Ovamba News https://www.ovamba.com/blog Fri, 20 Sep 2019 12:47:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3 http://blog.ovamba.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/cropped-Logo-Large-2-150x150.png Ovamba News https://www.ovamba.com/blog 32 32 Eric V. Guichard, CEO of Homestrings Joins Ovamba’s Advisory Board https://www.ovamba.com/blog/eric-v-guichard-ceo-of-homestrings-joins-ovambas-advisory-board/ Fri, 20 Sep 2019 12:47:26 +0000 https://www.ovamba.com/blog/?p=1034 Ovamba has announced that Eric V. Guichard, Chairman and CEO of Gravitas Capital and Founding CEO of Homestrings (US) has joined Ovamba’s Advisory Board.

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Ovamba has announced that Eric V. Guichard, Chairman and CEO of Gravitas Capital and Founding CEO of Homestrings (US) has joined Ovamba’s Advisory Board.  His newly accepted position on the Board is effective as of 13th August 2019.

Before founding Gravitas Capital and Homestrings, Mr. Guichard was at the World Bank for 6 years managing several Treasury Department liquidity portfolios.  He also strategized and provided technical support to the central banks of the World Bank’s member countries.  Mr. Guichard’s career has further been distinguished by his advisory services and expertise which he has leant to corporations that required “turn arounds” and restructuring of operations and Boards of Directors.

In the arena of Diaspora investment and emerging markets, Eric Guichard is respected for making investment models accessible to Africans abroad and influencing regulators to create policies that will engage and boost investment from these groups.  Both co-founders of Ovamba have often remarked on the complimentary impact of Ovamba and Homestrings on SME finance.

Robert Sheahan, long time Board member and Senior Advisor to Ovamba said, “We are really pleased to have Eric on board.  He brings deep insights into the challenges and the role that central banks play in transforming economies.  Social Impact requires robust support to drive change”.  Mr. Guichard echoed the sentiment and stated, “I am happy to be joining an elite team destined to do great things in the all-important SME finance space.  I think Ovamba has a unique and transformative model, and I hope to contribute substantively to its growth.”

Mr. Guichard is an award-winning serial entrepreneur and institutional investment professional. He has an MBA from Harvard University and earned his BSBA degree in Business Administration from Duquesne University.  He is a sought-after consultant and respected expert in strategic policy implementation and alternative finance.   His family are from the United States and Guinea.  He spends his time between Europe and the USA.

About Homestrings

Homestrings (US) (www.homestrings.com) is a leading diaspora investment advisory platform. Between 2011 and 2017, Homestrings launched and managed an innovative diaspora crowdfunding platform for which it won several awards, including “Financier of the Year” in 2014. Since then, Homestrings has advised sovereigns, multilateral organizations and banks on diaspora fundraising strategies and products, including global diaspora bonds.

About Gravitas Capital Advisors

Gravitas Capital Advisors, Inc. (www.gravitascapital.com) is a consulting boutique based in Washington, D.C. with satellite presence in London.  Gravitas designs and manages innovative solutions for Sovereign and Global institutional investors.

About Ovamba

Ovamba (www.Ovamba.com) is an award winning African “TradeTech” company that creates culturally attuned technologies to help commercial and central banks serve formal and informal African SMEs in the trade & commodities sectors.  Ovamba’s solutions combine innovative Sharia compliant structures with eCommerce, logistics services, and technology to drive financial inclusion and promote growth.  Ovamba’s  mobile app ‘Ovamba Plus’ is available from Google App Store.

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UPDATE – OVAMBA PLATFORM HAS PROCESSED MORE THAN 1000 CUSTOMER TRANSACTIONS https://www.ovamba.com/blog/update-ovamba-platform-has-processed-more-than-1000-customer-transactions/ Tue, 09 Jul 2019 21:40:16 +0000 https://www.ovamba.com/blog/?p=1030 Ranked amongst the top 10 most innovative companies in Africa by Fast Company, Ovamba Solutions, Inc. in recent months have processed over 1000 transactions

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Ranked amongst the top 10 most innovative companies in Africa by Fast Company, Ovamba Solutions, Inc. in recent months have processed over 1000 transactions from growing businesses in Cameroon alone.  These small and medium enterprises (‘SMEs’) applied for funding from Ovamba to purchase inventory from global sources to boost their sales and win market share in Cameroon.

Ovamba’s unique approach to helping businesses grow uses a proprietary risk model that blends ethnic and cultural data with traditional risk assessment features that are attuned to African and emerging market realities. Customers who come to Ovamba are serviced with eCommerce, logistics & flexible warehousing solutions to promote real business growth through business support.  In addition, Ovamba’s Natural Language Chatbot is poised to give informal businesses in the trade and commodities sector full access to financial services where language might be a barrier. Ovamba foresees using the chatbot as a means of delivering business coaching.

Since coming out of a successful beta testing phase in 2017, transactions originated have totaled approximately 105 million Euro.  Majority of the applications have come via the mobile app, ‘Ovamba Plus’, (available on ‘Google Play’) which allows customers to not only apply for funding, but to also gain control of their business operations, inventory levels and cashflow to truly boost business growth.  The combination of capital, logistics and inventory management has led some of Ovamba’s high performing customers to experience growth in excess of 700% in a single year. Having seen the proof of concept and accelerated customer growth, Ovamba has begun expansion of operations from their Central African hub (Cameroon) to West Africa and other emerging markets.

The most successful clients in Ovamba’s portfolio are in the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumable Goods) and light manufacturing/infrastructure sectors.  “Consolidating the buying power of Africa’s inventory-hungry customers is at the heart of our approach to SmartGrowth(™). Our customers are ambitious business owners who want the best prices and best quality products to satisfy their home market demands,” said Marvin Cole, Co-Founder and CEO.  He further added, “Our investors have been pushing us to increase terms and funding limits, which we are excited to do in additional markets. 2019 will see us tripling the number and quality of transactions across our platform. As long as we can match the capital to keep up with demand then we will be in a great place!  Currently, we are completely over-subscribed.”

Industry insiders have been well aware of the award-winning innovator that produced Africa’s’ first “Sharia compliant” ‘TradeTech’ platform.  “Global stakeholders have heard announcements saying that Africa is open for business but being open to digitization and trade in spite of current political sentiment is an entirely new opportunity”, said Viola Llewellyn, Co-founder and Global President.

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Ovamba’s 5 Year Anniversary https://www.ovamba.com/blog/ovambas-5-year-anniversary/ Wed, 26 Jun 2019 13:46:58 +0000 https://www.ovamba.com/blog/?p=1016 It has taken just 5 years to accomplish what others said was impossible.  Viola Llewellyn and Marvin Cole merged technology, culture and a new

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It has taken just 5 years to accomplish what others said was impossible.  Viola Llewellyn and Marvin Cole merged technology, culture and a new vision of finance to create Ovamba.

Founded in 2013 in the USA, Marvin and Viola put together a team to serve small and medium size businesses who were missing out on growth, and provide them with new, creative funding solutions for their businesses.  This was the birth of modern FinTech and alternative finance in Cameroon. 5 years, one extended Beta phase and 1000 transactions later Ovamba is poised to take its successful market-tested trade, finance and business model continent wide.  Their flagship innovation, ‘Growth-As-A-Service™’ is set to make a dent in Africa’s $2.3 Trillion trade and business finance gap and serve the “missing middle” profitably WITH social impact.

Ovamba has been setting trends and raising the bar for what is possible when you imagine an ‘Africa of innovation and excellence’.  The team has been honored with awards: ‘Best African FinTech Company’ in 2016 and 2017 respectively and most recently Fast Company’s 2019 ‘Top Ten Most Innovative Companies list’

In the last 5 years each of the founders has carved out personal and professional niches on the global stage.  Viola Llewellyn is known as a STEM supporter and advocate for diversity and inclusion. She serves on the board of a number of other organizations which also share similar visions and goals for women in the sectors of business, science and technology.   She is a sought after speaker on the world circuit.

In January 2019, CEO Marvin Cole spoke at Davos on ‘verbal computing and innovation’.  He is fast becoming a global thought leader on Islamic finance, TradeTech and artificial intelligence.   ‘Winning in Africa takes resilience’ said Marvin Cole. Serving the underbanked population takes deep insights, nuanced understanding and cutting edge innovation.  This particular achievement was recognized in 2017 with the Benzinga FinTech award.

Ovamba has established TradeTech as a bonafide  new asset class and the impact is tangible. Changing the world by growing businesses in Africa through TradeTech is a novel way to drive inclusion and give businesses a platform to access global opportunities.  Consolidating the buying power of Africa’s inventory-hungry customers with its SmartGrowth™ and Growth-As-A-Service™ funding products certainly addresses the risks associated with ‘fractured markets’ and reduces the barrier to investment.  Digitizing customer demand on a supply chain basis has a uniting, powerful effect. This is well ahead of the ambitions of the African Union who recently ratified an agreement to make Africa a free trade zone. 

The next 5 years promises collaboration with banks, more technology and more capital for businesses.  Investment across Ovamba’s platform will increase to help businesses attain real growth, and investors will experience great returns on impact and investment. 

As Ovamba’s founders Marvin Cole and Viola Llewellyn have always said, “This Ain’t Your Granddaddy’s Africa”!

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RETAIL BANKS SLOW TO ADOPT BLOCKCHAIN IN SPITE OF ITS EXPLOSION https://www.ovamba.com/blog/retail-banks-slow-to-adopt-blockchain-in-spite-of-its-explosion/ Fri, 14 Jun 2019 15:19:47 +0000 https://www.ovamba.com/blog/?p=1010 According to a new study by McKinsey & Co, retail banks have been slow to adopt blockchain. Blockchain technology has evolved significantly providing mechanisms to cut

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According to a new study by McKinsey & Co, retail banks have been slow to adopt blockchain. Blockchain technology has evolved significantly providing mechanisms to cut inefficiencies. Marvin Cole, Ovamba CEO states that “Blockchain is strategic to Ovamba”.

Analysts and experts believe that, if implemented correctly, the blockchain technology will improve the global financial sector, but retail banks have been slow to adopt blockchain according to a new study by McKinsey & Co.

Most players in the financial sector are still in the experimental phase despite great strides that start-ups have made has made in developing digital business models.

The study revealed that investment banks, governments, and infrastructure providers are experimenting with blockchain technology in the belief that a shared electronic ledger will enable them to cut costs and improve transparency whereby post-trade processing and settlements are instantaneous. This will eliminate many middle- and back-office processes. The investment banks also focus on the huge potential for smart contracts to enhance automation. Ovamba agrees and has been using Blockchain as the backbone of its TradeTech system for more than two years.

SAFEGUARD MEASURES

McKinsey believes that it is understandable that the retail banks are quite cautious currently. The future regulation of blockchain itself is still uncertain. However, tough regulatory requirements create a high entry barrier.

Regulators like the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), are still developing regulation policies, while in the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has already blocked all trials of Blockchain-based ETFs.

For the technology to roll out on a large scale, retail bank executives need to believe that the long-term benefits of blockchain are worth the implementation costs. The benefits of implementing blockchain technology include less friction, lower costs, and a safer retail banking system. Investors may want to reconsider their investment options. Ovamba’s tested trade, investment, sharia compliant investment vehicles are being rolled out across Africa; giving African banks a lead over their UK and USE peers.

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ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE:IS IT MAKING OR MARRING FINTECH? https://www.ovamba.com/blog/artificial-intelligenceis-it-making-or-marring-fintech/ Fri, 14 Jun 2019 13:32:28 +0000 https://www.ovamba.com/blog/?p=1005 In the very early stages, financial institutions had personal connections with their customers to help them assist in decision-making- without the aid of Artificial

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In the very early stages, financial institutions had personal connections with their customers to help them assist in decision-making- without the aid of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

With the rise of technology in the Digital Age – questions arising as to whether technology will bring back the human connection or if it will rather mar growth hacks for Fintech companies. Ovamba believes that scaling solutions for African enterprises will always need a blend of tech and people.

Artificial Intelligence, however, improves results by applying methods derived from aspects of Human Intelligence at a beyond human scale and has allowed computers to crunch huge varied, diverse and deep datasets than ever before. AI can process the huge amount of information about customers, which when compared can result in products and services solicited by customers. As a result, Ovamba’s automated Virtual Financial Assistants predict analysis in financial services by calculating credit scores and helping to prevent bad loans as well as digital/wealth management advisory services.

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Winning in Africa’s Fintech: The Ovamba Way by Viola Llewellyn https://www.ovamba.com/blog/winning-in-africas-fintech-the-ovamba-way-by-viola-llewellyn/ Tue, 15 Jan 2019 14:19:46 +0000 https://www.ovamba.com/blog/?p=983 Ovamba Co-Founder & President, Viola Llewellyn was invited to collaborate with industry leaders on the 2019 Brookings Institute report on “Africa’s Untapped Business Potential”.

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Ovamba Co-Founder & President, Viola Llewellyn was invited to collaborate with industry leaders on the 2019 Brookings Institute report on “Africa’s Untapped Business Potential”. The full report also features contributions from Acha Leke of McKinsey and Aliko Dangote, President & Chief Executive of Dangote. 

All businesses need capital to grow. This is especially true in most of Africa. Ovamba, which is often referred to as a “fintech” platform, specializes in trade and technology. It was founded in 2013 and launched a successful pilot in Cameroon in 2014. Ovamba’s strategic focus is to offer businesses in the formal and informal sector short-term capital for the importation of wholesale/retail goods and to support exportation of commodities such as coffee, cocoa, and cashews. The inspiration came to us when we observed how the under-developed business ecosystem was compounding the problem of access to capital. Applied technology, especially in the finance and trade sectors, brings the creative freedom of innovation to markets and demographics where traditional solutions are restricted by regulation, leadership, or understanding of the changing needs of businesses.

Having noticed that banks and microfinance institutions were not closing the credit gap nor creating sustainable wealth, we were inspired to take a multi-track approach and offer a combination of capital and business support (such as logistics and warehousing), deep analytics, and alternative risk assessment algorithms. Ovamba specializes in culturally attuned innovations that respond to Africa’s varied ecosystem to fund businesses with the capital they desperately need to grow. We do this via mobile apps and online platforms that efficiently meet the demands of fast-moving small and medium-sized enterprises in ways that banks cannot. As one of the few providers of what we refer to as “tradetech” solutions in the market, we have had a long honeymoon and have now expanded beyond Cameroon into Côte d’Ivoire, with more markets coming online.

To date, Ovamba has funded approximately 270 small businesses with over 22 million euros ($25.4 million). Some of Ovamba’s customers are on their seventh transaction. Some customers have seen their businesses grow almost 450 percent over an 18-month period. Access to global suppliers has brought new diversity of products to the wholesale space. Demand for cocoa financing is up by more than 25 percent. New funding partners have been identified to satisfy this pipeline. Looking ahead, 2019 and 2020 look very promising indeed.

We have great optimism that small and medium-sized enterprise development in commodities exportation will continue to grow, requiring banks to provide more than basic services. At present, banks do not seem to be able to keep pace with the needs of these businesses. Ovamba believes this is an opportunity to innovate alternative risk models and financial services, such as sharia-compliant financing. These innovations are key to unlocking this new asset class. New asset classes along with capital velocity will go a long way to closing Africa’s business credit gap, which by some World Bank reports has continued to increase past $360 billion.

An improved investment environment and private sector performance will attract foreign direct investment into regions with a thriving trade economy. Excited as Ovamba is about having a head start in this new asset class, we realize that ill-informed policies, heavy-handed regulation, and prohibitive taxation could slow our progress and quell the inflow of much needed capital from external investors.

Over the next few years, we will focus on improving literacy and financial awareness in the informal sector because better-educated business owners are a better investment risk. We have created a natural language chatbot that uses African languages to teach business efficiencies to customers who are not “classically” trained in business in order to drive financial inclusion. Designing a paradigm shift for Africans to see finance as  a tool for success is the prize and promise of fintech. Solutions such as ours that use artificial intelligence and behavioral metrics will have the most impact.


In considering areas of risk, instability in Central Africa is of great concern. Cyber security and corruption in Cameroon and its bordering neighbors such as Gabon will require constant vigilance. Also, access to a steady source of blended capital will be required. Our main challenge is and always will be politics and the governments that are afraid of technology, afraid of change, and lack appreciation of the value of Africa’s private sector and growing middle class.

We credit our success to our business philosophy. We do not view Africa’s business challenges as a capital problem, but instead as an ecosystem development opportunity. We answer the problem that is rarely articulated: How can we build wealth and financial freedom for all Africans? The answer: By combining investment, trade, culture, and financial awareness into supply chains and the collective business consciousness.

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In The Next 80 Years, There’ll Be 4 Billion Africans. The Opportunities Are Significant: Investment-Logistics Manager Marvin Cole https://www.ovamba.com/blog/in-the-next-80-years-therell-be-4-billion-africans-the-opportunities-are-significant-investment-logistics-manager-marvin-cole/ Mon, 14 Jan 2019 21:46:43 +0000 https://www.ovamba.com/blog/?p=980 “We hope to turn markets like Cameroon, or the Central African Republic, or Ivory Coast, or many countries into places that are as common

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Douala, Cameroon

“We hope to turn markets like Cameroon, or the Central African Republic, or Ivory Coast, or many countries into places that are as common and easy to invest in as France, or the U.K., or Japan via our systems, which minimize losses, protect investment and create money for everybody involved.” — Marvin Cole (Introvert CEO), Co-founder & CEO of Ovamba

Read his full interview with Moguldon here: https://moguldom.com/…/in-the-next-80-years-therell-be…/amp/

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CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa – Financial Inclusion Bootcamp from the LHoFT https://www.ovamba.com/blog/catapult-inclusion-africa-financial-inclusion-bootcamp-from-the-lhoft/ Mon, 14 Jan 2019 11:33:21 +0000 https://www.ovamba.com/blog/?p=977 Earlier this month, Ovamba was given the amazing opportunity to be apart of the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology‘s CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa program. We were

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Earlier this month, Ovamba was given the amazing opportunity to be apart of the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology‘s CATAPULT: Inclusion Africa program. We were grouped with 13 other Africa focused startups, who showed great ingenuity and world-class focus for Africa. As one of the older startups in the program, we were reminded of how important it is to master the basics and maintain consistency. It also gave us a gut-check of assurance that our decision making is actually quite sound. As founders, it feels “good” to know that you do ‘well’ whilst doing good. Startups get a lot of conflicting advice from so many directions and well-meaning parties. However, you have to find your way and stay the course. Meeting the other CATAPULTERS and seeing how much the African FinTech landscape has evolved was inspiring. Ovamba would like to thank the LHoFT for their support of all the startups in the program and we look forward to all of the synergies between us unfold.

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Ovamba Leads New Financing for Africa’s Commodity Farmers https://www.ovamba.com/blog/ovamba-leads-new-financing-for-africas-commodity-farmers/ Mon, 14 Jan 2019 11:27:30 +0000 https://www.ovamba.com/blog/?p=972 Emmanuel Neossi is so good at his job, exporting cocoa and coffee beans from Cameroon, that some call him “Monsieur Cocoa.” Founded Producam SA

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Ovamba Co-Founder & CEO, Marvin Cole with Co-Founder & President, Viola Llewellyn


Emmanuel Neossi is so good at his job, exporting cocoa and coffee beans from Cameroon, that some call him “Monsieur Cocoa.”

Founded Producam SA in 2012 with just a couple of warehouses in Cameroon’s western region. By 2017, his business was growing so rapidly he could not keep up with demand. He approached Ovamba, a U.S. financing company that helps small businesses like Neossi’s grow, but in a different way than traditional banks.

For full article: https://bit.ly/2RiAJRf

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Islamic Finance News Fintech Landscape https://www.ovamba.com/blog/islamic-finance-news-fintech-landscape/ Mon, 14 Jan 2019 11:19:12 +0000 https://www.ovamba.com/blog/?p=969  Ovamba was featured by Islamic Finance News (IFN) for our involvement in the global Islamic FinTech sector. The IFN Islamic Fintech Landscape is an ongoing global

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 Ovamba was featured by Islamic Finance News (IFN) for our involvement in the global Islamic FinTech sector. The IFN Islamic Fintech Landscape is an ongoing global initiative by IFN Fintech in partnership by Finocracy to identify and map out fintech firms offering Shariah compliant solutions.

For more information: https://ifn.kressol.com/

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Viola Llewellyn TED@BCG Talk https://www.ovamba.com/blog/viola-llewellyn-tedbcg-talk/ Sun, 13 Jan 2019 22:38:25 +0000 https://www.ovamba.com/blog/?p=960 Culturally attuned finance for Africa. Financial institutions in Africa’s business sector don’t have the technology or tools to harness the continent’s potential for wealth, says

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Fintech entrepreneur Viola Llewellyn shares her work pairing AI with local knowledge to create smarter products for the African market. (Photo: Ryan Lash / TED)

Fintech entrepreneur Viola Llewellyn shares her work pairing AI with local knowledge to create smarter products for the African market. (Photo: Ryan Lash / TED)

Culturally attuned finance for Africa. Financial institutions in Africa’s business sector don’t have the technology or tools to harness the continent’s potential for wealth, says fintech entrepreneur Viola Llewellyn, opening Session 3. The continent is made up of thousands of ethnic groups speaking more than 2,000 languages among them, rooted in a long, rich history of cultural diversity, tradition and wealth. “You need a deep understanding of nuance and history,” Llewellyn says, “and a respect for the elegance required to code and innovate [financial] products and services for the vast African market.”

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Chevy Chase start-up Ovamba wants to use ‘Islamic finance’ to connect Africa’s small businesses to wealthy investors https://www.ovamba.com/blog/chevy-chase-start-up-ovamba-wants-to-use-islamic-finance-to-connect-africas-small-businesses-to-wealthy-investors/ Wed, 11 Jul 2018 20:47:27 +0000 https://www.ovamba.com/blog/?p=953 The world’s prevailing financial institutions — banks, credit unions and equity markets — have mostly ignored sub-Saharan Africa. And “microfinance” organizations, while wildly successful

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The world’s prevailing financial institutions — banks, credit unions and equity markets — have mostly ignored sub-Saharan Africa. And “microfinance” organizations, while wildly successful in some parts of the Indian subcontinent, have had mixed results there.

Could a smartphone app that applies principles of Islamic law help fill the gap?

That’s the project being undertaken at Ovamba Solutions, a Chevy Chase, Md.-based company that connects African business owners with wealthy European and American investors. The company operates an app-based investment platform that is based on fees rather than interest, allowing it to steer clear of prohibitions against interest that exist in Islamic law.

Click here for full article https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/chevy-chase-start-up-ovamba-wants-to-use-islamic-finance-to-connect-africas-small-businesses-to-wealthy-investors/2018/06/24/b32fa4f0-758c-11e8-b4b7-308400242c2e_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.e91c7499041a

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Ovamba Solutions, Inc. Awarded as Technology Pioneer by World Economic Forum https://www.ovamba.com/blog/ovamba-solutions-inc-awarded-as-technology-pioneer-by-world-economic-forum/ Wed, 11 Jul 2018 20:30:35 +0000 https://www.ovamba.com/blog/?p=943   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   Ovamba Solutions, Inc. Awarded as Technology Pioneer by World Economic Forum   World Economic Forum on Thursday announced its

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Ovamba Solutions, Inc. Awarded as Technology Pioneer by World Economic Forum

 

  • World Economic Forum on Thursday announced its selection of the world’s 61 most promising Technology Pioneers 2018, the most diverse class of such pioneers ever
  • Companies were selected for their potential to “transform society and industry” and “shape the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” Fulvia Montresor of the World Economic Forum said
  • Ovamba, which has innovated finance and business growth tools for African entrepreneurs has been one of three companies with a specific focus on Africa, and the only one focusing on Cameroon selected for its contributions to helping solve Africa’s challenges with access to financial services and capital
  • The full list of recognized Technology Pioneers can be viewed here

 

Cameroon, June 21, 2018 Ovamba, the award-winning innovator that produced Africa’s’ first “Sharia compliant” ‘FinTech’ and ‘AgriTech’ platforms, was selected among hundreds of candidates as one of the World Economic Forum’s “technology pioneers”.  Ovamba is a ground-breaking company with operations on the African Continent and was founded by Viola Llewellyn and Marvin Cole in 2013.  Their unique approach to helping businesses grow combines a proprietary risk model that blends ethnic and cultural data with traditional risk assessment features that are attuned to African realities.  Customers who come to Ovamba for support are serviced with eCommerce, logistics & flexible warehousing solutions to promote business growth.  In addition, Ovamba’s Natural Language Chatbots give informal businesses in the trade and commodities sector an opportunity to gain access to financial services and business coaching.

The World Economic Forum’s Technology Pioneers community are early-stage companies from around the world that are involved in the design, development and deployment of new technologies and innovations, and are poised to have a significant impact on business and society.

 

This year’s cohort is the most diverse ever, both geographically and in terms of gender. 25% are female-led, and a majority (54%) come from regions outside the United States and Silicon Valley, with each continent represented, barring Antarctica. There is also a wide variety in the technologies the pioneers focus on: the focus technologies include artificial intelligence, big data and internet of things (IoT), biotechnology, blockchain, autonomous vehicles, cyber security, vertical farming and other agricultural advances, decentralised microgrids and robotics. The full list of technology pioneers can be found here.

 

Following its selection as Technology Pioneer, Co-Founder & President Viola Llewellyn of Ovamba will be participating in the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions. This meeting, also dubbed “Summer Davos” will be held in Tianjin, China, September 18-20. Many Pioneers will also attend the Annual Meeting in Davos, in January 2019, and continue to contribute to Forum initiatives over the course of the next two years.

 

“We welcome Ovamba in this diverse group of technology pioneers,” says Fulvia Montresor, Head of Technology Pioneers at the World Economic Forum. “Ovamba and its fellow pioneers are front and center in shaping the ongoing Fourth Industrial Revolution and we believe they will be transforming society and industry in a positive way in the years to come.”

 

“We could not be more thrilled!  It is truly an honour and the pinnacle of any career to be recognized as a pioneer by the World Economic Forum”, said Ovamba Co-Founder, Viola Llewellyn.  “Technology is making it possible for Africa to be completely included in this Industrial Revolution.  This selection confirms that globally, not just in Africa.  We plan to use this award to continue to shape the ecosystem for socially impactful innovation and engage with stakeholders in government, business and society at large.”

 

The Technology Pioneers were selected by a selection committee of more than 60 academics, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and corporate executives. The committee based its decisions on criteria including innovation, potential impact and leadership. Past recipients include Airbnb, Google, Kickstarter, Mozilla, Palantir Technologies, Spotify, TransferWise, Twitter and Wikimedia.

 

All info on this year’s Technology Pioneers can be found here: https://wef.ch/techpioneers18

More information on past winners can be found here.

 

About Ovamba: Ovamba is a US-founded technology innovator that develops online platforms and mobile apps to help businesses in Africa’s trade & commodities/agribusiness sectors to grow.  Customers grow when they access & use Ovamba’s combination of short term funding & business tools.  Ovamba raises capital from global investors to fund the businesses and uses its technology to solve business and functional literacy challenges to promote financial inclusion (www.ovamba.com).

 

About World Economic Forum: The World Economic Forum, committed to improving the state of the world, is the International Organization for Public-Private Cooperation. The Forum engages the foremost political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas. (www.weforum.org).

 

Media Contacts

Ovamba

Ciana Hamlett

Ciana.h@Ovamba.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Despite gains, most black, female startup founders still get no funding https://www.ovamba.com/blog/despite-gains-most-black-female-startup-founders-still-get-no-funding/ Wed, 11 Jul 2018 20:13:40 +0000 https://www.ovamba.com/blog/?p=940 Viola Llewellyn is one of the few black, female company founders nationwide that has been able to surpass the $1 million venture funding mark.

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Viola Llewellyn is one of the few black, female company founders nationwide that has been able to surpass the $1 million venture funding mark. Her Maryland-based financial technology company, Ovamba Solutions Inc., is backed by about $2 million in equity funding to date, including $1.3 million from an institutional investor, and $9 million in debt financing.

Click here for the full article https://www.bizjournals.com/baltimore/news/2018/06/15/report-despite-gains-most-black-female-startup.html

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A state-of-the-art FinTech company that accelerates small and medium-sized business in Africa https://www.ovamba.com/blog/a-state-of-the-art-fintech-company-that-accelerates-small-and-medium-sized-business-in-africa/ Wed, 11 Jul 2018 19:58:11 +0000 https://www.ovamba.com/blog/?p=937 “Technology is a new form of democracy in Africa” The words of Ms. Viola Llewellyn who entered the first day of entrepreneurial event Slush Tokyo

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“Technology is a new form of democracy in Africa” The words of Ms. Viola Llewellyn who entered the first day of entrepreneurial event Slush Tokyo held at Tokyo Big Sight on March 28 and 29, 2018. The land area of ​​Africa is about 30 million square kilos comparable to 13 countries including the United States, China, India, Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Eastern Europe. In 2040 the population is expected to reach 2.5 billion, of which 1 billion will be concentrated in 67 cities. Meanwhile, as of 2016, the proportion of venture capital’s technology investment in Africa is 0.3% of the world’s total.

Click here to read the full article https://forbesjapan.com/articles/detail/20965

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26 WOMEN OF COLOR DIVERSIFYING ENTREPRENEURSHIP IN SILICON VALLEY, MEDIA, AND BEYOND https://www.ovamba.com/blog/26-women-of-color-diversifying-entrepreneurship-in-silicon-valley-media-and-beyond/ Wed, 11 Jul 2018 18:53:38 +0000 https://www.ovamba.com/blog/?p=932 The business world has long been a boys’ club. Women C.E.O.s and founders of color make up a small portion of entrepreneurs who have reached the

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The business world has long been a boys’ club. Women C.E.O.s and founders of color make up a small portion of entrepreneurs who have reached the top. Each one of the women in this group tableau has raised $1 million or more in outside capital, breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings along the way. Still, these women (the 26 founders shown here completed their $1 million or more in fund-raising before November 15, 2017, according to start-up accelerator DigitalUndivided) are the most visible faces of a revolution.

Click Here for full article https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2018/03/women-of-color-diversifying-entrepreneurship-in-silicon-valley-media-and-beyond

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Fixing broken business financing in Africa with Ovamba startup https://www.ovamba.com/blog/fixing-broken-business-financing-in-africa-with-ovamba-startup/ Wed, 11 Jul 2018 18:25:03 +0000 https://www.ovamba.com/blog/?p=929 The ability of small and medium-sized businesses to access financing is described as one of the biggest challenges to economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa.

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The ability of small and medium-sized businesses to access financing is described as one of the biggest challenges to economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa. One startup is trying to change the landscape using innovative technology to reach entrepreneurs who would otherwise miss out on funding by traditional banks and credit organisations.

Click here for full article https://en.rfi.fr/africa/20180327-fixing-broken-business-financing-africa-ovamba-startup

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African fintech startups can be disruptors or enablers https://www.ovamba.com/blog/african-fintech-startups-can-be-disruptors-or-enablers/ Wed, 11 Jul 2018 18:12:29 +0000 https://www.ovamba.com/blog/?p=926 Taking part in a panel discussion around bridging Africa’s SME funding gap, Llewellyn discussed the difficulties banks have in innovating and reaching new customers,

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Taking part in a panel discussion around bridging Africa’s SME funding gap, Llewellyn discussed the difficulties banks have in innovating and reaching new customers, and said they had a choice as to whether they are disrupted or enabled by fintech startups. “We will disrupt you if you don’t want to play, but we will enable you if you want to access new customers.” – Viola Llewellyn

Click here for full article https://disrupt-africa.com/2018/03/african-fintech-startups-can-be-disruptors-or-enablers/

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How blockchain can democratise Africa https://www.ovamba.com/blog/how-blockchain-can-democratise-africa/ Wed, 11 Jul 2018 17:54:51 +0000 https://www.ovamba.com/blog/?p=922 Blockchain technology has the potential to “democratise” Africa and take social finance to a new level, yet its potential is being held back by

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Blockchain technology has the potential to “democratise” Africa and take social finance to a new level, yet its potential is being held back by adverse regulation. “Tech will be the new democracy. It will create a level playing field,” said Viola Llewellyn, CEO of alternative lending company Ovamba. “Transparency that has been missing will become normal. Tech and blockchain will create a permanence.”

Click here for full article https://www.itwebafrica.com/fintech/853-africa/243137-how-blockchain-can-democratise-africa

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The Workplace Advocates: 23 women sending the ladder back down https://www.ovamba.com/blog/the-workplace-advocates-23-women-sending-the-ladder-back-down/ Wed, 11 Jul 2018 17:34:25 +0000 https://www.ovamba.com/blog/?p=919 For those women who find themselves in the minority at the top of the corporate ladder, it’s necessary that they send it back down

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For those women who find themselves in the minority at the top of the corporate ladder, it’s necessary that they send it back down for more to join them. ‘I consciously and deliberately support diversity. I look for it where it is banished. I create roles and opportunities for it and I fight for it’ – Viola Llewellyn
Click here for full article https://www.siliconrepublic.com/companies/women-invent-100-2018-workplace

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