Kenyan tech firm scoops global Schwab Foundation Award

Ken Njoroge, Co-founder and CEO of Cellulant, one of Africa’s leading financial technology companies, has been named the recipient of the 2019 Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

The awards identify and recognize the world's leading social entrepreneurs.

He received the honor in recognition of Cellulant’s work in building digital payments and financial services that enable businesses and consumers in critical sectors such as agriculture, retail distribution, transport, logistics and e-commerce to access services at the very point where they need them.

Speaking while presenting the award to the winner, François Bonnici, Head of the Schwab Foundation said the winners represent a new ecosystem of leaders who are driving change and shifting organizations and systems towards a more just, inclusive, sustainable future.

"There’s a growing recognition that social innovation has diffused into every sector and institution, and the presence of pioneering agents of change re-inventing the way our institutions operate is critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030,’’ said Bonnici.

Speaking while receiving the award, Njoroge said broadening access to financial services is the key for enhancing household savings, mobilizing capital for investment, expanding the class of entrepreneurs, and enabling more people to invest in themselves and their families.

 ‘’It is for this reason that we wake up every day to make sure that each individual and business across Africa, no matter their station in life, has access to services that empower them to achieve their aspirations,’’Njoroge said.

He added that the global recognition shall encourage everyone at Cellulant to continue striving to overcome challenges by designing, developing and deploying cutting-edge innovations and business models.

The firm offers several services including easy-to-access digital payment solutions, interoperable financial services, and mobile banking solutions that can help the unbanked open accounts, cut fees, and save for the future.

It is also helping farmers and small and medium-sized business owners expand their reach through improved financial services. More than 94 per cent of Cellulant’s customer base was previously unbanked before they signed up.

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