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Cross-Border Startup Odyssey: Cameroon and Bangladesh | Webinar Recording

Explore the dynamic entrepreneurial landscapes of Cameroon and Bangladesh with the Commonwealth Chamber of Commerce. Delve into success stories featuring Syed Rifat Hossain of Social Micro Finance and Hermes Nziko of Koree, as they share cross-border startup experiences and valuable insights into the realms of entrepreneurship and cross-cultural business ventures.

Koree’s inception traces back to a realization in Ivory Coast during a bakery transaction, highlighting the challenge of receiving change in coins. This inspired the creation of a female-founded startup addressing spare change issues in cash-based transactions.

Koree presents a comprehensive solution for both daily consumers and merchants. The app facilitates digital wallet management, digital spare change receipt, and cashback earnings for consumers, fostering increased purchases at partner stores. Merchants benefit from reduced spending on the black market for spare change and gain valuable customer behavior insights for tailored loyalty programs. In the past year, Koree processed over $285,000, engaging 11,000 users and onboarding 40 merchants, with users earning over $20,000 in cashback.

On the other front, Syed Rifat Hossain, representing Social Micro Finance, seeks to merge Islamic finance with conventional finance, promoting sustainable employment through ethical financial practices. Social Microfinance envisions a society where individuals contribute to tax and zakat rather than being borrowers. Addressing challenges in fixed-interest investment policies, the company’s model includes Zakat, Qarrj Hasana (interest-free lending), and permanent employment in exchange for work, fostering a sustainable business environment.

The target market comprises borrowers, zakat payers, the unemployed, and business owners seeking development. Social Microfinance’s impact extends to rural economies, addressing economic, administrative, and infrastructure challenges. Plans for a business hospital aim to provide holistic treatment for businesses. Revenue models include profit-sharing, fees, product sales, and various financial services, aligning with Sustainable Development Goals. Identified impacts encompass no poverty, zero hunger, quality education, decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities, and peace, justice, and strong institutions. Experience a journey of innovation, impact, and sustainability with these visionary startups.

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