Seedstars, the global tech and entrepreneurship catalyst, has called on global fintechs to help drive financial inclusion for women migrants and their families in Asia, MENA, and Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Financial Innovations for Women Affected by Migration (FIWAM) growth programme aims to actively identify and support fintech companies that focus on promoting financial inclusion in the region.
Seedstars, in partnership with the Impact-Linked Fund for Gender Inclusive FinTech (ILF for GIF), invites fintech startups to apply and unlock investment potential in serving this underserved segment. The programme aims to dismantle barriers and biases, fostering significant change in the lives of women migrants and their families.
Funded by ILF for GIF and supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation as well as the Austrian Development Agency, the programme addresses the pressing need for improved financial inclusion for the growing population of international and internally displaced migrants. With over 281 million international migrants and 55 million internally displaced persons worldwide, it recognises the unique challenges faced by women migrants in accessing financial services.
Selected fintech startups from Asia, MENA, and Sub-Saharan Africa will receive technical assistance and direct support from experts in residence and mentors over a three-month period. The programme also aims to help these fintechs achieve investment potential and scale their impact, targeting women migrants and those affected by migration.
Elizabeth Jones, global lead program operations of Seedstars, said: “We’re thrilled to launch the Financial Innovations for Women Affected by Migration (FIWAM) Growth Program, as it has the potential to create a lasting impact on the lives of women migrants and women affected by migration. We’re eager to witness the transformative financial inclusion these innovative solutions will bring about in their communities.”
While Susanne Thiard-Laforet, program manager private sector and development at the Austrian Development Agency, added: “This program transcends mere acceleration; it is a catalyst for meaningful change, dismantling barriers and biases in order to recognise migrant groups, especially women, as a viable market segment.”
To be eligible for the programme, startups must be for-profit entities with operations in a Sub-Saharan African, MENA, or Asian country. They should provide a fintech solution that either serves or has the potential to serve women migrants or those affected by migration.
The startups should also have product-market fit, be at the growth stage, and generate a monthly revenue of approximately $10,000 USD. Women-led companies and founders who are women migrants receive strong encouragement to apply for the programme. Fintech startups interested in participating can submit their applications before 30 July 2023.