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Strive Community

Strive Innovation Fund winners announced!

Meet the innovators testing new digital solutions to strengthen small businesses.

Today we’re thrilled to announce the winners of our inaugural Strive Community Innovation Fund. The fund has awarded a total of $1 million to enterprises testing new products, features, services and business models that could catalyze small businesses’ resilience and growth, at scale. Interest from the community of business support organizations was incredible, and we received over 650 strong applications from all over the world. From these, we selected eight winners that are transforming how small businesses operate and are supported in a world that is rapidly digitizing.

We sought out the most innovative digital and data first solutions that can really be transformative for small enterprises (those with fewer than 10 employees). Winning solutions include Internet of Things-enabled vending machines that grow retailer revenue in Kenya by reducing stock outs and eliminating single-use plastic; testing the viability of using financial literacy education data to de-risk and expand small business credit in Cambodia; and trialing the efficacy of virtual reality to upskill entrepreneurs in favelas in Brazil. Meet the winners below!

If you’re an organization supporting small business growth with digital and data first solutions, stay up to date with our funding and partnership opportunities by visiting our website, following us on LinkedIn and Twitter, and signing up to receive email updates.

Meet the winners

Latin America & the Caribbean

Flourish Fi, Brazil

Flourish Fi’s mission is to empower all people to build positive money habits and achieve financial security. Their project focuses on driving improved financial management and financial decision-making for small business owners by using behavioral insights and open banking data combined with tried and tested game-mechanics. Read more about their project here.

XRGlobal, Brazil

XRGlobal (XRG) is a company that builds virtual, augmented, and mixed-reality solutions that revolutionize learning and development in emerging markets with the use of 3D-modeling and simulation in training and operations support. Their project will be testing the potential of virtual reality (VR) to upskill small businesses, by bringing learners into immersive experiences. Read more about their project here.

Open Contracting Partnership, USA/Colombia

The Open Contracting Partnership (OCP) is an organization currently supporting transformational public procurement reform in more than 60 countries around the world.

Their project for our Innovation Fund is to create a marketplace that leverages open data about government contract awards to seamlessly connect small businesses winning contracts with financial institutions who can offer them credit. Read more about their project here.

FUNDES, Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, Colombia

FUNDES’s mission is to unleash the sustainable development of Latin America through the sustainable growth of micro- and small enterprises. We’re working with FUNDES and Argidius to connect small retailers in Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru to a marketplace that enables them to find the most appropriate tools and solutions to digitize their business operations. Read more about their project here.

Asia Pacific

ChatGenie, Philippines

ChatGenie enables businesses to sell inside the world’s biggest apps. It is a full-stack e-commerce platform for superapps, giving apps like Messenger, Instagram, Viber, GCash, and TikTok the power of online ordering. Their project will be testing three new features to reduce friction for businesses promoting and selling on social media, and enable management of multiple channels within a single app. Read more about their project here.

Boost Capital, Cambodia

Boost Capital is a platform that enables small businesses to access financial services and learning through smartphones. This program will test a correlation between financial literacy education and loan performance. If we can prove that small businesses engaging in financial literacy education programs are lower risk for credit default, financial services providers worldwide could be incentivized to connect education programs to their lending decision engines. This could result in more financially savvy small businesses with access to more affordable loans around the world. Read more about their project here.

Middle East & Africa

Novek, Kenya

Novek builds IOT technology for dispensers and vending machines for micro-retailers. For this Strive Community Innovation Fund project, Novek will develop an IOT-enabled vending machine for a new product: washing powder. Washing powder is a multibillion-dollar market globally — US$5.5 billion in India and US$3.6 billion in Indonesia — and the application of this technology could help boost retailer sales globally by enabling sales of very small quantities, reducing stock outs and more. Read about their project here.

Boost Technology Ltd, South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria

Boost is a B2B commerce platform powering growth for Africa’s convenience economy. Their project aims to develop and test a new service that combines data analysis, behavioral science, and conversational commerce to empower small retailers with insights to drive digital confidence and business resilience. As it stands now, the insights and efficiencies of digitization deliver the most benefits to distributors and suppliers. This project hopes to change that. Read more about their project here.

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