Designing Gender Intelligent Fintechs: Accessing the Female Economy

Financial Alliance for Women Hackathon 2023

Winner Announcement

Female Economy

Fintech of the year - SALT
Transforming Mass Market Women's Investment Capabilities

Sliver Fintech of the year - Boost Capital
Financing women Owned/Led formal businesses

Bronze Fintech of the year - Nume
Building Business capability of Female Entrepreneurs

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#2023alliancehack #alliancehack

Designing Gender Intelligent Fintechs: Accessing the Female Economy
  • Start Registration

  • Submit Proposals

  • Shortlist Finalists

  • Submit Solutions

  • Announce Winners

All timings are as per (GMT) Western Europe Time, London, Lisbon, Casablanca
Organized By

About Us

We, at the Financial Alliance for Women, are the leading peer learning organization for financial services providers targeting the female economy, a large, fast-growing and yet underserved market. We acknowledge that fintechs are well-positioned to tap into this market, as showcased in our research publications published  October 2020, and October 2021, The Alliance Hack was born to help fintechs embrace this win-win opportunity.

Now in its fourth year, the Alliance Hack will leverage our deep expertise in serving the women’s market to support fintechs develop solutions for women to access finance and non-financial services to accelerate their income growth. The Hack will put the spotlight on fintechs so that incumbent banks, many of whom are existing members of the Alliance, can see what they are offering; and also give the fintech’s an opportunity to pitch their solution in front of a very high ranking judging panel of global leaders in the financial services space.

The Hackathon offers clinics as well as business and technical mentoring support to participating fintechs to help them validate their tech-solutions and develop sound business models with the potential to serve real needs of women business-owners and transform women's investment capabilities.

And so, we are inviting start-up and established fintechs to become gender intelligent and innovate scalable solutions that can break down systemic barriers for women.

Problem Statements

Join us in our journey to powering the global Female Economy!

Building Business Capability of Female Entrepreneurs

Create solutions that would improve women business owners’ access to education and networks. (B2B, B2B2C or B2C)

Women-owned enterprises are an untapped growth opportunity for financial institutions; women are half of the population and own around a third of small businesses in developing countries. Better addressing their needs can unlock tremendous growth potential. Women-owned enterprises need more than just finance. 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)

To support women, including women from minority groups, grow their small businesses, access to finance must  be complemented with  business and financial education (40% + of women going to a bank for a loan do not have a projected cashflow), access to networks and markets (women have smaller networks than men and yet size of network is correlated with business success), relevant information (timely and efficient--women are avid consumers of information) and some form of recognition (too few role models, require increased visibility). This holistic value proposition is what women need to succeed. 

Traditional approaches (classroom training, mentoring, trade fairs etc.) are being supplanted by digital platforms (PFM platforms, upskilling on eCommerce platforms, networking on social media platforms etc.) and women customers are looking for one-stop shops that improve their skills, build their networks (including exports), enable access to financing (at whatever stage of business lifecycle). Banks in the Financial Alliance for Women network offer this holistic value proposition but need to do so more cost effectively and at scale through use of innovative technology—fintech, edtech, healthtech—availing of real and financial sector stakeholders, to solve for business growth needs.

Financing women-owned/led formal SMEs

Create solutions that would improve women business owners’ in the SME segment to access finance.  (B2B, B2B2C or B2C)

Moving up in business size, women owned/led formal SMEs (WSMEs) are registered as businesses, have bank accounts where transaction history can be assessed, pay taxes, borrow from multiple sources—often using their credit card. Banks requirements are perceived to be and are onerous. The banks themselves find it difficult to identify these women whether they are their own customers (availing of consumer credit) or are prospect customers; find them costly to acquire them once identified and costly to serve. Create solutions that would improve women business owners’ in the SME segment to access finance.  (B2B, B2B2C or B2C)

Women-owned SMEs face a number of constraints to growth, including access to finance. While financing is almost always a challenge for SMEs, the difficulties are often intensified by gender-related factors, including women’s lack of collateral, weak property rights, tendency to have been in business for a shorter amount of time and be subjected to discriminatory regulations, laws and customs. On average women self-report report less financial literacy and seek out smaller loans or prefer to use credit cards rather than apply for business finance from banks.  With both supply and demand side barriers, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) estimates that as many as 70% of women-owned SMEs in the formal sector in developing countries are unserved or underserved by financial institutions, amounting to a financing gap – and opportunity – of around $285 billion (Source: Credit where it is due, Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research, 2014). 

Moving up in business size, women owned/led formal SMEs are registered as businesses, have bank accounts where transaction history can be assessed, pay taxes, borrow from multiple sources—often using their credit card. Banks requirements are perceived to be and are onerous. The banks themselves find it difficult to identify these women whether they are their own customers (often availing of consumer credit and in the retail rather than corporate portfolio, and also often using credit cards) or are prospect customers; find them costly to acquire them once identified and costly to serve. .  This segment is growth-oriented and tremendously loyal when served well but still face many of the same constraints as WVSEs when accessing finance.

Greening the CVP For Women

Design solutions for women entrepreneurs and women consumers to take proactive climate action. (B2B, B2B2C or B2C)

Governments and private sectors are urgently being called upon to take action to reduce climate footprints, increase green investments and promote climate friendly initiatives with customers and the community they operate in. The financial sector has a unique opportunity to provide investment in climate focused initiatives, identify opportunities to reduce their own carbon footprint and also educate and support customers and communities alike on ways they can address climate change.

Recent findings  by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests that the most vulnerable will be impacted by climate change that includes women, poor and low-income families and those who reside in environments likely to experience a natural disaster. Optimistically however, women are more inclined to make more climate conscious purchases in households, start green businesses and are two times more likely to invest in green or climate focused initiatives. 

With this in mind, design solutions for women entrepreneurs and women consumers to take proactive climate action. (B2B, B2B2C or B2C)

Transforming Mass Market Women's Investment Capabilities

Create a solution that helps develop mass market women’s investment capabilities. (B2B, B2B2C or B2C)

Women’s relationship with wealth continues to be impaired. This is because of a focus on immediacy instead of long-term planning and a lack of connection with financial advisors. Mass market women are underserved by the asset management sector and lack confidence in long-term financial planning and investment skills. Create a solution that helps develop mass market women’s investment capabilities. (B2B, B2B2C or B2C)

Although women hold approximately 40% of global wealth, as per Credit Suisse’ 2018 Global Wealth Report, they are underserved by financial services providers and tend to have low satisfaction ratings. Women’s wealth is expected to increase, as they are inheriting at greater rates than men and getting closer to parity in education and entrepreneurship. Yet asset management companies have thus far failed to take a tailored approach to the women’s market. That many relationship managers struggle to communicate with women is evident in consumer behavior patterns; for example, 70% of widows leaving their financial advisor within 12 months of becoming a widow.  

On the other hand, women tend to face multiple demands on their resources (paying for children, health, housing, etc.) and constraints on their time. They often deal with wealth management through informal channels--according to a 2016 report by Boston Consulting Group, 30% of HNW women list friends and family as their primary source of investment advice, compared to 11% of overall respondents)--or may not focus on their own financial security until they reach old age. This can lead to financial insecurity in retirement, a problem compounded by the pension gender gap, lower lifetime earnings, and longer life expectancies than their male counterparts.

While Wealth Tech is taking off, the mass market for women’s wealth and investment management is largely untapped. Successful solutions should earn the trust of clients and the public, provide relevant and timely information, build financial confidence & expertise, and offer a range of products that are good value and have strong values that speak to women’s widespread interest in ESG investing. 

The Financial Alliance for Women's report, “The Growing Opportunity of Women of Wealth,” revealed that high net worth women have financial needs distinct from their male counterparts. At the same time, women are often under-informed about investment opportunities and lack confidence in their own financial planning abilities. 55% of high-net-worth (HNW) women “strongly believe” that they know less than the average investor. 82% of affluent and HNW women globally and across age groups believe that men know more about investing. This does not necessarily mean women are not interested or active in dealing with money; women are highly involved in managing expenses (85%) and paying bills (80%). However, 58% opt out of long-term financial planning – instead, they prioritize savings and short-term investments. 

To build confidence in their own long-term financial planning abilities and drive financial security, women need trusted financial advisors that work closely with them to provide timely and relevant information through a range of consultative practices, including risk/reward trade-offs, gamification, and peer learning.  


Win up to US$25,000 Cash Prizes for winning team and many more!

Prizes as below

Up to US$25,000 Cash Prizes for winning team
First place prize is US$25,000 in addition to a 1-year free subscription to APIX.
Participate to get the chance to pitch on a Global and international stage
Get the chance to pitch your fintech on a global international stage in front of Financial institutions and more. The winner will earn a confirmed Speaker slot to deliver a solo talk at the iconic The Founders Peak stage at Singapore Fintech Festival
Capacity Building Support

Top three winning teams will become a member of the Financial Alliance for Women for a full year, enabling access to a network of global financial services providers, mentoring and peer learning opportunities, and to the Alliance’s proprietary tools


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Karyl Akilian

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Eduardo Vergara

Fintech and Enablers Product Lead for Latin America and the Caribbean at Mastercard

Fintech and Enablers Product Lead for Latin America and the Caribbean at Mastercard. Economist from the Ponticia Universidad Catolica de Peru and MBA from CENTRUM Business School. He has more than 22 years of experience in the Digital Payments, Technology and Retail industry. He has worked in various offices within Mastercard such as Bolivia, Mexico, Peru and is currently based in the Mastercard Miami offices.

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Inez Murray

Chief Executive Officer, Financial Alliance for Women

Inez Murray is the CEO of the Financial Alliance for Women, a trade association of financial services providers driving women's wealth creation worldwide. Its 65+ member institutions work in 135 countries to build innovative, comprehensive programs delivering women the tools—access to capital, information, education and markets—they need to succeed. Membership in the Alliance provides member institutions with a unique platform for peer learning, giving them the resources they in turn need to serve women customers well. Along with building member banks’ capacity, the Alliance uses its collective voice to advocate for greater awareness of women’s vital economic role as consumers, investors and job-creating entrepreneurs.

Prior to joining the Financial Alliance for Women, she was EVP at Women’s World Banking responsible for Women’s World Banking’s Programs and Advisory Practice.

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Rachel Freeman

Chief Growth Officer, Tyme Bank, South Africa

Rachel Freeman is the Chief Growth Officer of Tyme and represents Tyme on the GOtyme Board of Directors and the Board of Tribe Fintech. Rachel Freeman is an experienced and internationally recognized financial expert, particularly in the areas of financial inclusion and innovative financial technologies. From 2001 to 2017, she held several senior positions at IFC in Central Asia, Africa and Asia. Prior to joining IFC, Rachel was involved in several entrepreneurial ventures in the US and Russia. Tyme is the technology and solutions firm powering Tyme Bank, the first digital bank in South Africa with 8 million customers, and GOtyme, our licensed bank in the Philippines launched to the public in October 2022 with 1.5 million customers. Tribe, a partner company to Tyme, provides underserved SMEs all over the world with simple business tools and networks to help them make better business decisions and improve their financial health.

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Yvonne Greeves

Director of Women in Business

As Director of Women in Business for NatWest Group, Yvonne is responsible for designing and implementing the Women in Business Strategy working with key stakeholders both internally and externally across the UK. With over 600 WIB specialists she is also responsible for supporting this network to collaborate, build relationships and influence senior stakeholders, strategic partners and external organisations across the UK to drive the WIB proposition for NatWest Group. Yvonne has an integral role with the Interventions for the Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship which seeks to address the £250 billion economic opportunity to the UK Economy if women set up and scaled in business at the same rate as men. Yvonne is an experienced Non-Executive Director and holds a number of external Board positions, she is a trustee of Firstport, an organisation that supports Social Enterprises; Non-Executive Director, of the Growth Company Business Finance.

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Temi Ofong

Global Head of Customer Channels, HSBC

Temi joined HSBC CMB in mid-2021 as Global Head of Customer Channels. In this newly created role, he is responsible for managing the digital transactional banking platforms, Contact Centre As A Service and in-branch capabilities for the Commercial Bank.
In addition the role includes global responsibility for the HSBC Business Banking franchise.
In his career as a Corporate and Investment Banker, Temi has held leadership positions in the UK, Europe and Africa as Co-CEO, CIB for Barclays Africa and Deputy CEO Absa Regional Operations & COO, CIB. Temi is also a Board Member of a Mauritian-based fintech as well as sitting on the advisory committee for the Centre Pompidou Museum’s African Acquisition Committee. At HSBC, Temi is a senior sponsor of the London chapter of Pride.

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Formally registered technology-based start-up firms that primarily serve the financial services industry (fintechs)

FinTechs, InsureTech, RegTech, etc., with experience and willing to develop solutions to serve the Female Economy

Possess a minimum viable product (MVP) or a product available on the market or ready to be rolled out in the market

Female founders and gender diverse teams encouraged to apply

Media Centre

Gender Intelligent Fintech Design: How Fintechs Can Capture The Female Economy


Why should I participate in this hackathon? How will it benefit my organization?

Women represent a huge business opportunity worth trillions of dollars—a market that has been largely underserved or unserved by the traditional financial sector. Through the Alliance Hack, you can chart a path to becoming a chosen brand for female customers, connect with global industry leaders and learn from global female economy champions the key steps into building a successful Women-centered strategy. Additionally, you'll have the opportunity to pitch to high-impact executives at established brands, and other major finserv institutions as well as network with industry leaders. The winning team will get US$25,000 cash prize and one year Free subscription in APIX platform. The top three winning teams will become a member of the Financial Alliance for Women for a full year, enabling access to a network of global financial services providers, mentoring and peer learning opportunities, as well as access to the Alliance's proprietary tools and knowledge products to develop their women's market proposition.

Why should fintechs target the female economy?

A Wealth of Opportunities Women represent a huge market opportunity and growing purchasing power, led by trends toward gender parity in education, entrepreneurship, and wealth. 40% of global wealth is held by women. In the US, women make 80% of household buying decisions including where to bank; and yet they are greatly underserved by and highly dissatisfied with the financial services sector. In the SME space, women are starting businesses at greater rates than men and account for 33 percent of small businesses globally yet account for on average 1/5 of the total financing from banks to SMEs. Brands that can meet this unmet need will have a strong competitive advantage moving forward. A Lingering Gap This Hack in part focuses on financing the missing middle — businesses that fall between traditional SME lending by banks and traditional microfinance by MFIs. This is where the majority of women-owned/led businesses are, and the finance gap in this segment is estimated at US$1.7 trillion in emerging markets for formal businesses alone. It also focuses on provision of non-financial services—access to timely and relevant information, business and financial education, networks and markets—that women entrepreneurs need to grow their businesses and all women need to support their ability to be investors. Finally, this hack asks fintechs to provide solutions so that women can take action around global heating—as consumers and as business owners.

Can I apply to more than one problem statement?

Yes, your team can submit one proposal per problem statement and can submit up to 3 proposals per company. The Alliance will allocate the selected team one problem statement from the team’s [up to three] preferred choices. Incomplete entries may be disqualified.

What is the selection process? And how are the winners selected?

Teams Selection: An independent selection committee will assess fintech proposals based on the following criteria: registration status, growth potential, minimum viable product (MVP) or product on the market, and the ability to impact women's access to financial services. Selected fintechs will be invited to take part in the Hackathon from September 21 till October 16. Winners Selection: A panel of prominent experts with relevant experience will be responsible for judging entries. The final decisions of the judges are to be based on the following parameters : • Idea Validation (Weight %15) • Innovation & Prototype (Weight %15) • Impact on Women's Market (Weight %20) • Business Model (Weight %15) • Customer Segment (Weight %10) • Competitiveness and scalability (Weight %15) • Team (Weight %5) Bonus +5% for female founders The panel will assign a score for each parameter, which will then determine the ranking of each team. The hackathon winner will be the team with the highest total score. Project evaluation and selection of winners Step 1: Each team will be invited to submit the solution on the APIX platform between September 27 and October 20, 2022, midnight London time. Step 2: Each Jury will review the solution on the Apix platform starting on October 21, attend the live pitches and Demo Day On October 25 at 1 pm London time, and finalize their scoring before October 26, 2022. Step 3: Each team must be available on October 25 to present their solution live to a judging panel, after which judges will individually assess the pitch and enter scores on the APIX platform. The entry that earns the highest composite score will win. Failure to present on Demo Day will result in fintech's automatic disqualification. Step 4: Once the final rankings have been determined, the top 5 positions will be announced.

Who owns the code developed during the hackathon ?

Teams have full ownsership of everything they build at the hackathon and on APIX and are free to do with it what they wish.

How do I get technical support?

To get technical help you can write to


Note: The Submit Proposal button to answer the below-mentioned proposal questions will appear on the landing page after your successful registration.

S.No Proposal Questions
1 Please describe your product and/or service in detail
2 Which Stage is your product/solution in? Idea, In Development, Prototype, POC, Pilot, In Production
3 How many clients do you have? Please mention the number of B2C and B2B clients as applicable and describe basic details of the type of B2B clients. (Eg: Regional Bank, International Lender, etc.)
4 What is the expected result from using your product/service? (If you have already achieved a result, please provide more information. If possible, please provide quantitative data.)
5 Which problem is your product trying to solve? What is your product-market fit?
6 Have you received feedback from potential or actual customers? If so, how easy is it for customers to access and navigate your product?
7 Please provide a high level summary of your marketing strategy. Who are your target audiences and how do you plan on reaching them?
8 How do you plan to scale your company over the next 12 months?
9 What other companies or organizations have similar products? What level of competition do you anticipate in your market?
10 What are the key competitive advantages that your team and your proposed solution have over your competitors?
11 What differentiates you with your competitors? What is your unique value proposition?
12 How has your product developed/changed since inception? Mention important milestones and pivots.
13 Please share details about your core team members; name, designation, experience and their current role and contributions to your team.
14 What technical capabilities does your team have that will enable you to create a functional prototype on the APIX platform?
15 What are the key risks if this idea is implemented and how can they be mitigated?
16 What are the challenges that you anticipate in implementing/providing this solution, and how will you overcome them?
17 Have you considered women in your market strategy? If so, what added value do you see your product bringing to women specifically?
18 Do you collect and analyze sex-or- gender-disaggregated data? Yes/NoIf yes, please share:% women customers, estimated customer LTV by genderIf B2B: % of women SMEs clients, estimated LTV by gender
19 What value or benefits are you expecting from your participation in the hackathon?
20 If selected, would you/your team be available to pitch virtually?


For Designing Gender Intelligent Fintechs: Accessing the Female Economy related queries, please reach out to

For technical queries during registration or proposal submission process, please reach out to