MultiChoice shortlists 11 start-ups to pitch for international funding and take their small businesses to the next level
Johannesburg, South Africa | THE INDEPENDENT | At a time when unemployment challenges and economic instability are high, small and medium-sized businesses (SMMEs) are proving to be the engines of economic growth and job creation throughout the African continent.
In recognition of the critical role SMMEs play, MultiChoice launched the MultiChoice Africa Accelerator programme which trained 29 businesses across 9 African countries in key entrepreneurial skills.
As the second leg of the programme, a panel of experts has selected 11 of the most promising small businesses and invited them to pitch to prospective international investors in Dubai.
“There’s no denying the impact African SMMEs have on job creation and economic growth,” says Fhulufhelo Badugela, MultiChoice Africa CEO. “Through the MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme, our vision is to take that impact 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 MultiChoice Africa Accelerator programme, the brainchild of the MultiChoice Group and part of the MultiChoice Innovation Fund, in collaboration with Dubai-based business incubator Companies Creating Change (C3), technical partner EOH, and Galelo Africa, has been designed as a platform to help grow start-up businesses from across Africa.
The programme specifically targets start-ups and small businesses in the technology sectors of health tech, agritech, fintech, edutech, the circular economy, and creative industries.
“The quality of the submissions this year was high. It confirms our view that Africa has enormous potential. The specific focus on tech industries allows us to showcase the innovation of Africa to the world, but also enables these businesses to develop tech solutions to real societal problems,” continues Badugela.
The first phase of the MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme saw public and private-sector partners in each country nominating businesses or entrepreneurs for the programme. From there, 29 of the start-ups embarked on an intensive virtual training course during December 2022 and in Johannesburg.
The 11 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 11 start-ups shortlisted to present their business plans to a panel of investors for this year’s MultiChoice Africa Accelerator Programme are:
1. Tupuca from Angola
Tupuca is an 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.
2. Taskmoby from Ethiopia
Taskmoby is the 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 center.
3. StarNews Mobile from Ivory Coast
StarNews Mobile is a pan-African media-tech company whose mission is to give financial freedom to African creators from the distribution and monetization of their digital content globally.
4. Tendo from Ghana
Tendo is a social commerce platform that enables anyone to sell online with zero capital.
5. Zuri Health from Kenya
Zuri Health is a virtual hospital (Super Health App) providing affordable and accessible healthcare services to patients across Sub-Saharan Africa via mobile app, website, WhatsApp bot and SMS service.
Through the app, patients can chat and consult with doctors, buy medication from pharmacies, book labs and diagnostic tests and even have a doctor visit them at home.
6. Dojah Inc and Crop2Cash from Nigeria
Dojah Inc is an end-to-end Identity verification and compliance framework to strengthen confidence, credibility, and compliance across digital businesses.
At Crop2Cash, we have built a digital financial service that allows smallholder farmers anywhere in Nigeria to open a bank account on their feature phones in under 2 minutes, with no internet required.
7. MaTontine from Senegal
MaTontine is a digital financial services platform.
It digitise traditional, African savings groups to provide access to financial services for financially excluded women in Africa.
8. Botlhale AI and Gradesmatch South Africa
Botlhale AI builds Natural Language Processing (NLP) tools for African languages. Developers and organisations can integrate any of these tools into their solutions through its APIs.
Gradesmatch helps students (and families) to transition from education to economic opportunity by making the journey as simple as possible.
The company builds the core enabling infrastructure that simplifies the journey from education to economic opportunity.
9. Mighty Finance Solution from Zambia
Mighty Finance Solution provides SMEs in emerging markets with seamless credit and financial solutions using artificial intelligence. The company leverages proprietary credit rating algorithm to pave the way for a unique lending experience and transforming lives through the provision of simple, quick and affordable loans.