The F3 Prize recognizes the most innovative digital financial products that are narrowing the gender gap in financial inclusion.
The latest World Bank Findex Report 2017 shows that a gender gap remained steady at 7% globally and 9% in developing countries for adults with an account relative to the previous global survey in 2014. In some countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nigeria, the gender gap has actually grown since the last assessment. This means there are hundreds of millions more women who lack necessary financial services than men. This tragedy is compounded by the fact that women are often the financial managers for their households in charge of allocating scarce resources to critical family priorities such as childcare, food, education, and health.
We are working in partnership with Flourish, Women’s World Banking, and FinEquity to launch the F3 Prize to recognize the most innovative digital financial products that are narrowing the gender gap in financial inclusion. Of note is that this is not a female founders prize, but rather one focused on products designed for women. That said, we do hope that the F3 Prize will help uncover leading female founders as well.
Who should apply?
- FinTech startups who serve a primarily female customer base – includes both digital financial services companies and “fintech plus” companies who serve financial services alongside another primary offering (e.g. last mile delivery, ag supply chain, etc)
- Startups who target the mass market in Africa and South Asia (including Indonesia).
- Startups who have made gender inclusion a priority, both in their business models and their company culture
- Startups whose products and services address the gender gap in financial inclusion through increased access to financial services for women and/or a deeper impact on the daily financial lives of women and their families – ideally both
- Startups who can demonstrate the above with qualitative and quantitative data and prove the ability to scale that impact
Why should I apply?
We will be offering cash prizes for the most innovative entrepreneurs and products that increase financial access to female users in emerging markets with a focus on regions of Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia (including Indonesia), the regions where the financial inclusion challenge and gender gap are the greatest.
- Winner: $5,000 USD
- Runner Ups (2): $2,000 USD
The cash prize is meant to be a celebratory reward and not a substitute for substantial funding. However, the winners will also have access to structured mentorship from DFS Lab, its network of experts, and members of the F3 Prize’s advisory and sponsorship committee.
Winners will also be featured on various media and be honored at the FT/IFC Transformative Business Awards 2019.
F3 Prize Advisory Committee
Elizabeth KellisonGender Lead, Financial Services for the Poor at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Amee ParbhooDirector of Investments at Accion Venture Lab
Dr. Savita BailurResearch Director at Caribou Digital
Marina DimovaManaging Director, Design and Innovation, Women's World Banking
Catherine HighetFinEquity - Technology Lead, at CGAP
Jenny JohnstonVC / Impact Investor at Flourish
Mónica BlackPartner at TheVentureCity, Former Principal Ventures at CZI
Olga MorawczynskiSenior Program Manager at the Mastercard Foundation
Gayatri MurthyFinancial Sector Specialist at CGAP