Fintech Innovation Challenge open to fintechs to apply


Women’s World Banking manages its Fintech Innovation Challenge 2023a global competition to highlight and propose solutions to close the gender gap through digital financial services.

Click on the image for more information and to apply for the Fintech Innovation Challenge

Based in New York, Women’s World Banking is a nonprofit organization that provides strategic support, technical assistance and information to a network of 62 financial service providers in 35 countries that provide credit and other financial services to low-income entrepreneurs in the developing world, with a particular focus on women. Collectively, the network serves more than 138 million female customers.

Now in its fourth year, “the only female-centric fintech competition,” organizers say, will provide a platform for later-stage fintechs working to address challenges in serving the low-income female market.

According to the latest Global Findex report, there are still 742 million women worldwide who are excluded from the formal financial sector.

Women’s World Banking believes that low-income women represent “a large untapped market opportunity” for digital financial service providers.

“Fintechs are uniquely positioned to help bridge the digital financial services divide, as they have the ability to deliver products and services differently and can effectively meet the needs of low-income women in ways that financial providers traditional financial services can’t or won’t,” said Mary Ellen Iskenderian, president and CEO of Women’s World Banking.

Applications for the Fintech Innovation Challenge are open until September 15, 2022. Entry categories include, but are not limited to:

  • Send and receive money
  • Credit for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) led by women
  • Safety net products (insurance, savings and retirement)
  • Beyond Money (financial and digital capabilities, and other business support services)

The top four finalists will enter an in-person pitch competition next February in Dubai and be fast-tracked to participate in the Women’s Economic Empowerment Accelerator, powered by Santa Clara University’s Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship.

They will also receive pitch advice and UX design consultation.

The grand prize winner will gain access to fintech events such as Point Zero, Elevandi Connects and the Singapore Fintech Festival, as well as an invitation to speak at a Women’s World Banking Making Finance Work for Women event.

All female-founded fintechs that rank among the top 12 in the competition will be selected for the first-ever Female Founders Circle network. These will be announced on October 26, and the top four finalists announced on January 9, 2023.

The winner of the Fintech Innovation Challenge Grand Prize will be announced in Dubai, February 16, 2023, following the pitch competition.

The Fintech Innovation Challenge is sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (lead sponsor) and Ernst & Young LLP (EY US and advanced sponsor). The main funders of Women’s World Banking are the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Visa Foundation.

Click here to apply for the Fintech Innovation Challenge


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