Problem Statements

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

Financing women-owned/led informal very small enterprises (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)

Financing for women owned/led formal small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs)

Moving up in business size, women owned/led formal SMEs (WSMEs) are registered businesses that pay taxes and have recorded transcation histories. WSMEs may borrow from multiple sources, often using credit cards, as bank requirements can be onerous for new entrepreneurs. The banks themselves often struggle to identify women-owned businesses and may perceive WSMEs as costly to acquire and serve. Create solutions that would improve women business owners’ in the SME segment to access finance. (B2B, B2B2C or B2C)

Building the business capabilities of female entrepreneurs

Women-owned enterprises–roughly one third of small businesses in developing countries–represent a massive untapped growth opportunity for financial services providers. Filling the gap will take more than financing alone; 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)

Building women entrepreneurs’ access to trade and supply chain

A key constraint for WSMEs in developing countries is limited access to markets. The lack of access to trade and supply chain finance is a serious impediment to growth, with small firms in low-income countries most affected.

  • Studies estimate the potential market for SCF, which includes every invoice and receipt issued by corporates, to be up to US$17 trillion globally with a large SCF financing gap of $3 trillion (McKinsey, 2020).
  • The global trade finance gap is estimated at $1.7 trillion (ADB 2021).
  • Half of trade finance requests for SMEs were rejected in 2015, compared to only 7% for multinational corporations (WTO 2016).

Women owned and led small businesses find trade and supply chain finance particularly challenging, given their small size, lack of sufficient track record and the need for security to underwrite working capital and banks’ letters of credit. Create a solution that helps WSMEs access trade and supply chain finance
(B2B, B2B2C or B2C)

Transforming mass market women’s investment capabilities

Women’s relationship with wealth continues to be impaired. Long-term financial planning has traditionally been reserved for men, while women tend to handle day-to-day budgeting. Women often lack connection with financial advisors and have low confidence in their investment skills compared to their male counterparts. Create a solution that helps develop mass market women’s investment capabilities. (B2B, B2B2C or B2C)