The programme aimed to support fintech companies with the goal of improving financial inclusion across the African continent. The bootcamp served to build bridges for business between Africa and Europe and helped the fintechs connect with an international set of investors and venture capitalists.
The programme attracted 163 applicants from 29 countries across Africa .Fourteen Fintech Startups were selected including:Awabah from Nigeria,Crop2cash Nigeria,Igugu Global Nigeria,Emata Uganda,Moja Bank,Ivory coast,Mosabi Sierra Leone,Mipango Tanzania,Nokwary Technologies Ghana,Kotany Pay Kenya,Repay.Africa Kenya,Vooli insurtech Kenya,Asilimia France from France,Juakali France and Chromepay from Israel.
Emata obtained €5,000 prize money from the LHoFT, and a free entry and accommodation to attend the“African MicroFinance Week” in October 2021 (provided by ADA). All fourteen fintechs participating in the bootcamp received a one-year free membership at the LHoFT.
The runner-up of CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa was Mosabi, a Sierra Leone-based fintech and edtech hybrid which unlocks financial opportunities through innovative learning. The second runner-up was Nokwary Technologies, based in Ghana which develops, voice based interfaces for financial services, with the aim of facilitating financial inclusion of the technologically illiterate.
Franz Fayot, Luxembourg’s Minister of the Economy and Minister for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Affairs, said that Luxembourg is a centre of excellence for inclusive finance. That their distinct ecosystem, which includes the gintech innovations promoted by the LHoFT, aims at jointly creating impact through innovation.
He added that he is glad to see that once more, and even digitally, Catapult: Inclusion Africa was able to benefit an excellent cohort of fintechs working in and for financial inclusion in Africa. While they have witnessed excellent solutions for payments, insurance, e-education, pensions and more, this year’s winner, Emata, illustrates that modern and inclusive fintech models can also foster digitalisation in the agriculture sector”.
The programme included a ten-day online boot camp organized by LHoFT Foundation and sponsored by the Directorate for Development and Humanitarian Affairs of Luxembourg’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and supported by the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) as well as key strategic partners.
The 2021 edition focused on investment readiness, the fourteen start ups were supported by investors operating in Africa including, Bamboo Africa TLG Capital, ZedCrest Capital, Rising Tide Africa, Outlierz, Angaza Capital, Anza Capital, Baobab Group, Beyond Capital, Advans, CRE VC, DRK Foundation, AfricInvest, Triodos Capital and Sherpa Africa Partners.
The ten-day bootcamp covered a range of topics, such as business model mapping, investment readiness, funding and capital raising, social impact, scaling strategy, building teams, operational management and pitch development.
In the end there was an online final pitch session that brought together all the partners and supporters of the programme, and audience of 100 spectators. The fourteen companies delivered their final pitches, leveraging the input they had received from the programme partners, experts and mentors over the course of the ten days.
According to Nasir Zubairi CEO of the LHoFT Foundation, The Catapult: Inclusion Africa programme brought together fourteen impressive entrepreneurs all committed to delivering real impact. That he feels energised and inspired, their solutions are excellent and he is sure many will go on to achieve great things. Emata was a beacon amongst all the impressive pitches. That they are immensely grateful for the commitment of the Luxembourg and international community who helped make this programme a success. He thanked all their partners and sponsors saying It would not be possible without them.