In July, Barclays launched an innovation challenge called the Barclays Africa Challenge seeking ideas and innovations in Fin-tech. The challenge dubbed the Barclays Africa Supply Chain Challenge was part of a global initiative called the Barclays Rise Innovation program seeking the “next big thing” in financial services and was open to individuals, teams and startups based in Africa. The overall winner of the challenge was to get $10,000 in prize money. Kenyan startup Markit Opportunity won the challenge. Markit Opportunity provides a mobile platform that connects traders in urban markets to farmers with real-time supply and demand statistics, as well as market-related pricing. Rise programme having engaged over 6 500 start-ups in 95 countries and transferred more than 3 000 hours of knowledge
Barclays Africa has now announced the opening up of a Rise Innovation hub in Cape Town South Africa seeking to provide Africa’s innovators and startups with a location to facilitate fintech innovation. The lab will connect innovators, corporates in addition to merging resources and networks in virtual and physical hubs. Barclays is also working with the finalists in deploying some of these solutions for their customers. Other initiatives around the Rise challenge include the Tech Lab Africa. Barclays Kenya announced last year, the opening of the Barclays Kenya Product Lab in Nairobi, an agile product development program aimed at giving local developers access to a pool of resources in partnership between Moringa School of coding and start-up investment firm, Nest.