Meet the winners of the Tam-Tam Pan-African hackathon
The “Yup prévoyance” team puts health at heart
The two representatives of the “Yup Prévoyance” team, which means Yup welfare, Mohamed Bensoltana, employee at Société Générale Maroc and Dognimin Koulibali, founder of TecHouse startup, make the conversation spark during a joint interview.
From left to right: Frédéric Oudéa (CEO of Societe Generale Group), Mohamed Bensoltana, Alexandre Maymat (Head of the Africa, Mediterranean Basin and Overseas region for Societe Generale) and Dognimin Koulibali.
Why did you take part in the hackathon?
Mohammed: First, the concept of this hackathon sparked my interest. By which I mean an external and an internal startup who brainstorm together to solve a common problem.
Then, the topic also seemed useful and relevant since it concerned the informal sector, particularly active and developed in Africa. Finally, on a more personal level, I like to take on challenges, projects that allow me to think "out of the box"...
Dognimin: We joined this hackathon first because of the issues addressed. Indeed, health is key if we take into consideration people from the informal sector. On the other hand, we saw an opportunity to rate and evaluate our assets and give better visibility to our startup.
Why did you choose health?
Mohammed: This is a subject that addresses a real problem in our environments: health insurance is underdeveloped and risk management is often the responsibility of intergenerational or intra-community family solidarity. Unfortunately, when a family member is confronted with a hard blow, they can find themselves in dramatic situations, hence endangering family stability.
Dognimin: As previously mentioned, people from the informal sector in Africa, and in Côte d'Ivoire especially, represent more than 95% of the global population. They are left to fend for themselves when it comes to health. Indeed, as they do not have a fixed and regular income, it is difficult for these people to benefit from quality health services. So, they use street vendors to sell drugs, which actually only increase the risk of illnesses. For us, finding solutions to alleviate, whether on a short term or even perpetually, the daily life of the people who surround us is a privilege. Health being a vital issue, it therefore appears at the top of our range of services.
Can you tell us more about the solution you aim to develop?
Mohammed: It is a simple solution, accessible and aiming at preserving family ties in the event of a major blow.
Dognimin: As explained during our presentation, our Yup Prévoyance solution proposes a new producer/distributor model that could effectively meet the needs of Africa. It meets a simple principle that allows a subscriber to be debited 2% on each refill of his YUP wallet (electronic wallet). This debited amount is allocated to his pension account, converted into points. The subscriber, in the event of a serious illness, disability etc., can benefit from an amount corresponding to the number of collected points.
Mohammed: We also designed a mobile application that allows customers to see where their pension points are and the amounts they will receive in the event of a hard blow. The application also delivers advice and good practices to preserve health.
Dognimin: As Mohammed put it: “It’s mathematical. The more I reload YUP, the more I contribute to the pension insurance and the more I am compensated in case of health problems.”
How is your project innovative for Africa?
Dognimin: This project is innovative in the sense that, first, it meets the needs of vulnerable populations. Also, it addresses all actors in the informal sector and finally it is adapted to their capacity to pay.
Mohammed: Our offer is innovative because it is based on micro-contributions, almost imperceptible, levied on each YUP refill, which generate a real lever of insurance and thus support informal players on an essential aspect: health. Beyond the offer, our project is based on a new producer-distributor model, that reflects Africa itself, it is not a classic bank insurance model, but a wallet-microinsurance model.
What do you hope to gain from the learning expedition?
Dognimin: We would like to immerge ourselves in a new ecosystem in order to become totally immersed in other peoples’ realities, learn from successes and failures and share experiences.
Mohammed: Getting to know new ecosystems, inspiring meetings, sharing experiences…alongside discovering a new country and its culture!
Mohammed, what impact has your participation had on your activity within the bank?
Mohammed: It's probably a little early to say. But I have already had the pleasure of being encouraged, accompanied and congratulated by employees and managers who barely knew me until know. I think that a bond of recognition and trust has been established, which is truly valuable.
Dognimin, as an already existing external startup, what did you expect from this hackathon?
Dognimin: First of all, I would like to thank the Innovation Lab in Dakar for the opportunity it gave to external startups to have a chance to showcase their skills through Tam-Tam. Special thanks to Florent YOUZAN, Hanae BENNANI, Fatoumata NIANG NIOX, Hajar CHOKAIRI and Thomas KOWALCZYK for their support and advice during this adventure.
As a new startup in the ecosystem, it was crucial for us to participate in this hackathon not only for the health issue addressed, which is, as I said earlier, a major element in our catalogue of services. In addition, it was important for us to rub shoulders with other startups in order to evaluate our level and exchange experiences on the issue of innovation, which is at the heart of large companies' strategies.
What are your overall impressions on this adventure?
Dognimin: We can only pay tribute to the organizing committees who, from the beginning, implemented a reliable strategy to allow us to be at ease. This adventure was very beneficial for us because it allowed us to meet people who were passionate about their activities and who only wanted to share them.
Mohammed: In a few words: an exciting adventure, a quality accompaniment and inspiring encounters!
What would you say to other intrapreneurs/entrepreneurs who wish to take part in a hackathon?
Mohammed: Don’t hesitate, just go for it! This is a stimulating and enriching experience.
Dogminin: I could only encourage them to run headlong without any apprehension. Whatever the result, whether you are the winner or not, you come out of the hackathons with experiences, new ideas and an extensive address book.
What are the next steps in the developing of your project?
Mohammed: We don’t know yet, the project organisation is in progress, but we hope we can contribute as much as possible to its implementation, in which we believe very much.
Dognimin: For now, we are trying to develop the project in order to justify our victory and ease the suffering of vulnerable people.
Would you like to end with a quote or a proverb?
Mohammed: To conclude, I would say: if you are healthy, everything you need is in your reach.
Dogminin: I like a quote from Confucius which encompasses well what Societe Generale in Africa has offered us, as well as our aspirations: “Happiness is not at the top of the mountain, but in how to climb it”.