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Scaling Market-Led Solutions: AFEX’s CCC 4.0 to Give Away $10,000 to Winners
As applications continue to roll in for the Code Cash Crop 4.0 hackathon, we bring you another insightful blog post on CCC’s contribution to providing access to finance for start-ups. The registration is now open to Innovators from Kenya and Nigeria, and the theme for this year is ‘Scaling Market-Led Solutions’.
One of the critical determinants to ensure the scalability of startups is access to finance. A significant highlight of CCC is the cash prize of a whopping 10,000 dollars given to the winning agribusiness ventures to invest in their innovations, helping to bridge the gap between start-ups and the financing they need to succeed. For instance, Prince Achoja, the winner of CCC 3.0, received 2.5 million Naira, which he invested into Ma’aji, an agro-fintech platform providing farmers in Kano with access to modern farming processes, and financial solutions and connecting them to agro-experts and extension workers to improve upon their farming practices.
According to Folasewa Abdulsalam, CEO of PalmFarms and recipient of 1.5 million Naira, the lack of access to finance was the major impediment to kicking off her startup. Since emerging as first runner-up at the last CCC, Folasewa has built a B2C farm management platform that enables customers in Ife to shop for fresh vegetables directly from the farmer. She admitted that the prize money was her primary motivation for participating in the hackathon because the funds would speed up her rollout of making supplies (fresh farm produce) available to households while providing farmers with analytics on their sales and income.
This challenge of access to finance is a common one affecting 70% of Africa's population that depend directly on agriculture for their livelihood. Agriculture and technology are two sectors that are critical to the growth and development of Africa's economy because of the potential to drive sustainable economic growth, create jobs, and reduce poverty. Lack of access to finance has hindered the growth of many promising start-ups needing to either scale their operations or bring their innovative solutions to market. A recent World Bank-IFC report revealed that the demand for food is expected to increase by 60% by 2050, and the only way to increase food production is to invest in sustainable technologies and climate-smart agriculture to ease the current demand pressure on the agricultural system, particularly in the Global South.
Code Cash Crop 4.0 ag-hackathon provides a collaborative environment for African youth to generate innovative ideas and prototype new solutions that merge agriculture, finance, and technology to advance market-led approaches in the food system. Another key benefit of CCC is that it gives start-ups access to a network of stakeholders who can help support their growth and development. This includes access to mentorship, coaching programs, and connections to key industry players and potential customers.
If you are passionate about developing viable, sustainable, scalable solutions in the agriculture, finance, and technology sectors, then apply to be one of the 30 participants selected to pitch their ideas at designated boot camps across Nigeria and Kenya. At the end of the hackathon, winners receive not only the cash prize but access to a training school and mentorship classes to help bring their ideas to fruition. Apply Now! Applications are open till 30th May.