HiPipo: Championing Digital Innovation with Secure Digital Financial Services

HiPipo is a leading digital age organization, keen to promote secure digital financial services. The company is a long-established champion of digital innovation and financial inclusion and is known for championing digital innovation, FinTech, and instant and inclusive payments systems (IIPS) across Africa under the Include Everyone Program.

Founded in 2005, HiPipo was started by a team of young enterprising minds who came together with the desire to change and excitement about billboard charts and People Awards. It began by promoting local music using digital means and awards. The firm eventually started the HiPipo Music Awards in 2012 which further led it to start the Include Everyone program, under which the Digital Impact Awards Africa started running in 2013. This helped birth programs focused more on low-income digital users, special interest groups such as women, PWDs, rural organizations, and small formal and informal businesses, and the team helped them to create online offices. 

The humble beginnings of HiPipo merging ICT with sectors like music eventually pushed HiPipo into more sector research as well—and the team has since done studies and released reports—in which among other deliverables, it rated the top 1000 taxpayers’ online presence. From the ripple effects of music charts to events to community work to growing the digital media industry in East Africa and now financial inclusion and technology, HiPipo has successfully scaled a fascinating journey with the satisfaction to be a part of the modernizing shift. 


Conceptualizing and Actualizing Game-changing Initiatives

Headquartered in Kamwokya, HiPipo has been able to conceptualize and actualize several sector-changing initiatives to put Africa’s digital innovators on the required pedestal to help them solve problems. These include the 40 Days 40 FinTechs & FinTech Landscape Exhibition; the Women-in-FinTech Hackathon, Summit & Incubator; and one of the continent’s most distinguished gongs for digital innovation, the Digital Impact Awards Africa (DIAA). 

These initiatives and their related activities, publications, and implementations have remarked HiPipo as one of the most important conveners of the various players/stakeholders in the FinTech and digital financial services space. Moreover, all its actions and advocacy have been geared towards having the unbanked and the marginalized as the main beneficiaries of these innovations. As a result, HiPipo’s major partner and supporter today are the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and they are recognized proponents of the Level One Project. In fact, HiPipo’s CEO, Innocent Kawooya, was elected as Chairperson of the Mojaloop Community Council serving for a year’s term in December 2020. 

Team of Excellent Professionals 

Spearheaded by Kawooya, the team of HiPipo is fully committed, passionate as well as professional. The firm has incentives, clear guidelines, and timelines where everyone is measured according to their key activities’ outcomes, outputs as well as impact eventually. Essentially, the combined efforts of the team have garnered various awards and recognitions. The firm is also steered towards success by extraordinarily supportive partners. Moreover, HiPipo has excelled with the generous sponsorship of organizations and foundations like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the technical input of Level One Project, Cyberplc Academy, Modusbox, Mojaloop Foundation, Crosslake Technologies, Ideation Corner and many more. 

Continuous Comprehension of Clientele Lessons

HiPipo continuously takes lessons from its past successes and challenges and keeps enhancing the team’s technical competencies to implement these initiatives better. Additionally, the firm has cultivated excellent industry goodwill, which continues to catalyze the successful execution of its Include Everyone program. Being leaders and one of the pioneers of digital innovation evolution in the continent, the firm undertakes the responsibility to ensure doing the right things that are best for the industry, economy, and continent. 

Whenever it has a chance to support the aggrieved parties, HiPipo sits down and talks about their grievances while planning how they can better move forward together. The firm shares papers on research and insights and snippets of algorithms that others have used to run successful initiatives. For instance, it continuously shares the Level One Project guide and this has helped many innovators and DFSPs. HiPipo ensures its best to explain the metrics with the aim that the process also helps educate fellow citizens about ICT.

Additionally, the firm believes that all feedback is good for business and is not immune to making mistakes. While receiving negative client feedback, HiPipo comprehends it as constructive criticism and uses it for the firm’s betterment. However, if it is a genuine mistake being pointed out, the firm works on it immediately and reprimands the culprits. 

Implementing and Scaling Initiatives in Future

To date, HiPipo has extensively served its clientele base with its innovative range of solutions and offerings. In the future, it strives to continue doing its best. The firm is planning to implement and scale initiatives on the continent that increase the number of African women in leadership positions through efforts such as the Women In FinTech Hackathon, Summit, and Incubator. With financial exclusion persisting in Africa due to various reasons, HiPipo is aiming to accelerate its advocacy for the demand of creating instant and inclusive payment systems across Africa. With a longstanding mission and vision, the firm has also planned to ensure that its Include Everyone program work is sustainable and ensures their digital innovation work and financial inclusion advocacy contribute to modernizing financial inclusion and public services.  


How is HiPipo escalating innovation in the market? 

With a keen interest in women empowerment, HiPipo’s events help reduce the barriers perpetuating the gender gap by providing women with technical and business skills in digital financial services. It enables sustainable and inclusive growth and drives financial inclusion by advocating for reducing widespread interoperability issues leading to the exclusion of poor and vulnerable groups in the financial system. 

Through the implementation of various initiatives, HiPipo supports the creation of domestic and cross-border instant retail payments systems that enable wide economic growth. The firm is facilitating the delivery of affordable and innovative financial products to poor and vulnerable groups, by advocating for making use of DFS to support the establishment of sustainable and inclusive growth. It is also supporting FinTechs and their collaborators to make it easier and cheaper for customers to engage with the formal financial inclusion ecosystem.

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