Submit Applications for Fintech Innovation Challenge

Deadline Date – 11-Jun-2021

Applications are now open for the Women’s World Banking’s Fintech Innovation Challenge to provide 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.

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.


  • Finalists Receive
    • Invitation to present at Women’s World Banking’s virtual Fintech Innovation Challenge in October 2021, part of the new Making Finance Work for Women Thought Leadership Series.
    • A virtual experience of Visa Inc’s Dubai Innovation Center, where you will be able to be part of an immersive experience in the future of payments furnished by Visa Inc.
    • One-year complimentary membership into Women’s World Banking’s Global Network.
    • Receive priority access to their Gender Assessment Methodology, Women’s World Banking’s proprietary approach to helping institutions become a brand and employer of choice for women. The approach involves your institution completing an online questionnaire followed by a consultation call with their team to discuss opportunity areas to advance women talent in your organization and better serve women customers.
    • Complimentary tickets to the Making Finance Work for Women 2022 Summit.
  • Winners Receive
    • The Fintech Fueler Package:
      • Customized UX design guidance session furnished by Visa Inc.
      • Exclusive pitch meeting and feedback session with Women’s World Banking Asset Management Team.
      • Four 1:1 leadership coaching and feedback sessions with one of Women’s World Banking’s executive coaches.
    • A guaranteed spot as a featured speaker at a Making Finance Work for Women 2022 event.


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

  • Build Security and Resiliency: How might they 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 they 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?

Eligibility Criteria

  • Startup Fintechs based anywhere that is 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.

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?

Eligible Countries: Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria American Samoa Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia Bosnia And Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo (Brazzaville) Congo DR Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote DIvoire (Ivory Coast) Croatia Cuba Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guam Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island And Mcdonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hong Kong SAR Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Isle Of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati South Korea North Korea Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Laos Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macau Macedonia Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Marshall Islands Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Micronesia Federated States Of Moldova Republic Of Monaco Mongolia Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Burma(Myanmar) Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands Netherlands Antilles New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Northern Mariana Islands Norway Oman Pakistan Palau Palestinian Territories Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Puerto Rico Qatar Reunion Romania Russia Rwanda Saint Helena Saint Kitts And Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Pierre And Miquelon Saint Vincent And The Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome And Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia And Montenegro Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Slovak Republic Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia And The South Sandwich Islands Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard And Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syria Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand East Timor (Timor-Leste) Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad And Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks And Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States United States Minor Outlying Islands Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela Viet Nam British Virgin Islands United States Virgin Islands Wallis And Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Montenegro Saint Barthélemy Serbia Kosovo South Sudan

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