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Mastercard Backs Africa 118’s Innovative Playbook for African Businesses

In 2023, a seismic shift echoed through the African tech landscape – Africa 118 Inc. soared to victory in the prestigious Mastercard Strive Innovation Fund. This wasn’t just a win; it was a game-changer. Our ingenious Digital Presence Pack, a veritable turbo boost for online visibility, ignited a revolution for African small businesses.

This isn’t a story of the past; it’s the propulsion for the future. With the Mastercard Fund fueling our engines, Africa 118’s toolkit empowers countless entrepreneurs to break free from digital shadows and command attention on the global stage.

Armed with nearly $2 million, the fund seeks to empower a diverse lineup of 11 organisations with game-changing ideas and the audacity to dream big for small businesses. The game has changed. African companies aren’t just playing; they’re winning, and Africa 118 is leading the charge.

Imagine a world where every vibrant corner shop and bustling market stall has a digital home, African creativity explodes across e-commerce platforms, and global opportunities beckon just a click away. That’s the future Africa 118 is building, brick by digital brick.

Digital Presence Pack

The Digital Presence Pack is a potent toolbox brimming with digital marketing magic. Imagine your local spice vendor crafting captivating Instagram stories, your batik maker connecting with customers across continents through Facebook, and your eco-friendly fashion designer showcasing their wares on a sleek online store. That’s the power of Africa 118.

In Ethiopia, a vibrant tapestry of micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) hums with entrepreneurial spirit. Yet, for many, the digital landscape remains a vast, uncharted territory. This is where Africa 118 Inc., in partnership with the GSMA Mobile for Development, steps in with its game-changing Mobile Digital Presence Pack.

Africa 118 Inc. & Taskmoby team- Ethiopia

Imagine a comprehensive toolkit packed with website development, social media marketing, and digital marketing training, all delivered conveniently through a mobile phone. This is the magic of the Digital Presence Pack, empowering Ethiopian MSMEs to unlock the boundless potential of the digital world.

From Invisibility to Visibility

Before the Digital presence pack, many Ethiopian MSMEs toiled in the shadows, their talents and products hidden from the eyes of potential customers. With website development, these businesses have gained a vital online presence, a virtual storefront showcasing their offerings to the world.

Social Media Savvy

The Digital Presence Pack continues beyond websites. It equips MSMEs with the know-how to navigate the ever-evolving world of social media. From crafting captivating Instagram stories to mastering targeted Facebook ads, these businesses are learning to engage with customers in a new way.

Digital Skills for Growth

The Digital Presence Pack’s secret weapon lies in its digital marketing training. This empowers MSMEs to understand the intricacies of the online world, from search engine optimisation to data analysis. With this knowledge, they can tailor their digital strategies for maximum impact and growth.

Impact by the Numbers

The success of the Digital Presence Pack speaks for itself. In a short space of time, the project has:

  • Provided skills training and affordability to over 4,000 businesses.
  • Helped businesses increase their sales and customer base.
  • Boosted the visibility and online presence of Ethiopian MSMEs.

A brighter future

By bridging the digital divide, Africa 118 and the GSMA Mobile for Development are equipping Ethiopian MSMEs with the tools they need to thrive in the 21st century. As these businesses flourish, they contribute to a more vibrant and prosperous Ethiopian economy, paving the way for a brighter future for all.

Ezana Raswork- Founder & MD. Africa 118 Inc.

Looking ahead

The success of the Mobile Digital Presence Pack in Ethiopia is a testament to the power of digital inclusion. As the program expands, reaching even more MSMEs nationwide, we expect to see more significant strides in Ethiopian entrepreneurship and economic development. The future is digital, and thanks to Africa 118 and the GSMA Mobile for Development, Ethiopian MSMEs are ready to claim their rightful place in it.

The power of social media 

Think of social media integration, like smooth Instagram shoppable posts and targeted Facebook ads. Think mobile operator partnerships, ensuring seamless connectivity for these businesses. Think market intelligence databases, a treasure trove of insights to guide growth and optimise outreach. This is courtesy of Africa 118’s ambitious expansion plans, fuelled by the Mastercard Strive Innovation Fund.

But it’s not just about shiny tools and flashy platforms. We understand the heartbeat of African entrepreneurs. We tailor their solutions to the specific needs and challenges of the continent, bridging the digital divide with cultural understanding and local expertise. At Africa 118 Inc., we celebrate the vibrant diversity of African businesses, from traditional craftspeople to tech-savvy innovators, ensuring everyone has a seat at the digital feast.


Africa 118 is more than just a company; it’s a movement. We are the cheerleaders, tech gurus, and digital storytellers empowering African entrepreneurs to write success stories. Watch this space; these amplifiers will change the sound of the global marketplace, one small business at a time.

The story of the Digital presence pack is an inspiration to us all. It reminds us of the transformative power of technology and the importance of empowering entrepreneurs, especially in developing economies. 

Are you struggling to reach customers, build brand awareness, and tap into global markets? It’s time to break free from the digital shadows and take centre stage. With the Mastercard Strive Innovation Fund backing us, we’re empowering countless entrepreneurs like you to:

  • Craft captivating websites and online stories that showcase your unique African flair.
  • Master social media, connecting with customers across continents and igniting brand love.
  • Leverage powerful digital marketing strategies to drive traffic, boost sales, and achieve explosive growth.

Don’t wait another minute! Join the thriving African business community already experiencing the transformative power of the Digital Presence Pack.

Contact us today for a free consultation and conquer the digital frontier.

Source: Mastercard Strive Innovation Fund.

To learn more about Africa 118 Inc., visit LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

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