On March 23rd, on the final day of this year’s edition of Catapult: Inclusion Africa, the Ugandan financial technology company eMaisha Pay was named the winner of the Catapult: Inclusion Africa Award for 2022.This highly prestigious award is given out once a year to the top African fintech company competing at the yearly digital boot camp hosted by the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT).
eMaisha Pay was awarded the honor for the work they do providing financial opportunities for small and medium sized enterprises in Africa.Small businesses account for over 80% of businesses in Uganda, although they face much greater financial obstacles than large businesses.eMaisha Pay leverages financial technology to offer small businesses quick, affordable, and non-collateral working capital loans to help them grow and thrive.
One of the unique ways their business has leveraged fintech to ease the burden on small businesses is by using machine learning algorithms to develop a proprietary Credit Scoring Engine.This allows them to credit score small businesses and assess credit risk without information asymmetry.They’ve also developed a mobile application that enables those who apply to upload documents and submit information online for a touchless experience.All of this results in an optimized loan approval process and reduced disbursement time that is revolutionizing how small businesses access financial services in Africa.
The award was given to eMaisha Pay at the end of Catapult: Inclusion Africa’s digital pitching ceremony, which took place at the end of the three-day conference.Catapult: Inclusion Africa is a digital boot camp held every year to offer three days of training and networking to selected Fintech firms working to improve financial inclusion in Africa.This year’s edition of Catapult: Inclusion Africa was held in Dubai from March 21st to 23rd, bringing together different African fintech companies to network, train, and compete for the award.
Alongside eMaisha Pay were 10 other finalists from six different countries of Africa, all competing to show how their companies were working towards the goal of improving financial inclusion across the continent of Africa.Catapult: Inclusion Africa was initially developed by the LHoFT Foundation as a way to build bridges with Luxembourg’s Microfinance Industry, work towards the sustainability goals of Luxembourg’s finance center, and support selected firms to develop their businesses and achieve their inclusion goals.
eMaisha Pay’s goals are in alignment with those of Catapult: Inclusion Africa, as their support for small businesses allows them to spur growth and foster job creation within Uganda. According to eMaisha Pay’s CEO, Sserubiri Uhuru, “the company has plans to scale their innovation to empower over 3.5 million small businesses in Africa by the year 2027”. Already the company has onboarded over 2,500 small businesses since they launched four months ago, with plans to scale to 50,000 within the next 24 months.Their recent win of the Catapult: Inclusion Africa Award for 2022 comes as a boon to help them along their goals of scaling the company and reaching more small businesses within Africa.