MEDIA RELEASE | Women’s World Banking Announces Finalists for Inaugural Making Finance Work for Women FinTech Innovation Challenge

September 19, 2019
Karen Miller

Winners will participate in the Singapore FinTech Festival’s Global Hackcelerator Demo Day

New York — Women’s World Banking announced the four finalists of its inaugural Making Finance Work for Women FinTech Innovation Challenge today. The finalists, chosen from more than 80 applications, represent FinTech solutions designed to support low-income women’s economic security and prosperity. The finalists include Aflore from Colombia; Bloom Impact from Ghana; Frontier Markets Consulting from India; and Pula Advisors from Kenya.

The Making Finance Work for Women FinTech Innovation Challenge is in partnership with the Singapore FinTech Festival and KPMG Digital Village. The four finalists will receive membership in the Women’s World Banking’s Network of Partners and will present to a panel of judges and the audience at Women’s World Banking’s flagship Making Finance Work for Women Summit. The Summit will be held in Singapore on October 22-23, 2019 and will draw over 300 senior leaders from the financial services, investor, and philanthropy communities. The judges and audience will then vote to select the top two candidates who will go on to participate as finalists in the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s Global FinTech Hackelerator Demo Day. They will also be fast-tracked to receive a $200,000 Proof-of-Concept grant.

“I am thrilled with the quality of the applicants of our inaugural competition, particularly our four finalists,” said Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO, Women’s World Banking. “Their products show great promise to meet the needs of low-income women. With nearly one billion women globally with no access to formal financial services, FinTech companies provide a terrific opportunity to create new solutions that are designed for and with women clients. I was also delighted to see that all of the finalists had women executives in the C-suite.”

About the Finalists

Aflore (Colombia) brings financial products to the home of the underbanked in Latin America, a market of nearly 78 million people. Aflore distributes loans and insurance products through an innovative channel: a network of Informal Advisors that leverages technology and the trust existing in personal networks.

Bloom Impact (Ghana) is a digital marketplace empowering small businesses to learn about and access credit and savings products through their mobile phone. Through their data-driven matching and scoring algorithms, Bloom Impact provides financial institutions with new, qualified customers, significantly reducing their customer acquisition costs, risks and turnaround times. Bloom Impact aims to democratize how unbanked and underserved micro and small businesses get financial services that best meet their needs.

Frontier Markets Consulting (India) is a last-mile distribution company with a mission to create ‘Saral Jeevan’ or an ‘Easy Life’ for rural customers by providing them with access to quality high impact products and services in clean energy, water, productive appliances and finance through their network of digitized rural women entrepreneurs called Solar Sahelis through an e-commerce platform. Frontier Markets has enabled a hybrid model of women service providers, localized distribution and delivery, and technology platform that tracks life-time value created for rural households. To date, 2500 rural women entrepreneurs have sold 700,000 solutions to 500,000 rural households impacting 3.5 million people. Solar Sahelis have earned over $2.5 MN in income, and facilitated over $1 MN in finance for rural communities.

Pula (Kenya) provides accessible, scalable climate insurance solutions for smallholder farmers by bundling insurance with agricultural inputs like seed and fertilizer. Pula uses technology, like satellite imaging and yield data, to determine insurance payouts. It also collects and analyzes farmer data to give advice on good farming practices that increase yields and farm profits. Its mission is to improve agricultural productivity by reducing farming risk and providing agronomy advice to the underserved market of 1.5 billion smallholder farmers worldwide. Since 2014, it has facilitated index insurance coverage for over 1 million smallholder farmers across 11 countries in Africa and Asia.

Applications came from more than 34 countries with more 60 percent of companies founded or led by women.

The Making Finance Work for Women FinTech Innovation Challenge is made possible by the generous support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. For more information on the challenge and to purchase tickets for the Making Finance Work for Women Summit, please visit:


Women’s World Banking designs and invests in the financial solutions, institutions and policy environments in emerging markets to create greater economic stability and prosperity for women, their families, and their communities. With a global reach of 53 partners in 32 countries serving more than 30 million women clients, Women’s World Banking drives impact through its scalable, market-driven solutions; gender-lens private equity fund; and leadership and diversity programs.