CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa winner – the NetJet of tractors?

Writer Laura Campan

On Friday 28, the LHoFT launched the fifth edition of its unique program for FinTech startup development CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa.

Last week, the LHoFT launched the fifth edition of CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa – a unique startup development program supported by the Ministry of Foreign & European Affairs, to improve financial inclusion in Africa through tailored training with key stakeholders from Luxembourg’s ecosystem.    

On Friday, the 15 selected startups could pitch their business model to journalists and passionate FinTech entrepreneurs –  in less than three minutes.

After much deliberation, the jury members decided to grant a one-year membership at the LHoFT to all the participants before having the daunting task of choosing a winner and handing a cheque for €5,000 to Hello Tractor a Kenyan FinTech company created by Jehiel Oliver and James Goode almost ten years ago, to assist farmers with limited access to resources in obtaining convenient and affordable tractor services while providing additional income and enhanced security for tractor owners. 

Ranking second, three impressive FinTechs: the Egyptian Yalla, a super app (supported by Visa) that provides a wide range of financial services in Africa and the Middle East, the Zambian ComGrow, which aims to provide financial help to people who usually have no access to the services of formal banks, and the Ugandan ChapChap, which empowers SMEs through dedicated financial tools.  

After warmly congratulating all the participants, minister Franz Fayot insisted on the importance of the CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa program: “some of the FinTechs supported over the past couple of years have experienced remarkable growth and received international recognition […] We believe that financial services are a means to create economic opportunities, and thereby reduce poverty.” 

Always in partnership with the LHoFT, Franz Fayot also announced the launch of a second CATAPULT: Inclusion program next year, with a focus on SouthEast Asia: “this two-week bootcamp will leverage Luxembourg’s expertise and help FinTechs to develop their businesses and achieve their financial inclusion goals.”

Credits: Ministry of Foreign & European Affairs