Applications are now due June 20th. Apply today!

Women’s World Banking is noticing so many quality solutions across the world fighting for women’s financial inclusion!  We’re excited to announce our new partnership with NYU School of Professional Studies, who are providing winners up to $4,000 to be applied towards the cost of any NYU School of Professional Studies non-credit courses or certificates. Given the overwhelmingly positive response & our new partnership, we are extending our deadline to apply to our 2021 Fintech Innovation Challenge.

 

In its third year, Women’s World Banking’s Fintech Innovation Challenge provides a global stage to highlight Fintech innovations serving unbanked and underserved women in order to build their security and prosperity in the face of global inequalities.

Despite years of progress in advancing financial inclusion, nearly 1 billion women around the world still remain excluded from formal financial services, and there is a persistent 9% gender gap across emerging markets. Moreover, the economic toll of COVID-19 has fallen disproportionately on women, exposing their particular vulnerability to global shocks. While the pandemic has accelerated the digitization of financial services, low-income women remain at risk of being left behind given the unique barriers they face to adoption and usage of digital financial services. Combined with broader inequalities for women such as rising unemployment, disparities in access to healthcare, and the effects of climate change, it is more imperative than ever that gender equality is at the center of recovery and growth.

Now more than ever, Fintechs are a crucial driver of women’s financial inclusion.

Our past Fintech Innovation Challenge winners – Aflore, Pula Advisors, Tyme, and myAgro – were given the exciting opportunity to compete in the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Global FinTech Hackcelerator during the Singapore FinTech Festival. Our 2019 Challenge winner, Pula Advisors, was one of their three winners!

Is your Fintech building towards a more equal world? Apply by June 20th!

Solutions

Fintechs must submit solutions in either of one of two categories:

Build Security and Resiliency

How might we enable unbanked and underserved women to build resilience through convenient, secure, and reliable access to safety nets to ensure greater equality in a post-COVID-19 world?

OR

Build Economic Prosperity

How might we enable unbanked and underserved women to build their business and household income and drive economic growth to ensure greater equality in a post-COVID-19 world?


Prizes


Our past Fintech Innovation Challenge winners

“Thank you for the amazing platform to share our work, and engage partners to innovate and scale in the future! It was the perfect theme, perfect audience, perfect ways to showcase, and perfect outcomes – thanks to you, we have possible long-term partnerships with several stakeholders, and I am so happy to become a Network Member, and definitely plan to optimize the value as much as possible.”
– 2019 Fintech Challenge Finalist

“Tyme is thrilled to be a winner of the 2020 Fintech Innovation Challenge. First and most importantly, participating in Women’s World Banking’s Fintech Innovation Challenge drove Tyme to learn more deeply how we can better survive our women’s customers. Secondly, the Challenge gave us global recognition right at a crucial time in our expansion into the Asean market and during our recent capital raise. Third, we got valuable feedback from the judges that helped us refine our proposition.”
– Rachel Freeman
Chief Growth Officer, Tyme (2020 Challenge Winner)

Have questions? Please contact us at
fintechchallenge@womensworldbanking.org

Who should apply?

    • Startup Fintechs based anywhere that are leveraging technology to provide financial services for unbanked and underserved women in emerging markets. Solutions do not need to be exclusively for unbanked and underserved women but must show deliberate intent to be inclusive of reaching the segment.
    • Fintechs should also demonstrate a commitment to developing women leaders through the presence of women in their senior management team and Board of Directors.
    • Solutions should focus on building women’s security or prosperity, particularly in supporting resilience and recovery from global economic shocks.
    • Applicants can be pre-revenue but must demonstrate a viable value proposition to reach unbanked and underserved women.

Judges

A panel of diverse industry experts will judge the finalists at the virtual Fintech Innovation Challenge Event.

Mary Ellen Iskenderian

President & CEO
Women's World Banking

Otto Williams

Senior Vice President, Head of Partnerships, Innovation and Digital Solutions
Visa CEMEA

Katharine Budd

Co-founder & CEO
NOW Money

Check back for updates!


Advisory Committee

Advisory Committee will evaluate applications and select finalists.

Sriram Jagannathan

Country Director, India
Women’s World Banking

Karen Miller

Global Head, Leadership & Diversity Programs
Women’s World Banking

Ade Ashaye

Executive Vice President, Network
Women’s World Banking

Christina (CJ) Juhasz

Chief Investment Officer
Women’s World Banking Asset Management

Nithyasri Sharma

Manager, Strategy
Women's World Banking

Have questions? Please contact us at
fintechchallenge@womensworldbanking.org

Judges

A panel of diverse industry experts will judge the finalists at the virtual Making Finance Work for Women Summit.

Mary Ellen Iskenderian

President & CEO
Women's World Banking

Otto Williams

Head of Strategic Partnerships, FinTechs and Ventures for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA)
VISA

Pat Patel

Principal Executive Officer
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

Victoria Griffith

Program Officer, Financial Services for the Poor
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Katharine Budd

Co-founder & CEO
NOW Money

Sara Elinson

Principal, Americas Strategy & Transactions FinTech Leader
Ernst & Young

Check back for updates!

Advisory Committee

Advisory Committee will evaluate applications and select finalists.

Sriram Jagannathan

Country Director, India
Women’s World Banking

Karen Miller

Global Head, Leadership & Diversity Programs
Women’s World Banking

Ade Ashaye

Executive Vice President, Network
Women’s World Banking

Christina (CJ) Juhasz

Chief Investment Officer
Women’s World Banking Asset Management

Seema Patel

Sr. Director, Social Impact
VISA

Women’s World Banking will support innovations in digital financial solutions that are designed to increase unbanked and underserved women’s access to and usage of financial solutions so that they may achieve security and prosperity.

Selection Criteria

Relevance & Reach

  • How many unbanked and underserved women does the solution reach?
  • What strategies are being deploying to reach unbanked and underserved women?

Innovation

  • How does the solution address systemic barriers for unbanked and underserved women in a unique and differentiated way from your competitors?

Empowerment

  • What is the desired long-term impact of this solution? Is there a vision to drive towards women’s economic empowerment?
  • How will the long-term impact be measured?

Sustainability

  • Does the business model demonstrate a path to financial sustainability?

Scalability

  • What is the strategy for growth, and how this solution will scale across markets?

Gender Diversity

  • How is the institution promoting gender diversity and inclusive leadership within the organization?

Responsibility

  • Does the solution focus on employing best practices in consumer protection and transparency?

Timeline

MAY 6

Applications Open

Applications are submitted through online form.

JUNE 20

Application Deadline

Applications and all supporting materials must be submitted no later than June 20th, 11:59 EDT.

MID-JULY

Shortlist Candidates
 Selected for
Interviews

The Advisory Committee will review applications and select a shortlist of applicants for interviews.

EARLY SEPTEMBER

Finalists Announced

Finalists will have the opportunity to receive mentoring to refine their solution and pitch.

OCTOBER

Winners Announced

Finalists will pitch to a panel of judges at the virtual Fintech Innovation Challenge.

Have questions? Please contact us at
fintechchallenge@womensworldbanking.org

We are currently seeking sponsors for the Fintech Innovation Challenge. This is a unique opportunity to promote financial inclusion by fostering innovative technology that will empower unbanked and underserved women with the financial tools they need to achieve security and prosperity.


Priority registration for Making Finance Work for Women 2021 Fintech Innovation Challenge Event.

Social media coverage reaching Women’s World Banking’s 81K+ audience

Opportunity to be part of the Challenge press release

Opportunity for staff to mentor Challenge finalist

Speaking role or Judging role

Recognition and logo on Fintech Innovation Challenge and Series marketing materials

Featured video on Women’s World Banking’s YouTube channel and website

Brown bag at company office with presentation from Women’s World Banking leadership team member

Reach out to Molly Burns at mb@womensworldbanking.org today to secure your spot.

In partnership with

Leading

Supporting

2021 SPONSORS

Advancing

We are grateful for the ongoing support of our core funders for enabling our strategy

Prizes Provided by