Hope Ndhlovu wins World Bank Youth Summit Pitch Competition

Tuverl won the World Bank Youth Summit Pitch Competition held from 2-3 December 2019 in Washington D.C. at the World Bank Headquarters. Tuverl was 1 of 5 finalists from 885 applicants from 96 countries around the world. Tuverl was represented at the competition by its Co-Founder and CEO Hope Tariro Ndhlovu.

Established in 2013, the World Bank Youth Summit is an annual event hosted by the World Bank Group (WBG) to engage with youth globally on the most pressing topics facing our generation. The theme for this year’s WBG Youth Summit is Smarter Cities for a Resilient Future.

Cities are places of opportunity. Globally, 4 billion people – more than half the global population – live in cities. By 2030, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities, and a third of the world’s population will be housed in cities with 1 million or more inhabitants. Most of this growth will occur in developing countries.


Rapid urbanization at this scale presents unparalleled challenges. Increasing population density, shocks from environmental pressures, growing infrastructure demands, and the increased expectations from residents and visitors for basic services are straining already limited resources.

The 2019 Youth Summit Competition challenged young changemakers to harness smart technology to:

  1. Address the rising impacts of climate change and pollution in urban cities; and/or
  2. Promote urban inclusion to enhance social, political, and economic empowerment

This year’s competition received a total of 885 proposals across 98 countries and remote as Somalia and Yemen. This year’s five finalists’ entrepreneurs seek to address problems that lie at the intersection of technology, climate resilience, transportation, urban inclusion, or waste management for cities, which will impact the future of our youth and generations to come.


The finalists included Tuverl from Zimbabwe, Khaalisisi from Nepal, Quipu from Colombia, Box from India, SOSO Care from Nigeria. Tuverl won the Jury Prize, finishing in 1st position in this pool of 5 finalists. The Box won the Audience Prize.





Tuverl is an app that seeks to make Public Transport, cheaper, reliable and more accessible to millions of commuters across African countries, by helping Operators reduce operational inefficiencies, optimize their routes and increase their revenue.

We leverage Smartphones, Cloud Computing, Geolocation, and Fintech to improve and optimize Public Transport and how commuters in African countries pay for it, starting with Zimbabwe.

The Box is the first-of-its-kind sustainable emergency shelter built by Green the Gene for people fleeing from violence, escaping adverse climate crises, or displaced due to natural disasters. It acts as a mechanism to help restore personal security, self-sufficiency, and dignity in times of crisis and displacement. The Box comes in a lightweight completely energy independent “shelter kit” which can be transported quickly and at scale.

Khaalisisi is a waste management platform that connects local waste entrepreneurs – Khaalisisi friends with waste sellers. There are approximately 13,000 Khaalisisi friends in Kathmandu. The company is connected to 250 of these waste entrepreneurs. It is a doorstep recycling program where waste hoarders like households, offices, schools, embassies and government bodies are paid for their waste and get reports about their recycling.

Quipu is a digital marketplace platform for micro-merchants that builds credit, offers a digital means of exchange to previously cash-based, offline, unbanked populations, and unlocks the untapped economic potential of the informal economy. By bringing informal economies online at the touch of a smartphone, Quipu is revolutionizing how data can be used as a community asset and enable the redesign of informal economies so they can grow resilient and (re)develop without having to rely on the global economic systems that marginalize them. 

 SOSO Care is an insuretech social enterprise that aims to use recyclable garbage as a financial resource enabling millions of uninsured slum dwellers, mostly pregnant women and kids, to access micro health insurance and gain points on food stamps.  By linking garbage to healthcare access, micro capital and food stamps, we are killing 2 birds with 1 stone in addressing poor healthcare access, sanitation and environmental sustainability and access to food.

The competition judges included Edward Hsu, Najada Kumbuli, Sanjeet Pandit, Xiaomin Mou, Lisa da Silva, Jan Debets, Lesly Goh, and Suprotik Basu .

Edward Hsu is currently a Senior Advise for Disruptive Technologies within the World Bank Group’s Infrastructure Vice Presidency.

Najada Kumbuli specializes in renewable energy and financial inclusion. She has led the development and execution of several investment strategies focusing on women empowerment, access to finance and climate change.

Sanjeet Pandit is the Global Head for Smart Cities practice at Qualcomm, Inc USA and responsible for Carrier and Ecosystem relationships in this domain.

Xiaomin Mou is a senior investment professional with over a decade of venture capital experience in the emerging markets. She currently heads IFC’s venture capital funds and co-investments program within the Disruptive Technologies and Funds Department.

Lisa Da Silva is IFC’s Global Cities Lead. She is responsible for identifying and formulating IFC’s response to existing issues and emerging trends affecting cities, and developing the tools and knowledge needed for staff to support city clients.

Jan Debets is a Project Manager at Business Angels Europe, the association that represents the interest of 40,000 angel investors towards the European institutions

Lesly Goh, World Bank Senior Technology Advisor and former World Bank Group Chief Technology Officer.

Suprotik (Protik) Basu is a Founder, Partner and Head of Sustainability and Impact at Blue Orange Sustainable Capital, which was launched in 2017 to mobilize and invest private capital to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals, without compromising impact or risk-adjusted returns.

Participating and eventually winning World Bank Youth Summit Pitch Competition was an enriching experience that helped our team validate our product, and business model. We received a lot of invaluable feedback from the judging panel and the audience. We managed to continue developing our networking and building relationships with organizations and individuals that will be pivotal in helping us gain more traction and scale our company.

Written by Hope Ndhlovu

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