The objective of the fund is to support solutions that seek to address one or more of the following barriers to mobile internet adoption: accessibility, affordability, digital skills, and safety and security.
Offering grants of between GBP100,000 (US$137,000) and GBP250,000 (US$344,000), its goal is to support startups or small to medium enterprises (SMEs) with innovative new products, services or business models which can address key barriers to mobile internet adoption and use, driving digital inclusion for those currently digitally excluded, including women.
Having received a total of 598 applications from startups and SMEs in 44 countries across Africa and Asia, and put those through a rigorous evaluation process followed by selection from an independent panel of industry experts, nine grantees have now been announced.
They include five from Africa: Ethiopia’s Africa 118, Nigeria’s ScholarX, Uganda’s Ensibuuko, Zambia’s WidEnergy, and Zimbabwe’s Zonful Energy. Also selected was India’s Navana Tech, and three Pakistani companies – Vceela, The Orenda Project and Knowledge Platform.
Read more: Disrupt Africa