for traditionally underserved and excluded communities.