Sustainable Development Goals Impact Accelerator (SDGia), a global accelerator focusing on empowering impact entrepreneurs and innovators, completed its "Accelerator Program" with two Bangladesh companies Shadhin Fintech and bhalo winning the competition.
They were eligible to drive Financial Inclusion in Bangladesh and won equity-free grant of up to $100,000 on the programme hosted on 8 July, said a press release.
Funded by the Turkish Government SDGia second program has been seeking solutions for Digital Agriculture in Uganda and Financial Inclusion in Bangladesh, by mentoring and funding founders and innovators with the help of global investors, mentors, and partners.
Both cohorts, ten teams combined, from Bangladesh, India, Netherlands, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, and the UK have been selected to join the acceleration program out of 1,000 applications in March.
Co-founder of Shadhin Fintech, Md Shadman Yunus, discussed their plan to drive digital credit access, by having a simple platform that connects low to middle income Bangladeshis to get financial access, while specifically trying to drive financial inclusion among women and thanked SDGIA program for giving Bangladeshi startups the opportunity to participate in a global event.
Shadhin CEO - Kashfia Mahmud, in a discussion with The Business Standard said, "Bangladesh has a lot of opportunities specifically enabling financial access across the urban middle and lower middle class. We noticed during COVID a lot of families struggled with lack of access to credit and had to rely on savings or grants provided by the government. We feel fintech solutions and platform like ours, will start to address this problem and enable more people to get credit – which we believe is a basic human right"
The second winner, bhalo, is a farm inputs marketplace that offers curated high-quality farm inputs (seeds, fertilisers, chemicals, etc.), advisory, credit and insurance facility which increase farmers production and income.
bhalo connects small farmers to high-quality farm input suppliers and financial institutions, using technology and a network of exclusive sales agents, logistics hubs and retail outlets.
Subrata Kumar – founder and CEO of bhalo told The Business Standard, "the support from SDGia will help us expand our operations, and offer innovative products and services to improve income and wellbeing of Bangladeshi farmers."
The event was attended by Ambassador Esen Altug, Honourable State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak, Ambassador Mustafa Osman Turan, Startup Bangladesh Managing Director & CEO Tina Jabeen, UNDP Turkey Resident Representative Louisa Vinton, Uganda Ambassador Willy Ofwono and other dignitaries.
During the programme, SDGia Talks series was hosted on issues such as impact, entrepreneurship, agritech and fintech.