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Who’s Heading to the Special Edition of CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa in Dubai This Year?

The LHoFT Foundation has announced the 10 fintech startups that have been selected to take part in the 2022 special edition of CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa in Dubai.

Developed by the LHoFT Foundation, CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa is designed for innovative technology companies focused on financial inclusion in Africa.

The programme aligns with the sustainability goals of Luxembourg’s finance centre and seeks to create a real impact in relation to financial inclusion, by providing participant firms with education and insight as well as connectivity.

The programme utilises Luxembourg’s experienced ecosystem of entrepreneurs, finance professionals, financial inclusion and impact specialists.

This special edition of CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa will be held in Dubai, UAE, and is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs – Directorate for Development and Humanitarian Aid, with support from the Alliance for Financial Inclusion and other key strategic partners.

This Dubai edition of CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa will leverage Luxembourg’s microfinance and fintech ecosystems with a host of mentors and specialists from Luxembourg flying to Dubai to provide their contribution to the programme.

Key stakeholders, partners and mentors from the MENA region will also support the programme in a sign of the strong relationship and collaboration between Luxembourg and the UAE.

During the three-day event, expert speakers and mentors from Luxembourg and UAE will support the selected firms in developing their businesses and achieving their inclusion goals, creating synergies between them, partners, sponsors, investors, microfinance institutions (MFI) and public financial institutions (PFIs).

Franz Fayot, Minister of the Economy and Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs
Franz Fayot

Franz Fayot, minister of the economy and minister for development cooperation and humanitarian affairs, stated: “Fintechs can empower and target groups that have been left behind by the traditional financial services. As such, the Luxembourg Development Cooperation continues to actively support game-changing inclusive finance ventures.

“It specifically targets companies that focus on financial inclusion in Africa and the MENA region, while leveraging Luxembourg’s inclusive finance and fintech ecosystem.”

Nasir Zubairi, CEO, The LHoFT Foundation
Nasir Zubairi

Nasir Zubairi, CEO of the LHoFT, added: “We are excited to deliver our Catapult programme in Dubai, working with incredible local partners such as the DIFC and Fintech Hive as well as our key Luxembourg sponsor, The Directorate for Development and Humanitarian Aid.

“We have an incredible lineup of participants picked from over 130 applications, and we look forward to working with them and learning about their businesses.

“This a great demonstration of international collaboration between the UAE and Luxembourg, and we believe all mentors and stakeholders involved will benefit from the ecosystems coming together through the Catapult programme.”

Who are the 10 selected fintech start-ups?

AKIBA – Akiba Digital enables lenders to better extend capital to small businesses and individuals, providing nuanced credit insights and real-time lending decisions. The startup uses alternative datasets to provide inclusive scores that allow lenders to score people and small businesses that cannot be reached by traditional credit bureaus – a problem that affects nearly 80 per cent of small businesses and individuals in Africa.

Damansah – Damansah is building an alternative credit scoring infrastructure that connects credit providers to small businesses and other thin-filed consumers easier, with technology to increase the growth rate of micro and small enterprises in Africa.

Social Lender Social Lender helps financial institutions to offer financial services based on social reputation to individuals who are underbanked or have little or no access to formal financial services. The solution is designed to bridge the gap of immediate fund access for people with limited access to formal financial services.

MamaMoni Limited – MamaMoni provides micro-business loans to low-income women in rural and urban areas in Nigeria, catering for those who ordinarily cannot be served by the formal credit system. They offer fast and simple loans that enable low-income women to build, grow and sustain their businesses. It also offers digital and financial literacy training.

eAgro – eAgro uses data analytics and machine learning to create low-cost financial credit products tailored to unbanked and underserved farmers’ needs thus closing the critical gap between financial institutions such as banks, MFIs, contract farming organisations and government agencies from availing financial products.

eMaisha Pay – eMaisha Pay is a mobile platform that leverages machine learning, alternative data and psychometric parameters to credit score SMEs in Africa, empowering them with quick, affordable and non-collateral working capital for business growth.

mOtito – mOtito is a buy now, pay later (BNPL) platform which provides interest-free credit at point-of-sale for the African market. Offering the convenience of payment plans gives businesses a huge advantage, increasing customer satisfaction and retention.

Halal Payment – Halal is an all-inclusive digital payments service platform leveraging on the Islamic banking system to provide shariah based financing for SMEs to scale their businesses, create jobs, alleviate poverty and enhance economic productivity at large.

VIRL Rural and Social Financial Services – VIRL provides loans to smallholder farmers, micro and small enterprises. VIRL has five loan products namely working capital, inputs, assets finance, value chain and life enhancement loans that target smallholder farmers, micro and small enterprises.

International Airtime Top Up – International Airtime Top Up helps increase financial inclusion both locally and globally with simple, scalable and sustainable solutions. Through International Top Up Gateway, the fintech combines cross-network/border airtime, mobile money and bank low-cost transfers across the world with over 80 destination currencies supported.

Author

  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

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