Tuesday May 30, 2023

GSMA Innovation Fund for Digital Urban Services: Meet the founders

Person looking at mobile phone smiling, light is reflecting on face in dark room

The GSMA Innovation Fund for Digital Urban Services was launched to support organisations that provide essential urban services and leverage digital innovations and partnerships to make these services accessible, reliable, sustainable and affordable.

This initiative is currently funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), and supported by the GSMA and its members.

ATEC, Bangladesh

ATEC is a grantee from the GSMA Innovation Fund for Digital Urban Services, providing sustainable, affordable, and accessible clean cooking products for bottom of the pyramid communities through their electromagnetic induction stove, the ‘eCook’ stove. This stove is available on a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) basis, making them affordable even for those on the lowest incomes. In this video Shuvasish Bhowmick, Country Director at ATEC Global Bangladesh, shares how their patented IoT stove products deliver modern, affordable cooking to emerging market households, while also tracking climate impacts.

Bhumijo, Bangladesh

Bhumijo Limited is a grantee from the GSMA Innovation Fund for Digital Urban Services, running a network of public toilets and washrooms serving low-income areas in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Bhumijo centres provide different services, besides toilets, such as showers, clean drinking water, laundry, refreshments and advertisement space, all at an affordable price. Masud Shammo, CEO and COO at Bhumijo Limited, shares how they are working to ensure hygienic, inclusive and affordable public sanitation in Bangladesh.

Diyalo Technologies, Nepal

Diyalo Technologies is a grantee from the GSMA Innovation Fund for Digital Urban Services, developing IoT-based digital solutions for water utilities in Nepal. They are working towards reducing the gaps in Nepal’s water utility sectors. Their partnership with Nepal Telecom and the GSMA enables them to digitise ERP and CRM systems, including IoT deployments to measure network performance and leakages. The CEO, Pharsu Ram Khanal, shares how they reduce water waste, build consumption efficiencies and offer safe drinking water to households in Nepal.

Freetown Waste Transformers, Sierra Leone

Freetown Waste Transformers (FWT) is a grantee from the GSMA Innovation Fund for Digital Urban Services, transforming waste to energy in Sierra Leone. They have successfully deployed a waste-to-energy pilot using proprietary technology (a waste transformer) to convert organic food waste into electricity, heat, and fertiliser right at customers’ doorsteps, cutting costs on energy and waste management bills. The CEO and Founder of Freetown Waste Transformers, Aminata Dumbuya Jarr, discusses their effort to digitise the waste management sector and how the GSMA and mobile operator collaborations enable it.

Janajal, India

Janajal is a grantee from the GSMA Innovation Fund for Digital Urban Services, delivering safe drinking water in India using technology-based solutions like Water ATMs, mobile water dispensers and on-site filtration units. Amit Kumar, Project Manager at Janajal, shares their commitment of delivering safe drinking water to marginsalised communities. They operate multiple static water ATMs and IoT-based mobile water delivery vehicles across densely populated areas in India. The GSMA Innovation Fund drives innovative digital solutions with positive socio-economic or environmental impact in low- and middle-income countries, providing funding and support to start-ups across Africa and Asia.

Koolboks, Nigeria

Koolboks is a grantee from the GSMA Innovation Fund for Digital Urban Services, providing pay-as-you-go (PAYG) solar-powered refrigeration solutions in Nigeria. Koolboks’ innovative product uses ice, as well as batteries, to convert the power of the sun into cooling, through which they’re cutting the cost of off-grid refrigeration by 40%. In this video, Deborah Gael, Co-Founder at Koolboks, shares about how they provide access to financing for much needed solar-powered freezers to female business owners, the unbanked, and those who would not otherwise have access to credit.

Regenize, South Africa

Regenize is a grantee from the GSMA Innovation Fund for Digital Urban Services. They are a recycling collection solution on a mission to make recycling more accessible, inclusive and rewarding. They provide a ‘freemium’ recycling collection service that incentivises residents with Remali, a virtual currency that can be redeemed for various rewards such as airtime, data and grocery vouchers. In this video Regenize co-founder, Nkazi Miti shares more on Regenize’s accessible decentralised recycling collection service, their socio-economic impact and their partnerships that are enabling them to sustain such impact.

Recircle, India

Recircle is a grantee from the GSMA Innovation Fund for Digital Urban Services, aggregating and digitising the dry waste supply chains to track safe disposal or recycling. ReCircle, a brand of Swachh Sustainable Solutions, are building a digital platform that aggregates the collection and processing of dry waste to sell Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) credits to businesses, such as Hindustan Unilever Limited, and Dabur in India. Rahul Nainani, Co-Founder and CEO of ReCircle shares how they bring together multi-level waste collectors, aggregators, recyclers and processors, to address the urgent need for resource recovery.

SoSo Care, Nigeria

SoSo Care is a grantee from the GSMA Innovation Fund for Digital Urban Services, enabling health insurance payments with recyclable waste. They are a micro-mobile health insurance company using an innovative approach to provide health insurance to low-income populations by providing an option for them to pay for health insurance cover using recyclable waste. Chinonso Opurum, the founder of SoSo care, talks about their mission to build behavioural change around recycling, insurance and trust, as well as how the GSMA has helped them to do so.

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