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mPedigree, innovation to fight counterfeiting, selected as Skoll Awardee for 2019


MPedigree has been selected as Skoll Awardee for 2019. mPedigree, represented by Bright Simons and Selorm Branttie, is an innovation that fights medical and agricultural seed counterfeiting, and secures the supply chain of other life-impacting products, with a product identification marker that consumers use to determine authenticity immediately with a mobile phone. The Skoll Foundation’s 16th Annual Skoll World Forum has announced mPedigree as one of five winners of the 2019 Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship. Founder and Chairman of the Skoll Foundation, Jeff Skoll, said: “These brave entrepreneurs are on the frontlines of solving the world’s most pressing problems.“Each social entrepreneur may have a distinct approach, but they all share a relentless pursuit of impact and the desire to create a more just world.”

The Skoll Awards distinguish transformative leaders whose organizations disrupt the status quo, drive sustainable large-scale change, and are poised to create even greater impact.Interim President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Skoll Foundation, Richard Fahey, said: “These leaders have demonstrated how to spark transformative change to improve health, protect vulnerable individuals, and provide new opportunities for young people. We are thrilled to welcome these passionate problem solvers into the Skoll community.”

Awardee organizations receive $1.5 million in core support investments to scale their work and increase their impact. The social entrepreneurs also gain leverage through their long-term participation in a global community of visionary leaders and innovators dedicated to solving some of the biggest global challenges of our time. Each of the 2019 Awardees leads an organization that shows great promise of outsized impact. Since its international expansion commenced in earnest in 2013, mPedigree has grown its footprint to touch more than a hundred million beneficiaries in over a dozen countries.

mPedigree’s core innovation is a unique product identification marker that consumers use to determine authenticity. They simply scratch off the label or unveil a barcode to transmit a code within seconds using a mobile phone camera or text message. A rich overlay of software tools and sensor technologies create full supply chain traceability and visibility, risk management, and predictive analytics. Empowered consumers in Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East know immediately if they have counterfeit goods—not after they’ve entered diabetic shock or have seen crops fail. Regulators continue to embrace the technology and industry sees that product integrity and supply chain analytics correlate with strong sales. While graft and corruption wane, consumer confidence in the marketplace grows.

Both government and industry actors have great incentive to stamp out counterfeiting and supply chain fraud —mPedigree has formed partnerships in both the public and private sectors. Nigeria now requires labelling on all anti-malarial and antibiotic medicines. Kenya requires labelling on all seed packages for smallholder farmers.

More countries across COMESA are revamping their regulatory systems with e-platforms designed and/or supported by mPedigree. The metadata from those millions of authentications help corporations spot counterfeiting trends and supply chain dysfunction. Beyond mobile technology, mPedigree is deploying sensors and machine learning to predict counterfeiting before it occurs and measures its socio-environmental impact. mPedigree’s work is unified by a simple grand vision: a marketplace powered by verification and trust.


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