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#0405: Empowering autonomous governments

Gjest: Ylva Santesson

Head of Growth of Red Flash Mobile

Med Vert Silvija Seres

In this #LØRN episode, Silvija speaks to Ylva Santesson, Head of Growth at Red Flash Mobile, about how they are helping governments digitalize the informal sector, and release financial resources through micro-taxation. With her current positions as Head of Growth and Business Development Manager, her work varies depending on sales lifecycles and she shares what it all entails.
Full transcript (Available soon)

Who are you and how did you become interested in this technology?
I have a background from business & economics, bioengineering and emerging markets. I became interested in this technology because of the potential impact in a variety of areas. 

What are you doing at work?
My title is Head of Growth, and my work varies depending on the stage of the sales lifecycle. During the Katapult Accelerator programme, I was covering for our CEO while he was abroad, signing new country-level contracts. 

What are the most important concepts in your technology?
Building better data and putting in place the infrastructure for financial micro-services are probably the most important concepts. Our open APIs make us agile in rapidly changing micro environments. 

Why is it exciting?
It is exciting to see the correlation between doing what you are good at and actually creating real value for people and the environment – doing well by doing good. 

What do you think are the most interesting controversies?
Fighting corruption is crucial, but of course controversial. We continuously need to prove that our system creates wide-ranging synergies and increases revenues for governments that should be reinvested in societal infrastructure and public services. However, we cannot guarantee that the revenues we collect for governments are actually being used in the right way. 

Your own favourite projects?
I have recently come to understand the importance of SDG 17 – Sustainable development through global partnerships.

Your other favourite examples, internationally and nationally?
Katapult, of course! And all the other impact-focused organisations, foundations, funds and programmes, such as Norrsken Foundation. The World Bank Spring and Fall Meetings are great forums too. 

How do you usually explain what you do, in simplest terms?
I focus on the idea of “investment in impact” i.e. creating both a social impact and a financial return. This is key to sustainable growth and autonomy on all levels. Regarding my company, I explain that we digitalise micro-taxation, targeting the informal sector in Africa.

What do we do particularly well in Norway of this? Or why Katapult?
Norway plays a key role in raising awareness of the pressing needs of our planet and our responsibility to create social and environmental impact. Katapult is a vital driving force in the impact investing movement.

A favourite quote?
“When you put the right businesspeople together and they start becoming friends, they will end up doing business together.”

Most important takeaway from our conversation?
Reflection. The insights and learning created by reflecting, discussing and putting thoughts to words.



Samle deg med en venn eller en kollega for å se om du klarer å svare på spørsmålet nedenfor.

Spørsmål:Why should we be focusing on “multi-SDG” partnerships?


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Download summary (Available soon)

This is what you will learn:

Economic inclusion
Digital ID
Impact investing
Financial inclusion

We need to make people understand that it is good to pay taxes and that it will benefit everyone, as well as ensuring that the government uses the tax money to improve the community.

- Ylva Santesson

Recommended literature:
Good strategy bad strategy

This is Red Flash Mobile

Red Flash is a purpose-driven Swedish Govtech startup providing a tech platform to governments in Sub-Saharan Africa for micro-taxation of the informal sector. They focus on driving the digitization of the informal sector in emerging markets, making cities more financially sustainable, transparent and data-driven. They believe in doing good, that profitability is key for growth and that being an open and sharing company will accelerate development.