Mobile money has transformed the financial landscape in sub-Saharan Africa. According to the 2017 GSMA Mobile Economy Report, forty-three percent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa has access to mobile phones. Financial technology (fintech) services like peer-to-peer mobile payments have made financial services much more accessible, and brought millions of unbanked and underbanked Africans closer to the formal economy. Moving beyond the initial success stories in major markets of fintech innovation like Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, we’ve seen expansion of products and services in Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, and beyond.
Still, major challenges remain to building financial health throughout the continent. Roughly six in ten adults in sub-Saharan Africa lack bank accounts, and thus lack access to financial services that facilitate financial health and productivity. While much progress has been made in the payments arena, access to critical services such as insurance and pensions remains lacking. Additionally, fintech companies face regulatory barriers and infrastructure challenges that prevent their growth and expansion.
We are excited to launch the Village Capital Fintech Africa 2018 program in collaboration with PayPal. Village Capital seeks startups in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, and Tanzania that:
- Address financial health concerns including insurtech, pensions and savings, cooperative finance, and financial literacy;
- Leverage data for alternative means of credit scoring, identity verification and protection, and consumer insights;
- Integrate financial health services with other mobile services including social media, gaming, and online commerce;
- Apply fintech solutions to drive innovation and business model improvement in our other sectors of interest: agriculture, energy, education, and health.
Applications open on Wednesday, October 24, 2017 and will close on Friday, November 24, 2017.
The workshops will take place on the following dates:
Workshop 1: Mar 6 – 9, 2018
Workshop 2: Apr 10 – 13, 2018
Workshop 3: May 8- 11, 2018