Leap Africa in collaboration with Union Bank of Nigeria, has unveiled the 20 startups selected for the 2019/20 Social Innovators Program. The announcement follows the conclusion of the 2018/2019 Social Innovation Program.
These 20 founders are the top finalists from across Nigeria chosen from a pool of applications. Their various initiatives span across sectors from education, health, science, technology, finance, engineering and so on.
The entrepreneurs also referred to as Fellows, are empowered through series of training sessions (physical and online), mentorship, access to local & international funding and partnership opportunities, and importantly the opportunity to be a part of a global network of social change agents.
These activities culminate in an award ceremony where outstanding Fellows are rewarded with a financial sustainability prize award.
The Social Innovators Program Fellowship is to enable young change-makers to transition their social change solutions into scalable social enterprises.
Meet the 20 selected founders for the Social Innovators Program
1.) Ogunwande Oluwole, SmartTeller
SmartTeller is a digital platform providing access to financial services to individuals and small business owners in Nigeria and across Africa who are unbanked and have little or no access to banking services. This initiative is empowering individuals and businesses to learn about access to credit and savings products through their mobile APP and SMS using data-driven mechanism and provides financial cooperative agents the tool to give standard banking experience to unbanked. SmartTeller has on-boarded over 500+ cooperative agents across Nigeria and servicing over 50,000 people In the country.
2.) Funke Adeoye, Hope behind Bars Africa
Hope behind Bars Africa is a social profit organization that stands as a voice for people behind bars by promoting the development and institutionalization of innovative and sustainable interventions for reforms. Its web-based app “connect lawyer” helps to facilitate access to justice by connecting indigent inmates to verified pro bono lawyers. The organization has provided legal representation to several indigent inmates in Abia, Nasarawa, Minna and FCT most of whom are awaiting trial inmates who had been abandoned in prison.
3.) Chinedu Martins Udekwe (Lightsup Energy Solutions)
Lightsup Energy Solutions is a Social Enterprise which harnesses low-cost innovations and smart logistics to address the problems of inefficient utilization of waste and energy challenges among farmers, low-income households and Rural Community in Nigeria. It produces eco-friendly green Biomass Briquettes which are renewable sources of affordable clean energy accessible for all, especially for the rural under-served because it is very affordable.
4.) Odunayo Aliu, Bramble
Bramble is a nonprofit that creates alternative learning spaces for children in rural communities across Nigeria. It is an education system that helps young people find their passion for learning through play and the use of creative resources. Bramble is a flagship of the Love Letters Child Support Initiative. Bramble provides an alternative learning space that focuses on living skills, helps develop creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking in these children. In July 2019, it completed its pilot program and successfully set up a learning space in Beere community of Ibadan, Nigeria.
5.) Babajide Oluwase, RenewDrive
RenewDrive designs develop and deploys low-cost, solar-powered storage solution that maximizes fruits and vegetable shelf-life and enables farmers to supply quality products to the local market at the right time whilst ensuring better returns.
6.) Udekwe Uche Kenneth, Natal Cares
Natal Cares leverages the power of mobile technology and low-cost innovation to combat maternal and infant mortality in Nigeria. Primarily focusing on providing healthcare, medical monitoring, and emergency services to at-risk pregnant women and nursing mothers reaching them in their hometowns and villages and advocating for better access to healthcare at primary healthcare centers.
7.) Egbroko Emmanuel, Community Based Participatory Immunization Foundation (CBPI)
Community Based Participatory Immunization Foundation (CBPI)/Inocul8 (CBPI) works to combats vaccine-preventable diseases (VPDs) in rural and urban communities in Nigeria by creating awareness and increasing access to life-saving vaccines using medical outreach approach and a web-based platform that enables people book for vaccination and have the Inocul8 team go over to them to educate, screen, and administer their vaccines at the comfort of their homes or offices.
8.) Balogun Mariam, LifeFund Foundation
LifeFund Foundation is a non-governmental organization with a mission to reduce the financial burden and huge out-of-pocket health spending of underprivileged hospitalized patients. The foundation hopes to help achieve a Universal Health Coverage that is a prerequisite in the attainment of one of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – Good Health and Well Being for All.
9.) Onothoja Ogheneruona, Focus and Rebirth Initiative (FARi Africa)
Focus and Rebirth Initiative (FARi Africa) Africa is a volunteer -lead grassroots initiative (Arts & Craft Lab) that creates opportunity for economically constrained children in Northern and Western Nigeria to gain access to learning resources and academic aid through creative recycling. The model is to train children on converting the waste in their community to sellable artworks which are then sold; with the proceeds used to sponsor teaching and learning aids for marginalized schools.
10.) Aliu Rasheed Olawale, Arleegreen Renewables
Arleegreen Renewables is a cutting-edge social enterprise geared towards converting farms organic waste into clean energy. This is achieved by converting the huge waste produced on farms to feed into the bio-digester plant we build on farms. The bio-digester plant discomposes the waste, converting it into biogas, the biogas is been filtered into bio-methane (CH4). The bio-methane is a biofuel used to power farm electrical and mechanical machines as well as for cooking with biogas stove.
11) Akinse Fela, SALUBATA
SALUBATA has the mission to be the global leader in shoe manufacturing and any other wearable item with products built on a passion for helping humans live more sustainably via efficient marketing strategies and unique and innovative product designs.
12.) Momodu, Adaorah Francisca, Oncopadi
Oncopadi is Africa’s 1st digital cancer clinic improving access to “medically-verified” information and survivorship services. A health-centered initiative leveraging on data, research, digital technology and impact of scale. Our vision is to be earth’s most-connected/patient-centric platform that empowers patients, caregivers and healthcare consumers with accurate information, prompt medical services and a great support network.
13.) Iyeah Andeshi, Awe Farms and consult
Awe Farms and consult provide farmers with digital input financing in form of credit terms that enables them to procure farm inputs such as: Organic manure, Hybrid seeds (Maize and Rice), Livestock feed from recycled agricultural waste. While accessing Veterinary services and the use of a drone for efficient disease diagnosis and delivery of veterinary supplies in remote livestock farming communities.
14.) Maduka Emmanuel, LifePro Food Mills
LifePro Food Mills is a social enterprise that empowers women in rural communities for the production of highly nutritious, indigenous organic food products. The company’s goal to eliminate malnutrition in Africa is evident in our unique flagship product called Hiru (made from the African Locust Beans) which we have innovated into regular and powdered variants and soon would be available as bouillon cube.
15.) Timi Edwin, CrimsonBow Sickle Cell Initiative
CrimsonBow Sickle Cell Initiative is an established faith-based not-for-profit organization focused on being a primary support platform and resource community for every sickle cell individual to create a world for them where they live life in all its fullness. The aim is to equip Sickle Cell warriors with what it takes to fight and continuously push back the boundaries and limits put upon their lives by the Sickle Cell condition.
16.) Obianuju Egbuna, The Mushroom Schools foundation
The Mushroom Schools Foundation is a nonprofit that was set up to bridge the growing information gap that is clearly visible in the low-cost education sector. The Mushroom schools foundation is focused on; providing training on 21st-century education models, improving access to opportunities, access to funding, and ultimately to improve the quality of teaching and learning in Mushroom schools.
17.) Adetunwase Adenle, Slum Art
Slum Art is a social enterprise that teaches Art to underserved children in slums. It is co-founded by Adetunwase Adenle, an Art Educationist and four times Guinness World Record holder who over two years in Slums in Nigeria, teaching Art to children. Slum Art is on the quest to create a sustainable art education and learning environment in 10 slums within Lagos state where young people can learn various forms of Art to give gainful empowerment and develop new talents.
18.) Lucky Aziken, Vision Care Giver International Health Systems Ltd
VCGi Health Systems Ltd is a social enterprise providing sustainable access to quality and affordable eye care services in underserved communities. They are heralding the first national health system for eye care in Nigeria with the mission of ensuring people in need of eye care regardless of where they live, are able to access it without suffering financial hardships.
19.) Udo-Inyang Michael Aniekan, Pan-African Center for Autism (PACA)
PACA is a marketplace where caregivers are Trained, Certified and found by care recipients. PACA creates and maintains a caregiver service delivery ecosystem that drives global employability and the FIRST self-sustaining community for people with disabilities; where they develop their unique abilities into meaningful job skills while building friendships, independence, a sense of belonging and purpose through policy advocacy and social entrepreneurship.
20.) Umar Sanni, The Smart walking stick for blind people (X-CMED)
The Smart Walking Stick is a social enterprise founded to address the problem of mobility suffered by people who are visually impaired. Through its smart cane, The Smart walking stick initiative is providing help and improved mobility and to the blind.