Innovators' Village

SAM Ouaga 2019_Village des innovateurs

The Innovators' Village is a key event to showcase innovative solutions that strengthen the resilience of organisations in the inclusive finance sector and populations to shocks. It is also a meeting place, creating opportunities and synergies for all actors in the sector!
Thursday 21 October, from 9am to 5pm at the kigali Convention Center.


Why organise an Innovators' Village during SAM?

The 2021 edition of SAM will be dedicated to the theme of resilience - issues, challenges and opportunities for the African inclusive finance sector. 

In this context, it is necessary to identify and highlight innovations that can not only strengthen the resilience of populations in the face of shocks, but also the resilience capacity of institutions active in inclusive finance. To this end, the Innovators' Village will provide a privileged meeting place for the various actors in the sector and to unlock opportunities for collaboration for fostering innovation to increase the resilience of African populations.

Creating synergies
The Innovators' Village aims to enhance the visibility of organisations that can strengthen the resilience capacity of African institutions and populations through concrete innovative solutions (tools, methodologies, products or services):

  • Exhibitors have the opportunity to meet new customers and potential investors to develop their business, as well as potential partners for development projects;
  • Visitors have the opportunity to identify innovative solutions that meet their needs and to find potential partners;
  • Investors and funders can identify innovative solutions with a high social impact.

Description of the Innovators' Village

The Innovators' Village will open on the evening of Wednesday, 20 October, with the opening ceremony and will continue throughout the day on Thursday, 21 October, in a dedicated section of the conference site.

The word "village" naturally brings to mind a grouping of people in the same place and reflects the aspect of proximity. In the Innovators’ Village, SAM participants can experience a different atmosphere and ambiance. They can feel they are in a special environment, where the keyword is innovation.

The Innovators' Village will combine the following components:

  • An opening ceremony with all SAM participants on 20 October at 17:30 in the Innovator Village area;
  • A B2B exhibition area with around 20 stands grouped by theme, open all day on Thursday, 21 October. Each stand will offer the opportunity of  personal contacts and to attend presentations and demonstrations;
  • A central presentation area to allow each innovator to demonstrate their innovative solution in the form of a 5-minute pitch, followed by a 5-minute question and answer session. This space will allow each innovator to be showcased throughout the day on 21 October. Simultaneous translation will be provided in English and French;
  • The Innovators' Directory containing the innovations of each exhibitor will be distributed to the participants of SAM 2021 in print and via the event app, and more widely through the websites and social networks;
  • A Fintech award ceremony, organised during the gala dinner on Thursday, 21 October, and hosted by the LHoFT, will reward the best Fintech.


Thanks to the LHoFT, a special place for Fintech solutions

The LHoFT (Luxembourg House of Financial Technology), a privileged partner of the village, will play a key role concerning fintech by:

  • Inviting and encouraging the participation of Fintechs active in inclusive finance in Africa;
  • Facilitating the exchange of experiences between the Fintechs present at the Village and other Fintechs that have participated in bootcamps organised by LHoFT; 
  • Hosting the Innovators' Village and the Fintech Award ceremony;
  • Offering the winning Fintech a place at the LHoFT bootcamp in Dubai as part of the World Expo (three days of training, including accommodation and food costs on site).


New energy through a partnership with ARE 

ARE - the Alliance for Rural Electrification, an international business association that promotes a sustainable and decentralised renewable energy industry, is an important partner of the village. The objective of this collaboration is to showcase the many innovative companies operating in Africa in the field of accessible and sustainable energy, as well as the partnerships they have already created or intend to propose to organisations active in the inclusive finance sector, such as MFIs and NGOs.

ARE has also decided to offer an award to the most innovative organisation in the field of decentralised and sustainable renewable energy that will exhibit at the village. The winner will receive a year’s worth of membership. The award ceremony will also take place during the gala dinner on Thursday, October 21. More details will be shared shortly.

Africa Fintech Forum

AFRICA Fintech Forum

Africa Fintech Forum (AFF) is a leading African non-profit fintech organisation that strives to promote the development of the fintech industry in Africa. AFF supports ecosystem development and facilitates inclusive collaboration among fintechs via numerous activities :
-    supporting the creation of national fintech associations across Africa;
-    providing insights into the fintech market and developing knowledge;
-    workshops for fintech intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs; 
-    training and support for national fintech hubs;
-    collaborating with regulators, government agencies, financial hubs and technology parks to enhance the ecosystem.  

« The SAM Innovators' Village is increasingly emerging as a hub of innovation and opportunity for fintechs. We are happy to bring fintechs from our network there to meet contractors, investors and donors as well as to develop partnerships »
Alex Sea, Founder and Head of Africa Fintech Forum

Expected visitors / Audience

The Innovators' Village is a unique space open to SAM participants, composed of high-level inclusive finance professionals.

Breakdown of participants_institutions (part 1).png   Breakdown of participants_institutions (part 2).png

Exhibitors: terms and conditions of participation

The strength of the Innovators' Village lies in the diversity of the exhibitors: tech companies, NGOs, training centres, insurance companies and consulting firms operating in Africa from the following areas, among others:

  • Regulation; 
  • Internal risk management and governance of inclusive finance institutions;
  • Savings and insurance products
  • Digital finance;
  • Digital money transfer;
  • Agricultural financial products (insurance, credit, etc.);
  • Green finance products to facilitate access to water and renewable energy; 
  • Women;
  • Micro-entrepreneurs and SMEs.

Exhibiting fintechs will have the opportunity to apply for the Fintech Award.

Stand price for exhibitors:

  • €1,500 - 4m2 stand + 1 entrance to the SAM (for 5 days)
  • €2,000 - 4m2 stand + 2 entries to the SAM (for 5 days)

Exhibitors will need cover their travel, accommodation and catering costs.

Sponsors: unique visibility in the Innovators' Village

The sponsorship package for the Innovators' Village is €6,000.

It includes the following benefits:

  • 1 stand in the Innovators' Village
  • 1 entry to the African Microfinance Week (5 days);
  • 1 presentation in the central area;
  • 1 full page advert in the Innovators' Directory;
  • The sponsor's logo on all written material related to the village and on the SAM website;
  • Visibility at the opening ceremony of the village.

Contact us: Elisa Dolci -