In 2016, we announced that Village Capital, in partnership with The Mastercard Foundation and the DOEN Foundation called out for applications for FinTech Africa. The quest was to seek and identify the next generation of FinTech entrepreneurs and provide them with support of $100 000.
Seven startups -- IroFit, Lip aMobile, Matontine, Olivinetech, Piggybank.ng, Student Finance Africa and Talent Base -- were selected from over 200 hundred applications received.
All seven took part in the FinTech program which started in December 2016 and spanned till March 2017. They were made to relate and evaluate one another as entrepreneurs in a process called 'peer select investment'. Eventually, two participants -- Olivinetech and Piggybank.ng - emerged winners.
Kenya-based Olivinetech provides "transformational ICT solutions to problems that hinder growth" while Piggybank.ng, a Nigerian platform, helps and encourages individuals to save automatically, either daily, weekly or monthly.
Village Capital CEO hopes that the seven companies that participated in the program will serve as proponents to expand growth in financial inclusion in each of their communities. So far, Village capital believes that there has been growth in financial access but limited growth in financial inclusion.
We have seen growing financial access in Africa over the last several years, but growing access does not necessarily mean growing financial inclusion.
There is a real lack of savings, credit, and investment solutions that work for women, youth, farmers, small businesses, and other underserved communities. After witnessing the progress of the FinTech Africa 2017 cohort companies over the past several months, we’re even more excited about their potential to expand financial inclusion in the communities they serve. -- Ross Baird, Village Capital CEO.
We anticipate FinTech Africa 2018, which will recognise yet another set of entrepreneurs solving financial technological challenges in their community.