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Jamii.one, a Danish social enterprise that offers a platform to transform data into financial opportunities for traditional savings communities in Ethiopia, has received a €150,000 grant from the Swiss Capacity Building Facility (SCBF) to scale its mission of providing affordable insurance products to Ethiopians.

“As an emerging InsurTech, Jamii.one is proud to be recognized by SCBF [a Swiss-based organization that supports inclusive finance and private sector development] for its impact in Ethiopia and the potential to unlock the African insurance market. The company is eager to scale its work and reach more Ethiopians with affordable insurance products,” Charlotte Rønje, co-founder and CEO of Jamii.one wrote on Linked-In.

Jamii.one launched in 2018 – works with low-income communities to collect data on informal savings and loans, leveraging this information to connect unbanked communities with the formal banking sector. A year ago, the company partnered with Nib Insurance to provide micro-life insurance coverage.

Under this partnership, individuals who join as a group through the traditional social relief scheme, edirs, will receive life insurance coverage.

The new scheme offers compensation services to those who save premiums on a daily basis through edirs linked with the Jamii.one platform. At the time it was reported that to receive a compensation of 100,000 birr, edir members will have to save one birr daily, while saving two birr per day will secure coverage of 200,000 birr.

Three main components comprise Jamii.one’s technology: the Jamii.one app, which replaces paper ledgers with a digital ledger for savings communities; Jamii.one Insights, a data platform for NGOs supporting savings communities to improve project efficiency; and services for users seeking access to financial services and products.

The Jamii.one app was developed in collaboration with over 600 savings community members, ensuring its usability for everyone, regardless of reading, digital, or financial literacy levels. The app functions as a digital bookkeeping tool, with only one person per group needing the app installed to register on behalf of the entire group.

The app not only serves as a convenient digital platform but also establishes a foundation for accessing formal financial services.

At the end of 2020, Jamii.one and its Ethiopian partners, Metemamen MFI, successfully distributed loans totaling $20,000 to 150 entrepreneurs. This was achieved by supporting these individuals in building adequate financial records and becoming eligible for loans through the Jamii.one app.

The app is also quickly growing in popularity in Ethiopia and in March 2023, 50,000 people in 438 community groups joined the Jamii.one platform.

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Kaleab, Shega's Editor-in-Chief, Specializes in Reporting on Small Businesses, Innovation, Technology, and Startups in Ethiopia

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