#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.

#LevelOneProject: Damali Ssali urges #WomenInFinTech participants to use the Internet to improve their Products

Kampala, Wednesday October 13, 2021: Participants at the on-going Women in FinTech Hackathon have been challenged to make good use of the Internet as it has several resources needed for product success.

This message was delivered by Damali Ssali, a seasoned Chartered Accountant, Book Author and the Founder of the Ideation Corner on Day 5 of the Women in FinTech Hackathon.

Damali Ssali noted that even though Product Development and Roll-out is a hectic process, putting the Internet to proper use can help fix several issues.

“The internet as a tool contains a lot of resources from product development, research and fundraising among others. The internet will also help you make sure that the product you are developing is not a duplicate of what is already on the market. The internet will help you improve your product. Put it to proper use,” Damali Ssali noted.

Ms Ssali further asked the participants to join FinTech minded and Tech based groups as these too have a lot of technical resources that are crucial for product success.

She later engaged participants in a question and answer session where teams were allowed to ask questions about Technology, Finance, Marketing, and Fundraising.

The week-long Hackathon, organized by HiPipo in partnership with Crosslake Technologies, Modusbox, Mojaloop and Level One Project, will culminate into the Women in FinTech summit on Friday, October 15th, 2021 where the three top teams will be announced and get to share USD5,000 in prizes in addition to being part of a 90-day Business Incubator Program.

Empowering Innovators.

HiPipo is proud to remain one of the continent’s premier advocates for the creation, dissemination and adoption of digital financial services, and we remain highly enthusiastic to provide the ways and means for our innovators to fully develop solutions that will collectively lead millions of our people to better lives and improved livelihoods.

The inaugural Women in FinTech initiative in 2020 exceeded expectations and left no doubt that women are ready to play a starring role in the digital financial services space and can fill the product gap the sector currently contends with.

All the 15 participating teams in 2020 presented excellent ideas, and HiPipo is more than pleased to reveal that it supported three (3) of them to grow into startups, each with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that’s ready for the market, which was a success to an extent that they went on to take part in the recently-concluded 40Days 40 FinTechs initiative.

Ends.

#LevelOneProject: Primera Muthoni mentors #WomenInFinTech participants on Product Management

Day four of the ongoing Women in FinTech Hackathon was a huge success as participants learnt about Product Management, Prototyping, and the Digital Financial Services Providers (DFSPs) ecosystem.

The day’s mentor, Primera Muthoni; an ICT Product Development Expert and a senior mentor with Girls for Girls, Uganda Program urged the participants to pay utmost attention to product research, and the know your customer (KYC) matrix as the two are key to product success.

Discussing product management, Muthoni noted that the only way to develop a sustainable product is by identifying a problem, knowing the audience it affects and then coming up with a solution.

She further advised the groups to identify their competitive advantage and include it in their product development stages such that it can be compelling to any potential investors.

“An investor wants to see where you are headed. Does your product have a promise? How do the market projections look like?” Muthoni noted.

She added that a good product should have both a product road-map and technology roadmap and this should be realized in no more than 12 weeks.

“By the time the product is ready, make sure you have double or triple-checked it. Leave no room for a foul start because it creates a bad perception about your product,” she said.

Primera Muthoni was the third mentor at the ongoing Women in FinTech Hackathon that has attracted 17 women-led teams of between two to four members each. The teams are coming up with financial inclusion solutions that address their community needs, aided by Level One Project principles and latest technologies.

The other mentors before her were Catherine Namara; a telecommunications engineer, project management expert, an alumna of the G4G (Girls4Girls) STEM and the current head of fundraising and strategy at Girls4Girls and Doreen Lukandwa; the Beyonic/MFS Africa vice president (global enterprises).

During the Day Four morning session led by Cleopatra Kanyunyuzi, the co-founder of Club Tangaza, the Hackathon participants were taken through Digital Financial Service Providers (DFSPs), Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), and Interoperability Models citing that these help to ease the work of the innovators, by providing customers with real time customer transactions, security, efficiency, accountability and convenience.

The week-long Hackathon, organized by HiPipo in partnership with Crosslake Technologies, Modusbox, Mojaloop and Level One Project, will culminate into the Women in FinTech summit on Friday, October 15th, 2021 where the three top teams will be announced and get to share USD5,000 in prizes in addition to being part of a 90-day Business Incubator Program.

Empowering Innovators.

HiPipo is proud to remain one of the continent’s premier advocates for the creation, dissemination and adoption of digital financial services, and we remain highly enthusiastic to provide the ways and means for our innovators to fully develop solutions that will collectively lead millions of our people to better lives and improved livelihoods.

The inaugural Women in FinTech initiative in 2020 exceeded expectations and left no doubt that women are ready to play a starring role in the digital financial services space and can fill the product gap the sector currently contends with.

All the 15 participating teams in 2020 presented excellent ideas, and HiPipo is more than pleased to reveal that it supported three (3) of them to grow into startups, each with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that’s ready for the market, which was a success to an extent that they went on to take part in the recently-concluded 40Days 40 FinTechs initiative.

Ends.

#LevelOneProject: #WomenInFinTech Hackathon Participants receive Project Management mentorship

Kampala, Monday October 11, 2021: Day Three of the #WomenInFinTech #LevelOneProject Hackathon has successfully ended with discussions focusing on why young innovators must draw proper business cases and plans if they are to effectively manage their projects.

Day three training was led by Catherine Namara; a telecommunications engineer, project management expert, an alumna of the G4G (Girls4Girls) STEM and the current head of fundraising and strategy at Girls4Girls.

Catherine Namara told the over 70 innovators taking part in the hackathon that they must get mentorship from people who have done amazing things and have been able to transcend through different levels of work.

“Reach out to stars because that is when your product is going to get into that edge cutting element. When you get to a person who has been doing mobile money payments, they can give you some critical information to take your product further,” she said.

Ms Namara stressed the need for developers to understand what need/s their innovations seek to solve, saying that companies were no longer investing in things that don’t have facts about.

“Every single idea has to have facts. You have to do research before you even get into prototyping. One step at a time then you realise that things are not that tough. You must always plan well and also communicate effectively with all your stakeholders,” she said.

The week-long Hackathon, organized by HiPipo in partnership with Crosslake Technologies, Modusbox, Mojaloop and Level One Project, will culminate into the Women in FinTech summit on Friday, October 15th, 2021 where the three top teams will be announced and get to share USD5,000 in prizes in addition to being part of a 90-day Business Incubator Program.

The 2021 #LevelOneProject #WomenInFinTech Hackathon has 17 women led teams and over 70 participants altogether. The teams are coming up with financial inclusion solutions that address their community needs, aided by Level One Project principles and latest technologies.

Empowering Innovators

HiPipo is proud to remain one of the continent’s premier advocates for the creation, dissemination and adoption of digital financial services, and we remain highly enthusiastic to provide the ways and means for our innovators to fully develop solutions that will collectively lead millions of our people to better lives and improved livelihoods.

The inaugural Women in FinTech initiative in 2020 exceeded expectations and left no doubt that women are ready to play a starring role in the digital financial services space and can fill the product gap the sector currently contends with.

All the 15 participating teams in 2020 presented excellent ideas, and HiPipo is more than pleased to reveal that it supported three (3) of them to grow into startups, each with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that’s ready for the market, which was a success to an extent that they went on to take part in the recently-concluded 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative.

Ends.

#LevelOneProject: 2021 #WomenInFinTech Hackathon concludes Day Two with Call for Value Addition.

Day Two of the #WomenInFinTech #LevelOneProject Hackathon was successfully concluded with discussions centred on how participants can improve their projects in order to serve their target audiences better.

Day two mentor, Doreen Lukandwa, the Beyonic/MFS Africa vice president (global enterprises) and winner of the 2020 Women in FinTech Award urged participants to use latest technologies such as Mojaloop Open Source Software in order to add value to their products as this will give them a better entry in to the financial technology ecosystem.

 “Be intentional about your projects. Give your products value and be confident in what you are doing,” she said, noting that developers must also be price sensitive as this is one of the key factors that determine a good innovation.

“When you are selling your product, introduce yourself in a manner that the mass market will understand. This gives your innovation identity and simplifies the value of the product because not everyone you are trying to engage knows the technical terminologies,” she said.

The week-long Hackathon, organized by HiPipo in partnership with Crosslake Technologies, Modusbox, Mojaloop and Level One Project, will culminate into the Women in FinTech summit on Friday, October 15th, 2021 where the three top teams will be announced and get to share USD5,000 in prizes in addition to being part of a 90-day Business Incubator Program.

The 2021 #LevelOneProject #WomenInFinTech Hackathon has 17 women led teams and over 70 participants altogether. The teams are coming up with financial inclusion solutions that address their community needs, aided by Level One Project principles and latest technologies.

Empowering Innovators

HiPipo is proud to remain one of the continent’s premier advocates for the creation, dissemination and adoption of digital financial services, and we remain highly enthusiastic to provide the ways and means for our innovators to fully develop solutions that will collectively lead millions of our people to better lives and improved livelihoods.

The inaugural Women in FinTech initiative in 2020 exceeded expectations and left no doubt that women are ready to play a starring role in the digital financial services space and can fill the product gap the sector currently contends with.

All the 15 participating teams in 2020 presented excellent ideas, and HiPipo is more than pleased to reveal that it supported three (3) of them to grow into startups, each with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that’s ready for the market, which was a success to an extent that they went on to take part in the recently-concluded 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative.

#LevelOneProject: The 2021 #WomenInFinTech Hackathon kicks off.

Kampala, October 05, 2021: The #WomenInFinTech #LevelOneProject Hackathon has started today, Friday 8th October with 17 shortlisted teams and over 70 participants altogether.

Speaking during the official opening of the Hackathon, Innocent Kawooya, the HiPipo Chief Executive Officer thanked the participants for showing tremendous interest in technology, noting that the Women in the FinTech Hackathon comes at an opportune time when financial technology is playing a key role in economic transformation locally and globally.

“We are happy that this is happening today. We take pride in leading the way in helping Ugandans navigate the new tide driven by financial technology. The next 7 days are going to be exciting for all the participants as a lot will be learnt and accomplished. But even more exciting is the fact that the participants have the ability to use this platform to initiate, develop and churn out impactful financial inclusion products and services that will transform their lives and their communities. The future is now,” Innocent Kawooya said.

Cleopatra Kanyunyuzi – the Club Tangaza co-founder and Simon Peter Kamya – a Ugandan developer are the local facilitators at the Hackathon, supported by FinTech experts who are facilitating virtually from Europe, Asia and North America.

Day One saw all participating teams present both their Problem Statement and Business Cases. Participants also had an introductory session to both Mojaloop Open Source Software and Level One Project Principles.

The week-long Hackathon, organized by HiPipo in partnership with Crosslake Technologies, Modusbox, Mojaloop and Level One Project, will culminate into the Women in FinTech summit on Friday, October 15th, 2021 where the three top teams will be announced and share USD5,000 in prizes in addition to being part of a 90 days Business Incubator Program.

Participants are expected to come up with financial inclusion solutions that address their community needs, aided by Level One Project principles and latest technologies. All the shortlisted teams are women-led, with 2 to 4 members, and each team having at-least 75 percent female composition.

Empowering Innovators

HiPipo is proud to remain one of the continent’s premier advocates for the creation, dissemination and adoption of digital financial services, and we remain highly enthusiastic to provide the ways and means for our innovators to fully develop solutions that will collectively lead millions of our people to better lives and improved livelihoods.

The inaugural Women in FinTech initiative in 2020 exceeded expectations and left no doubt that women are ready to play a starring role in the digital financial services space and can fill the product gap the sector currently contends with.

All the 15 participating teams in 2020 presented excellent ideas, and HiPipo is more than pleased to reveal that it supported three (3) of them to grow into start-ups, each with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that’s ready for the market, which was a success to an extent that they went on to take part in the recently-concluded 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative.

Ends.

#LevelOneProject: 17 Teams shortlisted for the 2021 #WomenInFinTech Hackathon

Following a two-weeks long online registration process and continuous evaluation of all entries, we are happy to unveil the 17 teams that will participate in this year’s #WomenInFinTech #LevelOneProject Hackathon and Summit. Altogether, we received over 40 applications majorly from Uganda but also from Tanzania, Kenya and Ghana.

The Women in FinTech Hackathon will convene developers – 75 per cent of them being women – between 8th and 14th October to come up with financial inclusion solutions that address their community needs, aided by Level One Project principles and latest technologies like Mojaloop Open Source Software (OSS).

The shortlisted teams are women-led, with 2 to 4 members, and each team having at-least 75 percent female composition.

The Hackathon, organized by HiPipo in partnership with Crosslake Technologies, Modusbox, Mojaloop and Level One Project, will culminate into the Women in FinTech summit on Friday, October 15th, 2021 where the three top teams will be announced and share USD5,000 in prizes.

“I am happy to note that the registration process went on smoothly with over 40 teams applying. We went through all entries and thereafter shortlisted the best 17 teams. Even though we would wish to have all the 40 teams participating because they all deserve it, we are constrained by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, financial and space restrictions. We encourage those that didn’t make the final list to continue pursuing their products as every effort counts in this financial inclusion journey,” Innocent Kawooya, the HiPipo CEO noted while unveiling the Women in FinTech initiative.

He added: “Like we noted recently, the top three teams in the Hackathon will be shortlisted to be a part of the inaugural 90-days Women-in-FinTech Incubator. The Incubator is a program designed to further concretise their product development and business acumen, and improve their readiness for the fintech industry.”  

“Most of all, as we continue to profess, the initiative continues to serve the truth that 100% financial inclusion will only occur if effort is directed to bringing more women into the digital innovation and business space. HiPipo, with its Include Everyone program, and in concert with the Gates Foundation and other stakeholders, is proud to continue serving this purpose. We promise a fantastic arena to acquire and share the digital skills towards that end.”

Empowering Innovators

HiPipo is proud to remain one of the continent’s premier advocates for the creation, dissemination and adoption of digital financial services, and we remain highly enthusiastic to provide the ways and means for our innovators to fully develop solutions that will collectively lead millions of our people to better lives and improved livelihoods.

The inaugural Women in FinTech initiative in 2020 exceeded expectations and left no doubt that women are ready to play a starring role in the digital financial services space and can fill the product gap the sector currently contends with.

All the 15 participating teams in 2020 presented excellent ideas, and HiPipo is more than pleased to reveal that it supported three (3) of them to grow into startups, each with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that’s ready for the market, which was a success to an extent that they went on to take part in the recently-concluded 40 Days 40 FinTechs initiative.

Shortlisted Teams and their Team Leaders.

TEAM NAMETEAM LEADER
1. KuzimbaEphrance Eunice Namugenyi

2. Hack GirlsHalimah Bukirwa
3. TotoSavePatricia Rhoda Nekesa
4. PesaJetEmily Sonia Nakabuye
5. Tegeka Investment ClubShamim Nakayiza


6. Farmers Financial Development Avenues(FFDA)
Awori Vivian Maria
7. KaCyber TechnologiesNakacwa Fauzia
8. Izere EduBankShamim Nirere
9. GroBizDiana Najjuma
10. Team MUBSNamwone Brenda Tabitha
11. SchoolPesaMercy Chelimo Yesho
12. Anzisha AfricaPauline Nalunga
13. Team AffinityMarieh Musimenta
14. MpaMpeEmily Immaculate Namuganga
15. Green Shares Ltd
Annet Nanyanzi
16. Belle Beauty UgandaSharon Alice Namugerwa
17. Care For HerTusiime Emily Queen

Important Dates:

  1. 8th to 14th October: Women in FinTech hackathon underway.
  2. 15th October: Women in Fintech Summit.

Benefits:

  1. Networking with fellow Developers and Facilitators from across the World.
  2. Mentorship from Industry Players and Business Leaders.
  3. Access to latest infrastructure and technology.
  4. USD 5000 Prize Money to be shared by the winning teams.
  5. Fully paid 90 days Incubator Program for three top teams.

Prize Money Breakdown:

  1. Winning Team : USD2000 and participation in 90 Days Incubator Program
  2. First Runner Up : USD1000 and participation in 90 Days Incubator Program
  3. Second Runner Up: participation in 90 Days Incubator Program.

To the lucky participants, see you soon. For now, STAY SAFE.

Ends.

#LevelOneProject: Registration for second #WomenInFinTech Hackathon & Summit kicks off

In line with its commitment to spearhead Digital Financial Services adoption and Financial Inclusion advocacy across Africa, HiPipo has today launched the 2021 #WomenInFinTech #LevelOneProject Hackathon and Summit, with the opening of registration to all eligible participants.

The Women in FinTech Hackathon will convene developers – 75 per cent of them being women – to come up with financial inclusion solutions that address their community needs, aided by Level One Project principles and latest technologies between 8th and 14th October.

Registration for the second #WomenInFinTech #LevelOneProject Hackathon has kicked off today September 21st, 2021 until October 4th  after which successful teams will be announced.

The hackathon is open to women-led teams of 2 to 4 members, with each team having at-least 75 percent female composition.

The Hackathon, organized in partnership with Crosslake Technologies, Modusbox, Mojaloop and Level One Project, will culminate into the Women in FinTech summit on Friday, October 15th, 2021 where the three top teams will be announced and share USD 5,000 in prizes.

Empowering Innovators

HiPipo is proud to remain one of the continent’s premier advocates for the creation, dissemination and adoption of digital financial services, and we remain highly enthusiastic to provide the ways and means for our innovators to fully develop solutions that will collectively lead millions of our people to better lives and improved livelihoods.

The inaugural Women in FinTech initiative in 2020 exceeded expectations and left no doubt that women are ready to play a starring role in the digital financial services space and can fill the product gap the sector currently contends with.

All the 15 participating teams presented excellent ideas, and HiPipo is more than pleased to reveal that it supported three (3) of them to grow into startups, each with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that’s ready for market, which was a success to an extent that they went on to take part in the recently-concluded 40 Days 40 FinTechs project.

“This is thus a call for more women innovators to step forward and register for the 2nd Women-in-FinTech Hackathon & Summit, and have the opportunity to improve their skills in all aspects of the FinTech ecosystem. This will of course include being introduced to the Level One Project and its Principles, ideal for the creation of the Instant & Inclusive Payment Systems that will change the world,” Innocent Kawooya, the HiPipo CEO noted while unveiling the Women in FinTech initiative.

He added: “We are further enthused to reveal that a dozen of the participants will be sortlisted to be a part of the inaugural 90-day Women-in-FinTech Incubator. The Incubator is a program designed to further concretise their product development and business acumen, and improve their readiness for the fintech industry.”

“Most of all, as we continue to profess, the initiative continues to serve the truth that 100% financial inclusion will only occur if effort is directed to bringing more women into the digital innovation and business space. HiPipo, with its Include Everyone program, and in concert with the Gates Foundation and other stakeholders, is proud to continue serving this purpose. We promise a fantastic arena to acquire and share the digital skills towards that end.”

So, dear ladies, please do register, and see you soon. For now, STAY SAFE.

Important Dates:

  1. 21st September to 4th October: Online Registration.
  2. 5th October: Eligible participants announced.
  3. 8th to 14th October: Women in FinTech hackathon underway.
  4. 15th October: Women in Fintech summit.

Eligibility:

  1. A team of 2 to 4 developers.
  2. The team leader must be a woman.
  3. 75 per cent of team members must be women.

Benefits:

  1. Networking with fellow Developers and Facilitators from across the World.
  2. Mentorship from Industry Players and Business Leaders.
  3. Access to latest infrastructure and technology.
  4. USD 5000 Prize Money to be shared by the winning teams.
  5. Fully paid 90 days Incubator Program for three top teams.

Prize Money Breakdown:

  1. Winning Team : USD2000 and participation in 90 Days Incubator Program
  2. First Runner Up : USD1000 and participation in 90 Days Incubator Program
  3. Second Runner Up: participation in 90 Days Incubator Program.

Ends.  

Numida is providing unsecured digital loans to small businesses in Uganda.

By our writer.

While access to credit is what micro and small business owners need to expand their enterprises and work their way out of poverty, it is nearly impossible for them to get bank loans because they lack collateral.

Given that they employ majority of Ugandans and contribute about 30% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product, Numida, a Financial Technology Company (FinTech) sought to close this gap and help them access unsecured capital to further increase their impact on society.

Using historical behavioral data and business performance to predict risk, Numida is able to extend digital unsecured and affordable working capital loans to these businesses through a mobile Application.

According to Ana Grajales, the Numida Uganda Country Director, the loans neither require paper work nor collateral and are disbursed within two hours for first-time borrowers, and in seconds for repeat customers.

 “We are working to be the first and largest mobile platform in Africa focused on offering digital, convenient and responsible financial services to semi formal African micro and small businesses. Our target is to enable at least 1 million small business owners on the continent to achieve their dreams by 2030.”

Grajales explains that unlike banks that ask for a multitude of requirements for one to access a loan, Numida only needs three things; one must own a business, have a national identity card or passport or driving permit and a mobile money number registered in their name.

The applicant is, however, required to download the Numida App, fill in the business details and upload photos. Once the loan is approved, money is sent to the applicant’s phone through mobile money.

The FinTech offers working capital loans ranging from Shs 300,000 to Shs 10 million, payable within one to six 6 months.

Grajales says Numida uses Tiered Know Your Customer (KYC), which allows customers to engage with them with minimum requirements.

“Our whole philosophy is lending to informal businesses that may not have all of the documentation or requirements needed by commercial banks,” she notes.

Same Day settlement is a core principle of Numida’s product as it gives convenient loans and services, within 24 hours while transactions are settled on a near-instantaneous basis.

Grajales notes that women business owners account for a third of Numida clients.

“Women are significantly less likely to access capital and are more likely to be more informal. So, lending to female-owned businesses, and building services to support them and other overlooked segments is a core part of who we are,” she says.

COVID-19

Unlike other micro-lenders, Grajales says that Numida continued operating and disbursing capital through the pandemic and has seen its portfolio growing during the period.

She notes that while they had to freeze interest, extend or wave fees for its existing customers that were negatively impacted by the effects of the pandemic, the FinTech acquired new customers and that collections remained steady.

Also important to note is that Numida is partnering with SafeBoda to rollout a capital and micro credit product for its clients.

 “We are very excited to be working with SafeBoda; we are very aligned in our values and keen to support SafeBoda vendors to access financing, grow their business, and increase their loyalty and engagement with SafeBoda,” Grajales explains.

She says that Uganda’s FinTech industry is budding; pushing the envelope of what is possible.

“We have exciting startups across the financial ecosystem with the potential to make economic growth and prosperity possible to more Ugandans,” she says.

Numida 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.

Grajales commends HiPipo for the 40-Days 40-FinTechs initiative, saying it showcases the diversity and innovation in Uganda’s FinTech space, adding that visibility is important in facilitating attention, creating support and nurturing potential collaboration and partnerships.

The HiPipo Chief Executive Officer Innocent Kawooya lauds Numida, saying it is playing a great role in facilitating financial inclusion, as its product is impacting hundreds of the originally financially excluded people.

Club Tangaza is helping children, women develop love for CODING.

By our writer

When you talk about software engineering, many females will tell you that it is a preserve for males.

This is basically because in addition to being a male-dominated field, most females think that software development is a hard discipline and thus should be pursued by men.

To demystify that belief, however, Club Tangaza, an online coding platform for children and beginners, has come out to demonstrate that anyone, be it a young girl, boy, woman or man, can acquire the software development skill and excel at it.

According to the Club Tangaza co-founder Cleopatra Kanyunyuzi, the company set out to teach the young generation (girls and boys), starting at an early age, coding skills so as to develop the love for it early in life instead of being introduced to them while at college or university.

“Coding is currently referred to as the literacy of the 21st century; so it is only imperative that we teach our generation how to code. Learning to code is like learning any other language and these skills need to be taught at an early age before they become picky,” Kanyunyuzi says.

She adds: “In this era of the internet of things (IOT) devises around us are interconnected and they communicate through code. So, these skills are really very important.”

Coding refers to giving a set of instructions to a computer, which instructions are written in a programming or computer language.

Kanyunyuzi says: “Coding is no longer a reserve for software engineering or computer science students, learners do not have to wait to go to college or university to start learning how to code; anyone can learn how to code.”

Club Tangaza runs three programmes including Tangaza Kids for children aged four to 12, Tangaza Def Club (13 years and above) and Team Techy (13 and above).

To enroll, one visits www.clubtangaza.com, and chooses an appropriate programme, after which they are given feedback and a schedule.

Kanyunyuzi, however, says that while at Club Tangaza both boys and girls are exposed to the same tools, environment, equality in assessment and opportunities, enrollment is still higher for males than females. She adds that males also tend to stay committed throughout the entire course than their female counterparts.

Incentives needed

To increase the number of females embracing technology, Kanyunyuzi says there is need for incentives from both the private and public sectors.

“As private Club Tangaza, we provide discounted prices for girls that enroll for our progrmmes but this is not enough because we are just a small entity.

“We thus call upon leading females in Tech and the government to join this cause. The government should probably roll out these programmes in schools so that they are not only left to people who can afford them but even people at the grassroots because there is that young girl or woman who has not even seen a computer but would love to get involved in shaping the technology trends of our country,” she notes.

Club Tangaza is among the firms participating in 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.

The initiative provides a platform for FinTechs and stakeholders in the digital and financial technology space to exhibit their products and share ideas.

Kanyunyuzi says the 40-Days 40-FinTechs initiative is championing digital inclusion by shining a light on local startups that are providing digital solutions to automate business processes in the country.

The HiPipo Chief Executive Officer Innocent Kawooya says through this edition, FinTechs have shown a plethora of solutions, seeking to solve unique sets of challenges.

He adds that FinTech is the Launchpad on which the promise of full global financial inclusion will be fulfilled.