Reshape Europe
DigiFemmes Wins First Prize At The Hackathon “Youth Voices”

Africa-Europe: The Voice Of Youth
Digital Africa

Entrepreneur smiling while collecting cash from a customer.

© Shutterstock

The "Invest Now" Concept Claimed The Top Spot

During the Africa-Europe Forum held on August 10, 2023, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom organised an inventive event. This event, known as a hackathon, brought participants together to brainstorm novel ideas and craft digital solutions over the course of three days. These participants were guided by three coaches throughout the process.

A total of 43 teams, consisting of 2 to 3 members each, engaged in this hackathon. Out of these, 14 groups successfully advanced to the final stage, held on the same day, August 10th. At the final stage, a project named "Invest Now," proposed by Laya Poudiougo, Racine Goulizan, and Mariam Traoré from the DigiFemmes group, emerged victorious in the "Youth Voices" hackathon category.

The "Invest Now" concept claimed the top spot with a remarkable score of 137 out of 150 points, surpassing the scores of "Gouro Market" (109/150) and "Connect Africa" (102/150). According to Laya Poudiougo, a member of DigiFemmes, "Invest Now" is a micro-investment platform designed to bridge European investors with promising African startups. The ultimate goal is to bolster economic connections between the two continents.

The decision to champion this idea was rooted in its ability to address a prevalent issue. DigiFemmes noticed that while young individuals possess noteworthy talents and promising projects, they often lack sufficient funding, or sometimes any funding at all. Additionally, these talents struggle to find opportunities for their expressions. Racine Goulizan, part of the DigiFemmes trio, elaborated on this observation. Moreover, the project aims to strengthen the bonds between African and European populations directly, transcending state-level cooperation which has faced criticism from both the youth and the African elite.

In practical terms, "Invest Now" relies on a model of European micro-investments for African startups. The platform serves as a hub for innovative startup ideas to attract funding from European investors. It also facilitates connections between entrepreneurs and investors in the travel and accommodation sectors, following a model similar to Airbnb. This approach aims to foster cultural and economic integration between the two continents.

It's worth noting that the winners of the "Youth Voices" hackathon, the DigiFemmes trio, will benefit with a trip to Germany as part of their first-place prize package.