24 September 2020

How innovation enables solidarity: spotlight on 5 start-ups in the Middle East & Africa

At a time of great health and economic uncertainty, there are still amazing signs of mutual aid and agility. In the Middle East and Africa, 5 start-ups have developed innovative services that will have a positive impact on people and contribute to a sustainable future. Here’s how these young businesses are combining innovation with social utility.

 

#1 FittiCoin

Get paid for your work-out? This is exactly what’s on offer through FittiCoin, a mobile app developed in Jordan. For every 1,000 steps users receive one FittiCoin, which they can convert into vouchers or discounts at partner retailers. As the health crisis deeply impacted the economy, many day labourers lost their job overnight.

The start-up therefore offers a way for users to donate their coins to households who are less well off. An initiative hailed by Orange, which has matched donations along with the government. More than $4,000 has been raised.

 

#2 YouScribe

Lockdown measures and social distancing have really damaged the entertainment and culture sectors. To improve access to education and reading, YouScribe, a 100% digital French-language library, has put its entire library of content online for free: books, audio books, newspapers, comics and educational reference documents. The platform also supports authors and publishers by enabling them to publish their latest works. YouScribe is a partner of Orange MEA and is continuing to expand across Africa, where books are still not widely distributed.

 

#3 Wattnow

Did you know that mismanaging energy consumption can lead to up to 30% wastage? Wattnow, a Tunisian start-up, has developed a solution that uses AI to enable people to see their consumption in real time and therefore identify any wastage, via a small box connected to the electricity meter. The information collected is then analysed and consolidated into handy recommendations to allow businesses and households to better control their energy consumption while reducing their CO2 emissions. Accelerated by Orange Fab Tunisia, the start-up was present at VivaTechnology 2019.

 

#4 Eyone

Working on the front line of the pandemic, healthcare workers and the health sector have been particularly hard hit in recent months. The development of telemedicine has led to strong progress, allowing both hospitals and clinics to reduce waiting times, while improving the monitoring and care of patients who cannot travel or who live far from a clinic or hospital.

As a finalist in the 2017 Orange Social Venture Prize, the Senegalese start-up Eyone offers two systems that facilitate patient monitoring and data traceability: Eyone Médical, a management platform for professionals and Passeport Médical, an electronic health record that allows the patient to interact with practitioners. In response to the pandemic, Eyone has also developed a tele-consultation service with a free online appointment booking solution along with a tele-prescription solution for professionals.

 

#5 Healup

Cumbersome administrative tasks, incomplete patient data, lack of visibility on overall healthcare performance ... Managing a medical practice can be time consuming for practitioners and have a negative impact on patient follow-up. This is why HealUp, a Tunisian start-up, has developed a platform to save time for doctors and optimise consultations for patients. Patients are also better integrated into the healthcare system by answering a questionnaire before the consultation and creating a personal health profile. They then receive a report of the appointment, which they can access when they like from their personal space.