Nigeria’s Digital learning provider, ScholarX, has announced that it has been selected among nine grantees for the GSMA Innovation Fund for Mobile Internet Adoption and Digital Inclusion.
The GSMA Innovation Fund was launched in April 2020 with the aim of creating opportunities for innovative start-ups and SMEs, helping them solve problems of accessibility, affordability, digital skills, and safety, and security that prevent many from connecting to mobile internet.
In this year’s edition, GSMA received 598 applications from start-ups and SMEs in 44 countries across the world.
After going through the evaluation and selection process, 9 grantees were selected for the fund.
Of the nine selected recipients of the fund, five are of African origin, while the remaining four are Asian-based startups.
The grantees from Africa include:
- ScholarX, a Nigerian-based Digital learning provider.
- Africa 118, and Ethiopian-based Digital marketing service provider for African SMEs.
- Ensibuuko, from Uganda: a Tech solutions provider to savings and loans org.
- WidEnergy Africa Ltd, Zambia. A community shop for energy, water and connectivity.
- Zonful Energy, from Zimbabwe. A Pay-As-You-Go solar energy systems provider.
Other startups from Asia include:
- Knowledge Platform (Pakistan) – a Digital learning provider.
- The Orenda Project (Pakistan) – a Digital learning provider.
- Vceela (Pakistan) – a Online platform for artisans in Pakistan.
- Navana Tech (India) – Conversational AI provider for low-literate, vernacular speaking, mobile-first internet users.
As an award for being selected, SchloarX and other winners will receive an equity-free grant of between £100,000 to £250,000 – as part of the GSMA Innovation Fund – which is provided by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO).
The grantees will also receive full support from GSMA for the next 15 – 18 months. The support is meant to help them realise their full socio-economic and commercial potential for the period in view.
According to a report by Technext, the support will include promoting partnerships between mobile operators and the winners to increase the reach of mobile internet to new first time users.
The support will also provide technical assistance on topics such as digital skills training, how to reach more female customers and addressing handset affordability etc., and provide tools, templates and specialist advisory support to help improve the offering and evidence outcome.
GSM Association (GSMA) Innovation Fund is a Fund set aside to identify and boost innovative solutions in emerging markets.