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4 Ghanaian Startups Participating In The Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerce Accelerator Will Receive $120,000

Startups

Nov. 1, 2021, 12:45 a.m.

Four Ghanaian digital commerce companies have been selected to participate in the Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerce Accelerator’s second cohort. These startups are OZÉ, Shopa, Swoove, and Tendo.

The Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerce Accelerator, managed by BFA Global, supports innovators building digital commerce solutions in Ghana to improve the resilience of informal and underserved micro and small businesses (MSEs) that can benefit from digitization and fintech approaches to enhance their livelihoods. Launched in October 2020, the Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerce accelerator is supported by the Mastercard Foundation and run in partnership with MEST.

The companies selected for the second cohort are tackling challenges across the retail sector for Ghana’s informal MSEs. Their focus is on enabling the digital transformation of MSEs through solutions including digital logistics, delivery services, digitization of merchant records, inventory management, and access to affordable inventory financing.

Each company in this cohort was approved by the Investment Advisory Committee, comprising representatives from Acuity Ventures, Chandaria Capital, 4DX Ventures, Golden Palm Investments, mPharma, and Novastar Ventures.

As rewards, these four companies will receive up to $120,000 in grant funding, a bespoke expert-led venture acceleration support, connections with Catalyst Fund’s growing global Circle of Investors and Circle of Corporate Innovators, and in-market expertise from MEST.

“Informal MSEs, many of whom are youth and women, get by using a piecemeal approach to digital commerce, often marketing via Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp, taking in-person payments, and manually addressing delivery, which is costly and puts the risk and heavy lift on the retailer. Companies like OZÉ, Shopa, Swoove, and Tendo solve this problem with easy-to-use and affordable digital commerce services. They are spurring the expansion of the digital commerce ecosystem in Ghana,” said Jane del Ser, Program Director for the Catalyst Fund Inclusive Digital Commerce Accelerator.

Brief description of the companies

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  • OZÉ enables MSEs to become better businesses and better borrowers. Businesses keep digital financial records on OZÉ, which provides them with the insights and information they need to make better decisions. This improves their performance and enables them to access much-needed formal credit such as inventory financing. 97% of high-active OZÉ users were growing, profitable, or both.
  • Shopa redefines Africa’s informal retail distribution and supply chain by connecting last-mile retailers with suppliers and enabling access to stock on cash or credit. Leveraging digital tools and an integrated delivery network, Shopa helps informal retailers to restock and receive delivery within 4 hours, without ever leaving their shop.
  • Swoove connects e-commerce businesses with accessible logistics services at an affordable price through its app and USSD short code, creating opportunities for youth and female entrepreneurs and revenue streams for households. Swoove already partners with MTN and can be an enabler for the larger digital commerce ecosystem to address logistics challenges.
  • Tendo enables anyone in Africa to sell online with zero upfront inventory – their platform connects dropshippers to wholesalers. The sellers on the platform can source products through Tendo and resell items using social commerce tools, such as WhatsApp, arrange delivery, and get paid, all through the Tendo mobile app.

“Ghana’s informal micro and small enterprises hold the key to unlocking work opportunities and supporting the livelihoods of thousands of young Ghanaian women and men. By accelerating the inclusive growth of promising digital commerce solutions, informal MSEs will have options to adopt digitization in a manner that suits their needs, enabling growth and achievement of their aspirations, ” said Chirag Shamdasani, Innovation Lead, Ghana, at the Mastercard Foundation.

tag: Funding, startups, Accelerator,

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Verny Joy Author

Verny loves to write poetry, fiction and quotes. Her love for writing landed her in journalism. She loves gadgets and travelling to explore new places.

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