the digital divide

Leap 2

In the West we use apps for shopping, taxi, online banking and much more. Africa needs its own solutions, relevant to their needs and local settings. And who is more knowledgeable than the African entrepreneur?

Leap 2 is part of the new strategy of Close the Gap. This program supports young African entrepreneurs developing and scaling digital solutions for societal issues. Concretely, Close the Gap organises innovation challenges with GoodUp. For example: ‘Of the 600.000 motorbikes in Kenya, 12.000 are stolen every year. The finalist of the first innovation challenge (in Kenya Spring 2017), Btrack Global helps resolve this issue by installing a tracking device into the motorcycle’.

Per innovation challenge, 10 projects are selected and coached. The selected teams learn to test their ideas on the market through crowdfunding. They receive matching funding when they reach their crowdfunding goals. In addition, they learn how to pitch and expand their network with the help of experts, coaches and potential investors.

‘These innovations help us realise the sustainable development goals. In many areas we see that Africa is leapfrogging’. says Olivier Vanden Eynde, Founder and Managing Director

The third innovation challenge was recently launched and focuses on Tech women in Uganda. Finals to be announced on May 18, 2018.  Check out for more information.




The Second Innovation Challenge:

LEAP2 FinTech - Mailing Header_preview

19/12: Coaching sessions involving Rabobank Berber Kruimel and André van der Linden
Image uploaded from iOS
Image uploaded from iOS (1)

19/12: Meet the 11 selected innovations from the Leap2 Fintech program:


StartUp Name Website Link  Short Bio 
M-paya M-Paya is a brand and an innovation that’s enabling cashless merchants payments and mobile lending for nano-loans.
Thamani Halisi Our innovation, the Thamani Halisi (Swahili for Real Value), is an AI-powered mini-ERP that can be accessed via Mobile and Web. It comes bundled with innovative features to ease its use and bring out valuable insights for businesses. It is targeted for Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises in Kenya that have no access to business applications for managing their operational and accounting records. Its Artificial Intelligence features enable smart integrations with Mobile Money (all providers) and provide predictive analytics, features that are currently only available to Medium and Large Companies through expensive ERPs and custom software.
Sinclare Angels Initiative Sinclare Angels Initiative is a startup that uses mobile application to provide credit facilities like loans through mobile money such as Mpesa.
Mlinzi Escrow Our innovation is an online escrow service that enables traders to buy and sell while at the same time safeguarding their money/products.
Loniwa We offer immediate short term working capital finance loans for SME’s to source supplies. We leverage technology for signups, appraisals, loan disbursement and repayments.
BrillantPay BrillantPay is an aggregator of modern digital and mobile payment services into one simple and safe solution for commerce of all kinds and sizes.
NIOJI NIOJI gives you the ability to create a pre-paid card instantly, fund it using a variety of methods and use it for offline or online transaction. NIOJI offers the ability to set the transaction limits, budget, spending, the authorised vendors while getting real-time transactions information.
Marks Rate Marks Rate is a crowdfunding platform that helps to finance SMEs on LPO financing and invoice discounting. It also offers an opportunity for the average saver/investor to earn a higher rate of return through lending to SMEs at an agreed and negotiated margin with the business owner.
Mobile social enterprise limited Mobile social enterprise is a fintech company that provides credit solution to the un banked and under served population using a mobile app available in the play store in android phone and USSD application.
TozzaPlus TozzaPlus is a cloud business management tool for small businesses with an integrated accounting, invoicing, payroll, payouts and CRM modules.
ZOAmicro ZOAmicro is a financial management platform that offers access to financial services from financial institutions anywhere at anytime through the mobile phone. This includes account opening, loan application, approval, disbursements & repayments, deposit collection and report management.

First innovation challenge in Nairobi in Q2, 2017

Second innovation challenge in Nairobi 2017/2018


31/01 – Update Crowdfunding Campaign of the second challenge

For the most recent update on the progress of the Crowdfunding campaign of the second innovation challenge, click here.



23/02 – Final event of the second innovation challenge

For the results of the Second Innovation Challenge in Kenya, click here.