Inside Uganda’s emerging fintech ecosystem
Business news: In Uganda, the “smart” money of fintech companies is going out of town
In Uganda, financial inclusion isn’t easy to come by
There are plenty of reasons to choose a fintech company. But sometimes, the benefits of financial inclusion go well beyond having access to money.
When most people think of fintech, they think about mobile payments and other services that have the potential to help millions of people. In Uganda, however, the “smart” money of fintech companies is going out of town.
According to the Pew Foundation, 84 percent of the country’s population cannot access even basic financial services, like credit or loans.
Those who don’t access money are an opportunity for fintech innovators to target those who are most in need of financial products.
In Uganda, the opportunity is huge—and it’s going to require the companies that provide some of the most lucrative financial services to rethink their business models.
An emerging fintech ecosystem
The fintech industry is exploding throughout the world.
Fintech, as it’s known, describes a broad range of industries from banking to digital payment solutions to peer-to-peer lending. In Uganda, the fintech industry is growing quickly. As the country prepares to hold the next round of the Ugandan Innovation and Technology Award later this month, fintech companies have emerged from the shadows to participate in the event.
They include UFOW, Uganda’s first fintech accelerator program, which launched in February 2015 and graduated its first batch of participants in early May. Others include Afrikle, a mobile money company, and Ugochukwu, a microfinance company. As the number of innovators, entrepreneurs, investors and other stakeholders grows, fintech is becoming a major economic driver in Uganda.