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Africa’s Kubik and Emata win Global Startup Awards
Two African start-ups have been recognised as global winners of the 2022 Global Startup Awards. The competition is the world’s largest independent start-up competition and offers start-ups exposure to international markets, funding opportunities and a global network of leaders.
Kubik, an environmental technology company from Ethiopia, which turns plastic waste into low-carbon, low-cost buildings won the GSA’s Startup of the Year category. The company’s environmentally friendly alternative building materials interlock to avoid the need for costly and polluting materials.
Ugandan fintech start-up Emata won the Best Newcomer award for offering affordable digital loans to smallholder farmers, thereby revolutionising their access to financing. The company has automated the entire loan process from data collection and credit scoring to loan disbursement and offers loans as small as UGX 60 000 (about $15).
Jo Griffiths, co-founder of the GSA Africa and the Global Innovation Initiative Group, stated that these awards help to identify and celebrate future-shapers, and build a network of innovation organisations across the globe.
She added that start-ups mastering technology and innovation will shape the future. The focus of the GSA season is on green innovation and how to propel society to move in a more sustainable direction. The investor delegation and African meet-ups were additional approaches to connect start-ups with like-minded individuals, potential investors, and the general public.
The GIIG Africa Fund participates in the top one percent of the Global Startup Awards Africa’s winners’ network. The GIIG Africa Foundation aids in the progress of the remaining 99% of businesses.
The awards are helping to fuel a new industrial revolution, powered by sustainable development.
Kubik chief executive and co-founder, Kidus Asfaw, during his acceptance speech at the GSA, stated that he represented Africa and not just his company. He mentioned that the support of their community and country has been significant in getting Kubik to where they are today as the global Startup of the Year.
The GSA’s multidimensional dynamic is the result of extensive and rigorous research, networking, and collaborations across the globe to discover the most promising innovators. Over the past decade, the GSA has used market position and growth services to support pioneering projects and products relating to next-generation innovation, thereby providing visibility to more than 10 000 start-ups.
Africa’s recognition on the global stage was evident in the announcement of the overall winners of the 2022 Global Startups Awards. The awards break down boundaries and old misconceptions about Africa, with start-ups from this continent earning global awards.
The GSA Africa considered 7 589 nominees before crowning the continent-wide winners in 12 categories, including women in tech, healthtech, agritech and best newcomer. Sixty regional winners were announced.
According to Griffiths, the world needs Africa to find solutions for some of its most pressing challenges. She stated that the continent is brimming with world-class talent, impact-driven ideas, and ample opportunities to scale. Griffiths is incredibly excited to connect with the next cohort of leaders in African innovation and to support their growth with new opportunities for funding, market access, and global mentorship.
Copenhagen, host to GSA’s headquarters and the annual international awards ceremony, is renowned as Europe’s green capital. The city supports massive investment in green growth and eco-innovation, both directly and indirectly.