Mission and Vision
Ungana-Afrika is helping to catalyse the incubation of scalable enterprises which leverage pioneering technologies, for the benefit of emerging markets and under-served communities.
We believe that innovative technologies are not sufficient to transform the development landscape in Africa and other developing regions. They need to be sustained by innovative business models that are rooted in the social context of disadvantaged, but vibrant communities. This is why our focus is less on the technologies and more on the mechanisms that will give them relevance and allow them to grow.
Our vision is an eco-system that supports the diffusion of ideas and technologies between technology innovators and social entrepreneurs so that together they may contribute to the development of local economies and the improvement of the quality of life of poor people and the environment they live in.
Our Programs, Services and Beneficiaries
Business development initiatives targeting potential technology entrepreneurs:
We advise and mentor technology enabled innovators and entrepreneurs by helping them during the important start-up and growth phases, from idea generation and business model development to market evaluation and pricing model designs. The goal is to either incubate successful enterprises or help to integrate viable ideas into existing social enterprises that encourage socio-economic development within underserviced areas. Our nonprofit institutional model also allows us to implement activities targeting potential or early stage entrepreneurs and implement programs that build awareness around entrepreneurship and further facilitate the incubation of innovative ideas via capacity building initiatives, competitions and networking events.
Business development services catering to R&D houses with limited business capacity, or technology enterprises looking for growth or expansion into new markets:
We are able to facilitate the whole business modelling phase or evaluate the feasibility of existing business models to better meet the needs of new target markets. For those ideas that require economies of scale we are able assess the feasibility of planned replication sites before substantial investments are made. Not only do these services help our clients estimate and increase the revenue potential of their ideas; essentially we help to make informed investment decisions and reduce risks and costs.
Consulting services assisting financing institutions expecting ROI for their patient capital and donor organisations emphasising long-term sustainability:
As a consulting partner we typically help financing institutions and donor organisations to make analysed investment decisions or we can help to analyse and evaluate feasibility aspects of the enterprises or organisations that are part of their existing portfolio. We are also able to increase the success rate by providing targeted assistance, capacity building and training to selected investees and grantees.
Serving the social technology eco-system as an open innovator and think tank:
Our understanding of different technology opportunities and needs of the market inspires us to generate fascinating initiatives for our business model laboratory, from harnessing new innovation via participatory processes to researching and analysing successful cases, replicable models and industry trends. In addition, our nonprofit nature allows us to generate and share knowledge openly. This includes the development and distribution of tools and methodologies, which typically are the most protected resources commercial consultants have.
Our processes and methodologies have been carefully crafted as a result of our deep understanding of technology based entrepreneurship as well as our passion for interactive and participatory facilitation techniques such as the business model canvas. We know exactly how hard it is to provide technology services in underserviced areas, based on our own hands-on experience as an ICT service provider during our early years. This is a rare attribute for an enterprise development service provider and makes us a highly valuable partner whether we coach future innovators or formulate larger scale program strategies in collaboration with international agencies.
The following values guide our decisions and everyday activities:
Curiosity and out of the box thinking - Our processes and methodologies support creativity, innovation, and unconventional models.
Risk taking - We are passionate about beyond-profits models that are breaking new ground and we strive to create value out of unproven ideas usually avoided by traditional businesses.
Openness and Sharing - We promote the free flow of ideas and open sharing of Intellectual Property Rights and share our work in the public domain whenever possible.
Transparency - We are committed to being a transparent organisation for both internal and external stakeholders.
Inclusiveness - We believe in a society of equal opportunity, and favour projects that lead to a more balanced world.
Who We Are and Where We Come From
Ungana-Afrika has been active in Southern Africa since 2002 and has been registered as an independent nonprofit organisation since 2004 (see more about our history). Over the years the Ungana-Afrika team has been involved with a great number of developmental projects in more than ten countries, with clients and partners from several sectors, within the African continent and abroad.