Congratulations to the winners of the Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy!
The Milken-Motsepe Prize in FinTech is now open for registration!
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Why FinTech?

In emerging and frontier markets, particularly in rural areas, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), including micro-enterprises (MSMEs), are the backbone of local economies. These enterprises, which represent over 90 percent of all global businesses, contribute to nearly 40 percent of gross domestic product in such economies. In Sub-Saharan Africa, SMEs represent approximately 95 percent of all registered businesses and are drivers of economic progress.

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) play an instrumental role in advancing sustainable development goals (SDGs). They create jobs, reduce poverty, empower women, innovate, and adopt eco-friendly practices, contributing to economic growth, gender equality, and environmental sustainability.

However, SMEs in African markets encounter obstacles when it comes to accessing capital and financial services. With limited access to digital tools, such as internet connectivity and modern software, small businesses face hurdles in conducting transactions efficiently. Additionally, the high costs associated with financial transactions, coupled with stringent identification requirements, further hinder their growth. These challenges create barriers that prevent these enterprises from fully unlocking their potential.

In rural areas, where traditional baking services are scarce, these challenges are more acute. Yet it is in these underserved areas where the promise of entrepreneurship and the potential for business creation are most profound. Addressing these barriers is critical to unlocking the full potential of SMEs and fostering sustainable economic growth across the region.

This is where FinTech can transform the status quo, even for people in remote communities.  Technologies like mobile banking and blockchain are showing how innovation can lower transaction costs, streamline financial transactions, and expand access to capital and financial services. In short, FinTech can enable aspiring entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into reality, and in doing so, make great strides in achieving the SDGs.

The Milken-Motsepe Prize in FinTech is designed to leverage the potential of FinTech solutions to break down barriers to financial inclusion and contribute to the achievement of key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including alleviating poverty (SDG 1), promoting human well-being (SDGs 3 and 4), achieving gender equality (SDG 5), and fostering viable economic opportunities for young people (SDGs 8 and 9).

 

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Engineering News: Award-winning Omnivat to roll out pilots of containerised electricity generation and storage system

Renewable energy technology company Omnivat Tech, the creator of an award-winning containerised electricity generation and storage system, aims to deploy three in-field pilot plants in the coming months. The company intends to trial different use cases, including health facility support, backup power and community-owned models. “We are a pan-African team with a pan-African vision. We will deploy our initial systems in South Africa and will be developing a pipeline across sub-Saharan Africa. We are open to public- and private-sector customers and intend to collaborate with both to meet the needs of communities, facilities and businesses,” says Omnivat.   Read the full article here

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The Kenya Times: Two African Entrepreneurs Win Ksh261 million Green Energy Global Award

The Milken Institute and the Motsepe Foundation announced the winners of the Milken-Motsepe Prize in Green Energy at the global conference held by the institute in Los Angeles. The $2 million (Ksh 261,500,000) innovation competition seeks to recognize entrepreneurs striving to enhance access to reliable, affordable, and sustainable offgrid electricity in Africa. One of the winners is Aftrak, an initiative based in both the United Kingdom (UK) and Malawi. Aftrak received a Grand Prize of $1 million for its solar microgrid which is easily assembled, and custom-designed tractors.   Read the full article here.

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Best Mag: Solar and battery powered tractor for Africa gets award

Aftrak, an initiative based out of the UK and Tiyeni of Malawi, a Malawian non-government organisation has won the Milken-Motsepe prize for green energy. Modern farming is energy consuming as most machines are powered with fossil fuels. However, the last decade has seen a strong trend towards a more sustainable agricultural infrastructure. The outcome is an easy-assembled revolutionary solar and lead-battery-powered tractor, supporting sustainable farming in Africa that has won a major international environmental prize, the Milken-Motsepe prize for green energy. The project has been co-founded by the Consortium for Battery Innovation (CBI) and the global lead battery manufacturer Clarios, based in Wisconsin, and owner of battery brands like Varta and Optima. The team is led by Loughborough University in the UK.   Read the full article here.

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