Photo credit | Antony Maingi. HiiL’s Justice Accelerator announces winners of the 2023 Innovating Justice Award.jpg
The 12 participating startups represented five countries: Tunisia, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda and Lebanon. Each startup presented their innovative justice solution to a panel of judges in the hope of winning one of the top three prizes of €5 000, €10 000 and €20 000. The judges included Joseph Naayem, partner at Contrast Capital, Jackie Nagtegaal, CEO of LAW FOR ALL, and Duncan Onyango, Executive Chairman of KIFFWA.
The 2023 Innovating Justice Award top prize went to Mama Fua App, a Kenyan startup that vets and trains domestic workers and connects them to clients, all as a means of protecting them against exploitation and abuse. The startup also provides technical training to the workers, educates them on their rights to decent working conditions, and supports them with legal and psychological issues. The Mama Fua App has already served over 3 000 domestic workers in Kenya, where the employment justice gap is one of the top three most serious justice problems, according to the HiiL Justice and Satisfaction Survey in 2017.
“Domestic work is the largest employment industry of African women in Kenya. That’s why Mama Fua seeks to professionalise the work through education and training,” commented Stephine Ngutah, CEO of the Mama Fua App.
Second place went to Willminds, a Lebanese startup providing alternative dispute resolution methods, while third place went to E-Arbitrator, a digital platform from Rwanda that helps small and medium-sized enterprises resolve disputes with qualified arbitrators.
The nine other startups which also participated in the Justice Accelerator programme included Legal Point Services from Kenya, Sidebrief from Nigeria, Xanahealth from Rwanda, Nyumbani Online from Kenya, Silqu from Kenya, Crediameter from Nigeria, Atarapay from Nigeria, Elbaladiya from Tunisia, and Idaraty from Tunisia.
The Demo Day was live-streamed and attracted hundreds of viewers globally. According to Iran Huffels, the Justice Accelerator programme manager, the event provides a knowledge-sharing platform for entrepreneurs worldwide to gain insights, make connections, and learn about the trends shaping the justice sector. “To close the justice gap, we need to seek out-of-the-box solutions that address people’s problems in the fastest, most affordable and easiest way,” she said.
HiiL's Justice Accelerator is a startup program dedicated to scaling innovative ideas aimed at closing the justice gap and thereby increasing access to justice. Applications for the 2023 Accelerator programme are open until 31 March 2023. The selected startups will go through a five-month programme with workshops, coaching, and mentorship, culminating in the next Demo Day in February 2024.
The Accelerator programme is a crucial step in achieving people-centred justice. To learn more and apply for the programme, visit HiiL's website.
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