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Microcredential

Fintech Startups in Emerging Markets

University of Cape Town via Coursera Specialization

Overview

The University of Cape Town’s specialization will give aspiring entrepreneurs the tools to understand the technological innovations and challenges the financial services industry faces in the emerging market context. The specialization covers foundations of the changing financial regulations, new technological applications like blockchain or artificial intelligence and design thinking for startups in emerging markets. Through real-world case studies, you will see how this technology can unlock growth and spur innovation and will understand the specific emerging economies environment within which innovation can take place. This specialization is particularly suited for entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs who want to learn how they can harness the power of fintech or technology in an emerging market. You will work on a business plan for your own fintech or tech-based startup idea in the capstone project comprising a business model canvas and pitch. This allows aspiring entrepreneurs to take a tangible step towards launching their own startup. Watch the course trailer

Syllabus

Course 1: Financial Regulation in Emerging Markets and the Rise of Fintech Companies
- This course gives an overview of the changing regulatory environment since the 1997 Asian and 2008 global financial crisis. Following these two major crises, governments around the globe enacted a set of far-reaching new financial regulations that are aimed towards safeguarding financial stability. However, banks find it increasingly difficult to be profitable in this new regulatory environment. Technology, at the same time, has taken important leaps forward with the emergence of sophisticated models of artificial intelligence and the invention of the blockchain. These two developments fuel the emergence of fintech companies around the world. This course discusses fintech regulation in emerging markets using case studies from China and South Africa. The course pays special attention to the socioeconomic environment in emerging markets, as well as to political risk as a major source of uncertainty for fintech entrepreneurs. Peer-to-peer lending and remittances are used as leading examples for fintech innovation in emerging markets.

Course 2: How Entrepreneurs in Emerging Markets can master the Blockchain Technology
- In this course, you will gain a thorough understanding of the blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, including an introduction to the necessary foundations in cryptography. The course will discuss blockchain as a distributed ledger and introduce distributed consensus as a mechanism to maintain the integrity of the blockchain. The other revolutionary technologies that are changing the world as we speak are artificial intelligence and machine learning. You will learn about the three major types of AI algorithms: supervised and unsupervised machine learning, as well as reinforcement learning. You will learn about the application of blockchain outside of finance. In particular, how blockchain fundamentally changes the way we deal with our personal data. You will see how the web 2.0 model--where big companies like facebook and google collect as much of your personal data as possible to sell it to third parties--is coming to an end. The new web 3.0 is decentralized and uses the power of the blockchain to put users in full control over their own data. Finally, we will look at the benefits and considerations of blockchain and whether blockchain is the right solution for your problem. #UCTFintech

Course 3: Building Fintech Startups in Emerging Markets
- Starting a small business in an emerging market can be very rewarding. Many of entrepreneurship opportunities in emerging markets arise out of necessity, or the drive to solve a real need or a social problem. Thus emerging markets often offer huge opportunities for disruptive innovation. Entrepreneurship has contributed to economic growth and been able to respond to social problems, helping some communities prosper. With the rise of fintech, financial solutions using technologies such as the cloud, blockchain and machine learning have by-passed or partnered with established financial institutions to serve new markets. This course takes us through the basics from “What is entrepreneurship?” to applying commonly used business planning tools, such as design thinking and business model canvas. Design thinking is a methodology that encourages startups to focus on user-centric products and services. There are also insights on topics like regulation, intellectual property, funding and growth that are important for startups. I’ve invited along experts who teach and support entrepreneurs. This includes some really interesting people in various stages of their start-up business development. We will be talking with Zlto (a digital currency), Yoco (mobile payments), Proof of Steak (alternative asset investment) and Kuba (a digital ‘middleman’ for small businesses) to name a few. As we will learn, there is no such thing as being ‘ready’ or, choosing the ‘perfect time’ to become an entrepreneur. You are already one, so let’s take the next steps on your entrepreneurial journey by joining your peers around the world on this course. This course is for everyone, and not only those interested in only fintech.

Course 4: Capstone Course: Start Up Your Fintech Future
- This is the final course in the Fintech Emerging Markets specialization. This course assumes you have completed the first three courses of this specialization. For this capstone project, you will need to prepare a business model canvas and pitch for your startup. This will involve identifying opportunities for a new service, product, or application, assessing the regulatory context and proposing appropriate fintech or non-fintech technologies. The three main parts of the business plan are to (i) the business challenge statement - identifying opportunities for new services and the customers (ii) a business model canvas, which will include a feasibility analysis that includes assessing the regulatory context, and (iii) presenting a video pitch which includes developing a pitch deck.

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Taught by

Co-Pierre Georg

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