Every year, Fast Company, one of the world’s most influential media brands, puts out a list honoring the businesses making the most profound impact on both industry and culture, showcasing a variety of ways to thrive in today’s fast-changing world.
The World’s Most Innovative Companies (MIC) list is Fast Company’s signature franchise and one of its most highly anticipated editorial efforts of the year. It provides both a snapshot and a road map for the future of innovation across the most dynamic sectors of the economy.
Fast Company’s editors and writers sought out the most groundbreaking businesses on the planet and across myriad industries. They also judged nominations received through their application process.
Well, the latest installment of the prestigious World’s Most Innovative Companies (MIC) list is officially out and the 2020 MIC list features 434 businesses from 39 countries, including more than a few African companies who stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the likes of Snap, Microsoft, Tesla, Spotify, and Canva on the list.
Among the African countries represented in the world’s Most Innovative Companies list are Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, and South Africa.
Twiga is an online business-to-business (B2B) marketplace platform that sources produce directly from farmers and delivers it to urban retailers. Twiga links farmers and vendors to fair, trusted, modern markets, providing a complete supply chain in Kenya for quality produce in urban areas. Twiga actually made it into Fast Company’s Top 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2020.
2. mPedigree (Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Tanzania)
mPedigree has developed an elegant solution to the problem of counterfeit goods: it embeds a unique code into a product label, which shoppers can text to the manufacturer to verify the item’s authenticity. The startup, which now works in a dozen countries, works with some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies to spot out counterfeit medicines. It also brings traceability to seeds and other agricultural products within Africa.
3. Copia Global (Kenya)
Copia Global provides a consumer catalog order and delivery system intended to serve consumers in the developing world. Its service leverages mobile technologies and a network of agents serving as distribution points, enabling rural and peri-urban consumers to get a wide range of quality goods at reasonable prices.
4. PiggyVest (Nigeria)
PiggyVest calls itself the first online “Savings and Investment” app in West Africa. It first launched as “Piggybank.ng” on the 7th of January 2016 as a savings-only platform before expanding its offering to include low-risk/risk-free investments. PiggyVest is on a mission ‘to give everyone the power to better manage and grow their own finances’ and the platform is particularly popular among millennials.
5. MPost (Kenya)
MPost literally means “Mobile Post office.” The platform enables any mobile phone user to have their phone act like a mobile post office, allowing individuals to make their mobile number a formal postal address. With it, users get access to Postal Services through your mobile phone. Launched at the end of 2019, the service alerts users when mail arrives, which they can either pick up or have delivered.
6. Tizeti (Nigeria)
Tizeti is a fast-growing Wireless Internet service provider in Lagos, Nigeria, delivering high-speed unlimited Wi-Fi Internet access to residential and business customers using wide-area Wi-Fi. Tizeti is building Wi-Fi solar base stations to provide affordable unlimited internet service. Its services are available in Lagos, Ogun and Rivers State in Nigeria, and the startup has also taken root in Ghana.
7. Tongoro (Senegal)
Founded in 2016 by Sarah Diouf, Tongoro is a ready-to-wear label dedicated to the development of Senegal. The Tongoro fashion label has been worn by superstars like Beyoncé and featured in Vogue. Diouf uses the label to showcase local fabrics and patterns, as well as the work of African makers and tailors, whom she nurtures to international standards.
8. Lumkani (South Africa)
Lumkani is a social enterprise launched by South African Students in 2014 to deliver a networked heat detector device to decrease risks of fire in rural and urban informal settlements. The technology company also distributes insurance products to financially excluded households and businesses in townships and informal settlements. Lumkani seeks to promote business and social practices that respect people, ensure sustainability and create value.
9. Kobo360 (Nigeria)
Kobo360 is a tech-enabled digital logistics platform that aggregates end-to-end haulage operations to help cargo owners, truck owners, and drivers, and cargo recipients to achieve an efficient supply chain framework. The startup was co-founded by Ife Oyedele II and Obi Ozor in 2016.
10. 54gene (Nigeria)
Launched in 2019, 54gene utilises human genetic data derived from diverse African populations, to improve the development, availability, and efficacy of medical products that will prove beneficial to Africans and the wider global population. Backed by international investors, 54gene aims to facilitate new drug and diagnostics discoveries that are more impactful for Africans.
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