Impact Hub Lagos Hosts Austrian Embassy for Advantage Austria Innovation Mission
By Opeyemi Solaru
On Tuesday, October 12, in collaboration with the Austrian Embassy, Impact Hub Lagos hosted the first edition of the Advantage Austria Innovation Mission to Lagos. Advantage Austria is the trade promotion organization of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber. The event aimed to create a mutually beneficial relationship between members of the fintech community in Nigeria and Austria.
Some of the ventures represented were Lauren Parker, Shecluded, Ouipass, Beta Store and Traction Apps. The program began with an introduction to Advantage Austria and about their excitement to be involved in the Nigerian innovation space. The business ventures had the opportunity to share some of their experiences and hardships navigating the Nigerian innovation ecosystem.
Beta Store discussed the difficulty of conducting business while dealing with the exclusion due to policies and institutions that are in place. Traction apps shared how early on in operation they realized that banks struggled to engage SMEs, which led to (and still leads to) SME’s using multiple banks. Thus, they decided to build a platform for SMEs to use for tracking payments.
Shecluded highlighted how Nigeria has very little financial inclusion for women. To solve this problem, the founder decided to start this fintech specifically for women. They have paid specific focus to women in small communities that do not use banks as much, but instead use traditional banking methods, such as “ajo” — a traditional savings scheme in which a group of people contributes money to a pool and at the end of each month, one group member takes all the money. Shecluded has developed its solution to bridge this gap and promote financial inclusion amongst underserved populations.
All in all, the event provided the opportunity for open dialogue, allowing entrepreneurs to hear from like-minded individuals and think about sustainable solutions to difficult problems. Impact Hub Lagos plans to continue to foster an environment of community, networking and collaboration and looks forward to hosting more events like this in the future.