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Tiago Borges Coelho UX Co-Founder & Serial Social Entrepreneur speaking to the crowd at Seedstars Summit
Daring to develop an idea always proves to be a significant challenge. In recent years, Mozambique has been the scene of many initiatives driving the technological environment, but the 3rd edition of the Seedstars African Summit raised the discussion to another level
Kenya, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana, Angola and Mozambique. Sixteen countries gathered at the 3rd edition of the Seedstars Africa Summit at the Hotel Glória in Maputo on 14 December, to present their startups and to discuss the technological ecosystem, growth methodologies, and various social approaches offering new perspectives.
Seedstars’ main goal is to drive business growth and solutions by bringing together in the same space, entrepreneurs and technology businessmen in emerging markets in a business acceleration context. The initiative was hosted by Mozambican company UX, and in addition to showcasing the individual startups, featured presentations on the construction of technological ecosystems and the transformation from an informal to a formal market, or one without technology into a high-tech one.
Around 800 people attended the event, including young students, entrepreneurs, international investors and local strategic partners. The Seedstars Africa Summit surpassed a purely technological scope, not only because of its international approach and the references it brought to Maputo, but mainly because of the high quality it required of participants.
The solutions presented responded to problems such as education in Kenya, health in Nigeria, deliveries in Angola, leasing in Congo, uniting farmers in Ghana and transport problems in Zimbabwe.
The content was thought-out in detail, and knowledge-sharing was not confined to the experience of individual entrepreneurs but expanded to workshops on women’s empowerment, technological development opportunities in Africa and resource management providing greater interaction among the public.
In the words of UX co-founder Frederico Silva: “Having Mozambique as the stage for the Seedstars was a huge privilege. The event was an important step towards positioning the country as a benchmark in innovation and creating the necessary relationships with partners and investors so that national talent grows in prominence on the global stage.”
Chuma Nwokocha, CEO of Standard Bank, the official sponsor of the event, said: “As an African bank, we are proud to take the continent forward through a sustainable and growing ecosystem of entrepreneurship. We need an environment that promotes growth opportunities for the African economy through ideas like these. We need to create conditions for creation, innovation and growth.”
As a regulatory agent, INCM’s General Director, Américo Muchanga, emphasized the need to use existing resources. “Let’s use what exists to create new business opportunities and solutions. It is necessary to use technology to leverage all areas of our lives: agriculture, health, education or infrastructures. We cannot think we are at our best; we can always do more. We need to challenge ourselves to find new solutions to the most basic issues of our daily lives.”
Dutch Ambassador Pascalle Grotenhuis said Seedstars had shown what Africa could do in terms of entrepreneurship. “In the last few days, I have met ambitious, talented entrepreneurs from all over the continent. We have supported the development of business ideas in Mozambique and joining Seedstars is part of the Dutch Government’s belief in the country’s entrepreneurial potential. We are the first embassy in the world to host a business incubator, and we are very proud of that. We want to connect Mozambican businesses with other parts of the world and create a bigger impact.”
The first African Seedstars summit took place in Morocco in 2015, and the second edition the following year in Rwanda. What the event provides above all is the opening of doors for entrepreneurs and their countries to a global platform for technological and business solutions.
Seedstars is a global organization whose mission is to improve people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship.
We travel the world creating relationships between digital change-makers driving social change in the emerging world. Our teams travel the five continents, telling startups’ stories and challenging the status quo. Our target audience comprises 85% of the world’s population, with opportunities that effect billions of lives, and the scope of impact, endless.
We invest in people, we connect teams, we encourage risk. We have strengthened corporate spirits to swim against the tide. Join us online or in person at our events anywhere in the world. Join us because we seek to impact billions of lives in emerging markets.Source: Seedstars