Press release: Catalyst Fund and Greenhouse Capital announce Fintech in Focus event to discuss strategies for Africa’s tech sector to rebuild in a post-pandemic climate

The digital dialogue will convene investors, corporate partners, and tech startups from across the African continent to discuss COVID-19 recovery and strategies for building resilience in the tech sector
Authored by: Thea Sokolowski
August 25, 2020 - 3 mins read

LAGOS, Nigeria, August 25, 2020Catalyst Fund, the global inclusive fintech accelerator managed by BFA Global, supported by UK aid and JPMorgan Chase & Co. and fiscally sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, and venture capital firm Greenhouse Capital, today announced Fintech in focus: building a post-crisis future, a digital dialogue to be held virtually September 3rd-4th, 2020.

The event, which will take place over two days, will be hosted by Catalyst Fund and Greenhouse Capital together and feature speakers including Smita Aggarwal, Board member at Qoala and Global Investments Advisor at Flourish Ventures; Ashley Lewis, Senior Investment officer at Accion Venture Lab; Elsa Muzzolini, General Manager, Mobile Financial services at MTN Nigeria; John Oke, CEO at Wallets Africa; and Djiba Diallo, Senior Fintech Advisor at Ecobank. 

Topics to include Digitizing SMEs for post-COVID resilience and recovery; Rethinking the investment portfolio; Creating shared value in uncertainty (reimagining startup-corporate partnerships); and Fintech innovations in the digital generation

Interested attendees may express interest to join on the official event website.

The COVID-19 pandemic and related economic crisis have significantly impacted African economies, particularly vulnerable low-income populations and SMEs, but early evidence suggests that fintech and digital solutions can help. BFA Global surveys have found that between 30% – 80% of respondents among vulnerable populations across eight global markets anticipate significant adverse effects to their financial well-being. SMEs are also suffering both in terms of sales and in procuring inventory. In Nigeria, upwards of 16% reported unbearable conditions in current lockdowns, and 44% reported they are no longer able to work, or have seen significant reduction in earnings. 

Tech solutions, including e-commerce, superplatforms, and gig work, have the potential to significantly improve the financial health and resilience of such vulnerable populations, and enable businesses to begin to recover, smooth cash flows and provide financial security. There are important roles for investors and philanthropists to play in helping restart these economies. 

Nosa Omusi, Nigeria Country Manager at Catalyst Fund, said:

“We believe that in this defining moment, technology innovation has a vital role to play in the post-crisis recovery of African markets, as we look to build greater financial resilience for the future. Our goal for this discussion is to facilitate conversations, surface insights, enable collaborations, and provide resources that will help the stakeholders across Africa’s tech ecosystems – including investors, corporate innovators and tech startups – rethink their strategies and discover new opportunities, so we can collectively contribute to strong economic recovery.”

Ruby Nimkar, Principal Investor at GreenHouse Capital, said:

“Now, more than ever, the name of the game resides in three concepts: re-orient your business, sustainably manage your bottom line and build company resilience. This not only goes for startups but also for investors and corporates alike. Investors are adapting the way they source, evaluate, and creatively offer capital to new companies while increasing support and runway expectations for their existing portfolio. On the other hand, corporates need to quickly address the changing and changed needs of their vast customer base beyond their core service offering. This can only happen by partnering with nimble, focused startups.” 

For further enquiries, contact Thea Sokolowski, Head of Marketing & Communications, Catalyst Fund: and Adebowale Banzi at GreenHouse Capital:

Interested attendees may inquire on the official event website.

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About Catalyst Fund

Catalyst Fund, managed by BFA Global, is an accelerator for inclusive fintech startups and innovation ecosystems, in emerging markets. Launched initially in 2016, with support from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, today Catalyst Fund is supported by UK aid and JPMorgan Chase & Co., and fiscally sponsored by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. The mission of Catalyst Fund is to accelerate the development of affordable, accessible, and appropriate digital financial solutions for the world’s 3 billion underserved.


About Greenhouse Capital

GreenHouse Capital is building a Venture Capital platform to connect world class entrepreneurs, corporations & regulators to create a wide-reaching pan-African tech ecosystem. Additionally, GreenHouse Capital passionately supports entrepreneurs through its acceleration programs with its flagship GreenHouse Lab which focuses on bridging the gender financing gap for women-entrepreneurs. We believe that capital alone doesn’t create success stories & long-lasting impact. At GHC we nurture companies with strategic business development, deep ecosystem networks and operational advisory

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