Women’s World Banking announces 2021 Fintech Innovation Challenge and new Female Founder Award
Women’s World Banking announce that the application period is now open for the 2021 Fintech Innovation Challenge, a global competition that aims to highlight fintech innovations serving unbanked and underserved women in order to build women’s security and prosperity in the face of global inequalities.
Startup fintechs based anywhere in the world that provide financial services for unbanked and underserved women in emerging markets are encouraged to apply. Solutions do not need to be exclusively for unbanked and underserved women but must show deliberate intent to be inclusive of reaching that segment of the population.
“Now more than ever, fintechs are a crucial driver of women’s financial inclusion, and represent such an exciting opportunity to make real progress in closing the gender gap and making finance work for women,” said Mary Ellen Iskenderian, the president and CEO of Women’s World Banking, a global organization that 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. “Fintechs are innovative, disruptive, solving problems with their communities in mind, in a digital way – exactly the criteria that a complex problem like women’s financial exclusion needs.”
Fintech companies can apply in one of two categories:
- Building Security and Resilience: 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?
- 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?
Winners of the Fintech Innovation Challenge will be announced in October, and will receive a slate of prizes, including a customized UX design guidance session furnished by Visa Inc., an exclusive pitch meeting and feedback session with Women’s World Banking Asset Management Team., and four 1:1 leadership coaching and feedback sessions with one of Women’s World Banking’s executive coaches.
Women’s World Banking also announced today that this year, it will be adding a new award to the annual Fintech Innovation event: the Female Founder Award, which will honor a female founder whose fintech qualifies for the Fintech Innovation Challenge, and who has demonstrated exemplary leadership in building an inclusive workplace while working as a driver for women’s financial inclusion.
“Research shows that women make up just 7% of global fintech founders. This tracks with the lack of female participation across the financial and regulatory sectors, and leads to further disenfranchisement of women,” said Iskenderian. “It’s time for innovative women founders to be recognized and celebrated.”
For more information about the Fintech Innovation Challenge and the Female Founder Award, visit www.womensworldbanking.org/fintech-innovation-challenge-2021.