SDGia implementation phase marches on!
May 30, 2022
Startups supported by the Sustainable Development Goals Impact Accelerator (SDGia) programme contribute to technological development in Bangladesh and Uganda through digitalization of financial and agricultural practices.
SDG Impact Accelerator (SDGia), Turkey’s first accelerator programme engaging private and public sector continues with the implementation phase of the second programme run through the partnership of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Technology Bank and funded by the Turkish Government.
Having successfully graduated from the Accelerator Programme, five selected startups are implementing their solutions on financial inclusion and digital agriculture in Bangladesh and Uganda.
Selected startups for the implementation phase of the SDGia were:
For financial inclusion challenge in Bangladesh:
- Shadhin Fintech Solutions (Bangladesh based): A Fintech marketplace for peer-to-peer investment funding.
- Bhalo Social Enterprise (Bangladesh based): An online marketplace offering small farmers access to high-quality inputs.
For digital agriculture challenge in Uganda:
- Flamingoo Foods (Tanzania based): Uses climate technology to forecast food deficits, partnering with Nampya Farmers Market.
- Nampya Farmers Market (Uganda based): An online platform connects farmers with food retailers
- Borlaug Web Services (BWS) (India/Netherlands based): A blockchain platform for agricultural value chains.
Since the commencement of the implementation phase of the SDGia in February 2022, startups have made an incredible progress in their efforts for paving the way for technological development in Bangladesh and Uganda through digitalization of financial and agricultural practices.
Here are some of the accomplishments of Bhalo, Shadhin, Borlaug, Flamingoo Foods and Nampya Farmers Market until now. Startups will complete their implementations by June 2022.
Between February to April 2022, Bhalo served 1,500 farmers engaged in livestock rearing and crop cultivation, and sold high quality farm inputs (seeds, fertilisers, chemicals, etc.) worth US$62,000, along with customised advisory and financial services (buy-now-pay-later, insurance facilities). Women farmers accounted for 65 percent of the total customers served.
With the funding from SDGia, earlier Bhalo hired a number of managers and coordinators to oversee marketing, finance, logistics and operations, and a team of sales agents and supervisors to increase customer acquisition, farm inputs and services delivery, payment and data collection. It has also established three logistics hubs and sixteen retail outlets to fulfil the orders.
Additionally, Bhalo partnered with Shadhin Fintech Solutions to launch a flexible financing programme, under which 54 selected Bhalo farmers received US$6,265 as flexible loans. “The collaboration aims to improve women farmers' access to agro-financing through simple and digital loan application process” - wrote The Business Standard, a leading English daily in Bangladesh.
Shadhin on the other hand agreed with Padma Bank to disburse digital nano loans using Shadhin’s technology and platform. The partnership will simplify opening a bank account in Padma Bank for Shadhin borrowers.
Shadhin helps drive financial literacy among women and their webinar targeting women has seen much appreciation. They have also launched a show with 8 episodes called “Money Matters,” covering financial topics such as savings, investment, taxes with an episode dedicated to women and finances.
Borlaug piloting agritech solution in Uganda expects to unlock revenue potential via social inclusion, visibility and disclosure in the coffee value chain. Borlaug signed on a local partnership with Masha Coffee in Uganda, a women led business supporting smallholder coffee farms, and started training the members of Masha Coffee on the platform.
In March and April 2022, Borlaug had onboarded and verified more than 400 farmers. BWS Clarity app (available in Play Store and App Store) is being used by field officers and auditors for monitoring these farmers on agronomic practices, socio-economic parameters and Rainforest Alliance assessments. BWS Trails module is creating signed proofs of the sourcing supply chain tracing from agents collecting coffee from identified farming clusters to distribution.
Aiming to connect food surplus with deficit region to address the problem of hunger and malnutrition, Flamingoo Foods has completed its weather and crop analysis in February. The startup has secured some agreements and purchased 100 tons of maize. In March, Flamingoo delivered 34 tons of rice to Uganda, the region struggling rice deficiency.
Nampya Farmers Market, a mobile-based food distribution and logistics enterprise focusing on enabling farmers’ access to market, has procured and installed containers for grain warehouses, in order to avoid post harvest losses of the farmers. Besides Nampya is working on increasing their product catalogue and farmer database to serve higher number of farmers.
SDGia is a global impact accelerator programme engaging private sector and government since 2019.
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