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Gricd rebrands as ‘Figorr’, announces $1.5 million seed funding

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Gricd, a technology company that develops Internet of Things-powered solutions to support the last-mile delivery of perishable goods, has secured $1.5 million in a seed funding round led by Atlantica Ventures, with participation from Vested World, Jaza Rift and Katapult, to expand across Africa and deliver new solutions that will make it easier to insure perishable goods on the continent. The company has also rebranded as ‘Figorr’, signalling its new focus on software solutions.

Figorr develops IoT-powered solutions that complement existing infrastructure and assets to reduce or eliminate losses associated with the transportation and storage of temperature sensitive and perishable goods in Africa. The company’s solutions provide real time data on location, humidity, temperature and other key data points, enabling businesses and other stakeholders in agriculture, healthcare, logistics and other sectors across Africa to maximise the value of perishable and temperature sensitive goods such as vaccines, insulin and food.

More than $4 billion worth of food items are lost in Sub-Saharan Africa every year due to inadequate storage and transportation. At the same time, The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 50 percent of vaccines are wasted globally every year because of temperature control, logistics and shipment-related issues. This percentage is likely to be higher in Africa where around 60 percent of the population live in rural areas with limited infrastructure.

At the same time, the absence of standardised storage and transportation processes, as well as lack of data and clarity on supply chain processes makes it difficult for insurers to create effective products to cover the risks associated with this product category. As a result, businesses and other stakeholders have to shoulder all the risks which mean the cost is passed on to the end customer, leading to comparatively higher prices than other parts of the world.

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Figorr already works with some of the leading pharmaceutical manufacturers and food companies in Nigeria and across Africa to enable the effective transportation and storage of food and pharmaceuticals. It has successfully tracked more than 110 million perishable items and supported its customers to realise more than $200 million in savings. Over the years, the company has built a framework for understanding the risks associated with the transportation and storage of perishable and temperature sensitive goods in Africa. The new funding will support the roll out of a proprietary risk management platform that will provide data that will make it easier to insure perishable and temperature sensitive goods on the continent.

According to Oghenetega Iortim, CEO and founder of Figorr, “This funding comes at a great time for us, as it enables us to leverage the data we have gathered over the years to provide further support for our customers with managing the risks associated with perishable goods on the continent. At a time where the price of everything seems to be rising and the global economy is experiencing significant challenges, unnecessary wastage should not be compounding these issues. We are excited to onboard more customers across the continent and roll out our solutions to enable more Africans to maximise the value of their goods and maintain profitability”.

Aniko Szigetvari, Founding Partner at Atlantica Ventures said, “Tega and the Figorr team have built a powerful suite of products and services to support the cold chain industry and ensure quality of perishable goods and pharmaceutical products in Nigeria and across the continent. We are excited to support the growth and regional expansion of the company”.

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Press Release

InnoPower Launches Digital Impact Network to Elevate Minority Business Success in Indiana

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Innopower, powered by Metaimpact’s multi-stakeholder platform, is proud to announce the public launch of Indy Biz Pass, an innovative digital ecosystem designed to spur economic growth and wealth creation within Indiana’s minority business community. This cutting-edge initiative marks a significant milestone in providing underrepresented entrepreneurs enhanced access to essential resources for business success.

Indy Biz Pass is built on Metaimpact’s robust digital infrastructure. Metaimpact enables organizations to design, build, and deploy digital impact networks where multiple stakeholders can act on shared goals to create collective impact. 

Indy Biz Pass is the first network of its kind to focus specifically on empowering Black, Brown, and other minority-owned businesses in Indiana. Funded with philanthropic support from JPMorgan Chase through a grant to Sagamore Institute and operated in coordination with Innopower, Indy Biz Pass is a new resource to help connect minority business owners with a comprehensive network of support, including funding partners, industry experts, educational institutions, and talent development resources. 

For the past year, the focus has been on building a strong network of supporting organizations. Current contributors include the Indy Urban League, Business Equity Indy, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, Sagamore Institute, and many more. By joining Indy Biz Pass, these organizations can make their services widely discoverable to all entrepreneurs, actively contribute to pivotal initiatives, and gain a comprehensive understanding of the work being done across the state. This collaborative environment is crucial in driving forward the collective mission of empowering minority business ownership and success. 

Today’s public launch of the impact network marks a crucial next step by providing access to the entrepreneurs the network aims to support. Understanding the dynamic needs of modern business owners, the impact network is accessible via a specially designed web app. This ensures that resources and collaboration opportunities are just a tap away, facilitating real-time business development and networking. 

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“With Indy Biz Pass, we are setting a new standard for how we support and elevate minority businesses,” said Emil Ekiyor, Founder and CEO of Innopower. “This network is more than just a platform; it’s a community dedicated to fostering success and growth for Black and Brown entrepreneurs across Indiana.

Scott McCorkle, CEO of Metaimpact, added, “Our digital infrastructure is uniquely poised to unite diverse stakeholders and resources in a holistic, impactful manner. We’re excited to see how this network transforms the landscape of minority entrepreneurship in the Hoosier state.”

JPMorgan Chase’s commitment to this initiative underscores its dedication to fostering inclusive economic growth and supporting diverse communities. “One of our top priorities at JPMorgan Chase is ensuring communities and businesses have the resources needed to break down barriers and access economic opportunities,” said Phylicia Manley, Vice President and Program Officer in Global Philanthropy, JPMorgan Chase. “Through Sagamore Institute, in coordination with Metaimpact and Innopower, we’ve been able to assist in strengthening an ecosystem dedicated to helping diverse business owners find access to capital and network support.” 

Entrepreneurs can access Indy Biz Pass at network.indybizpass.com. Organizations seeking to make their services discoverable on Indy Biz Pass can request to join the network at www.metaimpact.com/impact-network/indy-biz-pass/

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Beta Glass Partners Wecyclers to Launch Cullet Trucks, Enhancing Recycling and Sustainability Efforts

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Beta Glass PLC, a member of the Frigoglass Group and the leading manufacturer of glass packaging, crowns and crates in West and Central Africa, has partnered with Wecyclers, an innovative waste management company, to launch a fleet of cullet trucks. This strategic initiative aims to enhance recycling efforts, promote sustainability, and reinforce environmental responsibility across Nigeria.

The official launch event took place on Wednesday, 22nd May 2024, at the Beta Glass headquarters in Lagos, marking a significant milestone and commitment by both parties towards a more sustainable future for Nigerians.

The new trucks will be instrumental in collecting and transporting cullet, the term for bottles and jars for recycling, from various collection points to the local production facilities of Beta Glass. By integrating these specialised trucks into the supply chain, both companies aim to increase the volume of recycled glass used in manufacturing, thereby reducing the quantity of virgin raw materials and minimising the environmental footprint.

Key Benefits of the Partnership:

  • Enhanced Recycling Efficiency: The cullet trucks will streamline the collection process, making it easier to gather larger quantities of glass for recycling,
  • Environmental Impact: By using more recycled glass in production, Beta Glass will reduce its carbon footprint.
  • Economic Opportunities: This initiative will create new job opportunities in the recycling sector, supporting local communities.
  • Public Awareness: The partnership aims to raise awareness about the importance of recycling and environmental stewardship among the Nigerian populace.

Commenting on this new partnership, Darren Bennett-Voci, CEO of Beta Glass, stated: “Our partnership with Wecyclers represents a significant step forward in our commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. The launch of the cullet trucks will not only enhance our recycling capabilities but also set a benchmark for the industry. We are excited to see the positive impact this initiative will have on our environment and our community.”

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Olawale Adebiyi, CEO of Wecyclers, further added: “Wecyclers is dedicated to providing innovative recycling solutions that empower communities and protect our environment. Partnering with Beta Glass to launch the cullet trucks is a testament to our shared vision of a sustainable future. We look forward to working together to foster a recycling and environmental awareness culture across Nigeria.”

The launch event featured a demonstration of the cullet trucks in operation, along with presentations from key stakeholders about the anticipated benefits of the initiative.

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Press Release

The Gender Mainstreaming for Climate Entrepreneurship

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The Gender Mainstreaming Programme 2024 organized by the Nigeria Climate Innovation Centre aimed to close the gender gap in climate entrepreneurship. NCIC achieves this objective by collaborating with industry players, and stakeholders to drive and gain support for women in the industry, across Nigeria and the world at large. WeClimeEquallyWorkshop and the G-FIVE Business Accelerator by NCIC are the two instruments the organization uses to foster gender equality and climate-focused entrepreneurship. 

The Gender and Climate Workshop Event 

This Year’s WeClimeEquallyWorkshop 2024 with the theme: Equity and Sustainability Towards a Prosperous Future was held on Thursday 21, March 2024 at Four Points by Sheraton. The welcome address was led by Mr. Adamu, the Chief Operating Officer who represented Bankole Oloruntoba, the Chief Executive Officer, of NCIC. He emphasized the work of NCIC in championing projects that drive gender equality and entrepreneurship.

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 Mrs. Titi Oshodi, Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Climate Change and Circular Economy rendered the Goodwill Message and raised the need for effective communication to spur the needed change as there are many communication nuances in the Nigerian landscape. Rendering the speech of His Excellency Babajide Sanwolu, Governor of Lagos state, Mrs. Oshodi plauded that the WeClimEqualityWorkshop provides a pivotal platform to exchange knowledge and amplify women’s voices and ensure their meaningful participation in climate and circular economy because there is a link between gender, women, and marginalization is essential.

The workshop also featured 4 expert paper presentations delivered by industry experts from KPMG, FC4SLagos, Fate Foundation, and academia. In addition, attendees were treated to an intriguing panel session on applying a gender lens to the triple Es of Employment, Environment, and Entrepreneurship. Following hours of interactions, attendees were allowed an opportunity to co-create practical strategies to infuse gender lens in organizational programming, policies, and framework. 

Green Females in Venture Enterprise Business Accelerator 

Building on some key outcomes of the #WeClimeEqually Workshop, 50 climate-focused women entrepreneurs entered a 4-day hybrid business accelerator program delivered in partnership with the Lagos Business School Sustainability Center. Core modules of the accelerator centered around sustainability, innovation, legal regulatory frameworks, business management, and grant writing amongst others. 

Additional program support included a nursery for mothers, accommodation, a virtual learning platform for long-distance learners, and bonding activities. Participants were also certified at the end of the program. The Gender Mainstreaming for Climate Entrepreneurship is sponsored by Climate KIC; Europe’s leading Climate Innovation and Irish Aid. To learn more about the Nigeria Climate Innovation Center Visit the website here https://nigeriacic.org/about-us/

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