Thursday 29th September 2022
After a competitive application process, the Alliance selected fifteen fintechs to participate in the Alliance Hack: Designing Gender-Intelligent Fintechs. The organizations hail from ten countries: Bolivia, Canada, Cambodia, India, Mexico, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Singapore, United States, Zambia. Each proposed an innovative business solution with the potential to break down one of our five key barriers to women’s economic empowerment:
– Financing Women-Owned/Led Informal VSEs: Women owned/led very small businesses (WVSEs), often semi-formal, are a vast underserved segment. FSPs often lack sufficient information and documents to underwrite loans, and women VSE owners often lack the know-how or collateral to access the financing they need. The fintechs proposing solutions to enable financing for WVSEs include Aeloi Technologies, a software that monitors the end-use of microfinance business loans in real-time; Boost Capital, a B2B2C managed solution that helps FSPs offer customers a fully digital microfinance experience; Digital PayGo, a marketplace for mobile payments solutions; and Lucy, a mobile money-management app tailored towards women.
–Financing Women-Owned/Led SMEs: Women owned/led formal SMEs (WSMEs) are also massively underfinanced. WSMEs may borrow from multiple sources, often using personal credit cards to finance their businesses, as bank requirements can be onerous. Banks may also perceive WSMEs as costly to serve. The fintechs proposing solutions to solve this challenge include Finbots AI Solutions Pte. Ltd., an AI-powered credit-modeling solution, and Shecluded, a fintech that provides loans, asset-building tools and financial education for women in Africa.
–Building the Business Capabilities of Female Entrepreneurs: Filling the SME financing gender gap will take more than financing alone. Training, mentoring, networking, and other non-financial services can give entrepreneurs a vital leg up. The fintechs developing digital NFS solutions for women entrepreneurs include Lidh, a Mexico-based digital platform with financial and non-financial solutions for women; Mamamoni, a microfinancing solution for low-income women; Munay, a digital NFS platform for women entrepreneurs in Bolivia; ProMujer, a platform that aims to close the financial services gender gap in Latin America; and TRIBE Fintech, an “ecosystem in a box” for SMEs being white-labeled by banks and fintechs around the world.
–Transforming Mass-Market Women’s Investment Capabilities: Long-term financial planning has traditionally been reserved for men, while women tend to handle day-to-day budgeting. In many cases, this is because women lack connection with financial advisors and have low confidence in their investment skills compared to their male counterparts. They are also short on time. LoanGini, an AI-first platform providing financial education and planning and investment advice to women and Untangle Money, a financial planning and education platform for women, both proposed solutions to solve this problem.
–Building Women Entrepreneurs’ Access to Trade and Supply Chain: Limited access to markets is a key constraint for WSMEs in developing countries; women-owned/led small businesses often find trade and supply-chain finance particularly challenging given their smaller size, lack of long-term track record and the need for security to underwrite working capital. The fintechs developing ideas to connect WSMEs to markets include Tenbox, an online marketplace with digital solutions for SMEs in the food and beverage industry in Cambodia, and Dukan E-Commerce (Private) Limited, a digital commerce, payments and lending ecosystem.
Over the coming weeks, the fintechs will hone their solutions with the help of experts from our network. We look forward to hearing the pitches of the top 5 solutions that make it through the next judging round at the Annual Summit—and to building up the cadre of fintechs that are winning the women’s market, like past Alliance Hack winners Tyme (2020) and LXME (2021).
The Alliance Hack is one of the only global initiatives aimed at encouraging fintechs to focus on the female economy and shaping a more gender-intelligent fintech ecosystem. The 2022 Alliance Hack is taking place in partnership with HSBC, Citi, Equinix and International Finance Corporation (IFC) with support from the Singapore Fintech Festival and APIX, as well as supporters and contributors from across our network.