LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 AFRICA, TANZANIA: The GSMA launched a fund to support start-ups using mobile to drive positive socio-economic impact in emerging markets.
The Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund will be open to start-ups in Africa and selected countries in Asia and will identify innovations with potential for growth whilst also providing best practices for stakeholders.
It will provide funding, mobile-focused mentoring and technical assistance to start-ups, and establish partnerships with operators to increase the reach of innovative mobile services.
It is backed by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and supported by the GSMA and its members.
Mats Granryd, director general of the GSMA, said this was an opportunity for the mobile industry to work with entrepreneurs in developing markets to create services that will deliver important socio-economic benefits to their communities.
“I anticipate that we will see some incredible applications and I look forward to seeing the first selected start-up businesses flourish,” he commented.
The fund will run several rounds between 2016 and 2020, with each round having specific areas of focus. The first will look at services focused on the ‘sharing economy’ (a product or service which enables low-income citizens in emerging markets to generate income from ‘under-utilised assets’, such as free personal time or vehicle use, by sharing those assets with their peers) as well as those targeting Small and Medium Enterprises. It will disburse around £2 million to 10 to 15 start-ups in January 2017.