Dubai, March 09, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Leading African entertainment company MultiChoice Group will today host Middle East and other Global investors at a pitch event for finalists chosen in their MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme.
Held in collaboration with technical partner EOH, Galelo Africa and UAE-based social enterprise Companies Creating Change (C3), the programme aims to support the growth and development of SMEs from across the African continent.
While the inaugural event, held at Expo 2020 in January 2022, included only start-ups from South Africa, this year’s iteration has opened up to organisations from more African countries, with finalists from Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, Angola, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Zambia and Ethiopia, along with South Africa. From a base of 29 businesses across 9 African countries, trained by the Accelerator programme in key entrepreneurial skills, 11 have been selected as finalists. They include:
- Gradesmatch (South Africa) – helping students and their families transition from education to economic opportunity
- Botlhale AI (South Africa) – building natural language processing (NLP) tools for African languages
- Zuri Health (Kenya) – providing affordable and accessible healthcare services to patients across Sub-Saharan Africa via mobile app, website, WhatsApp bot and SMS service
- Dojah Inc (Nigeria) – end-to-end identity verification and compliance framework to strengthen confidence, credibility, and compliance across digital businesses
- Crop2Cash (Nigeria) – digital financial service that allows smallholder farmers anywhere in Nigeria to open a bank account on their feature phones in under two minutes, with no internet required
- Tendo (Ghana) – social commerce platform that enables anyone to sell online with zero capital
- StarNews Mobile (Ivory Coast) – pan-African media-tech company whose mission is to give financial freedom to African creators from the distribution and monetisation of their digital content globally
- MaTontine (Senegal) – digitise traditional, African savings groups in order to provide access to financial services for financially excluded women in Africa
- Taskmoby (Ethiopia) – first digital marketplace in Ethiopia that connects customers with qualified home services providers (e.g. plumbers, cleaners, electricians), leveraging a mobile application, SMS/USSD solutions and a dedicated call centre
- Mighty Finance Solution Ltd (Zambia) – providing MSMEs in emerging markets with seamless credit and financial solutions using artificial intelligence
- Tupuca (Angola) – on-demand quick-commerce platform and logistical aggregator of uber-like drivers that allows users to order from multiple vendors and service providers ranging from restaurants, grocery stores, small retailers and courier services
Following the initial training, the 11 finalist start-ups attended a dedicated boot camp in Lusaka, Zambia, to learn more about how to shape their story for international investors, and to get “pitch ready” before their big presentations.
The programme forms part of the MultiChoice Innovation Fund, aiming to connect companies with global investors to unlock business opportunities that will enrich their lives, the communities in which they function and the economy at large.
At a time when unemployment challenges and economic instability are high, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are proving to be the engines of economic growth and job creation throughout the African continent.
The MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme specifically targets start-ups and small businesses in the technology sectors of health tech, agritech, fintech, edutech, the circular economy, and creative industries.
Global investors participating on a panel today represent some of the UAE’s leading investors and venture-capital firms including Middle East Venture Partners and WAMDA Capital.
“We were delighted to be able to connect our 2022 finalists with investors in Dubai to unlock $16m worth of funding at Expo 2020,” says Fhulufhelo Badugela, MultiChoice Africa CEO.
“Our vision is to build on the impact that this new cohort of SMEs make in their home markets and multiply it beyond what our start-up founders ever believed possible. I have no doubt these small businesses will be able to take everything they’ve learned so far to unlock transformative business funding.”
The event will be facilitated by C3 – a UAE-based social enterprise with a footprint in 17 countries across the Middle East and Africa.
C3 Managing Director Kevin Holliday commented, “The UAE has long held trade and business connections with the African continent, supported by the leadership of the country. There are so many innovative and inspiring start-ups coming out of Africa that really contribute to both grassroots communities and the economy at large. The Multichoice Africa Accelerator recognises this and it’s something we’re really happy to be able to support.”
- MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Top 11