Category: Entrepreneurs

2021 Central Bank of Egypt/DFS Lab COVID-19 Innovation Sprint

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The COVID-19 pandemic will likely have lasting effects that will impact the Egyptian economy for years to come. We see startups playing a part in creating the short term – and long term – solutions for this new reality. 

Under the host of the Central Bank of Egypt and in collaboration with the Financial Regulatory Authority (FRA), we have partnered with FSD Africa on a COVID-19 Innovation Sprint that aims to unearth, develop, and refine FinTech solutions that directly address the pandemic in Egypt. 

This design sprint will bring together multiple Egyptian banks and financial institutions that are seeking solutions to help them adapt to COVID-19 together with local and international startups who are rapidly creating the products and services that serve their needs.

Benefits

Under the host of the Central Bank of Egypt and in collaboration with the Financial Regulatory Authority, the startups that are selected to participate in this sprint will work closely with the Egyptian banks and financial institutions. Egyptian financial institutions and banks are increasingly adopting FinTech concepts and collaborating with established FinTech startups to leverage their offerings and overcome unprecedented challenges that appeared during COVID-19 and its aftermath to help consumers adapt to the new norm. Participating startups – as well as the banks and financial institutions that startups will be working with – will also be featured in media and PR campaigns for the event.

If you’re building products addressing the following problem statements, we’d love to hear from you:
Category Problem Statement COVID-19 Barriers Potential Technologies
Remote lending and alternative data Social distancing prevents potential lending clients from delivering documents in person. Requires no touch/in-person collection and validation of data. Innovations in digital assessment and document processing, alternative data, digital lending flows, and e-KYC.
Remote KYC/onboarding Customers would like to sign up for bank accounts or other financial products without having to appear in person – especially in rural areas. Requires no touch/in-person, must identify the client. Also provide and validate necessary information and documentation. Digital ID, biometrics, KBA systems, remote sensors, digital document flows, and other digital onboarding solutions.
Data access for regulators Regulators cannot access financial data quickly to make decisions. Requires faster and more flexible decision-making. Open data APIs, regtech data dashboards.
Digital invoicing and supply chain payments/finance Difficult to send and track digital invoices and facilitate payments, creating financial history and data from MSMEs for lending. MSMEs need credit to survive massive drop in income. Digital invoicing, SME digitization solutions, factoring, merchant discounting, digital supply chain solutions
Cashless payments Payroll, remittances, and other disbursements or remote collections needs to become digitized. Paying employees in cash can be a vector for infection. Prepaid cards, virtual cards, NFC, QR code payments, mobile money, mojaloop, other digital payments.
Queueing and customer service People need to be able to learn about products, resolve customer service issues, and understand loan and other product terms remotely, without queueing in the branch or while queueing in a safe manner. Social distancing makes in person customer service and customer education challenging; and digital channels require new ways of communicating or queueing to assure client needs are met. Full or semi-automated chatbots or IVR that can deal with shared concerns and relay key messages, innovative queueing solutions, other intelligent interfaces or learning programs.
Remote marketing and education Sales, marketing, and customer education channels are largely in-person In-person customer engagement does not work in a pandemic especially in rural areas. Solutions that allow for digital marketing and digital customer engagement – especially through partner organizations
Regulatory interactions Policy makers are seeking innovative and secure ideas to efficiently conduct inspection remotely during and post COVID19 pandemic. Social distancing makes onsite inspection difficult. Also, remote inspections are more efficient and timelier. Regtech solutions allowing remote data inspection and validation.

Application Deadline: February 19, 2021

Click Here to Apply

2021 U-recycle Initiative African Youth for Environment (AY4E) Fellowship

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Are you passionate about the environment? Are you interested in creating tangible community actions towards tackling global issues locally? Here is an exciting opportunity.

U-recycle Initiative is searching for 6 emerging change agents who are enthusiastic about environmental sustainability and ocean protection, and who through this AY4E fellowship can build their capacity and implement grassroots solutions to address plastic pollution.

“The African Youth for Environment (AY4E) Fellowship” is a comprehensive environmental education and awareness project powered by U-recycle Initiative and funded by a National Geographic Society grant. AY4E focuses on influencing positive behavioural changes towards tackling issues of plastic pollution in Nigeria. The Fellowship empowers youth and high school students across Nigeria with knowledge, skills and tools to begin developing actionable solutions at the grassroots level to combat plastic pollution.

Through our ‘AY4E Fellowship’, we plan to coach 6 young people who will then enlighten and engage over 6,000 high-school students in 6 schools across the 6 geographical zones in Nigeria, through creative environmental education projects.

Highlights of the AY4E Fellowship

LEARN from experts, successful environmental advocates and climate activists through masterclasses on the issue of plastic pollution and how to develop and implement projects.

IMPLEMENT five awareness projects (school eco-talk, environmental club, movie screening, changemakers’ bootcamp and upcycling project) at a high school in your state.

Requirement and Selection Criteria

To be eligible for our cohort of 2021:

  • You must be between the ages of 16-25 years old (should have completed secondary school/high school)
  • Should be Nigerian and should be a resident in Nigeria for the next one year.
  • Should have access to a Laptop and internet connection.
  • Show deep commitment or passion to address environmental issues like plastic pollution
  • Readiness to develop and become a young social impact leader that advances solutions towards addressing environmental issues in Africa
  • Must be an excellent communicator and self-starter who is determined to succeed
  • Must be willing and available to implement 5 environmental education projects (designed and fully-funded by us) at one high school in your state
  • You are a creative, innovative and dynamic changemaker who has or is ready to inspire and educate others to take action for the environment
  • You are passionate about environmental protection, plastic pollution, ocean conservation
  • You should be willing to commit 3-7 hours for (training or project implementation) on selected weeks
  • Good organisational skills with the ability to work independently and under time pressure
  • You have some experience in engaging in environmental awareness, advocacy or community service or may have taken courses or training in themes relating to environmental pollution. Demonstrated ability to organize community service activities is an advantage
Benefits
  • Gain lifelong leadership skills, access mentorship with global changemakers and access unique opportunities that will set you apart. The knowledge gained from this program would be valuable to those interested in environmental sustainability.
  • Win free swag items, goodie hampers, gadgets, movie tickets, and more by completing tasks monthly relating to sub-projects.
  • Earn resume-worthy experience and global recognition.
  • Develop your project management skills
  • At the end of the fellowship in December, the best fellow wins an all-expense-paid 3-days staycation trip to Egypt

This fellowship is brought to you by U-recycle Initiative and supported by a grant from the National Geographic Society.


Details

This is an eight-month fully-funded (April – December) program that provides emerging environmentalists, green enthusiasts, environmental advocates, and climate change activists with a unique opportunity to implement creative grassroots solutions to address environmental pollution.

Application Deadline: March 10th 2021

Click Here to Apply

2021 SEED Awards for Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Development for Social & Environmental Enterprises.

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Are you part of a small and growing eco-inclusive enterprise that continues to deliver environmental, social and economic benefits to your target markets?

The SEED Awards for Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Development is an annual awards scheme designed to identify the most innovative and promising locally led start-up eco-inclusive enterprises in developing and emerging economies. Each year, multiple award categories are offered, ranging from country- or region-specific awards to thematic categories.

SEED Award Winners and Runners-up are eligible for participation in our Accelerator and Catalyser programmes, respectively. Our Catalyser and Accelerator support high-achieving enterprises to scale up and optimise their eco-inclusive impacts.

SEED Award Recipient criteria

Enterprises which fulfil the following requirements are invited to apply to be a SEED Award recipient. Please click on each criterion check mark () for more information:

Demonstrate entrepreneurship and innovation

Deliver economic, social and environmental benefits

Have potential to scale-up and/or be replicated in other contexts

Are at early stages of implementation

Have intention and potential to become financially stable

Are a partnership between different stakeholder groups

Are locally driven or locally led

Meet country and/or sector requirements

Benefits

As a SEED Award Winner or Runner-up you will receive a customised SEED Support Package, which includes the tools and guidance required for your enterprise to emerge from the start-up stage and effectively scale-up the positive environmental, social and economic benefits which you deliver to your target markets.

The SEED Support Package is delivered through our Accelerator programme (for Winners) and Catalyser programme (for Runners-Up).

CAPACITY BUILDING

Participate in Business Planning Workshop and receive one-on-one Expert Advisory services on business and financial planning for scale up of eco-inclusive enterprise activities.

GLOBAL PROFILING

Receive multiple opportunities for your enterprise to be profiled at a high-level Awards Ceremony, through global SEED communication networks and via your own SEED Enterprise Profile.

SEED TOOLKIT

Apply SEED Toolkit of collaborative and hands-on design thinking methods to identify enterprise development priorities for funding strategising, stakeholder mapping and impact measurement.

NETWORK BUILDING

Access SEED’s extensive network of established eco-inclusive enterprises, funders, and policy-makers, including previous Award Winners and Ecosystem Building programme participants.

Application Deadline: March 22nd 2021

Click Here to Apply

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