African companies secured 11 out of 20 slots in the Swiss SeedStars Migration Entrepreneurship Prize. Running an African startup is actually more demanding. It entails paying vivid attention to unpredictable trends and policy changes, as well as making accurate calculations. Therefore, achieving such a feat is commendable for an African startup.
The continent has four prominent unicorns namely Flutterwave, Interswitch, Fawry, and Jumia. African startups also raised a record $1.19 billion in Q1 2021. Additionally, a recent report by fDi Intelligence in association with Briter Bridges logs over 4,265 startups. All these points to the fact that Africans are innovating regardless of the odds.
The Migration Entrepreneurship Prize
The Migration Entrepreneurship Prize is a rewarding opportunity set up by one of Swiss’s Federal Departments and an investment holding company. Seedstars is a Swiss company created in 2012 to influence the quality of life. It targets frontier regions and new markets using entrepreneurship and technology as tools.
This unique approach is strengthened by a collaboration with the Peace and Human Rights Division (PHRD) of Swiss’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). The division is responsible for securing people against violence.
Several socially-driven startups benefitted from the Migration Entrepreneurship Prize. The criteria for selecting winners was that they present social and economic inclusion of migrants in Africa and the Middle East.
The selection process which has gone through steps 1 to 7, is currently in the investment readiness stage. This final stage will expose the 20 successful startups to benefits including a wide network, access to training, and international visibility.
Winners of The Migration Entrepreneurship Prize
African startups snatched 11 winning positions in the Swiss Migration Entrepreneurship Prize. As listed on the program’s website, the 16 Global Winners include Glade Inc., Lock&Stock, Toju, Datacultr Fintech Limited, EYouth, Taqadam PBC, Fatora.io Store, eFlow Education, Salasil solutions LLC, Cwallet, BotsZA Projects (Pty) Ltd, ConfirmU, Get It Done Now, abela.app, and CraveHome.
Interestingly, five Tunisian startups were among the winners. They include ReBootKamp Tunisia, HackUp, Sghartoon, Fabskill S.A.R.L, and iCompass. Below is a brief highlight of the African startups that won the prize.
#1. Glade Inc.
Glade Inc. is a Nigerian Fintech startup that focuses on delivering effective banking services and finance automation for businesses.
Hazie presents a huge opportunity to manage time and resources. The South African platform allows an easy process for first-time employment seekers. Also, it provides companies and businesses with AI-enabled candidate sourcing and screening and HR management.
EYouth won in the education category. Developed in Egypt, the edutech enterprise is set to provide “underprepared” youths with online interactive learning to prepare them for business development.
#4. Fabskill S.A.R.L
This is an AI-powered remote recruiting platform developed in Tunisia. Its advanced process is facilitated using live and pre-recorded video interviews.
#5. Get It Done Now
Get It Done Now won in the consumer goods and services category according to the Migration Entrepreneurship Prize website. This African startup targets Nigeria and the entire African continent. It allows users to purchase digital consumer goods, insurances, food, and much more all on the app.
The abela.app is the product of a South African financial services company. The startup provides security along with the ability to send, receive, use and save money digitally. Furthermore, it does not require users to have a bank account before they can access its services.
The iCompass team supports groups and public figures with digital strategic plans, communication, and marketing. The Tunisian platform eliminates language barriers and employs technologies like a chatbot, Churn identification, and digital reputation analysis and evaluation. The startup also runs consulting services.
Here is a tech-based African startup that empowers skill development in software engineering. The most fascinating thing about the program is that it is open to everyone without a qualification condition but above 18 years of age. An 18-week training provides deep problem-solving skills as well as soft skills to participants.
Toju is an acclaimed complete record management tool and a financial service toolbox. It provides support to non-banking microfinance institutions (MFIs), mobile local agents (thrift collectors, Ajo, esusu), and cooperatives. Asides from giving access to collateral-free loans, the Nigerian platform allows offline synchronization and advanced credit ratings.
Sghartoon won in the health category. The platform focuses on Tunisia and the MENA region to detect children with educational troubles. It then organizes an online session with a therapist.
HackUp is another Tunisian startup that won the Migration Entrepreneurship Prize. It improves the Human Resource process of businesses and companies by testing developers through technical assessments and organized hackathons. It then presents successful or outstanding developers to companies that require high-quality services.
Migrants are often ignored or subjected to inhuman treatment. Nevertheless, statistics show that many of the great innovators we have today were migrants. Having an organization that rewards startups whose main focus is creating solutions to ease the burden of migrants is commendable. Hopefully, this spark will blossom into increased social inclusion for migrants.