Future Link Technologies Ltd becomes the first African company to win the Global SME Finance Platinum Award for Product Innovation of the Year, organised by the IFC – International Finance Corporation and the SME Finance Forum, Managed by the IFC (International Finance Corporation)
Kampala, September 20th, 2022
Future Link Technologies Ltd was named the PLATINUM winner of PRODUCT INNOVATION OF THE YEAR at the 2022 Global SME Finance Forum Awards on September 20th. This is the first time an African company wins this highest award in the category, attesting to the rise of industry changing innovations on the continent.
Organized by IFC – International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, and the SME Finance Forum and endorsed by the G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), the Global SME Finance Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of financial institutions and fintech companies in delivering exceptional products and services to their SME clients.
Future Link Technologies Ltd also known as FLT, is a Community-driven Marketplace for financial services, that enhances the financial resilience of Africa’s low and middle income earners. By enabling thousands of customers through their #MSACCO App, to daily access varied financial services provided by over 300 network of Financial Cooperatives (SACCOs), and enabling them to choose the most appropriate and affordable options, FLT enables them to influence the design and delivery of financial services. FLT works to democratise Africa’s financial services as a means to build an equitable financial system that works for everyone.
On receiving the award, Mr Vincent Tumwijukye, Co-Founder and CEO said; “This award is a testament of how Africa’s organised communities, can collectively work to enhance their financial resilience. By enabling customers to efficiently access, assess and choose the most appropriate and affordable financial services provided by SACCOs, we give them an enduring voice to influence the quality and pricing of services. I dedicate this award to our Partner SACCOs, MFIs, Partners, and the FLT Team that keeps awake to ensure that we have an equitable financial system that serves all”.
In Uganda, FLT is licensed by the Central Bank of Uganda as a National Payment System Operator. It is also listed among the Inclusive Fintech 50 – a list of world’s top financial technology companies removing barriers to financial access, powered by Center for Financial Inclusion
About the Global SME Finance Awards
Launched in 2018 and now in its fifth year, the Global SME Finance Awards capture the effective and successful practices of financiers, honouring the innovative products and services for SME clients that have achieved impressive results in expanding finance and services to SMEs and the institutions that undertake those efforts. Link
This year’s competition introduced a new category in partnership with the IFC’s Green Bond Technical Assistance Program (GB-TAP), awarding meritorious institutions with the distinction of Sustainable Bond of the Year. The winning entries represent the growing number of financial institutions that recognise that Green, Social and Sustainability Bonds have a crucial role to play in tackling the ongoing climate crisis, helping FIs achieve their Sustainable Development Goals.
For the second year in a row, entries from IDA and fragile and conflict affected situations are honoured for working in some of the most difficult operating environments, both highlighting the needs and challenges of serving SMEs in these areas and illustrating what is possible despite the complexities faced.
Matthew Gamser, CEO of the SME Finance Forum said: “This year has seen the largest field of applicants ever, as we expand to a fifth award category in the important area of greening SME financing. We have more countries, with more financial products and approaches than ever before. It was a tall order for the almost 100 judges, whom we thank profusely for their expert, informed and unbiased judgment about who merited recognition.”
In this fifth year of the competition, entrants continued to illustrate resilience and innovation across the categories, from the ongoing work of serving SMEs in the SME Finance of the Year category, to the institutions channeling the Responsible Investor Guidelines, the Digital Innovator of the Year, to the creative and holistic approaches in the category of Best Financier for Women Entrepreneurs, which is organised each year in partnership with the IFC Banking on Women Initiative.
Magda Bianco, GPFI co-Chair said, “The G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion welcomes this latest round of the Global SME Finance Awards, which, along with our new Database on Digital SME Finance Innovations, is helping raise awareness of all the new possibilities that digitalisation offers for improving small firm access to finance. I’m very impressed with how many of these SME financing initiatives are taking place in the poorest countries of the world, and in fragile and conflict affected areas. I congratulate all the winners, all the honourable mentions, and all those who applied, and really encourage you to share your great work in our new Database.
For a full list of the winners in each category and Honourable Mentions, please go to the Global SME Finance Awards 2022 website.
About the SME FINANCE FORUM
The SME Finance Forum works to expand access to finance for small and medium businesses. The Forum operates a global membership network that brings together financial institutions, technology companies, and development finance institutions to share knowledge, spur innovation, and promote the growth of SMEs. Established in 2012 by the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, the SME Finance Forum is managed by IFC. For more information, visit http://www.smefinanceforum.org
About the Global SME Finance Forum 2022
Digitalisation transforms businesses, reduces costs, automates processes, and brings down the reliance on manpower. In the financial industry sector, it helps reduce the high risk traditionally associated with financing small businesses, through technologies such as real-time data collection and machine learning.
In partnership with the National Bank of Cambodia, the SME Finance Forum is hosting the 9th Global SME Finance Forum. This year’s event is focussed on the power of digital transformation in promoting inclusive, sustainable, and responsible finance for MSMEs, the backbone of the world’s economies. Taking place on September 19-21 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the three-day conference explores how digitalisation can promote and accelerate green finance, enhance supply-chain efficiencies, improve data security, automate processes, while also lead to a greater financial inclusion.
The event has convened global thought leaders, climate finance advocates, leading experts and practitioners in the field of SME finance to share their vision, insight and experience in promoting green finance for SMEs.