39. Young people creating innovative startups
Modesta Joseph wanted to improve the lives of Tanzanian girls and women. At the age of 16, she coded a website helping young people to report sexual harassment that they have experienced.
“I invented a way that allows me to help myself and my community,” Joseph enthuses. She received seed money for her enterprise from an innovation fund supported by Finland. With the funding, Modesta developed the application and its marketing.
Through an innovation programme supported by Finland, young Tanzanians received support for their enterprises between 2012 and 2017. The innovation fund received applications from more than 500 startup companies and the best 46 of them received support for developing their activities. A total of 68 new enterprises were created in the business incubators supported by the programme and 18 new services and products were placed on the market. More than 50 young Tanzanian entrepreneurs were able to visit the Finnish Slush event during three years to seek ideas for their own business operations. The Tanzict programme also helped to update the national communications technology policy and allowed the Tanzanian ministry responsible for the programme to strengthen its expertise. In addition to Tanzania, Finland has also supported innovation programmes in Mozambique, Vietnam and southern Africa.
Photo: Teemu Seppälä, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta