Alliance Hack 2021

The Alliance Hack 2021 leveraged the Alliance’s deep expertise to support fintechs in developing solutions to help women business owners access and use financial products and business development support services to accelerate their business growth, as well as connect them with global financial services providers (FSPs) who also want to do the same.

Thirteen teams tackled these challenges; five working on Financing Wome-Owned/Led informal VSEs, two on financing Women-Owned/Led formal SMEs, one on Non-Financial Services, four on wealth, and one on identifying Women-Owned/Led Businesses Within Bank MIS. Each of these teams applied with an innovative proposal that they are now developing into a scalable solution, with support from the hackathon’s excellent experts and mentors. The teams hail from ten different countries—including Australia, Argentina, Colombia, Great Britain, India, Nigeria, Spain, Taiwan, Uganda, and the United States—reflecting the global nature of both the Alliance network and the issues at hand.

Tracks and Challenges

The Alliance Hack aims to support innovative and inclusive business solutions to unlock the full value of the female economy, in any of the following sectors: banking, wealth and asset management, insurance, and payments

Financing women-owned/led informal VSEs

Women owned/led very small businesses (WVSEs); often semi-formal, are a vast un-served and underserved segment when it comes to accessing finance for their business. FSPs lack sufficient information and documents to underwrite loans. Women also lack sufficient information/financial know-how to demand the appropriate finance for their businesses. Create solutions that would improve women business owners’ in the VSE segment access to finance. (B2B, B2B2C or B2C)

Challenge 1 applies to the following markets:

Asia: South Asia—Bangladesh, India, Pakistan & Sri Lanka; Singapore

Africa: Kenya; Nigeria

Latam: Colombia; Brazil

Financing women-owned/led formal SMEs ​

Moving up in business size, women owned/led formal SMEs (WSMEs) are registered as businesses, have bank accounts where transaction history can be assessed, pay taxes, borrow from multiple sources—often using their credit card. Banks requirements are perceived to be and are onerous. The banks themselves find it difficult to identify these women whether they are their own customers (availing of consumer credit) or are prospect customers; find them costly to acquire them once identified and costly to serve. Create solutions that would improve women business owners’ in the SME segment to access finance.  (B2B, B2B2C or B2C)

Challenge 2 applies to the following markets:

Asia: South Asia—Bangladesh, India, Pakistan & Sri Lanka; Singapore

Africa: Kenya; Nigeria

Latam: Colombia; Brazil

Building Business Capability of Female Entrepreneurs​

Women-owned enterprises are an untapped growth opportunity for financial institutions; women are half of the population and own around a third of small businesses in developing countries. Better addressing their needs can unlock tremendous growth potential. Women-owned enterprises need more than just finance. Training, mentoring, networking, and other non-financial services can give entrepreneurs a vital leg up.  Create solutions that would improve women business owners’ access to education and networks. (B2B, B2B2C or B2C)

Global Challenge

Transforming Mass Market Women's Investment Capabilities ​

Women’s relationship with wealth continues to be impaired. This is because of a focus on immediacy instead of long-term planning and a lack of connection with financial advisors. Mass market women are underserved by the asset management sector and lack confidence in long-term financial planning and investment skills.Create a solution that helps develop mass market women’s investment capabilities. (B2B, B2B2C or B2C)

Global Challenge

Identifying women-owned/led businesses within bank MIS​

Closing the finance gap to women-owned/led businesses starts with financial services providers (FSPs) being able to identify them within their existing customer base. This is due to a variety of reasons including a) a lack of data availability due to inadequate MIS systems and/or lack of alternative data, b) inaccurate or questionable data quality such as a lack of consistent definitions, inability to tag WSME within a business portfolio and changes in shareholder and management structures, and c) the fact that sex-disaggregated data is not being used or analyzed to its full potential nor is it included in regular management reporting.  Create a solution that helps banks identify, track, analyze, and report women-owned/led businesses within FSPs portfolios. (B2B, B2B2C)

Global Challenge


Mentors from various financial institutions – banking, wealth, insurance and payments – will be sharing their expertise and assisting the participating teams in creating impactful solutions.

Agrim Singh

Hacker-in-Residence, Citi, Citi Ventures

Anna Gincherman

Partner, ConsumerCentriX

Li Lian Ng

Head of Business Banking, HSBC

Mathieu Francois 

Senior Product Manager in D10X, Citi, Citi Ventures

Monica Jasuja

Vice President, Comviva

Rachael McKenzie

National Manager, Business Initiatives,  SME Banking, Westpac, Australia

Regina Lee

Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC

Victor Alexiev

Head of Programs and Strategic Partnerships, APAC, Citi, Citi Ventures

Yvonne Greeves

Director of Women in Business, NatWest Group

Elissa Crowther-Pal

Head of Global Investment Services, Private Wealth, Westpac, Australia


Shortlisted Teams

Financing Women-Owned/Led Informal VSEs


Mahila Money is a neo banking platform with an aim to bridge the gap between women’s growth aspirations and financial products, by enabling women to open bank accounts and take out loans digitally,  as well as connect and share with peers in a safe women-only community.


The Fynixsave application is designed to enable semi-informal women businesses more easily access credit by obtaining digital financial records for money saved and invested.


Mosabi is a platform that supports the journeys of grassroots workers and small businesses in emerging markets with upskilling and product matching services.


Ma Tontine provides access to a range of financial and non-financial services to financially excluded women who own VSEs, by leveraging traditional savings groups used  throughout the African continent  (called Tontines in Francophone Africa).

LATAM addresses the need of thousands of middle-class employees and gig workers who have been underserved by Colombian banks or served by informal shark loans, by using alternative credit scoring to provide installment loans for up to 2x salary/income with tenures up to 24 months.

Financing Women-Owned/Led formal SMEs


DigiAlly offers a a bridge between under-financed WSMEs and banks through the DigiAlly platform, where WSMEs are able to establish strong credibility with the banks, and the banks have access to a curated set of SMEs with verifiable track records. DigiAlly has created SME data models for 15 countries (most in ASEAN) that enable digital SME on-boarding, track compliance and building credibility scores.


ZScore is an AI-powered credit scoring system that uses machine learning algorithms to create customer scorecards and enables real time processing of loan applications. The price point allows small lending institutions to access sophisticated credit modeling and decisioning that have previously been affordable to only large institutions.

Building Business Capability of Female Entrepreneurs


ePera is a B2B2C platform that connects service providers to communities. It helps users interact and access services and share opinions and experiences with friends, family and other users. The company’s overarching goal is to rehabilitate communities and create healthy economic growth with a human to human experience in the Phygital Ecosystem.

Transforming Mass-Market Women's Investment Capabilities


LXME is India’s first financial platform for women, backed by the experience and expertise of AnandRathi Group and offering tools and resources that women enable women to make independent financial decisions. LXME’s goal is to encourage women to take charge of their money, invest and become more financially independent, powering the inner Lakshmi (Hindu goddess of fortune) to realize their dreams.

Planto Limited  is a goal-based wealth management platform that enables wealth accumulation of women in emerging markets with. Leveraging its experience as a successful AI-based personal financial management platform in Hong Kong, Planto will work with banks to provide women customers with financial automation, account aggregation and data-driven advice to help them save more and invest better, and in the portfolios that matter to them the most.

Mujer Financiera is a finance platform for women that combines financial education, personal finance management, and savings and investment products to help women manage their finances efficiently.

MyTomorrow is a tech-enabled service helping to close the investment gap by providing women with  educational resources and one-on-one video advisory sessions on how to turn savings into investments. The service is tailored  particularly for those women who do not have the levels of assets usually required to visit a traditional financial advisor, but have excess income that they wish to “put to work”.

Identifying Women-Owned/Led Businesses Within Bank MIS


Eticas seeks to disrupt discrimination in the AI market by introducing external audits of banking algorithms to  measure disparate impact on women. Using a tested technology it has used in other sectors, Eticas banking solutions expose how women are subject to unfair algorithmic treatment and also propose solutions for banks to de-bias their algorithms.