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Kopo Kopo partners with Diamond Trust Bank (Uganda) to launch new PayEasy service

Incubation

May 18, 2016

Former incubatee Kopo Kopo, a global leader in mobile money-based merchant solutions, has launched PayEasy in partnership with Diamond Trust Bank (Uganda). With PayEasy, retail merchants in Uganda can now accept customer payments at the point of sale via Airtel Money and MTN Mobile Money using a single, unified account – a first in East Africa.

“We’re thrilled to launch such an exciting service in partnership with Diamond Trust Bank,” says Kopo Kopo CEO Ken Kinyua. “We share a common vision, and that is to make mobile money convenient, effortless and indispensable for customers and merchants alike.”

With PayEasy, merchants have access to a suite of web-based tools for monitoring payment activity, requesting electronic statements and settling funds to their bank account in real-time. PayEasy merchants also receive a free starter kit that includes branding and education materials to sensitize their customers and employees.

To pay a merchant via PayEasy, customers simply let the cashier know if they will be paying via Airtel Money or MTN Mobile Money, and then the cashier initiates the payment by entering the purchase amount and customer phone number on a their phone. The customer is then given an opportunity to review the details before confirming the payment.

“Kopo Kopo has been serving thousands of merchants throughout Sub-Saharan Africa since 2010,” says Kinyua. “We launched the first merchant aggregator and cash advance businesses in the mobile money industry and are thrilled to now launch the first interoperable merchant wallet in East Africa. It’s an exciting time to be in the industry and we proud to be at the leading edge.”

To sign up for a PayEasy account or learn more, simply call or visit any Diamond Trust Bank branch in Uganda.

With the mobile money spreading across East Africa and the whole world, Kopo Kopo is the company to watch out for.

 

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Sign up for Project Management and Market Research Training

Training, Workshops

May 16, 2016

Project management and market research is very crucial for startups. Project Management has emerged as a field of practice that is being used increasingly by many entrepreneurs to achieve their business goals. Managing a project especially for a startup can appear to be very exhausting especially if an entrepreneur does not have the time or skills to stay organized at all time. Hence the reason why entrepreneurs should embrace project management and leverage on the available project management software and tools to be able to juggle a number of tasks, collaborate, delegate, track projects and stay on schedule.

On 27th May, the iHub will host a training on project management and market research. The training will give participants the foundation, techniques, software and tools needed for top-notch management of their startup IT projects. The course will cover various themes including: Working efficiently, managing people across the organization, managing organizational resources and the use of state-of-the-art project management tools to get the work done within the constraints of time and  budget. While the course on Marketing research will cover methodology of problem solving,case study analysis then we will have a Q&A session afterwards.

The training is among a series of training that will be conducted by the iHub during the course of this year through its partnership with Making all Voices Count. Early this year, iHub joined forces with Making All Voices Count to foster stakeholder collaboration and scale existing innovations, especially those providing service delivery solutions. Through the partnership, the iHub will conduct a series of training that will provide tools to facilitate growth of startups as well as developers and designers in the community.

We conducted a needs assessment consultative meeting on 14th April to determine some of the relevant topics and training approaches to be adopted for the training/workshop. From the  meeting which was in form of a focus group discussion, we identified some of the topics to be covered in the training. The topics include; Project management, Financial management and investment, How to engage and work with the government and civil societies, legal training among others.

The first training will be on project management and Market research. We are targeting startups for the training but we are also open on having individuals who are interested in learning how to better manage and monitor their projects and team’s collaborative effort in the most efficient way possible.

Specifics about the training

Date:  May 27th 2016

Topic: Market Research

Time: 2.30 – 5.00pm

Topic: Project management

Time: 5.30 – 7.30 pm

Venue: iHub

If you are interested in any of the two training or all of them, kindly register HERE for Market Research Training and HERE for Project management training

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A Fintech Startup Offering Low Earners Salary Advances

Incubation, PIVOT EAST 2015

May 9, 2016

Have you ever been in urgent need of money to pay for hospital bill, school fees, unplanned expenses and any other emergency and it is mid month when you have no money! Worry no more, Shield Finance – a payday lending solution that enables employees to access loans directly from their mobile phones is an excellent solution to your problem

Shield is a FinTech company using proprietary technology while leveraging on Mobile money to offer underbanked employees salary advances directly to their mobile phones. The service provides a solution where employees can access salary advance quickly, conveniently and at lower interest rates saving them from the predatory mainstream payday lenders.

The service is linked with Mobile Money providers so that you can receive your money directly to your phone. Borrowers are charged a daily interest rate of 0.25 per cent day which translates to 7.5 per month on the salary advance, making it fair compared to the other mainstream salary advance companies and banks respectively.

How it works

Application for the loan is very simple. The salary advance service is accessible through USSD, mobile and web. All that applicants need is a payroll showing that the applicant works and the company has entered into an agreement with Shield Finance to provide employee data which is used to process the salary advances. They also need to include their phone number through which the money is sent

Applications can be made via web or mobile. For mobile – applicants dial a USSD code on the phone, a menu requesting the personal identification number (PIN) of the application appears on the screen. The applicant then fills in the PIN and follows prompts. Applicants who prefer to apply online will have to visit the Shield Finance website and make their request.

For the employees whose companies do not have an agreement in place, Shield Finance has rolled a mobile app that does mobile credit scoring. The app can be downloaded from Google Play Store

One of the biggest challenge that Shield Finance has faced over the past year is raising capital for on-lending. Last month, Shield Finance entered into a partnership with a local investor who will provide the startup with on-lending capital and all their funding needs. Currently the team is focused on customer acquisition, they are looking to bring on board more employers which translates to more employees.

The startup has won a number of accolade including PIVOT East,a startup competition and conference that supports high potential startups and entrepreneurs across East Africa to grow their businesses and scale. Shield won the competition in the Mobile Finance Category and got an opportunity to join the m:lab East Africa incubation program where they are currently incubated.

In Addition to PIVOT East, Shield Finance was also a finalists in the Demo Africa competition held in Lagos, Nigeria last year. They were also finalists in the seedstars World competition and recently won the Sankalp Africa Summit 2016.

For more information about Sheild Finance, Visit their website www.shield.co.ke, you can also like them on facebook www.facebook.com/shieldfinance  and follow them on twitter @shieldfinance

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Shupavu 291; The Next Mpesa of Education

Incubation, PIVOT East

March 22, 2016

Learning has now been made convenient, affordable and interesting through Shupavu 291. Shupavu 291 is an educational platform that is accessible on a basic mobile phone and allows learners across the country to access the Kenya National Curriculum aligned lessons through SMS.

Shupavu 291 targets both primary and secondary school students. It also caters for school drop outs up to the age of 25. With only sh10 per week, students can access unlimited content, quizzes, Ask a Teacher service where a student can get to ask a one on one question with a live teacher and wikipedia – where the students can be able to access information about certain topics for one week.

The tool has over 4,000 revision questions to help students prepare for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations. It also has questions to prepare secondary students for their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination. The content delivered by Shupavu 291 is approved by Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD)

Shupavu 291 was created with teachers in mind. It’s the “teacher’s helper”. It is not competing with the work of the teachers, it is only there to supplement and complement the traditional teaching methods and assist the students to boost their performance. This service is not just for the student alone, teachers and parents too can be able to check reports on individual student performance as well as school performance via an SMS.

The service can be accessible from any phone including a “Mulika Mwizi”. This makes it easier from students from all backgrounds to access the service wherever they are.

Since 2013, when it was piloted, Shupavu has reached over 572,000 mobile learners with 469,000 of them being primary school students while 86,000 are secondary school students. There are 17,000 teachers enrolled on the platform to assist the learners. The service has also benefited 3,000 students in Kakuma and over 20,000 students and 378 teachers in Daadab refugee camp.

Shupavu 291 which is an initiative of Eneza Education in partnership with Safaricom was officially launched on 18th March at the Villa Rosa Kempinski hotel. Eneza Education is hoping to reach at least 10 million  learners in primary school and secondary school across Africa with the service.

To access the service, dial *291#  from a Safaricom line and follow the instructions. Register for the service to enjoy unlimited educational content anywhere in the country.

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Uhasibu Launches Payroll.co.ke – A fully integrated Payroll System

Incubation, PIVOT East

March 2, 2016

Uhasibu is a cloud based accounting package developed specifically for small and medium companies in East Africa. Supporting the local legislation and the work-flows actually used in East Africa.Using Uhasibu, financial management becomes more efficient, freeing up resources that can be re-deployed on the actual business.

On 1st March 2016, Uhasibu launched payroll.co.ke, its newest innovation payroll management system built specifically for the payroll rules and regulations relevant in Kenya. Unlike the traditional payroll systems, Payroll.co.ke digitally manages and provides all the required paperwork for every type of worker a business can employ; it is integrated with the local stakeholders e.g., KRA’s iTax system, NHIF online submission and so on, allowing the system to automatically do the return directly without the business owner or accountant having to learn or fully understand the individual processes. Essentially it’s like an easy to use interface or secret shortcut into the world of government agencies that are relevant to payroll management.

This direct integration is extremely innovative in Kenya, an environment where organizations are only now digitizing their processes. Most of these organizations have not reached the point where they are looking beyond their own organization to directly integrate with other relevant organizations.

In short it is officially not possible in Kenya to do what Payroll.co.ke can do as these stakeholders generally do not offer platforms for systems to integrate with their systems. Ideally what the Payroll.co.ke team is trying to achieve with this innovation is;

  1. To offer an easy and affordable solution to businesses in the market that allows them to be fully compliant with the payroll rules and regulations and avoid the unnecessary headache that comes with payroll management.
  2. Disrupt payroll management in Kenya by offering one platform where you can manage processes that before, would have required the knowledge, use and expertise of at least 5 different platforms. With Payroll.co.ke, it’s a brand new day for businesses and payroll management in Kenya!

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