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Sparkle Partners Network Int’l for Virtual and Physical Payment Cards


The mobile-first digital ecosystem, Sparkle, that offers lifestyle, financial and business support services to Nigerians worldwide partners with Network International, a leading enabler of digital commerce in Africa and Middle East, to power its payment card offering.

The company’s new virtual and plastic debit cards are aimed at Small and Medium-scale Enterprises and upwardly mobile, unbanked consumers across Africa’s most populous nation. This move is sure to bring clients the flexibility, convenience, security and safety of cashless payments across various channels.


These cards will enable the customers of Sparkle make in-app purchases and also pay for m-commerce and e-commerce transactions.

Sparkle was founded by Uzoma Dozie, an entrepreneur, technology trailblazer and financial inclusion advocate, who has the mission of helping his fellow Nigerians meet their financial and lifestyle needs.

The collaboration with Network International is based on a shared commitment to further the acceptance of digital payments among emerging markets across Africa and the Middle East.

Joining forces with one of the largest payment company offers Uzoma’s venture access to Network International’s years of experience and expertise in creating card solutions for emerging markets.

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Sparkle is sure to gain from their new partner’s advanced digital infrastructure and robust security protocols, thereby able to avoid the need to invest in expensive card management infrastructure.

According to a statement released to the press on this the new partnership, Uzoma Dozie, said,

“Digital adoption and customer experience is going to be dependent on the people, platform and partnership.”

Continuing that, the payment processing and data insights arena, is what Network International does brings to Sparkle, and they are truly excited about the future of this partnership and what it means for the enablement and transformational impact for Nigerians anywhere in the world, who are always connected to the Sparkle platform.


Andrew Key, Managing Director – Africa, Network International on his part, expressed delight in being able to strengthen their strategic alliance with Sparkle as the company attempts to further disrupt the payments offering to consumers and retailers in Nigeria.

He concludes that, a strong foundation built over two decades comes with some level of experience within the payments and deep insight of the African market. They look forward to deploying a trusted platform and best-in-class technology towards supporting digital and financial inclusion of most Nigerian consumers and businesses altogether.

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9 Startups Accepted into the First Next Health Accelerator with $15K Seed Funding

Next Health Accelerator
image courtesy: Valorigo

Intrepid Entrepreneurs, a non-profit designed to catalyze the power and promise of young people and women to fundamentally advance their societies, recruited nine startups for the inaugural cohort of the Next Health Accelerator.

Female, African entrepreneurs with a minimum viable product (MVP) from 26 countries applied to the program. After a rigorous review process, nine startups from seven countries were selected to begin the program in March 2021. The investor readiness accelerator is six months long and includes $15,000 seed funding, international mentors and partners, business support services, and value chain access.

The Next Health Accelerator’s focus on sexual and reproductive health is founded on the premise that unmet needs for sexual education, menstrual hygiene management, family planning, medication abortion, and STI diagnosis and treatment will be most sustainably delivered by local African enterprises.

Sexual and Reproductive Health issues directly affect 300 million women and girls on the continent and the productivity of the entire continent. For the continent to prosper and support its burgeoning youth population, it must harness the demographic dividend with access to equitable healthcare and economic opportunities. Next Health Accelerator addresses both.

Next Health Accelerator

The 2021 cohort includes:

  • Rocket Health: Provides telemedicine and pharmacy services for SRH needs including convenient lab test retrieval and medication delivery in Uganda
  • Verifie: Delivers STI self-tests and treatment products via doorstep delivery in Ghana
  • Pharmaserve: Specializes in delivering high-quality pharmaceuticals in Nigeria through a fully integrated inventory monitoring system
  • Girls Pride: Provides menstrual hygiene management education and skills training to create reusable pads in The Gambia
  • Pad-Up Creations: Employs over 100 people in Nigeria to produce single-use, chemical-free pads sold in 16 countries
  • Valorigo: Manufacturers single-use sanitary eco-friendly pads made from locally grown bamboo in the Congo
  • The Grace Cup: Delivers SRH education and reusable menstrual cups in Kenya
  • Kosmotive: Provides SRH information and access to SRH self-care products in Rwanda
  • Massira: Delivers SRH information interactively as well as access to SRH services and products through an online community in Ghana 
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Lindsey Simmonds, the Co-founder of Intrepid Entrepreneurs in a press statement said,

“After 15 years in philanthropy, I believe now more than ever that it is women who will solve women’s health challenges and it is Africans who will solve Africa’s development challenges.”

She continued that, development policies made in Washington, D.C. or London need to make room for the power and promise of the youth and women on the African continent. And on this premises, their Next Health Accelerator catalyzes African startups to investor readiness to make scalable, sustainable impact imbued with the commitment and determination that only comes from homegrown ideas.

Visit the to learn more about the Next Health Accelerator 2021.

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