Home >> Comment >> Comment permalink >> Add new comment

You are here

Add new comment


Winners aim to increase incomes for smallholder farmers through innovative financial services
June 26, 2015 (Nairobi, Kenya)—​Village Capital today announced the first winners of its innovative program, East Africa: FinTech for Agriculture 2015. The program supports entrepreneurs in making financial services more affordable and accessible for smallholder farmers and other underbanked individuals in East Africa. The program is supported by the DOEN Foundation, The MasterCard Foundation, and Duncan Goldie-Scot.
Over 65% of Sub-Saharan Africans do not use financial institutions or mobile money accounts to save or borrow money. Access to financial services can be especially difficult for smallholder farmers, often far from a financial access point. Furthermore, many promising early-stage entrepreneurs addressing this issue cannot find the resources they need to get off the ground.
Village Capital East Africa: FinTech for Agriculture 2015 provided these resources to 12 high-potential, early-stage entrepreneurs from across East Africa. The program also supported them through business development training, mentorship, and opportunities to meet potential customers and pitch to investors.
At the end of the 12-week program, the entrepreneur-participants ranked each other on six criteria, and chose two companies to each receive a 50,000 USD investment. The two top peer-ranked companies are:
  • Atikus Insurance (Rwanda) expands access to credit by increasing the capacity of MSME lenders via reimagined insurance and technology risk solutions.
  • Farmerline (Ghana, expanding to East Africa) provides accurate and timely agricultural information to farmers and also provides technology to stakeholders to work better.
“We are proud to have partnered with the DOEN Foundation, The MasterCard Foundation, and Duncan Goldie-Scot to work with the best local entrepreneurs providing alternative financial services through their technology platforms,” said Ross Baird, Executive Director of Village Capital. “We are excited about the positive impact that our entrepreneurs can have on improving the income of smallholder farmers--the backbone of the African economy--and eager to see our enterprises' growth through communities across the continent."
"One of the main reasons we support Village Capital is because of its unique peer selection technique. Therefore the organisation is able to create a pipeline of investments at a much lower cost than other parties and at the same time offers its participants an interesting network. In the end many more entrepreneurs with impact businesses can profit as well as the East African society as a whole,” said Nina Tellegen, CEO of the DOEN Foundation.
“I’m very pleased to be supporting these two companies. It has also been fascinating to see the progress of all the teams who have come through the program over the past three months. They have all learnt so much, from the trainers, the mentors and each other,” said Duncan Goldie-Scot.
The other companies selected for the program are:
  1. Chamasoft (Kenya) is a web and mobile app to automate record-keeping for investment groups.
  2. FarmDrive (Kenya) is transforming how smallholder farmers access financial services.
  3. M-Shamba (Kenya) is an interactive platform for smallholder farmers and traders.
  4. Mobipay (Kenya) provides technology solutions to various economic sectors to drive commerce and trade.
  5. nanoCredit Technologies (South Africa, expanding to Kenya) offers a series of lending and de-risking engines, providing structured digital finance for small farms.
  6. Mifugo.Trade/Rangerland Solutions (Kenya) is an online livestock marketing platform that directly connects buyers and sellers, reducing marketing costs.
  7. Redcore Interactive (Uganda) has developed remit.ug, which is a platform for online international money transfers to mobile money in Africa.
  8. YieldUganda (Uganda) sources high quality, traceable food products for local and export markets.
About Village Capital
Village Capital sources, trains, and invests in early-stage ventures solving major social problems through profitable business solutions. We put investors face-to-face with the best entrepreneurs in agriculture, energy, education, health, and financial inclusion, and in the last five years, we have been the most active small business development organization worldwide. Since 2009, our award-winning peer-selection investment model has supported 450 ventures in 30 programs across 9 countries. Our alumni have created 6,000 jobs, served 6 million customers, and raised more than $100 million in follow-on capital to scale their businesses and impact, and 96% of our alumni would recommend our programs to other entrepreneurs.
About the DOEN Foundation
The DOEN Foundation believes that a green, socially inclusive and creative society is achievable. The world is full of committed entrepreneurs eager to develop sustainable, cultural and socially-engaged initiatives. People who are not afraid to take risks while putting their pioneering ideas into practice. People who inspire others. The DOEN Foundation offers them financial support and brings them together to connect them. DOEN receives its revenues from three Dutch charity lotteries.
About The MasterCard Foundation
The MasterCard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa. As one of the largest, private foundations, its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by MasterCard when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org or follow us on Twitter @MCFoundation.
About Duncan Goldie-Scot
Duncan Goldie-Scot is a founding director of several FinTech companies in East Africa, including Musoni, the first 100% mobile-only/cashless microfinance institution in Kenya. Musoni runs its operations in Kenya and is expanding across East Africa. First Access combines financial and mobile data to reliably predict credit risk for borrowers in informal markets, dramatically reducing costs for lending institutions. BitPesa is an innovative remittance service, also dramatically reducing costs of sending money to Africa. He is also a founding director of Access Afya, an award-winning network of mini health clinics operating in informal communities in Nairobi, Kenya.
For press inquiries, contact George Omedo, Village Capital george.omedo@vilcap.com

Outbox on Google+

Outbox on Facebook

In Partnership With...