KIGALI, August 12, 2022: Three fintech startups graduated from the second cohort of the Fintechub programme. The graduation was held during the 9th Edition of Fintech Friday hosted by The ICT Chamber in partnership with the Ministry of ICT and Innovation, United Nations Capital Development Fund, Norrsken, and Rwanda Events Group.
Fintech Fridays are bi-monthly meetups between fintechs, financial service providers (FSPs), big techs, investors and other key stakeholders in the fintech sector to exchange on fintech solutions and growth in the ecosystem. The Fintech Friday meetup of August 12, 2022 brought together different representatives from public and private institutions, Non-Governmental Organizations and the general public in Rwanda to not only attend the event, but also the graduation of 3 fintech companies from FinTechHub’s second cohort discussing how fintechs are driving financial inclusion in emerging markets.
In his opening remarks, the Chief Executive Officer at Rwanda ICT Chamber, Alex Ntale thanked the attendees and firmly called everyone to engage in Rwanda fintech sector growth saying, “The reason why we keep inviting you all here is because we do not have any plan to stop. We keep going. It takes a whole village to raise a child. Same as for the fintech sector in Rwanda, it will require all of us… You can ask yourself how to get involved in this journey. Yes, you can get involved as a customer, financier, mentor, advisor, etc.”
As the fintech sector keeps emerging in Rwanda during this digital era, facing the challenges and sticking to the consistency is said to be the key for techpreneurs in the fintech ecosystem. Roselyne Uwamahoro, the Country Lead at the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) Rwanda encouraged the graduates to apply the gained skills before jumping to other hubs. She stated, “Learning never ends because people always want to learn. My plea to the fintechs that are graduating and that graduated before is ‘Can you please apply what you have learnt before you go to another hub?’ This will surely help you to detect the experience, knowledge and skills that you have gained. From this, you will also be able to assess the gap you have before jumping to another hub.”
The graduated companies briefly pitched their solutions to the audience and asked for greater collaboration to boost them in the emerging markets. Uttering the last remarks, Angelos Munezero, Public Sector Digitization Analyst at the Ministry of ICT and Innovation, called for the public-private collaborations to push forward the fintech sector. And closing the event, he also asked the attendees to be the anchor clients of the graduated companies by being the first to consume their services.
The FintecHub Second Cohort started in September 2021 with three start-ups: FoodBundles Ltd, Uplus Mutual Partners, and Urd Technologies Ltd. The hub provided them with tailor-made technical assistance in order to address challenges that were mostly around product development and customer acquisition. The Rwanda fintech sector gained 3 new actors to fuel the ecosystem growth adding to other 4 companies graduated from the 1st cohort conducted from October 2020 to June 2021. The 1st cohort graduated companies were BeneFactors – Factoring invoices for SMEs, Exuus – Digital platform for savings groups, HeptaPay – Diaspora merchant payments and Raisin – Payment aggregator.