About the DataHack4FI innovation competition in Kenya
Entries for the in-person Kenya DataHacks4fI country competition are now closed. You can still enter the virtual competition that runs from mid to end April – provided you have not already participated in the in-person event already. Registrations close on 14 April 2017 and final submissions from registered teams are due on the 25th.
Our DataHack4FI innovation competition in Kenya is taking place between 28 February and 12 April 2017 in Nairobi. The competition aims to develop innovative data-driven digital solutions to advance access to financial services for low-income individuals in Kenya.
Competitors are going to be given access to datasets and asked to develop a prototype or concept with guidance from data scientists and technical mentors, to win a chance to represent Kenya in the finals of the DataHack4FI competition in May 2017.
The DataHack4FI competition runs over multiple meet-ups, the best teams will go on to an accelerator programme where mentors from different organisations will help them prepare for the finals in Rwanda in May 2017.
Meet-up 1: Introduction to series and lightning talks by FSPs, 28 February 2017, Metta Meet-up 2: Data science masterclass, 15 March 2017, Nexus Co-Work Meet-up 3: Data competition launch, 28 March 2017, Nexus Co-Work Meet-up 4: Data competition team presentations, 12 April 2017, iHub
The DataHack4FI competition in Kenya forms part of the pan-African insight2impact (i2i) DataHack4FI competition series that brings together the brightest minds in Africa to come up with data-driven solutions for financial inclusion.
The Winners: Team MobiTicket are already collecting data from transactions on Kenya’s public service vehicles: the buses known locally as ‘matatus’. With over 140,000 of them operating in the capital Nairobi alone, the team estimate that 47bn KSH ($450 million USD) in cash is change hands every year. Using accessible USSD mobile phone technology, their innovation allows passengers to get a digital receipt and a record of their ticket transaction. The bus drivers and conductors also get the benefits of this digital footprint and the SACCOs that own both the buses and the licenses can see where the money is flowing to and from. Bus crews are already being enrolled into the government health insurance scheme (NHIF) by the team but the data could eventually be used to credit score them. The benefits of the traffic management data to the city authorities could also prove to be invaluable. In just 13 weeks of operations with just 3 SACCOS and 100 matatu crews, the team have already logged data for 28,000 transactions.
1st Runner Up: Team Score IT, from Zege Technologies, wants to create a credit scoring algorithm using a combination of mobile money statements, psychometric evaluation and both relational & neural network data points.
2nd Runner Up: Team StatsSpeak are trying to hack the problem of getting working capital for the informal small business sector. Using an algorithm and USSD platform for small road side kiosk owners who buy from wholesalers, their business plan aims for 25,000 transactions in year one and 300,000 by year four, breaking even during year three. They hope to use invoice discounting finance and work with Twiga Foods and Sokowatch.
Team Ungana want to help people on very low incomes to share in the investment benefits offered by the Kenyan government’s new retail bond: M-Akiba. The mobile-only treasury bond scheme has been extremely popular but the minimum investment is 3,000 KSH ($30 USD). The team want to create a USSD platform that groups people into groups of 10 people in the same local area who each invest 30 KSH (30 cents) a day for 20 days a month. They hope to partner with Mpesa & Airtel Money and purchase M-Akiba bonds on behalf of these groups of small investors. They claim that people will be able to get their money back anytime.
Team Team (yes, you read the right!) want to use the personal relationships Kenyan’s have with their local shopkeepers to offering savings and loans, formalizing and expanding the informal credit lines that are currently extended at the local kiosk counter.
Who is behind this competition in Kenya?
insight2impact (i2i) is a resource centre that aims to catalyse the provision and use of data by private and public sector actors to improve financial inclusion through evidence-based, data-driven policies and client-centric product design. Visit i2ifacility.org for more information.
Brave Venture Labs believes increasing the quality of teams is the key to unlocking Africa’s potential. They aim to uncover the secrets of human performance to help their associates get better jobs and companies build better teams. Visit braveventurelabs.com for more information.
FSD Kenya supports the development of financial inclusion in Kenya through direct investment in market innovations as well as research and policy analysis. Everything they do seeks to harness financial solutions to meet the needs of lower income households and smaller scale businesses. Visit fsdkenya.org for more information.