Safaricom, a telecommunications company based in Kenya, in collaboration with Sumitomo Corp of Japan, has jointly established a platform designed to foster and assist startup enterprises. This initiative was officially announced on Wednesday.
While African economies, such as Kenya, were once hailed as the promising frontier for startups, particularly in the technology sector, entrepreneurs encountered challenges that included limited access to funding and a need for more refined market strategies.
In this collaborative endeavor known as the “Spark Accelerator,” both Safaricom and Sumitomo Corp are now joined by M-Pesa Africa, the entity responsible for overseeing Safaricom’s M-Pesa mobile financial services platform.
M-Pesa, a service enabling users to transfer money, conduct mobile payments for various products and services, save, and access small loans through their mobile devices, is currently employed by a substantial user base of 60 million individuals and 3 million businesses across the continent.
Katsuya Kashiki, the General Manager of Sumitomo’s Smart Communications Platform Division, expressed that the platform’s objective is to enhance critical sectors in Africa.