10 later stage fintechs pioneering innovative financial solutions for the low-income women’s market announced as semifinalists; first-ever Female Founder’s Circle participants named
November 2, 2022 – At the Singapore FinTech Festival today, Women’s World Banking announced the 10 semifinalists for the 2023 Fintech Innovation Challenge, a global competition to highlight and advance solutions to close the gender gap through digital financial services. Now in its fourth year and the only women-centered competition for later stage fintechs, the Challenge will provide a platform for these companies to continue working to address the persistent challenges in serving the low-income women’s market.
The 10 Fintech Innovation Challenge semifinalists were selected from a pool of 98 highly qualified applicants across 34 countries. Applicants were judged based on rigorous criteria by an expert Advisory Committee that evaluated several factors, including product innovation, gender inclusivity, financial viability, scale potential and team experience and diversity.
- 50% of semifinalist solutions focus on credit for women-led MSMEs, 40% focus on sending and receiving money, and 10% focus on beyond money solutions
- 7 countries are represented
- 7 are founded or co-founded by a woman entrepreneur
In addition, of the 10 semifinalists, 7 female-founded fintechs join Women’s World Banking’s first-ever Female Founder’s Circle. This exclusive network of like-minded female-founders will be promoted through a robust integrated communications, marketing and media campaign.
“I am thrilled to see such highly qualified applicants advance as semifinalists of our 2023 Fintech Innovation Challenge and to announce the participants in our first-ever Female Founder’s Circle,” Mary Ellen Iskenderian, President and CEO of Women’s World Banking. “All 10 semifinalists, including those in the Female Founder’s Circle, are developing innovative solutions and products to efficiently meet the needs of low-income women in ways that traditional financial services providers can’t or won’t. I am excited to see their continued participation in our competition.”
The four finalists will be announced on January 9, 2023. Finalists in the Challenge will participate in an in-person pitch competition at Women’s World Banking’s bi-annual Global Summit taking place in 2023, and be fast-tracked for participation in the Women’s Economic Empowerment Accelerator, powered by the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University. They will also receive pitch advice and a UX design consultation. The Grand Prize winner will receive access to key 2023 fintech events like Point Zero Forum, Elevandi Connects, and the Singapore FinTech Festival, as well as a speaker invitation at a Women’s World Banking Making Finance Work for Women event.
See the full list of the 2023 Fintech Innovation Challenge semifinalists below:
- ARTH – Female Founder Circle Participant
- Awaaz.De Infosystems – Female Founder Circle Participant
- DotX Technologies
- GajiGesa – Female Founder Circle Participant
- HAMWE East Africa – Female Founder Circle Participant
- IndiaP2P – Female Founder Circle Participant
- MeraBills – Female Founder Circle Participant
- MoneyMart Finance – Female Founder Circle Participant
The Fintech Innovation Challenge is sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Leading Sponsor) and Ernst & Young LLP (EY US and Advancing Sponsor). Women’s World Banking’s core funders are Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), and Visa Foundation. In-kind prizes are provided by Elevandi and Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University.
About Women’s World Banking
Women’s World Banking designs and invests in 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 Network reach of 61 financial services providers in 34 countries serving more than 136 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. To learn more visit womensworldbanking.org.