Meet the 8 social businesses of the MAN Impact Accelerator’s third Cohort

Meet the 8 social businesses of the MAN Impact Accelerator’s third Cohort

October 22, 2019

This week, we’re proud to announce the newest cohort of our MAN Impact Accelerator. 8 high impact social business startups revolutionizing the mobility and logistics sector were selected from a pool of over 300 applications for its third cohort. From drones built for medical deliveries in Africa to providing freedom and autonomy to elderly populations in Europe -  they each represent a diversity of innovative solutions to different social issues within the mobility and logistics sector. Let’s meet them!



According to WHO, Kampala is the second most polluted city in Africa and this is mainly due to transportation. Polluted air is not only a hazard to health, it's detrimental to a growing economy.  A main source of this pollution is the huge fleet of motorbike taxis (boda-boda). Around 150,000 drivers - mainly unemployed youths - earn their daily income by driving a Boda Boda in Kampala and over 600,000 in Uganda. They often struggle to make a decent income as they rent their vehicles while having to pay high fuel prices and maintenance. This situation represents a double challenge : tackling air pollution and providing a better livelihood for the drivers.

Kampala based startup Zembo provides affordable electric motorcycles for their boda-boda drivers. They assemble and lease solar powered motorcycles on a pay-as-you go model with the possibility of owning the asset after two years. They also set up solar charging stations to provide clean energy to recharge batteries. This rent-to-own model also provides taxi drivers with an opportunity to own an asset on a credit line in a market where asset financing is not available. . Combined with cheaper running costs on their motorcycles (both on energy and maintenance) this provides an increase in income by 60% and enables the drivers to create a sustainable livelihood. Petrol is replaced by high capacity and safe lithium batteries which have an autonomy of 50-60km. When their battery runs out, they can just swap it for a fully charged one in one of the recharge stations. This switch to electric vehicles provides benefits in terms of reduction of carbon emissions as well as eliminating fine particle emissions and reduce noise congestion.



Health care delivery system is inadequate and inefficient in many parts of Africa, particularly in rural areas where most people lack access to basic amenities. Indeed most blood banks and equipped laboratories are located in urban communities. Given the poor state of road infrastructure it takes on average over two hours to deliver vital medical supplies via road to rural communities in Nigeria, which in  times of emergency  can prove  fatal.

Nigerian Startup Arone is building Africa’s biggest aerial logistics infrastructure for health care. By using smart drones, they can provide quick, affordable and reliable delivery of blood and medical supplies to the most remote villages in under 15 min. The Avport stations - the ground based quick charge/battery swap station for Arone - are powered solely using solar energy. This ensures a reduced ecological footprint and cheaper running costs. They design and manufacture their drones in house to fulfill the requirements of long distance and fast delivery of parcels. This solution promises a huge increase in efficiency - both logistically and ecologically - in comparison to road deliveries and the good news is that it is highly scalable.



According to the UN Environment Programme, 500 million small farms provide up to 80% of food consumed in the developing world. However they receive a very little share of the value generated by their production. Instead, most of it is captured by intermediaries in the supply chain between them and the final consumer. These last years have seen an increasing demand from consumers for fresh and ethical products.  As such, there is a huge opportunity for developing transparent and fair distribution models which can put back the farmers livelihoods at the center of the equation. Cutting out intermediaries and enabling a more direct access to market for smallholder farmers can directly increase economic security for rural communities assure food production for local and global markets.

This is exactly what Suma is doing by connecting smallholder farmers to customers buying in bulk. This enables them to cut out several middlemen and to redistribute this value to both the consumer and the producer. The consumer get delivered outstandingly fresh produce with the story of each family farmer attached so that they know exactly where their food comes from and who produced it.

Suma takes care of all the logistics of the transaction from ordering to delivery. They also provide additional services with training modules on logistics. This enables smallholder farmers to access markets they could never attain on their own. More than 2000 smallholder farmers have already subscribed at Sumá’s platform, receiving on average 37% more income than before.

Eu Vo


15% of the brazilian population is over 60 years old, or about 30 million inhabitants. Part of this population have a reduced mobility which can lead to social isolation and a loss of independence as they become unable to do the tasks they’ve spent their whole lives doing such as driving. It becomes very difficult to use public transport since most people must walk to and from the bus or train stops. This has many negative consequences, such as missing important doctor appointments in the absence of someone able to drive them there. Although relatives, friends and carers do everything they can to help they cannot always compensate for this loss of mobility.

Eu Vô is a Brazilian transportation platform that connects trained drivers with elderly people with reduced mobility. They offer door to door transportation service with the option of hiring accompanying service as well that can accompany each customer in a unique and personalized way, from shopping to going to a doctor’s appointment. EU VO ensures all drivers go through a thorough background check and training program created by psychologists to ensure security and confidence of all customers. This service benefits the elderly - who can regain autonomy and freedom - but also their relatives and carers who delegate transportation with peace of mind.  



Harassment in public spaces, especially transportation, is a huge issue in Brazil which threatens women’s right to mobility. According to the Brazilian Public Safety Forum, in 2016, every 4 seconds 1 harassment occurs in public transport of which women represent 65% of users. Often women from the most underprivileged backgrounds have no other way of getting around than public transport and the lack of security threatens their fundamental right to mobility.

NINA has taken the challenge of tackling this issue. They have developed an online platform to track, standardize and centralize harassment cases in urban mobility. This API can be integrated into the different apps of their clients, who range public from transport companies to route-planning and ride-hailing such as Uber and Google Maps. This allows public transport users to report instantly harassment they suffer or witness. Everytime a complaint is issued, NINA locates it and offers psychosocial support to victims as well as appropriate police referral. They notify the bus operator and make videos available directly to the police station to facilitate the investigation of cases.

The data generated such as geolocation, schedules, victim profile and critical routes serves to elaborate better public policies and initiatives to combat sexual harassment. Both through its services and through its data, NINA is helping to create safe transport for all.



Social exclusion remains a major problem for marginalised groups in the EU who often struggle to integrate professionally. For example, according to the european commision, half of disabled people in the EU are unemployed. Moreover, 30% of people with a disability are at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU. Therefore, creating opportunities for excluded individuals to enter the workforce, acquire experience and build a career appears to be a priority.

Koiki is an inclusive and green last mile delivery network in Spain that has decided to tackle social exclusion in an environmentally friendly way. Indeed, last mile delivery remains one of the most polluting parts of the supply chain. Delivery vehicles contribute to high fine particle emissions in urban centers as well as CO2 emissions.  To tackle this double problematic, Koiki employs people from vulnerable populations - such as disabled individuals - to deliver and pick-up parcels in their neighborhoods. The employees - called koikis - work from micro-centers that are distributed within each neighbourhood, allowing delivery to customers by electric vehicle, walking or cycling. They estimate that they save 0.49 kg CO2 emissions for each parcel delivered. Their API tool is integrated within the E-Retailer’s web page allowing customers the opportunity to decide upon their most convenient delivery time.  

Moreover, Koiki facilitates the insertion of social organisations’ members by training and providing work for them as koikis.  Koiki changes the consumer experience as the Koikis deliver with a smile and the consumer interacts with a Koiki Center via Whatsapp to coordinate deliver



Did you know that 4 billion people around the world do not have a precise address? In parts of the world your instructions to the emergency services in crucial moments may sound like : “Behind the petrol station, take the street that leads to where the Church once stood. Our house is on the right after the third mango tree. The doors is grey”.

This inadequate address infrastructure around the world greatly impacts last mile delivery efficiency. The drivers, cleaners and maintenance personnel are the ones who suffer greatly from this, as they are often paid for hours worked at their customer’s site and any time spent planning routes or finding a place is at their cost. A lack of formal address even can prevent  people to exercise their civil rights or access formal employment. Although having an address might not seem like the most pressing of social needs it actually is a cornerstone of many activities crucial to participating in society.

Addressya offers a simple way for everyone to register a complete, precise and easy-to-use address which they can share with full control over their own data. Their app creates an address combining GPS coordinates, available address information and user generated content such as landmarks and pictures that makes it easier to find the house. All the user needs is a smartphone with a GPS chip and a data plan/wifi access. To provide their address, all they have to provide is their Addressya username.

Therefore businesses and institutions from all sectors of society can access the Addressya information of their user/customer so that they can find them quickly and efficiently, without running the risk of miscommunication and getting lost on the last mile. This connects those who have an official address with those who do not and improves communication between cities, suburban places and rural areas.



According to FEVAD, the number of parcels delivered is growing 15% a year. By 2025, 23 500 last-mile truck deliveries will be required daily to serve 28 millions consumers living in high-density urban areas. Major EU capital cities have already announced measures to ban or limit petroleum fueled vehicles in their city centres by 2025.

XYT responds to this paradigm shift with a tailor-made delivery solution as-a-service. What XYT offers is a new approach to electric mobility and urban logistics based on high modularity, ecological impact and reduced cost. Their clients can rent a delivery solution from their fleet of electric vehicles that they can modulate to evolve along with their needs. The vehicles are designed for durability, ease of repair and recycling. This decreases not only their environmental impact but also enables them to reduce their operating and maintenance cost and offer a profitable solution to their clients.

Unlike most electric manufacturers that import their parts from China, this car is assembled locally and easily by certified professionals. It also consists of only 580 pieces, in comparison to 6000 - 10 000 for a traditional car which makes it cheaper and easier to maintain.

Their solution reduces carbon emissions to face new city regulations, whilst maintaining and increasing profitability in a highly competitive and cost constrained last mile logistics environment.


The Accelerator Program will run over the next 8 months where a community of founders, mentors and experts will meet in Munich, Lisbon, Sao Paolo and Johannesburg for hands-on business mentoring, corporate partner experience and extensive guidance catered to the needs of the entrepreneurs. Are you interested in knowing more about the startups or do you know some one who the startups should definitely speak to? Reach out to us and follow our journey on LinkedIn and Facebook to see where all the teams are heading!

For any media enquiries, please contact Solene our Communications Manager for MAN Impact Accelerator.

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