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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launch “Pathways for Prosperity” to explore how Innovation could help end poverty in Africa

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Pathways for Prosperity: Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development was launched today in Nairobi to discuss the need for a global conversation on the role of technology in driving progress and inclusion in developing countries.

Pathways for Prosperity was launched by Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, minister of finance of Indonesia; and Strive Masiyiwa, founder and executive chairman of Econet.

The new commission will provide evidence and analysis, along with concrete policy recommendations, to help developing country governments navigate this rapidly evolving landscape and will be led by the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University.

“As an entrepreneur, technology underpins everything I do, and I am fascinated by what is coming down the line. But I know that there are also potential pitfalls and risks,” said Strive Masiyiwa. “This commission gives us a way of working together to understand how to harness technology for good, use it to enhance opportunities for all and drive inclusive growth.”

The commission’s academic directors will be Blavatnik School’s Stefan Dercon, former chief economist of the UK Department for International Development (DfID), and Benno Ndulu, former governor of the Central Bank of Tanzania.

Other commissioners include Kamal Bhattacharya, CIO of Safaricom; Shanta Devarajan, senior director for development economics at the World Bank; Minister Sigrid Kaag, minister for foreign trade and development cooperation of the Netherlands; Nadiem Makarim, founder and CEO of Go-Jek; Maria Ramos, CEO of Barclays Africa Group; Daniela Rus, director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at MIT; and Shivani Siroya, founder and CEO of Tala.

“Innovation can help people transform their lives, but only if they have access to it,” said Melinda Gates. “This commission brings together diverse thinkers and doers committed to ensuring that everyone, no matter how rich or poor, can take advantage of technological innovation.”

The commission hailed the contribution of digital financial services such as M-Pesa to Kenya where it enabled 75 percent of the people over 15 years old to have access to bank accounts (up from 10 percent in 2005), and lifted 2 percent of the population out of poverty.

Bringing together a diverse range of leaders from government, business and academia, the commission will focus on frontier technologies such as automation, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, energy generation and storage, and biotechnology. The commission will also discuss tools to strengthen the relationship between citizens and governments.

Over the past 25 years, the number of people living in extreme poverty being halved to about 800 million, the commission will hold several events around the world over the next two years focussing on different thematic issues and countries, with the common aim of helping governments in developing countries take advantage of the opportunities technology brings.

 

Saudi Prince’s Misk bringing together global thinkers & youth to discuss the 4th industrial revolution

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The Misk Global Forum, the flagship platform of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince HRH Prince Mohammad bin Salman’s Misk Foundation, has announced details about its main annual gathering, which is titled ‘Meeting the Challenge of Change’.

Taking place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from 15 – 16 November 2017, the event marks a major new evolution of the international platform focusing on youth, knowledge and innovation.   Assembling some of the world’s sharpest thinkers and innovators, it will give participants the opportunity to explore, experience and experiment with ideas and trends emerging in the knowledge economy, and the impacts these will have on the next generation.

Last year the Misk Global Forum saw addresses by CEOs of long established global tech giants Siemens and Cisco, the co-founder of Pixar Studios, and leading Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, alongside other inspirational figures from sports and culture, and senior international policy makers.

This year’s gathering will unveil important new initiatives and reports, including the first annual Global Youth Index, amidst an array of interactive workshops, seminars and masterclasses. Prepared in association with Populus, the Index will reveal young peoples’ confidence and preparedness for the fourth industrial revolution from 21 of the world’s most significant economies, including all G20 nations.

Shaima Hamidaddin, Executive Manager and Project Lead for the Misk Global Forum, said: “We are expanding the ambition and scope of the Misk Global Forum.  We are set on becoming the pre-eminent global platform to discuss vital issues relating to young people, their future and the knowledge economy.

“Young people are coming of age in a world that is more connected and more fundamentally changing than at any time in human history.  The fourth industrial revolution, of transformative technologies, is disrupting economies and will affect the way we live, learn, work and contribute to our communities.

“The Misk Global Forum’s annual gathering brings together some of the world’s sharpest minds in order to gain a deeper understanding of how to meet the challenge of change.  It will be practical, focusing on helping each young person to develop their own plan to meet this pressing goal.”

A range of different activities will cover four main areas for discussion:

  • Living:  from health and wellbeing, constructive habits and social interactions, to new entertainment and media consumption, and smart investing, what will it take to lead the good life over the long term?
  • Learning: when change is constant, how best to integrate the right lifelong learning subjects and practices in order to achieve sustained success?
  • Working:  in the age of intelligent machines, what new working structures will emerge?  What is the payoff between more traditional forms of employment and the new, more dynamic entrepreneurial and freelancing opportunities that will arise?
  • Contributing:  how can people most effectively give back to their communities to deliver more sustained positive impacts and create wider virtuous circles of development?

 

Nigeria’s Learnark is a MOOCs platform with a mission to help users learn relevant skills to earn a living

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Founded in 2016 by Awoyode Opeoluwa Great and Adedolapo Oguntayo, the CEO, Learnark is a Massive Open Online Course platform with a mission to help people acquire relevant knowledge they can use to improve their lives or simply learn to earn.

According to Adedolapo, Learnark provides high quality courses from top training institutions and leading organizations to help train learners in fields such as Business and Management, Creative Arts and Media, Science and Technology, Academics and Agriculture from wherever they are, at their own pace.

Adedolapo says she started Learnark after being inspired by a social project called the Students and Teenagers Empowerment Project (STEP).

“One of the main activities of STEP was organizing a monthly event where successful people meet with young people and share the lessons and knowledge that has made them successful. Looking back, I can see the influence the sessions made in the lives of many of the attendees especially on my team of teenage volunteers that help organize the events,” she said. “Learnark has been built with the same intention; to help people develop themselves so they can achieve better results in life.”

Users can start learning on Learnark by selecting from its range of courses to help them build successful careers at their own pace to beat illiteracy, unemployment and underemployment.

“At Learnark we thought what if everyone is educated! Will it solve
this huge social problem? We soon realized that there are poor
educated people. So we thought again, What if everyone is educated to earn? What if we
all learn to earn?” thought the team.

Courses are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life to make learning an enjoyable social experience. Learnark mission is to help people acquire skills they can use to

earn by partnering with professionals to provide skills training in fast
growing industries like Real estate, construction, ICT, media,
education.

The platform also connects its trainees with job and business
opportunities in this industries. The platform works simply. Trainees register on Learnark, complete the training, take a few months internship and start a business or Job.

Powered by Google and Udacity, Andela’s Learning Community launches in Kenya

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Powered by Google and Udacity, the Andela Learning Community (ALC) launched in Nigeria in February 2017 as ALC 1.0 and attracted over 4500 applications and with 2000 learners successfully going through the program.
Andela has today announced that the online Android course is now available in Kenya as ALC 2.0 and is open to all aspiring technologists.

Andela Learning Community (ALC) 2.0 powered by Google connects people who are interested in learning software development with beginner or intermediate courses in Android/web development or product design. Powered by Andela and Google, and featuring course curriculum from Udacity, it is designed to spark a generation of tech talent across Africa.

The firm says applications are open to anyone above 13 years with reliable access to a laptop and internet. Applications to the program close on 21st October 2017. Prior programming experience is not required.

ALC 2.0 takes place online, with optional in-person meetups and candidates are selected through an application process. ALC 2.0 is split into two ‘tracks’ based on level of experience.
The beginner track is for candidates with no prior programming experience and starts from the absolute beginning and provides candidates the option to learn how to develop apps, build websites, and/or build technology products. The intermediate track is for candidates who have 1-2 years prior programming experience on Android, web development, or product design.

Though ALC is powered by self-learning, the program features peer-learning groups through online and physical community meetups. The program is delivered through Udacity and features learning content from Google and small group learning programs organized and run by Andela.

 

China Europe International Business School(CEIBS) Alumni Nigeria Chapter Hold AGM, Induct 2017 Executive Committee

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The Nigerian chapter of China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) Alumni held their annual general meeting and induction ceremony at the City Mall in Lagos, Nigeria.

CEIBS with the largest MBA in the world, the number one MBA in Asia according to Forbes, financial times, Bloomberg and Business week, and 11th in the world according to the financial times has with its programmes created a model for professional development and innovation across industries in emerging economies.

China in the past decade has experienced tremendous growth with a rapid rise of the middle class and tremendous developments in technology and infrastructure.

Many emerging economies are looking to growth in China and part of Europe as models for developing their economies, and CEIBS with its in-depth knowledge of China, extensive global reach, and world class faculty is well positioned to equip the business and political leaders that will help create this.

L-R: Samuel Ocloo-Dzaba, Alumni and Corporate Affairs Manager(Africa) CEIBS; Hector Okposo, FCA, VP, CEIBS Alumni Nigeria Chapter; Mr Sunday Adebayo Agboola, President CEIBS Alumni Nigeria Chapter/Group Head Private Sector, eTranzact; Tega Tonukari, Gen Sec, CEIBS Alumni Nigeria Chapter; Professor Mathew Tsamenyi, Executive Director, CEIBS Africa and Omoyemi Chukwurah, Council Member CEIBS, Alumni Nigeria Chapter during the annual general meeting and Induction ceremony of CEIBS Alumni Association, Nigeria Chapter held in Lagos.

 

The annual general meeting and induction ceremony was organized by the CEIBS Nigeria chapter led by President, Mr Adebayo Sunday Agboola, Hector Okposo, FCA, VP and Tega Tonukari, General Secretary.

The event allowed Professor Mathew Tsamenyi, Executive Director, CEIBS Africa to talk about some of the new partnerships CEIBS had entered into for the growth and development of businesses and economies in Africa as well as some of the strategic changes in its Global Executive MBA and Women Entrepreneurship & Leadership for Africa Programme (WELA).

The President of the CEIBS Nigeria Alumni chapter, Mr Sunday Adebayo Agboola in his remarks said; “Today marks the first of many great steps that the Alumni will embark on towards greatness.

Together, we are entering another phase and taking the necessary steps towards building a CEIBS Alumni Nigeria chapter that is both progressive with fresh ideas and initiatives as well as responsive to the changing global climate. I enjoin us to remain even more committed to our body as we create an enduring legacy to define the status and standard of CEIBS in Nigeria and all over the world”.

Mr Sunday Adebayo Agboola, President, CEIBS Alumni Nigeria Chapter

The role of the Alumni as he identified in later remarks would be to extend the CEIBS opportunity to more Africans as well as to create a blueprint for rising Asia- Africa relations.

The CEIBS Africa project was launched in 2008 with a mission to prepare highly competent innovation oriented managers and executives who are capable of leading and growing their organisations in the increasingly dynamic African economic environment. These are leaders who are capable of negotiating the forces of globalisation and international competition for the benefit of their organisations.

Nominations Open for Women in FinTech 2017 Powerlist

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  • The 2017 Women FinTech Power List is now open for submissions.
  • Nominate a colleague working in FinTech anywhere in the world.

Innovate Finance, the UK membership organisation that represents global FinTech, has announced the opening for nominations to its 2017 Women FinTech Powerlist. The annual list celebrates the contribution of female talent in the development of the FinTech sector and is open to candidates from around the world.

The widely popular initiative, first launched in 2015, is an attempt to include all women who are driving FinTech global success across the sector and within Innovate Finance’s membership association.

Innovate Finance’s powerlist initiative calls on members of the community– both men and women – to nominate and submit the names of female colleagues who should be recognised for their contribution to FinTech. Female members of the community are also able to self-nominate and submit their own names for consideration.

The women that make up the power list play different roles in the FinTech including CxOs, managers, lawyers and journalists. Innovate Finance’s initiative celebrates all of their unique journeys into FinTech and their collective contributions.

“We want to recognise the significant contribution that women make in FinTech,” said Lawrence CEO of Innovate Finance. “Our annual powerlist celebrates the women playing an instrumental role in driving success across FinTech.”

Michelle Prance, Director of Innovation at Lloyds Banking said: ‘We are delighted to support Innovate Finance on the Women in FinTech Powerlist 2017. It’s important we showcase the women trailblazing in the sector as they are role models for the next generation of talent we want to attract.’

Rachel Kent, Partner and Global Head of Hogan Lovells Financial Institutions Sector, said: “Diversity is at the core of who we are and how we do business. We understand the benefits it brings, so we’re committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment for our people, our clients and in our community. The FinTech sector is built on innovation and understanding its diverse consumer base. For it to be successful it’s essential to have diversity of thought and to represent the customers it’s serving. Innovate Finance’s Women in FinTech Power List is a fantastic way to celebrate women’s contribution, and strive towards greater diversity. We’re proud to be a partner of it.”

Nomination deadline is October 31st, while the power list will be published in November 2017.

Make nominations here.

Meet the 9 most promising startups selected to pitch at Seedstars Dakar 2017

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On September 22th, 9 of Senegal’s most promising seed stage startups will compete to represent the country at the Regional and Global Seedstars Summits, and to win up to USD 1 million in equity investments and other prizes.

The 9 promising tech startups will pitch at the Seedstars Dakar pitching event on September 22th at 4pm at Pullman Teranga (10, Rue Colbert, Place de L’ independance, Dakar 18524, Senegal).

The top startups selected to advance to the pitching event are:

1)      ADN an IT consulting company specialized in Data Analytics and focused on providing business analytics solutions for African organization

2)      BAYSEDDO 2.0: a platform that allows farmers to finance their crop

3)      Carvi Writer: the first publishing company of books and audiovisual production in Africa, it makes money and movies with your writings.

4)      Dassur: an insurance distributor which uses Messenger

5)      MaTontine provides access to small loans and related financial services like micro-insurance by digitizing traditional savings circles.

6)      PayDunya: is a one stop shop to create, manage & grow sales on social networks and get paid from all relevant payment methods in Africa with CRM toolbox

7)      SenCivilities: allows the management of civil status, request of remote birth certificate, and geolocation of the undeclared children

8)      Walam: a mobile platform based on sharing economy that let people put their skills to the service of other people without having money.

9)      SKILLAKE: a job marketplace, to help American and European companies find qualified IT professionals in Africa with a perfect match

Seedstars World is closely working with Groupe Cofina, main supporter for Seedstars World Senegal Groupe Cofina.

Beyond the local event, Seedstars World is working very closely with Enel Green Power to source the most innovative business models in the energy sectors and ones that are fostering socio-economic development in rural villages in Africa. Up to 5 best startups in this sector will be invited for an exclusive RES4Africa networking event taking place later this November in Nairobi and compete for an Africa Energy Prize which consists of a financial contribution and a three-month acceleration programme for a total value of up to $50,000.

Registrations for the event can be made here.

F10 Opens Application for its FinTech Accelerator Programme

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Switzerland’s premier startup accelerator, F10, has announced the launch of its current round of applications for its P2 Prototype to Product programme.

Twice a year, F10 offers a 6-month “Prototype to Product” program in which Startups will be supported in transitioning their prototype to a sellable product. Each team will be supported by a coach from the F10 team as well as an external mentor. All teams will have access to working space at F10 in Zurich.

The latest round of applications commenced on September 11th, and is open to all startups in FinTech, RegTech, and InsurTech.

Potential candidates for 2018’s first round of P2 have until December 15th to prepare and submit their application with Switzerland’s leading accelerator. The P2 program itself will start on Match 5th, 2018 and run until August 23rd of the same year.

“2017 has been an exciting year in the world of FinTech – looking at the creative tech solutions that we are seeing from our startups, the future is looking even brighter,” said Markus Graf of F10.

“As the best accelerator in Switzerland, we’re excited to be at the front of these new developments, fostering the ideas and leveraging the skills that these startups have by helping them collaborate with industry leaders and build a network of connections. Moreover, our guidance and expert help is proving invaluable in guiding them to maturity in a fast-changing industry.”

iHub, World Bank’s Traction Camp accelerator to showcase 21 promising digital innovations from East Africa

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iHub and the World Bank Group will host a one-week intensive boot camp in Nairobi, a part of a business acceleration program to help East African tech start-ups commercialize and scale innovative digital products.

The Traction Camp accelerator launched six months ago by iHub and the World Bank Group’s infoDev program will connect 20 high-growth start-ups with the knowledge, capital, and access to markets they need to grow. The program is supported by the governments of Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Kenya, and includes intensive business coaching and mentorship for up to six months.

The start-ups from Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda will convene in Nairobi for the one week face-to-face boot camp on Sept. 18-23, 2017 and culminate in a demo day event on Sept. 22 at iHub from 4-8 p.m. Parties interested in investing or collaborating with the participating start-ups are encouraged to express interest here prior to Sept. 19, 2017.

Here are the 21 Participating Startups successfully selected to participate in Traction Camp regional accelerator program (Round 1). The aim is to nurture them to become globally competitive, growth-oriented, mobile and digital technology businesses.

Bluewave Insurance Agency Limited, Kenya

An online platform that enables clients access micro insurance products and market research and analytics on insurance trends and insurance requirements.

BusinessTYC tax, Ethiopia

A tax preparation and declaration SaaS platform for SMEs in Ethiopia. It is built to make doing business in Ethiopia easier for entrepreneurs so that they can focus on innovation. It doesn’t require any accounting or IT knowledge.

DreamAfrica, Kenya

A global subscription based streaming platform for animations and films from around the world. We also produce original animations to celebrate cultural representation in digital media. DreamAfrica has a revenue share program with its content partners.

Illuminum Greenhouses, Kenya

A farming solutions company providing greenhouses with drip irrigation kits equipped with solar powered sensors that allows the Internet of Things penetrate and reach the base of pyramid farmers allowinbg them to grow high value crops all year round in a protected environment.

K&G Solar Power (U) Ltd, Uganda

The company is involved in the sale and distribution of pico and stand alone solar systems especially targeting rural communities that are off the national electricity grid. we have partnerships with local banks to extend the equipment to the beneficiaries on loan basis.

Kleva Plus, Kenya

An app to help manage your business on the go. It helps to manage customers, sales and finances and be able to operate on mobile.

Kokote, Tanzania

A solution that transforms the way we look for a next place to call home by offering a faster, more secure and affordable experience to users who are searching for houses for rent. Kokote simplifies the process by providing tools for users to choose houses by price, number of rooms, location and the like and share the houses they like with friends and families

MobFit, Uganda

An e-agriculture platform connecting smallholder farmers’ produce to markets. We use basic SMS technology to enhance community based aggregate production for irish potato farmers. We ensure the aggregated bulk produce reaches the market in time.

MyAfya, Kenya

An application that helps hypertension patients to manage their condition. The user gets access to health practitioners, save blood pressure history and share such data with care givers. We also create awareness and distribute home testing kits to be used along with the app

Online Hisabu, Ethiopia

A cloud based accounting package for Ethiopian SMEs, who are looking for an affordable and easy to use accounting solution. It recognizes SMEs’ resource limitation, lack of computer proficiency and accounting skills. It is a financial management and reporting tool tailored to the Ethiopian context.

Patasente Inc, Uganda

A supply chain financing platform that enables people guarantee or to businesses in East Africa. Entrepreneurs get working capital loans to grow their revenues, and lenders finance the loans by buying a range of interest bearing promissory notes to earn extra incomes.

SapamaERP, Kenya

A cloud-based ERP targeting SME’s that automates, simplifies and streamlines business processes of Human Resource Management, Customer Relationship Management, Invoicing and Accounting, Procurement, Point-of-Sale and Inventory Management.

Shield Finance, Kenya

A FinTech company using proprietary technology and leveraging on Mobile Money to offer employees affordable salary advances.With competitive interest rates, we are more flexible than mainstream lenders and deliver requested advances in record time.

Simon Tito Foods, Tanzania

An innovative business in electric egg incubators. We offer our products at affordable payment terms. Customers buys our product at 50% of the price while the other 50% is payed overtime by purchasing token units. Our electric egg incubator is automatically locked until customers buys token units.

SunPoynt, Kenya

SunPoynt (formerly Angaza Boma) targets to be a market in ‘pay-as-you-go’ energy services for off-grid customers – combining mobile payments with GSM sensor technology to enable the leasing of 22″ solar powered TV home systems in Kenya

Mobilized Construction, Uganda

A cloud-based software platform that enables project managers and civil engineers to identify and visualize road conditions using just a smartphone and to coordinate micro-enterprises to repair roads using micro-contracts.

Tamithi Ltd, Uganda

A creative firm with expertise in Illustrations, Animations and Games. We focus on creating innovative local ideas and themes that our clients and society can relate to.

Totohealth, Kenya

A platform that enables a parent to receive timely messages based on their stage of pregnancy or child’s age. These messages highlight warning signs in their pregnancy or child’s health thereby enabling one to seek timely care.

Ukulima tech, Kenya

We design fabricate and install vertical Gardens which provide healthy vegetables and a source of livelihood. Our mobile app enables one to monitor and irrigate their farms from anywhere in addition to provides gardening skills for different crops.

Yubeyi, Rwanda

An online marketplace to help people sell their products online and reach more customers. It also helps busy people to buy products online and get products delivered to them with out wasting time

ZayRide, Ethiopia

ZayRide is the Uber of Ethiopia, on-demand taxi and Ambulance dispatching application that connects riders and drivers with. We recently added a delivery service. So our loyal customers get more services with a single application.

 

Apply: 2017 Zambezi Prize for Financial Inclusion Ventures in Sub-Saharan Africa

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Applications are open for the 2017 Zambezi Prize, which is aimed at raising awareness of entrepreneurship and financial inclusion, encouraging the flow of capital to financial inclusion ventures, and advancing entrepreneurship and financial inclusion to fuel broad-based prosperity.

The Zambezi Prize is presented by the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT and The MasterCard Foundation. Collectively, these organizations focus on entrepreneurship and financial inclusion as catalysts for broad-based prosperity in low-income countries—unlocking the potential of ordinary citizens to improve their livelihoods.

  • The Zambezi Prize awards $200K USD annually to support ventures that contribute to financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The first place winner receives $100K USD. An additional $100K USD is divided among second and third place winners and a small group of finalists.

Eligibility Criteria

  • The prize is open to a wide spectrum of financial inclusion ventures demonstrating innovation and potential for impact, financial sustainability, and scalability.
  • The venture must advance financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The venture must be in its early stages, having progressed beyond concept.
  • Ventures could include – but are not limited to – electronic payment systems, customer-centered payment plans, new financial products, or mobile banking instruments.
  • The venture must have a founder or co-founder that work or plan to work full-time on the venture.
  • If selected as finalists, ventures must have a founder or co-founder to attend MIT’s Entrepreneurship Development Program in Boston in January 2018

Deadline: September 30th 2017.

Visit Zambezi Prize for more info.

Call for Nominations: WEF’s Young Global Leaders Class of 2019

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The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Forum of Young Global Leaders has established a comprehensive selection process for identifying and selecting the most exceptional leaders.

Every year, thousands of candidates from around the world are proposed and assessed according to rigorous selection criteria. Only the very best candidates are selected and all efforts are extended to create a truly representative body.

Reflecting the diversity of stakeholders, the Young Global Leaders include leaders from politics, business, civil society, academia, and arts and culture across seven geographic regions.

The deadline to submit nominations for the Young Global Leaders Class of 2019 is 31 May 2018.

Selection Criteria:

· To be eligible for the Young Global Leaders Class of 2019, the candidate must have been born on or after 1 January, 1980.

· He/she has a recognized record of extraordinary achievement and a proven track record of substantial leadership experience. Typically, this means 5-15 years of outstanding professional work experience and a clear indication of playing a substantial leadership role for the rest of his or her career.

· He/she has demonstrated a personal commitment to serve society at large through exceptional contributions and a deep ethical fiber, and has earned significant trust at both local and global levels.

· He/she has an impeccable record in the public eye and good standing in his/her community, as well as show great self-awareness and a desire for learning.

· Candidates from the business sector must be responsible for the full operation of a qualifying corporation or division and must hold one of the following titles: President, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director, Managing Partner or Publisher, or equivalent of any of the above. If the company is a Member or Partner of the World Economic Forum, the candidate requires the approval of the CEO or Chairman of the Board of the respective company.

· Companies, organizations and entities can only nominate one candidate from the qualifying company every two years.

· Kindly note that self-nominations are not accepted.

Nomination and Selection Timeline

· 31 May: Close of nomination period

· Summer: The World Economic Forum shortlists candidates for further review

· Fall: The shortlisted candidates are reviewed by Heidrick & Struggles, recognised as one of the world’s leading executive search and leadership consulting firms

· Winter: A Selection Committee reviews the top candidates and selects 100 to be honoured as Young Global Leaders

· January of subsequent year: The candidates are informed of their selection as Young Global Leaders*

· March of subsequent year: The press announcement for the new Class of Young Global Leaders is released

Applications Open for the 4th Annual Kenyan Global Management Challenge

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Kenyan students and professionals can now apply for the 4th edition of the Global Management Challenge (GMC), for a chance to hone their skills in business management and growth.

The GMC is the world’s largest strategy and management competition. It consists of a Management Simulation in which each team runs a virtual Company, with the objective of getting the highest Investment Performance. It’s open to anyone, from students to professionals, who are required to form teams of three to five people.

The competition includes three national phases: a first round, a second round and a national final, and one international phase where the winning team of the national phase represents Kenya in the international final of the Global Management Challenge.

Organised and run by Greener Pastures, a human resources consultancy firm, the GMC is present in a number of countries from Africa to Europe, Asia and even South America. Now in it’s 4th year in Kenya, GMC Kenya has impacted over 700 people across more than 30 universities and companies.

Interested? Register here.

 

Applications Open For Google Launchpad Accelerator

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Applications are now open for the next cohort of Google’s Launchpad Accelerator. The six-month zero-equity acceleration programme is aimed at growth-stage startups from emerging markets.

The programme is now open to more countries around the world.

Before now, it included African startups in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa, but this has been increased to 10, as Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Morocco, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Uganda have been added to the list.

More countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America have also been included.

Selected developers will be invited to the Google Developers Launchpad Space in San Francisco for 2 weeks of all-expense-paid training.

Training includes intensive mentoring from 20+ Google teams, and expert mentors from top technology companies and VCs in Silicon Valley. Participants will receive equity-free support, credits for Google products, PR support and continue to work closely with Google back in their home country during the 6-month program.

The application process for the equity-free program will end on October 2, 2017 at 9AM Pacific Standard Time (7pm Central African Time).

Click here to apply.

African Startups Among 16 MIT Innovation Challenge Finalists

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The MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge has concluded judging of Inclusive Innovation organizations from across the globe.

Nearly 160 expert Core Judges scored and commented on each completed application. Now the 16 top-scoring Finalists will advance to the Champion Committee, who will select four Grand Prize Winners to each receive $150,000. The remaining 12 Finalists will each receive $35,000 each.

Among the 16 finalists are a few African startups. Kenyan incubator, iHub is a finalist in the Skills & Matching category, South Africa’s Nomanini was selected in the Financial Inclusion category, Nigerian tutoring platform, Tuteria emerged finalist in the Income Growth & Job Creation category. In the Technology Access category, there’s Rwanda’s solar kiosk provider, African Renewable Energy Distributor Ltd. and Nigeria’s e-learning startup Dot Learn.

On October 12 2017, the winners will be announced and celebrated at a gala event at HUBweek in Boston.

During the IIC Celebration, renowned leaders in the Inclusive Innovation movement will deliver talks focused on how to ensure that the benefits of digital progress are shared by all.  Featured speakers include Eric Schmidt (Executive Chairman of Alphabet Inc.), Sheila Marcelo (Founder and CEO of Care.com), and Leila Janah (Founder and CEO of Sama Group and LXMI).

The 16 finalists in four different categories are:

Skills Development & Opportunity Matching

Income Growth & Job Creation

Technology Access

Financial Inclusion

Applications Now Open for the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize 2018

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The Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize (CSV prize) is awarded by the Nestlé CSV Council every two years. Run in partnership with Ashoka, the competition helps scale up or replicate business-oriented initiatives that are enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future by tackling the biggest issues in water, nutrition, and rural development.

It’s open to to social enterprises, commercial enterprises and nonprofit entities creating shared value in any country around the world.

The CSV Prize Winners will be selected based on their entries as determined by the Creating Shared Value Council and experts appointed by Ashoka and Nestlé.

Up to 50 Semi Finalists will:

  • Receive a second round of feedback
  • Join exclusive, online ‘peer’ calls, to network and exchange ideas with other shortlisted innovators and the CSV Prize team
  • Have access to exclusive networking opportunities

10 Highly Commended Initiatives will be featured online before the announcement of the top 5 Finalists are selected to the final stages.

Finalists will receive the following:

  • A travel bursary to attend the 2-day Ashoka Impact Boot Camp at the World Water Forum in Brazil in March 2018
  • The opportunity to pitch their initiatives to the Nestle Creating Shared Value Council, live at the Forum
  • Finalists will be featured through Ashoka and Nestle’s media activities

Winning initiatives will be selected to receive prizes totalling CHF 500,000 to take the solution to scale, including:

  • Up to CHF 400,000 cash prize
  • One Lifetime Ashoka Fellowship (following Ashoka’s in depth Venture Selection Process)
  • A place on the Ashoka Social Investment Accelerator

Key Dates

  • August 29, 2017 – October 31, 2017 (11:30 CET) – Entry Phase. During this time, participants may submit entries, edit, and resubmit until the entry deadline.
  • November 1-20, 2017 – Application Screening and Community Review. Participants are welcomed to view, review, and comment on one another’s entries.
  • December 1-20, 2017 – 50 Semi Finalists will be selected and invited to Refine their Entries and provide additional information. Semi Finalists may edit their entry based on feedback until the deadline of December 20th.
  • February 14, 2018 – Finalists announced.
  • March 15-18, 2018 – Finalists attend Ashoka Bootcamp and pitch live at the World Water Forum in Brazil
  • 18 March, 2018 – Winners announced.

Click here to participate or see more information.

Meet the 7 Most Promising Early-Stage Tech Startups Selected for Seedstars Addis Ababa

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Seedstars World, the $1m global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes will on August 21st hold a local competition for 7 of Ethiopia’s best seed stage startups at 4pm at Iceaddis.

The selected 7 promising tech startups to pitch include:

  • LangBotA gamified and AI powered language teaching chatbot
  • Mak-Addis Tutors: A platform for individualized teaching services for each student based on need
  • Meda MessengerAn app that will let you chat and transfer money from a single chat screen.
  • SemayDocs: SemayDocs is a platform that enables business to digitize and effectively manage documents through automating paper based processes 
  • smsCrush: Smscruh uses sms notifications to deliver news and provide services to its users.
  • SRESiree is a device that brings the power of online education to the offline world.
  • ZayRideZayRide is a smartphone app that provides on-demand taxi, ambulance and delivery services.

The startups will pitch in front of a jury that consists of Marc Lepage, Africa Knowledge and Innovation advisor at UNDP Ethiopia, Eleni Gabre-madhin, CEO at Ethiopia Commodity Exchange, Shem Asefaw, Entrepreneur & Angel Investor at ShemTECH Ventures, Eyob Tolina,Director at Schulze Global, and Fanny Dauchez, Associate for Africa at Seedstars World.

On a regional level, Seedstars World is working very closely with Enel Green Power to source the most innovative business models in the energy sectors and ones that are fostering socio-economic development in rural villages in Africa. Up to 5 best startups in this sector will be invited for an exclusive RES4Africa networking event taking place later this November in Nairobi and compete for an Africa Energy Prize which consists of a financial contribution and a three-month acceleration programme for a total value of up to $50,000.

Members of the public are encouraged to come join the fun and will be treated to the 7 startup pitches. Registrations for the event can be made on the Seedstars Website [www.seedstarsworld.com/event/seedstars-Addis-Ababa-2017].

1776 Challenge Cup Nairobi set to hold on August 22

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As announced earlier, 1776 and Revolution, on August 22, 2017 hold the 1776 Challenge Cup Nairobi at the iHub to give chance to between eight to ten startups to pitch to win prizes, network, and share their vision on a global stage with startups from 75 other cities.

The best startup out of Nairobi will win a free trip to New York City for the Global Final round of Challenge Cup set for November to compete for the grand prize as well as spend time with the investors, customers, media and other key connections that can help them succeed on a global scale.

“The Challenge Cup illustrates that great companies can start and scale anywhere. While talent is evenly distributed, opportunity is not and the Challenge Cup is squarely addressing this inequity,” said Steve Case, CEO and Chairman of Revolution LLC and Co-founder of AOL. “Revolution is proud to partner with 1776 again on this effort to provide startups around the world with the tools they need and the attention they deserve.”

1776 Challenge Cup, a worldwide tournament for the most promising, innovative startups has partnered with Steve Case’ Revolution to bring to Africa to pick the best startups and has named Accra, Addis Ababa & Nairobi among the first 31 cities from the expected 75 cities.

In Accra, Challenge Cup was held at the iSpace Foundation in May, while in Ethiopia it was held at Ice Addis in July. The iHub event will be followed by a similar event in Lagos on August 25th at Leadpace in Lagos, Nigeria.

1776 Challenge Cup and Revolution aim to create a movement of startups bringing world-changing ideas to life and solving meaningful problems on a global stage. 1776 started Challenge Cup four years ago to discover the most promising, highly scalable startups poised to solve complex challenges across borders, regulated industries and emerging technologies.

Lagos Startup Week 2017 to hold on September 25th – 29th

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For the third consecutive year, Lagos will play host to 60+ events and experiences that highlight and connect entrepreneurs. Lagos Startup Week, the annual weeklong celebration of startups in Lagos, now in its third year, will take place from September 25th – 29th 2017 at the Oriental Hotel .

Lagos Startup Week provides an opportunity to bring the growing entrepreneurial community in Lagos together under one banner and show people across the globe, why Lagos is such a great place to start and grow a business. With this year’s theme tagged “Visionary”, this weeklong event will leave entrepreneurs with the knowledge, strategies, networks and tools necessary to build lasting businesses.

“This year, we are putting together an amazing line up of speakers which include entrepreneurs, experts, investors and mentors who have made Lagos startup ecosystem what it is today” Olumide Olayinka Organiser of Lagos Startup Week said.

The country’s innovation hub will see the coming together of the best in the startup ecosystem for one week of intense networking, brainstorming, innovation and learning. The biggest and brightest entrepreneurs from all walks of life will tell the stories of their incredible journeys and how they overcame challenges in their march to success. Laugh, be inspired, and get serious feels as they open up about the highest and lowest points in their life.

Also, for the first time in its three-year history, Lagos Startup Week will feature Nigeria’s biggest startup showcase and exhibition where over 100 startups that have a potential to make an impact would demonstrate their products to a room full of investors and potential customers. The week will also feature fireside chats, panel discussions, debates, product showcases, tour, dialogues, investor pitches and masterclasses that will inspire and boost your entrepreneurial odyssey.

Seedstars is coming to Accra to find the most promising tech startup in Ghana

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On September 1st 2017, 10 of Ghana’s most promising seed stage startups will compete to represent Ghana at both the Seedstars Africa Regional Summit and the Global Seedstars Summit in Switzerland.

According to Anis Kallel, Associate for Africa at Seedstars World, “We are impressed by what we have seen in the continent so far, and cannot wait to add startups from Ghana on our map.”

The startups should be less than 2 years old, have raised less than USD 500,000 in funding and have built a minimum viable product, ideally with existing traction. The startups should also be regionally and globally scalable.

This is the 3rd time Seedstars is organizing the event in Accra and its expectations are high. Last year’s winner Chalkboard Education, a mobile application for e-learning that works on all phones & without the Internet recently raised money for expansion.

Seedstars World is also working very closely with Enel Green Power to source the most innovative business models in the energy sectors. Up to 5 best startups in this sector will be invited for an exclusive RES4Africa networking event taking place later this November in Nairobi and compete for an Africa Energy Prize which consists of a financial contribution and a three-month acceleration programme for a total value of up to 50,000 USD.

On a regional level, Seedstars is also partnered with the Merck Accelerator, in order to support seed-stage companies in Ghana, and across Asia and Africa with a focus on the fields of healthcare, life science and performance materials. The most promising HealthTech startups will receive office space in the Merck Innovation Center in Kenya or Germany, mentoring and coaching on a regular basis and financial support of up to €50,000.

Applications are open now, and startups can apply here: https://seedsta.rs/accra2017.

 

Airbus BizLab accelerator launches competition targeting East African IoT & drone startups

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Airbus BizLab, a global aerospace business accelerator has launched the #Africa4Future initiative, targeting East African startups doing 3D Printing, Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAVs), Satellite Operations and Imagery, Smart sensors, Internet of Things (IOT), smart energy and Artificial Intelligence in a move expected to transform their ideas into valuable businesses more quickly.

According to Bruno Gutierres, Head of the Airbus BizLabs, “We are excited to finally bring this programme to East Africa. We have been impressed by some of the innovations coming out of hubs such as Gearbox, Outbox, mLab, C4D Lab among other hubs and university research labs within the region. We are looking forward to receiving inspiring ideas and concepts from Nairobi in the coming weeks.”

The initiative welcomes applications from entrepreneurs, and start-up businesses from the region to apply online at www.novatoafrica.com/africa4future and submit their application on or before the 6th September 2017 to get a chance of being shortlisted for the final pitch event. A screening committee will then shortlist and select the most promising ideas or products.

The winning startup, selected from the final pitch event that will be held on the 26th of September 2017 in Nairobi, will win a fully-paid 10-day-trip to Europe in Oct/Nov 2017 and get the chance to meet and interact with aerospace experts and boost your startup. They will be able to work on solutions and, if the project advances well enough, partner with Airbus BizLab to see it to product stage.

Airbus aims to accelerate the pace at which it can commercialise innovative ideas drawn from within Airbus, from its customers as well as other external partners. Airbus BizLab is important in supporting this strategy. The Airbus BizLab creates a network of Business Accelerators to provide support to startups and turn these ideas and technologies into commercial reality. It enhances Airbus’s access to the newest ideas, technologies and ways of working in the aerospace sector and beyond.

Through programmes such as the #Africa4Future, Airbus provides early-stage projects with wide-ranging support, in the form of a six-month “accelerator programme” that gives startups access to a large number of coaches, experts and mentors in various domains: technology, legal, finance, marketing & communication; easing prototyping and market access.

 

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