Digital Financial Inclusion for Women’s Businesses in Pakistan
Submit your solution for a chance to collaborate with financial institutions in Pakistan on advancing access to finance among women and women-owned businesses in the country.
This Technology Innovation Challenge aims to discover alternative methods of credit scoring that support the collection and analysis of business and other non-traditional data for women-owned small- and medium-sized enterprises (WSMEs) in Pakistan and that will assist banks and Financial Institutions to make informed and gender considerate lending decisions.
With 115 million unbanked adults, of which more than half are women, Pakistan is home to the third largest unbanked population in the world where it has stayed in the last five years (World Bank, 2022). However, through its National Financial Inclusion Strategy and the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) Banking on Equality policy, the Government is determined to change that and have set targets of reaching 21 million unique accounts for women by 2023, and 23% and 9% women borrowers at MFIs and banks, respectively, by 2024.
Getting there will not be easy. Women have been systematically excluded from the formal financial sector because they lack official forms of identification, have lower financial capability, and half as likely as men to have a mobile phone. But there are bright spots: Pakistan does not have a gender payments gap, that is, women mobile account owners are just as likely as men to use their accounts for digital payments and up to 84% of them do (World Bank, 2022); and Banking on Equality mandates sex-disaggregated data reporting by financial institutions on products and services to the SBP.
We welcome fintech and non-financial services-related technology solutions that can help provide a pipeline for alternative data points that could flow into the credit scoring models of Financial Institutions in Pakistan. This increased visibility of alternative data points would enable Financial Institutions to have better visibility and understanding of the Women-led Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (WSMEs) financial position to enable FIs to score them better and fairer.
Until January 20, 2023
Create a team and share the idea of your vision.
Shortlisting up to 10 teams (Jan 23-30)
Results on Jan 31
February 1-16, 2023
Connect with ADB experts to fine-tune your solution!
Shortlisting up to 4 teams (Feb 16-27)
Results on March 1
March 9, 2023
Pitch your idea to our jury panel consisting of industry leaders and major decision makers.
Results will be announced at the end of the event
WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU?
ADVANCE WOMEN’S ACCESS TO FINANCE IN PAKISTAN TOGETHER WITH ADB
Selected solutions will have the opportunity to receive US$50,000 seed funding for a proof of concept (POC) with a selected Financial Institution in Pakistan to test their solution. If the pilot project turns out successful, full-scale commercial rollout may be possible. Your proposed solution has a chance to make a real-life impact!
MENTORING AND NETWORKING
Up to 10 teams will be shortlisted and invited to join the mentoring phase, during which they will be able to meet and exchange ideas with expert mentors from ADB and its partners. Our selected mentors will be able to give more context and pinpoint any improvement areas in your final submission.
BECOME PART OF THE ADB SOLUTIONS CATALOG
Qualifying solutions will become part of ADB’s internal solution catalog and they may have the opportunity to be considered for existing ADB project requirements beyond this challenge.