Now Open: Fintech Innovation Challenge 2022/2023

Join the only woman-centered Fintech Innovation Challenge. Contribute to the technology innovation that will close the gender gap in financial services.

The Challenge

In the past few years, we have seen a dramatic increase in the adoption of digital financial services by women. Based on the latest Global Findex Report, for the first time in a decade, the gender gap has decreased from 9% to 6% in key emerging markets, thanks in part to an increased number of low-income women leveraging digital financial services.

Now is the time to build on this momentum and leverage digital financial services as an on-ramp for low-income women customers to adopt and use a large suite of formal financial products and services. Low-income women represent a large, untapped market opportunity for digital financial services providers, and fintechs, in particular, who can leverage technology innovation to break the persistent challenges in closing the gender gap in financial services.

The 2023 Fintech Innovation Challenge is inviting applications from fintechs pioneering innovative financial solutions that break the persistent challenges in serving the low-income women’s market.

What is the Fintech Innovation Challenge?

Through a highly competitive process, Women’s World Banking’s Fintech Innovation Challenge identifies and elevates 4 later-stage fintechs pioneering innovative financial solutions that break the persistent challenges in serving the low-income women’s market.

The Fintech Innovation Challenge attracts over 100 fintech applicants from around the world who are developing innovative products to close the gender gap in the low-income women’s market.

We are looking for fintechs currently developing innovative products and solutions that address low-income women and their needs.

We invite fintechs who fit the following criteria to apply:

1Leveraging Technology for WomenYou are a fintech leveraging technology to provide financial solutions for underserved, low-income women.
2Serving Emerging MarketsYour focus is on serving customers in emerging markets.
3Preparing for Series A or LaterYour fintech is preparing for Series A or later and can demonstrate a minimum viable product and a path to profitability.


The four finalists and grand prize winner will be awarded mentorships, personalized UX design and investor consultations, membership to exclusive networks and priority access to fintech events attended by investors and partners around the world.

Four Finalists

  • Invitation to pitch your solution at Women’s World Banking’s Fintech Innovation Challenge in February 2023 in Dubai as part of the  Making Finance Work for Women Summit 
  • Invitation to join Women’s World Banking Global Network, with one-year complementary membership
  • Fast tracked application to Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship’s Accelerator at Santa Clara University focusing on women’s economic empowerment and climate resilience, which features:
    • Access to a Silicon Valley network of 300+ mentors
    • An average of $750K in investments raised 3-years post-accelerator
  • Exclusive pitch advisory session with Women’s World Banking Asset Management team
  • Priority access to UX design consultation with an industry expert
  • Invitation to attend the Making Finance Work for Women Summit in Dubai and leverage networking opportunities with 300+ high-profile global stakeholders in financial services, fintech and financial inclusion

Grand Prize Winner

  • Priority access to key 2023 fintech-investor networking events powered by Elevandi, such as Point Zero, Elevandi Connects and/or the Singapore Fintech Festival
  • Priority access to Women’s World Banking’s global PR firm, Porter Novelli, to help develop strong media presence and drive visibility and exposure
  • Invitation as a featured speaker at a Women’s World Banking Making Finance Work for Women thought leadership event

Female Founders Circle

For the first time ever, we are forming the Female Founders Circle. All female-founded fintechs that make it to the Top 12 will be granted automatic membership into this premier group.

The Female Founders Circle is an exclusive network of like-minded female-founded fintechs that will have full access to Women’s World Banking’s global PR firm, Porter Novelli, helping them achieve new levels of visibility and exposure.

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