We are learning, innovating, and hope to win – 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon participants

Our Reporter.

With the 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon underway, participants are thrilled and full of hope that they will at the end of it be better people; ready to transform the world through financial technology innovations.

They attribute this to the detailed daily program designed by the organizers that mixes learning technology, developing solutions, and improving personal skills.

Winfred Nandawula, the Team Leader of Tawaza Initiative notes that the Hackathon is helping them breakdown huge concepts into realistic and achievable products.

“One of the biggest issues that has been out there is that innovators have so many things that are going on and have a wide scope of things they are dealing in. But today we are here to learn that you can scale down a problem into something narrower and more achievable. Most of the teams are here to win, learn, innovate and solve community problems,” Nandawula noted.

Now in its third edition, the Women in FinTech Hackathon is part of HiPipo’s commitment towards empowering women with the required digital and financial inclusion skills so that they can go out there; innovate, prosper, earn and develop their families and communities.  This year’s edition has gathered 20 Women-led teams of between two to four members each.

Sophie Nabaale, a participant from Team Sueno- Wetase noted that even though she has been at a hackathon before, the Women in FinTech Hackathon is different from the first one she attended as it teaches both innovation and life skills.

“For example, today, we learnt about financial management, which is a key topic for individuals and businesses. We are here to learn all that is there to learn and I expect to win regardless of the tight competition. But even without winning, I am sure that what I will get from here will impact so much on me and my team at large,” Nabaale said.

Day One of the Hackathon saw teams complete their Problem Statements and Business Cases in addition to being introduced to Level One Project principles. They were also mentored on Finance Management by Damali Ssali, the chief programs and projects officer at Private Sector Foundation Uganda, and Personal Growth by Wendy Nanfo, the COO Kuda Bank (Uganda).

Novita Nyirarukundo, a participant from Kisoro District and Team Leader of Land Resources observed that even though this was her first hackathon, the first day surpassed her expectations.

“We have been introduced to the latest financial technology and new ways of innovation. I have been inspired by the different speakers such as Madam Wendy who mentored us on personal growth. I have realized that success and rest do not sleep together. In all, we are learning and competing for the top prize,” she said.

The 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon seeks to close the Gender Gap in Access to Technology, Skills, and Usage of Digital Financial Services. It will provide women innovators and students an opportunity to use digital financial technology to explore business concepts. The hackathon will introduce participants to useful tools and offer an introduction to technologies such as Mojaloop Open-Source Software, and guidance from Level One Project foundational material. The skills gained from this initiative will cover Level One Project Principles, Instant and Inclusive Payment Systems (IIPS), Inclusive Finance, and FinTech in general.

According to Cleopatra Kanyunyuzi, the Project’s Lead Facilitator and also co-founder of Club Tangaza, the Hackathon is key in closing the gender diversity gap that is currently experienced in the technology industry.

“Technology has been around but it is a male-dominated space. So when HiPipo comes up with such a project, it is trying to onboard more women in this space. The women that are being trained here will in the future contribute to not only closing the gender gap but also changing their communities. This is a learning vehicle that is enriching the ladies and giving them a push to venture and actively participate in the Financial Technology industry,” Kanyunyuzi explained. 

The week-long Women in FinTech Hackathon will culminate in the Women in FinTech summit on Friday 16th September at Mestil Hotel, Kampala; where the best performing teams and individuals from across East Africa will be announced and receive their share of the USD 10,000 collective prize money. The best teams will also automatically qualify for the Women in FinTech Incubator program that will run until January 2023.

The Women in FinTech Hackathon, Summit, and Incubator project is presented by HiPipo in partnership with Level One Project, Mojaloop, ModusBox, CyberPLC Academy, and Crosslake Technologies and generously supported by Gates Foundation.

#LevelOneProject: 20 Teams make final shortlist for 2022 #WomenInFinTech Hackathon

Kampala, Uganda. Following the completion of both entry submission and review process, we are excited to unveil the 20 teams that are going to take part in the 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon, scheduled for 10th to 15th September 2022. The 20 teams have been shortlisted from over 50 submissions received.  

The successful teams will work on FinTech products and solutions in areas such as Agri-Tech, E-Commerce, Payments, Savings and Loans, Edu-Tech, and Fundraising.

“We are happy to introduce this year’s participants. The teams shortlisted come from allover the region including a team from Rwanda and Tanzania. Other teams are traveling from as far as Kisoro. This clearly indicates that the project has continued to grow and is attracting more quality. We have had pre-hackathon discussions with all the team leaders and can confirm that they are all ready to innovate, and transform their communities,” Charlotte Neeza, the HiPipo FinTechs Events Manager explained, she added;

“This announcement sets the stage and puts the Hackathon wheels into motion. On our side, we are set to receive all participants, starting Saturday at 7 am. Those traveling from far are set to arrive on Friday.”  

Now in its third edition, the Women in FinTech Hackathon is part of HiPipo’s commitment towards empowering women with the required digital and financial inclusion skills so that they can go out there; innovate, prosper, earn and develop their families and communities. 

The 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon seeks to close the Gender Gap in Access to Technology, Skills, and Usage of Digital Financial Services. It will provide women innovators and students an opportunity to use digital financial technology to explore business concepts. The hackathon will introduce participants to useful tools and offer an introduction to technologies such as Mojaloop Open-Source Software, and guidance from Level One Project foundational material. The skills gained from this initiative will cover Level One Project Principles, Instant and Inclusive Payment Systems (IIPS), Inclusive Finance, and FinTech in general.

“Our ultimate objective is to help achieve a leveled playing field by guiding the African continent into fully maximizing its digital dividend and potential, with the entire populace equitably participating in the use, leverage, dissemination, innovation, adoption, and adaptation of secure digital financial services to improve their lives and livelihoods,” Innocent Kawooya, the HiPipo CEO noted.

The Women in FinTech Hackathon will culminate into the Women in FinTech summit on Friday 16th of September, where the best performing teams and individuals from across East Africa will be announced and receive their share of the USD 10,000 collective prize money. The best teams will also automatically qualify for the Women in FinTech Incubator program that will run until January 2023.

The Women in FinTech Hackathon, Summit, and Incubator project is presented by HiPipo in partnership with Level One Project, Mojaloop, ModusBox, CyberPLC Academy, and Crosslake Technologies and generously supported by Gates Foundation.

In case of any queries, reach out via socialweb@HiPipo.com

NOTEAM NAMETEAM LEADER
1HERDUUKATABITHA ATWIINE
2FUNA HOUSE PROPERTY MATERSKIYIGA MARION OLIVEA
3TAWAZA DIGITAL VARIETIESWINFRED NANDAWULA
4LANDS RESOURCENOVITA NYIRARUKUNDO
5OLIWAA EVENTSZAHARA NAMWANJE
6LIMA PESAMARIA VIVIAN AWORI
7JIBUNAKISOZI MASTULAH SARAH
8ACADEMIC PERSONAL ASSISTANT (APA)DIANA NAJJUMA
9THE PLATTERNAMULWA PATRA HIGENYI
10RENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM(RMS)AMASE STISHA MARGRET
11SAYL KAREVICTORIA NAKITTO
12E-SERVICEJOSEPHINE NANKUNDA
13INSURE WALLETEVELYNE NAKANWAGI
14THE FINTECH DEVOTEETUSIIME EMILY QUEEN
15TEGEKA INVESTMENT CLUBSHAMIM NAKAYIZA
16GO GREENMARIAM HAVILLAH MIREMBE
17AUTOPAYBETTY HAPPY
18ELEVATIONRACHEAL IPERU
19HER ICT SKILLSMUKAYIRANGA JANE
20IZERE EDUCATIONSHAMIM NIRERE

Ends.

2022 Digital Impact Awards Africa Open for Nominations

Following the consecutive eight seasons of Digital Impact Awards Africa, we are glad to announce that entry submissions for the 2022 edition are open.

Digital Impact Awards Africa is a platform that promotes Digital Inclusion, Financial Inclusion, and Cyber Security. The Awards recognize and celebrate stakeholders that are spearheading the use of digital mediums to serve communities.

The Digital Impact Awards Africa celebrates digital excellence across the continent, big or small, local or international.

The 9th edition is slated for 18th November 2022 at Kampala Serena Hotel as part of the annual Digital and Financial Inclusion summit.

The summit explores strategic trends and technologies that are shaping the future of Digital, ICTs, and Business. Special attention is paid to the safety of customers’ funds and the security of platforms in the Digital Financial Services ecosystem. 

This year’s summit will bring together C-Level executives that are spearheading the scaling, adoption, and usage of digital and financial services across Africa. The summit will discuss the disruptive impact of COVID-19 on the business ecosystem and what players are doing to recover.

Speakers will come from multinationals, large enterprises, small and mid-sized enterprises, and start-ups. Additionally, the summit will offer a platform for informal businesses (like market vendors, smallholder farmers, sole proprietors, public transporters, e-commerce delivery agents, etc.)   

The summit and awards are using these 3 official tags; #IncludeEveryone #DIAA2022 #LevelOneProject. 

Now is the time for you to nominate your best service provider, products, and brands: Just visit https://bit.ly/3KvUEZn  

Here is the full list of categories open for nomination. 

  1. Financial Inclusion Excellence
  2. Digital Banking Excellence
  3. Banking Innovation Excellence
  4. Community/MFI Banking Innovation Excellence
  5. FinTech Innovation Excellence
  6. Financial Services Digital Excellence
  7. Consumer Goods Digital Excellence
  8. Utilities and Government Services Digital Excellence
  9. Technology Services Digital Excellence 
  10. Digital Campaign Excellence 
  11. Digital Brand of the Year

#40Days40FinTechs #LevelOneProject Season Three Is Here!

We are proud to say that the second HiPipo 40 Days 40 FinTechs that ran in the months of July and August, 2021 set the bar very high. Even though it started soon after the partial lifting of the 2021 lockdown, it was tremendously successful.

#40Days40FinTechs has quickly grown into one of the world’s premier showcase events for the innovations that are enabling ever more people to join the digital economy space. That is surely going to remain the case, in large part due to the inspiration and collaboration that our partners; Level One Project, Mojaloop, ModusBox, and Crosslake Technologies generate, but mostly because of the continuing, generous support of the Gates Foundation.

Digital Innovators and FinTechs around East Africa should be more eager to embrace 40 Days 40 FinTechs as Season three will cover physical destinations in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda.

Run under HiPipo’s Include Everyone program that also encompasses other initiatives such as FinTech Landscape Exhibition, Women in FinTech Hackathon, Summit & Incubator and the Digital and Financial Inclusion Summit and Digital Impact Awards Africa; the #40Days40FinTechs platform aptly provides a setting for the various players and stakeholders involved in digital and financial technology to exhibit their products & Services and also share their ideas on how more of us, especially those unserved and underserved by the present financial systems, can be brought into the fold.

The 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative offers participants useful tools and an introduction to industry’s emerging technologies, such as Mojaloop Open Source Software, and guidance from Level One Project foundational material. The skills gained from this initiative cover Level One Project Principles, Instant and Inclusive Payment Systems (IIPS), Inclusive Finance and FinTech in general.

As captured by its name, 40 Days 40 FinTechs always delivers over two months of exhibition, dialogue and discussion, one not seen in the sector before. The initiative continues to generate enormous publicity, demand and pull for instant and inclusive real-time retail payment systems.

Last, but definitely not least, it draws the most attention yet to what is undeniably the future of digital financial services – interoperability.

Several participants are going on to innovate for sectors beyond just the traditional financial services but are making forays into healthcare, education, lending, remittances, agriculture, Robo-advisor, Payments, RegTech, InsurTech, crowdfunding, neo-banking, cryptography, cryptocurrency, Interledger, Blockchain, cross-border payments, retirement schemes and new ways of operating bonds and real estate among others. In their day-to-day operations, they are changing the lives of the likes of rural farmers, women, merchants, small business holders (formal and Informal), and unemployed youth, in a way creating forays for digital youth champions, women and other special interest groups (SIGs).

Not to be overlooked are the various governmental policymakers and regulators who continue to participate in the different discussions and activities we host. It is evident that demand for FinTech, DFS, IIPS, and interoperability has rapidly grown in recent years due to the impact of the broader HiPipo Include Everyone Program.

For the FinTechs, the cost-free exposure aided by the generosity of the Level One Project; an initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Financial Services for the Poor (FSP) program, which is part of their Global Growth and Opportunity division, is still of immeasurable value.

“As HiPipo, our extensive effort and advocacy is partly for the intention of championing digital innovation and interoperable instant & inclusive payment systems (IIPS) in Africa to a point where our innovators enjoy and achieve sound profit margins to help them keep designing and deploying affordable and inclusive Financial Services for the Poor. It was thus pleasant for us to learn that up to 25 of our season two participants not only continued to enjoy increased client engagement and better bottom lines as a direct result of participating in the 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative but are also helping to generate economy-wide efficiencies by digitally connecting millions of low-income consumers that are learning to transact at a fast rate,” Innocent Kawooya, the HiPipo CEO noted.

“But this is just the start, and we acknowledge there is a lot more to do. Season three of 40 Days 40 FinTechs is here, starting mid-2022 with optimism that the initiative will impact even more lives and livelihoods going forward.”

We are alive to the current market realities which continue to inform ours and our partners’ thinking, in regards to ensuring the healthiness and overall safety of participants throughout the different activities. Furthermore, we believe that, just like last year, FinTechs will take up the challenge and use the opportunity to ride the wave of appreciation for cashless payments the pandemic has brought. We need to be prepared with appropriate products and have the appropriate real-time retail payment systems in place to support an inclusive, interoperable digital marketplace that is both thriving and safe.

“It will be exciting to see what the participants have to offer. And again, various stakeholders will be on hand for more discussion and debate, with this time round extra insight from the likes of banks and MNOs. We anticipate extensive discussion on Instant and Inclusive Payment systems, Central Bank Digital Currencies(CBDC), advancing convenience for users, cross-border payments and on micro-lending products (especially those offering facilities to persons and communities that are still on the bylines of finance and trade for example; women, PWDs and other SIGs),” said Innocent Kawooya, the HiPipo CEO.

40 Days 40 FinTechs Initiative is implemented by HiPipo in partnership with Crosslake Technologies, ModusBox, and Mojaloop Foundation, and generously sponsored by the Gates Foundation.

It is ultimately also HiPipo’s hope that more people, from all walks of life, will be drawn to the advocacy for financial inclusion. Together, we will bring the day when it is at 100% ever closer.

Registration is on first-come, first-served basis so qualifying FinTech stakeholders operating in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and other parts of the continent are encouraged to book their slots before 11th June 2022.

So see you soon.

SCOPE
ProjectDate
40 Days 40 FinTechs13th June to 30th July 2022
FinTech Landscape Exhibition11th August to 12th August 2022
Women In FinTech Hackathon10th to 16th September 2022
Women In FinTech Summit16th September 2022
Women In FinTech Incubator26th September 2022 to 6th January 2023
Digital and Financial Inclusion Summit18th November 2022
Digital Impact Awards Africa18th November 2022

Ends.

#DIAA2021: Standard Chartered Bank Wins Digital Brand of the Year

Standard Chartered Bank was yesterday announced the 2021 Digital Brand of the year. To win this Award, Standard Chartered Bank beat competition from Stanbic Bank and Centenary Bank that came second and third respectively. As such, Standard Chartered Bank retained the same prize it won in 2020.

Digital Impact Awards Africa is a platform that promotes Digital Inclusion, Financial Inclusion and Cyber security. Precisely, the Awards seek to recognize, celebrate and appreciate different individuals and organizations that are spearheading the use of digital mediums to better serve their communities.

The 8th Digital Impact Awards Africa were held on Friday, 10th December at Mestil Hotel, Kampala as part of this year’s Digital and Financial Inclusion Summit organized by HiPipo and supported by Level One Project, Mojaloop, ModusBox and Crosslake Technologies.

The Digital and Financial Inclusion summit explored the strategic trends and technologies that are shaping the future of Digital, Information Technology and Business with special attention to the safety of customers’ funds and security of platforms in the financial technology industry. The summit discussed at length the disruptive impact of COVID-19 on the general business ecosystem and what players must do to recover.

This year’s summit brought together C-Level executives that are spearheading the introduction, adoption and usage of digital and financial services across Africa. Speakers came from multinationals, large enterprises, small and mid-sized enterprises, start-ups, informal businesses (such as market vendors and smallholder farmers) and sole proprietorships (public transport drivers/riders and e-commerce delivery agents), among others.  

 Below is the full list of winners of the 2021 Digital Impact Awards Africa.

Digital Banking Excellence

  1. Standard Chartered Bank (Gold)
    1. Stanbic Bank (Silver)

Banking Innovation Excellence

  • CenteOnTheGo | Centenary Bank

Community/MFI Banking Innovation Excellence

  • Centenary Bank (Gold)
    • Pride Microfinance (Silver)

FinTech Innovation Excellence

  • Digital Ticketing for Transport Services by KaCyber Technologies. (Gold)
    • SafeBoda Business Loans in partnership with Numida. (Silver)

Financial Services Digital Excellence

  • Stanbic Bank (Gold)
    • Standard Chartered Bank (Silver)

Consumer Goods Digital Excellence

  • Movit Products (Gold)
    • Café Javas (Silver)

Utilities and Government Services Digital Excellence

  • NWSC (Gold)
    • URA (Silver)

Technology Services Digital Excellence

  • MTN Uganda (Gold)
    • Rocket Health (Silver)

Digital Campaign Excellence

  • Stanbic National Schools Championship (Gold)
    • Jumia Anniversary (Silver)

Digital Brand of the Year

  • Standard Chartered Bank (Diamond)
    • Stanbic Bank (Gold)
    • Centenary Bank (Silver)

#DIAA2021: Journey to 2021 Digital and Financial Inclusion Summit kicks off with a Call for Entries

For Immediate Release.   

Wheels to the 2021 Digital and Financial Inclusion Summit that will also feature the 8th edition of Digital Impact Awards Africa have been set in motion with the opening of all channels for submissions of entries.

The Digital and Financial Inclusion summit will explore the strategic trends and technologies that are shaping the future of Digital, Information Technology and Business with special attention to the safety of customers’ funds and security of platforms in the financial technology industry. The summit will discuss at length the disruptive impact of COVID-19 on the general business ecosystem and what players must do to recover.

This year’s summit will bring together C-Level executives that are spearheading the introduction, adoption and usage of digital and financial services across Africa. Speakers will come from multinationals, large enterprises, small and mid-sized enterprises, start-ups, informal businesses (such as market vendors and smallholder farmers) and sole proprietorships (public transport drivers/riders and e-commerce delivery agents), among others.  

As such, all people interested in being part of the 2021 Digital and Financial Inclusion Summit speakers and presenters in all the aforementioned categories should email their expression of interest to socialweb@HiPipo.com before November 20th. Such a submission should include a brief about the potential panelist and why they must be shortlisted.

#DIAA2021 Nominations underway.

This call for entries thus marks the start of a comprehensive Digital Impact Awards Africa entry submission and validation process that will run until November 13th, 2021. This will then be followed by the release of a list of nominees, Jury assessment and a rollout of public voting from November 17th to December 9th.

Under the theme #IncludeEveryone, Digital Impact Awards Africa is a platform that promotes Digital Inclusion, Financial Inclusion and Cyber security. Precisely, the Awards seek to recognize, celebrate and appreciate different individuals and organizations that are spearheading the use of digital mediums to better serve their communities.

Altogether, there are 10 Africa-focused and 17 Uganda-dedicated categories as shown in the #DIAA2021 entries’ submission form.

This year’s Digital and Financial Inclusion summit will run from 9th to 10th December at Hive Colab and Mestil Hotel respectively, with the Awards gala set to be the climax of this two-day interactive, informative and intriguing activity.

The summit and awards will use 3 official tags

#IncludeEveryone #DIAA2021 #LevelOneProject

Categories

  1.  Mavmica Acebooktwittermore

Africa

  1. Africa Best FinTech Innovation
  2. Africa Best Smart Device Initiative
  3. Africa Best Internet Access Initiative
  4. Africa Best Mobile Innovation for Health
  5. Africa Best Mobile Innovation for Agriculture
  6. Africa Best Mobile Innovation for Education
  7. Africa Best Mobile Innovation for Banking
  8. Africa WomenInFinTech – Leadership Award (Personality)
  9. Africa Financial Inclusion – Medal of Honor (Personality)
  10. Africa Best Digital Response to Covid Impact.

Uganda

  1. Financial Inclusion Excellence
  2. Women Financial Inclusion Outstanding Contribution
  3. Digital Banking Excellence (Online/Web, Mobile, Social Banking)
  4. E-Commerce Excellence
  5. Agriculture Digitization Excellence
  6. Green Energy Excellence Powered by Financial Inclusion.
  7. Best Digital Customer Experience
  8. Best Brand on Social Media (Financial Services, Telecom, IT)
  9. Best Brand on Social Media (Consumer Goods)
  10. Best Brand on Social Media (Utilities, Government Services)
  11. Best Digital Powered Campaign
  12. Best Mobile Payments (Innovation)
  13. Best Cards Payments (Innovation)
  14. Best Community Banking
  15. Best Digital Awareness Initiative (Financial Literacy, Cybersecurity)
  16. Best Digital Embrace (Non-Consumer Facing Brand)
  17. Digital Brand of the Year

Ends.

#LevelOneProject: Kuzimba Services wins 2021 #WomenInFinTech Hackathon

Our Reporter.

The week-long Women in Fintech Hackathon came to an end last Friday with Kuzimba Services, providers of online construction and engineering solutions being declared winners after shrugging off tough competition for the top prize.

Organised by HiPipo in partnership with Crosslake Technologies, ModusBox, Mojaloop and Level One Project, the hackathon that culminated into the Women in Fintech summit, also saw all the teams that made it into the top six rewarded with cash prizes in addition to further three months training –incubation program.

Kuzimba services, whose team leader is Eng. Ephrance Eunice Namugenyi, won the top cash prize of Shs4million in addition to further three month training in different aspects, including business side of technology, product management and marketing. Hack Girls – developers of an interoperable payment platform for NGOs were second while PesaJet – with their digital agriculture platform named Farmore came third.

“What was just an idea has turned out to be real and usable. The hackathon has been hectic but we were up to the task. We knew we had a good product that addresses real community needs but winning the overall product has been a huge surprise,” Eng. Namugenyi told Daily Monitor in an interview after her team scoping the overall prize.

She added:  “With Kuzimba web/mobile app, you can quickly get help on estate/site/home building/construction. We provide online and fast engineering solutions, making purchase of building materials and transportation easy as well as providing access to building experts, carpenters, transportation means, architects, interior designers, cleaners and engineers.”

The Women in Fintech hackathon had 16 teams that were women led and women dominated with each team having between two to four members, majority of whom under the age of 30 years. The hackathon introduced the participants to new and emerging tools and technologies that are available to help them create inclusive and instant payment solutions that can ably serve people at the bottom of the pyramid.

Trials and Tribulations.

Although HiPipo and partners, including Crosslake Technologies, ModusBox, Mojaloop and Level One Project, are looking at empowering more women in the technology space, particular in areas of developing innovative and interoperable technologic solutions, there are still numerous barriers hindering women participation in Fintech and technology as a whole.

Discussing challenges and way forward at the Women in Fintech Summit, Founder and Author of Ideation Corner, Ms Damali Ssali noted that cost of both internet and digital transaction remains way beyond what many women, including those in Micro, Small and Medium enterprises can afford. And this explains why only just about 10 per cent of money is being exchanged digitally in Uganda.

As for Ms Doreen Lukandwa, the Vice President Global Enterprises at MFS Africa/Beyonic, women need to be allowed to be revolutionaries as it is through this freedom to invert and innovate that they can eventually develop products that empower them to be better across the economic sectors.       

Offer support.

Nonetheless, Innocent Kawooya, the HiPipo CEO noted that even amidst several challenges, stakeholders both government and private must continue to empower and encourage more women participation in technology at all stages as this is one of the surest ways of closing the gender diversity gap in the technology space.

“Our intention and that of our partners is to ensure that the technological gender gap is closed. Platforms like the Women in FinTech hackathon and summit are just one example of what we are doing to empower women,” Innocent Kawooya said.

 He continued: “We want to see more women in the digital innovation space, support them to not just understand but also innovate digitally. We will also continue working towards inclusive digital solutions as well as creating technologies that support and help populations at the bottom of the pyramid get financially included.”

Additionally, Hon David Karubanga, the HiPipo Patron and MP for Kigorobya County noted that the government of Uganda is committed to enhancing financial inclusion and women empowerment.

He promised to work with HiPipo to present all the sixteen teams’ ideas to the Ministry of ICT and deliberate on how they can be further helped.

Top Six Teams.

1. Kuzimba Online Services – Online Supermarket for Construction and Engineering.

2. Hack Girls – An interoperable finance management solution to enable NGOs and other organisations disburse bulk transactions to final beneficiaries.

3. PesaJet (Farmore) – A digital platform for smallholder farmers offering garden inputs, markets, savings and loans.

4. Green Shares – Digital Payments for fmallholder Farmers

5. Mpa Mpe – A fundraising platform for young entrepreneurs and their businesses.

6. Farmers Financial Development Avenue (FFDA) – A solution that connects farmers to banks, helping them have easy access to credit services.

Ends.

Buladde’s voluntary savings, soft loans helping people improve their land security

Our writer.

Several people across the country have fallen victim to land evictions or have their pieces of land lying idle for lack of funds to develop them.

In a bid to solve this challenge especially in the Buganda region where such cases are rampant, Buladde Financial Services, a Cooperative Society, was started by the Buganda Land Board to help people improve their security of tenure on land.

According to John Mark Ernest Golooba, the Buladde Financial Services Manager, this was done through voluntary savings and access to affordable credit facilities to enable people secure the land and use it to develop themselves.

“If you have land with the right documentation, you can access money from financial institutions. You can also get partners to develop the land,” Golooba says.

The Cooperative is currently serving 3,650 customers in Kampala and Wakiso, with 58% of them being women.

Golooba notes that women are more interested in savings and accessing soft loans, given that most of them are involved in a number of trading activities.

Using savings and soft loans from Buladde, Golooba says that the women have also been able to expand their businesses.

While the Cooperative is able to serve its existing clients immediately, it still takes about a week for new clients as it still has to do manual background checks, which consumes time.

In a bid to serve its clients in a convenient and efficient manner, however, Buladde Financial Services set out to streamline service provision by embarking on a digitisation journey last year.

All client information has since been transferred onto the new system, according to Golooba.

 “All client information is in the system but we are now working on having them transact digitally so that they don’t have to come to office to transact,” Golooba notes.

Buladde Financial Services is among the firms participating in the ongoing second edition of the 40-Days 40-FinTechs initiative, organized by HiPipo in partnership with Crosslake Technologies, ModusBox and Mojaloop Foundation, and sponsored by the Gates Foundation.

Golooba commended the organizers for the initiative, which he says has widened their understanding of the financial services sector in relation to technology.

“It has helped us see why we need to digitize our services because it is for our own good. It will help us improve on efficiency in service provision and effect real-time settlement which can only be done when you are digital,” he notes.

He adds: “You find that we also have a challenge of people who come to borrow from us yet they have multiple loans from other institutions while others present forged documents for security. But I believe when we digitize, and solutions like Mojaloop are adopted to enable us access information in a pool, doing background search will be made easier to curb such issues.”

The HiPipo Chief Executive Officer Innocent Kawooya says the 40-Days 40-FinTechs initiative seeks to boost the African FinTech ecosystem to enable innovators enjoy sustainable profitability to help them design and deploy affordable and inclusive financial services for the poor.

He explains that FinTechs have played a great role in financial inclusion across Africa, as the various products and services innovated by FinTech players are impacting thousands of people at the last mile.

Buladde Financial Services can be accessed on www.buladde.or.ug

Jumia at the forefront of Uganda’s shift to e-commerce

By Our writer

Electronic commerce is increasingly gaining momentum in Uganda and across Africa, having been ‘oiled’ by the 2020 outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic that forced most businesses, irrespective of size to shift online.

One company that has been at the forefront of Africa’s growing e-commerce business is Jumia, one of the continent’s biggest platforms that have integrated logistics and digital payment services.

According to Timothy Mugume, the Jumia Food Uganda Country Lead, the firm, which connects customers across Africa to the different vendors, has enabled its customers have access to whatever goods they want, especially during the lockdown.

Jumia offers a range of services right from food deliveries to groceries, electronics and appliances and pharmaceutical products, among others to customers at affordable rates.

 “From the onset of the first lockdown last year, we put our partners – vendors and customers – at the forefront because their business continuity was paramount to us,” Mugume says.

Jumia, according to Mugume, is especially passionate about supporting women-led businesses. In partnership with organizations like the Kampala Capital City Authority and UNDP, the firm has trained women entrepreneurs in various skills including digital and business management, as well as undertaking initiatives that level the playing ground for them to compete effectively.

40-Days 40 FinTechs

Jumia Food is among the firms participating in the ongoing second edition of the 40-Days 40-FinTechs initiative, organized by HiPipo in partnership with Crosslake Technologies, ModusBox and Mojaloop Foundation, and sponsored by the Gates Foundation.

Mugume commended HiPipo for the initiative, saying that it has helped highlight tech innovations in the country and also created a platform to showcase leading innovations in Uganda and across the continent.

“FinTech and innovation is what we need to pull Uganda out of the challenges of slow economic growth. A platform like this provided by HiPipo highlighting the different ideas does not only stand as a beacon to bring hope to the economy but also highlights this information and shares it with interested parties, which is good for the ecosystem,” Mugume says.

The HiPipo Chief Executive Officer Innocent Kawooya notes that FinTech in Africa offers attractive opportunities, adding that investors are rightfully picking interest in various startups offering a plethora of services, ranging from payments and lending, remittances and cross-border transfers, among others.

“Each of these services solves unique sets of challenges. For example; with cross-border payments comes the opportunity to erase the outrageous rates and bureaucratic bottlenecks that stymie transactions and thus trade among African countries,” Kawooya says.

He adds that the 40-Days 40-FinTechs initiative seeks to boost the African FinTech ecosystem to enable innovators enjoy sustainable profitability to help them design and deploy affordable and inclusive financial services for the poor.

Having participated in the 2020 initiative, Mugume says Jumia picked key financial inclusion lessons which it has since implemented, including continuous adherence to its transparency policy, especially on the privacy and business practices.

Additionally, it ensures that vendors are settled in time as per the agreed timelines, in addition to ensuring that the right documentation in form of Know-Your-Customer (KYC) are obtained from the vendor to ensure smooth business transactions between them.

“It is important that we follow best practices like Level One Project Principles because most of these businesses do not have a lot of capital and we are cognizant of this; that is why we have flexible payment terms depending on the agreements signed,” Mugume explains.

He urges all market players to respect the same-day settlement principle, given that the ecosystem is heavily reliant on cash flows.

“This is a cash flow business and we must play our role as well; we make it easy for the customers to pay through our various payment channels; we should also settle with our vendors in a timely manner.”

40 Days 40 FinTechs Season Two Kicks Off.

HiPipo today successfully kicked off the 2nd edition of its 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative, a grand showcase of exhibition, discussion and dialogue that is centered around offering exposure to those innovators that are enabling many, specifically those yet to enjoy financial inclusivity, the opportunity to become part of the digital economy by way of digital financial services.

‘This year we are aiming for a better understanding of the FinTech ecosystem,’ HiPipo CEO Innocent Kawooya revealed, adding, ’40 Days 40 FinTechs shall feature creators and innovators catering to multiple sectors. We shall also touch on interoperability at all levels, and generate appreciation and leverage for frameworks, like the Level One Project and Mojaloop, that are already in place to enable this’.

First to showcase was the Mallan Company led by its CEO Malcolm Kastiro. They gave exciting updates about their latest product named ‘Yassako’; an instant micro-credit facility for utilities, specifically electricity.

Malcolm revealed that the exposure brought by the inaugural 40 Days 40 FinTechs had boosted ‘Yassako’ uptake, and allowed Mallan to engage in more proactive planning on where they want to take the service. ’40 Days 40 FinTechs helps you go further,’ Malcolm revealed in appreciation.

He added that HiPipo and #40Days40FinTechs can ably further serve as a validation platform for fintechs, and quickly remove barriers to investment and funding, plus also be an asset in attracting the talent the industry needs.

Innocent lauded Yassako as a product that is well aligned with the Level One Project Principles, enabling low income earners to become part of the digital economy.

He further promised that HiPipo is intensifying its support, specifically in relation to documentation and sourcing for grants/funding.

Yassako Explained.  

While still in the pilot phase, the Yassako project, an innovation of Mallan Company Limited, has in a space of just a year grown its customer base to over 100 users every day.

The growing interest in the product is a testimony of how Financial Technology Companies (FinTechs) are helping solving day-to-day challenges facing millions of Ugandans.

Offered in partnership with Airtel Money, Yassako is an instant micro-credit emergency solution that enables users to recharge their pre-paid Yaka electricity on credit any time.

The product was introduced after Mallan Company, which specializes in Value Added Services and advanced credit services in the mobile payments space, noticed a gap in the market, when some Ugandans were running out of Yaka ( Electricity) units in weird hours after Umeme shifted its metering system from post-paid to pre-paid, something most Ugandans were not prepared for.

The solution has turned out to be a life saver for many Ugandans, who can now get electricity units on credit and pay within a maximum 30 days.

The company for now offers a minimum of sh2, 000 worth of Yaka units and a maximum of sh10, 000. Each credit attracts 15% service fee, according to Malcolm Kastiro, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Mallan Company Limited.

Kastiro explains that the low figures are intentional, given that it is an emergency solution. Additionally, they want to ensure that the amounts are not so big for customers to pay back.

“We just take you through that small fix you are in for that moment; probably it is lights, ironing or cooking. We allow you to get enough electricity units to do what you want to do so that the next day you go and purchase electricity,” Kastiro says.

Given that the service is offered in partnership with Airtel, it is for now available to Airtel customers only.  Kastiro, however, says that the company is in talks with MTN to have the service offered to its customers too.

Additionally, he notes that the company has plans to roll out the credit solution to pay television service providers such as Dstv and GoTv among others.

However, National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) customers will have to wait a little longer as Kastiro says that the post-paid nature of bill payment makes it tricky. Additionally, the bills involved are also too big.

He, however, expresses optimism that since NWSC has plans to introduce the pre-paid metering system, they will engage it once the system in rolled out in future.

Additionally, there are also plans to engage other electricity distributors, especially those serving the upcountry areas, offer the service to their pre-paid users.

Eligibility

For one to qualify for the Yassako credit solution, s/he must have been an Airtel subscriber for at least three months. To qualify for a certain amount of credit, one must have spent at least twice the credit value they are requesting for.

40 Days 40 FinTechs

Mallan Company Limited featured on Day One of the second edition of the 40-Days 40-FinTechs initiative, organised by HiPipo in partnership with Crosslake Technologies, ModusBox and Mojaloop Foundation, Level One Project and sponsored by the Gates Foundation.

The initiative which provides a platform for FinTechs and stakeholders in the digital and financial technology space to exhibit their products and share ideas, seeks to boost the African FinTech ecosystem to enable innovators enjoy sustainable profitability to help them design and deploy affordable and inclusive financial services for the poor.

Kastiro says that the 40-Days 40 FinTechs has given it a platform to reach more customers, interact and engage with other key stakeholders.

Kastiro notes that Mallan Company implements LevelOneProject principles such as real time payment and same day settlement. Additionally, he says that the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) principle is also key as they cannot extend credit to someone that we don’t know.

“We must have information about you so that we do the credit scoring, so that we know whether you qualify and if you do, how much do you qualify for. These are fundamental features that we need for us to offer a good service,” he notes.

At the end of the day One session, the HiPipo chief executive officer Innocent Kawooya noted: “We are proud to kick off the 40-Days 40 FinTechs season Two by showcasing Mallan Group. Initially mooted in our first edition, we are glad that it is now ready for market, in no small part due to the support 40-Days 40 FinTechs offered and continues to do so.”

He added that Yassako is a fine example of the transformative technology that can positively change societies and communities.

“This is the first of its kind in East Africa and on the entire African continent that enables customers get electricity on credit. It offers great opportunity for home businesses and SMEs that might need critical assistance at vital points of the production value chain,” Kawooya says.

He adds: “ As we talk of digital lending, borrowing and all other service points on the digital ecosystem, it should not be forgotten how vital it is that products like Yassako exist to help and attract many to on-board onto digital rails, taking the first crucial step to financial inclusivity.”

Despite the enacting of the National Payments Systems Act mid this year, Kastiro, however, says that it poses a risk of creating monopolistic tendencies in the industry, given the stringent requirements required to get an operation license.

#LevelOneProject