The Global Business Leaders Magazine has named Uganda’s HiPipo among this year’s world’s Top 20 companies escalating innovation in the digital financial services market.
The only African company on the American Magazine’s list, HiPipo was specifically applauded for championing digital innovation and financial inclusion across Africa under their Include Everyone program.
Other companies on the list include Naborforce, Helpware, Proximity Space, Gulf Data Hub, SMT Energy, Motus Inc. among others. The rankings looked at companies at the forefront of digital innovations across the world, with special emphasis on inclusion. HiPipo CEO Innocent Kawooya welcomed the news and noted that this is a testament to HiPipo’s 18-year journey of championing inclusion for everyone.
“It is always refreshing to see our work appreciated by reputable organizations such as the Global Business Leaders Magazine. These are indeed fruits of a dedicated team determined to change lives of people especially found at the bottom of the pyramid,” Kawooya said.
“With a keen interest in women empowerment, HiPipo’s events help reduce the barriers perpetuating the gender gap by providing women with technical and business skills in digital financial services. It enables sustainable and inclusive growth and drives financial inclusion by advocating for reducing widespread interoperability issues leading to the exclusion of poor and vulnerable groups in the financial system,” the Magazine said.
HiPipo is also created for the implementation of various initiatives, HiPipo supporting the creation of domestic and cross-border instant retail payments systems that enable wide economic growth in addition to facilitating the delivery of affordable and innovative financial products to poor and vulnerable groups, by advocating for making use of DFS to support the establishment of sustainable and inclusive growth.
Founded in 2005, HiPipo was started by a team of young enterprising minds who came together with the desire to change and excitement about billboard charts and awards. It began by promoting local music using digital means and awards.
The firm eventually started the HiPipo Music Awards in 2012 and they will be celebrating eleven years this year. Through their Include Everyone program, HiPipo first organized the Digital Impact Awards Africa in 2013, which eventually led to the initiation of other programs focused on low-income digital users, special interest groups such as women, PWDs, rural organizations, and small formal and informal businesses.
Headquartered in Kamwokya, a Kampala suburb, HiPipo has been able to conceptualize and actualize several sector-changing initiatives to put Africa’s digital innovators on the required pedestal to help them solve problems. These include the 40-Days-40-FinTechs and FinTech Landscape Exhibition; the Women-In-FinTech Hackathon, Summit and Incubator; and one of the continent’s most distinguished awards for digital innovation – the Digital Impact Awards Africa (DIAA).
Kawooya says that these initiatives and their related activities, publications, and implementations have put HiPipo among the most important conveners of the various players/stakeholders in the FinTech and digital financial services space. Moreover, all its actions and advocacy have been geared towards having the unbanked and the marginalized as the main beneficiaries of these innovations.
HiPipo’s major partner and supporter, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation are recognized proponents of the Level One Project. In fact, Kawooya was elected as chairperson of the Mojaloop Community Council, serving for a year’s term starting December 2020. Kawooya noted that they will now continue serving people with an innovative range of solutions and offerings.
“In future, we strive to continue doing our best. We are planning to implement and scale initiatives on the continent that increase the number of African women in leadership positions through efforts such as the Women-In-FinTech Hackathon, Summit, and Incubator. With financial exclusion persisting in Africa due to various reasons, HiPipo is aiming to accelerate its advocacy for the demand of creating instant and inclusive payment systems across Africa,” he said.
He says that their mission now is to ensure sustainability of the Include Everyone program to contribute to accelerating financial inclusion and public services.