CGAP Partners with m:Lab to Explore Digital Finance+ Business Models

12 April 2013

CGAP is partnering with m:lab East Africa to explore new Digital Finance+ business models, which link digital payments systems with key resources such as energy, water and sanitation, health, and education.

CGAP has already identified close to 70 new startups which are leverging ubiquitous payments and cash-handling infrastructure of companies like M-Pesa and MTN Mobile Money to offer innovative and affordable products. Most of these Digital Finance+ businesses are in East Africa and include potentially breakthrough technologies such as SIM card-operated solar devices or smart water pumps. The partnership with m:lab East Africa will enable CGAP to deepen its understanding of these business models and identify additional companies working in this space.

m:lab East Africa is a consortium of four organizations that identifies, nurtures and builds sustainable enterprises in the knowledge economy. Consortium members include the World Wide Web Foundation; emobilis; iHub and the University of Nairobi. Since its launch in 2011, m:Lab has endeavored to catalyze growth of mobile innovations and mobile entrepreneurship in East Africa. One of the tools used to spur this growth is the annual mobile startups pitching competition, Pivot East, which will take place on the 25th and 26th June in Kampala, Uganda.

The key objective for this year's Pivot East event is “to facilitate the discovery of the next wave of high potential mobile start-ups”. Finalists will pitch to investors, development organizations, government representatives, MNOs and other key industry players to secure business incubation for their start-ups.