The second FinTech4U Accelerator cohort was closed by The UN Capital Development Fund and BongoHive Innovation Hub, with the official announcement of the three winning FinTechs. Each FinTech improved its business model to better meet the needs of underserved Zambians and will be awarded a $5,000 grant.
The finalists were announced at a virtual ceremony attended by start-ups from both FinTech4U cohorts, partners such as the Securities Exchange Commission and Bank of Zambia, and others in the Zambian ecosystem.
The FinTechs joined the Accelerator Programme five months ago with a digital finance product or service that addresses a need or solves some of the challenges that Zambians, especially women, youth or rural populations experience. The aim of the Accelerator Programme is to improve businesses or prepare them for scale across Zambia or the region. In five months, the FinTechs worked on business modelling, human-centred design, regulatory navigation and other areas to help their business succeed in the market. To compete for the $5,000 grant, the start-ups demonstrated growth in getting to understand their customers and build solutions that address their customers’ needs by actively participating in the sessions, completing assignments that exhibited their businesses had the potential to increase financial and digital inclusion for Zambians.
These are the three winning FinTechs that will be receiving the grant:
OnyxConnect is a Zambian FinTech that aims to enhance mobility by offering a ‘payment in increments’ approach for bicycles and by providing a scalable model for enhancing mobility for smallholder farmers, especially dairy farmers. Each bicycle supports women dairy farmers in multiplying their earning potential and helps to reduce milk and perishables spoilage!
Premier Credit is a FinTech that offers affordable microloans to MSMEs and low-income earners. Digital access to microloans helps customers invest in their business so they can better manage their stock and supplies, serve more customers and increase their earning potential.
This FinTech developed an e-bus ticket platform that helps customers to conveniently book and buy their bus ticket online. The online purchase combined with a booking module for the bus, saves time for customers who do not have to wait long hours for the bus to fill up before it leaves. The time saved enables customers to be more productive, thus potentially increase their earnings.
“These three companies from the Accelerator Programme demonstrated a stellar performance and were noted by judges as possible solutions to drive change, not only in Zambia but also on a global level,” said Simunza Muyangana, BongoHive Co-Founder and Director of Entrepreneurship during the Finale.
Isaac Holly Ogwal, UNCDF Country Lead also had high praise for the winning FinTechs: “We are all winners because the objectives that we set out to meet in this programme have been met. FinTechs have improved their skillsets, they know their customers better, have created partnerships to expand their reach and all start-ups are better-placed to raise capital for their solutions.”
While the structured programme has ended, the start-ups will enter a new phase that involves connecting with their customers through field testing days in their markets. The FinTechs are also invited to participate in the upcoming Securities Exchange Commission Regulatory Sandbox to be launched later this month. FinTech4U is funded by Comic Relief and Jersey Overseas Aid.
More information is available on the FinTech4U Accelerator here.