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Alliance Hack

Unlocking the Full Power of the Female Economy

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#2021alliancehack #alliancehack

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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 underserved market. We acknowledge that fintechs are well-positioned to tap into this market, as showcased in our research launched in October 2020, “How Fintechs Can Profit From the Multi-Trillion-Dollar Female Economy.” The Alliance Hack was born to help fintechs embrace this win-win opportunity.

The Alliance Hack — in its second edition — will leverage the Alliance's deep expertise to support fintechs in developing solutions for women business owners to access financial products and accelerate their business growth. It will also connect fintechs with global financial services providers that have similar objectives and allow them to pitch their solution in front of a judging panel of global leaders in the financial sector and champions of the female economy.

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 meet the real needs of women business owners and transform women's investment capabilities.

And so, we’re inviting start-ups and established fintechs to innovate scalable solutions that can break down systemic barriers and unlock the full power of the female economy. Our hackathon challenges will call for tech-based solutions and proofs of concept (POC) that financial services providers can use to serve the women’s market and that women can use to access financial services and be fully included in the financial system.

The Alliance Hack was launched by the Financial Alliance for Women and hosted in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Wefi and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on the APIX platform.

Problem Statements

The Alliance Hack will leverage the Alliance's deep expertise to support fintechs in developing solutions to support women business-owners' access to and use of financial products, to create supportive business development services to accelerate their business growth, as well as connect them with global financial services providers (FSPs) with similar objectives.

(A) Financing women-owned/led informal Very Small Enterprises (VSEs)

(B) Financing women-owned/led formal Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

(C) Building business capability of female entrepreneurs

(D) Transforming mass market women’s Investment Capabilities

(E) Identifying women-owned/led businesses within bank MIS 


Chart a path to becoming a chosen brand for female customer

Alliance Hack will support fintechs in developing solutions to support women business owners’ access to and use of financial products, create supportive services to accelerate their growth and connect them with global FSPs with similar objectives.

Up to $25,000 cash prize for winning team

First-place prize is $25,000 in addition to a free year-long subscription to APIX and AWS credits up to USD$25,000.

Get the chance to participate in a global incubator program for financial inclusion

Three winners will get the opportunity to enter the finals for global accelerator programs such as Monetary Authority of Singapore, Mastercard Start Path, IBM Hyper Protect Accelerator and Enterprise Ireland.

Receive capacity-building support

The top three winning teams will become members of the Financial Alliance for Women for a full year, enabling access to a network of global FSPs, mentoring, peer learning opportunities, and to the Alliance's proprietary tools and knowledge products.


  • Formally registered technology-based start-up firms that primarily serve the financial services industry (fintechs)
  • FinTechs, InsureTech, RegTech, etc., with experience with 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
  • Mature enough to drive to POC stage with commercial banks
  • Female founders and gender-diverse teams encouraged to apply


What stage should my fintech be at if I want to apply?

This hackathon is open to fintechs in early to mid-stage development, including seed stage, raising/raised funds, in the process of scaling, or mature enough to drive to POC stage with commercial banks.

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

Women represent a huge business opportunity — worth trillions of dollars — 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 to building a successful women-centered strategy. Additionally, you'll have the opportunity to pitch to high-level executives at established brands, including Enterprise Ireland, IBM and other major finserv institutions and network with industry leaders. The winning team will get US$25,000 cash prize, a free one-year subscription on the APIX platform and up to US$25,000 credits on AWS. The top three winning teams will become members 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 and knowledge products to develop their women's market proposition. The three winners will also automatically enter the finals for global accelerator programs.

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, entreprenuership and wealth. Women control more than $216 trillion in wealth globally and earn $24 trillion on an annual basis. They’re also strong savers and reliable customers. Yet, this market remains largely underserved. Only 65 percent of women benefit from financial services (compared to 72 percent of men). And of the women who are receiving financial services, 73 percent are dissatisfied with them. Forty percent of global health is held by women. By 2030, American women are expected to control much of the $30 trillion in financial assets that baby boomers will possess — a potential wealth transfer of such magnitude that it approaches the annual GDP of the United States. In the US, women make up 80 percent of household buying decisions about where to bank and yet they are greatly underserved by and highly dissatisfied with the financial services sector. They need propositions that they can trust to solve their needs at all stages of life. Brands that can meet this unmet need this will have a strong competitive advantage moving forward. A Lingering Gap. While overall financial inclusion has increased markedly over the past decades, the global gender gap in account ownership has stayed at roughly 7 percent since the early 2000s. Digitizing payments, lowering eKY, increasing digital adoption, making products more compelling with gamification, connecting women to their communities, expanding their networks, and building in financial education are all potential solutions with the promise to finally close this stubborn gap. Driving that change is both a financial and ethical imperative. Fintechs have exceptional capabilities to help close this gap and respond to women’s distinct needs and behaviors, including offering low-cost access and delivering time-efficient and high-value services. And when they do so, they find a ready market: 58 percent of financial app users in the United States are women, and 62 percent of millennial women pay bills online, compared to 53 percent of millennial men.

Can I apply to more than one problem statement?

Yes, your team can submit one proposal per subcategory of the problem statement and can submit up to three proposals per company. The Alliance will allocate the selected team one subcategory of a problem statement from the team’s [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 Aug. 3 till Sept. 15.

What kind of solutions are you looking for?

Hackers will develop a proof of concept (POC) through their integration, testing and coding on the APIX sandbox. Solutions can be targeted to women only or can be women-friendly — displaying an understanding of women's unique needs while still catering to a wider market.

How are the winners chosen?

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 of 15%) • Innovation & Prototype (Weight of 15%) • Impact on Women's Market (Weight of 20%) • Business Model (Weight of 15%) • Customer Segment (Weight of 10%) • Competitiveness and Scalability (Weight of 15%) • Team (Weight of 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 July 28 and Sept. 15, 2021, midnight GMT. Step 2: Each Jury will review the solution on the Apix platform starting on Sept. 16, attend the live pitches and Demo Day on Sept. 23 at 9 am ET, and finalize their scoring before Sept. 30, 2021. Step 3: Each team must be available on Sept. 23 to present their POC and solution live (no more than 8 minutes) 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 a fintech's automatic disqualification. Step 4: Once the final rankings have been determined, the top 5 positions will be announced.

What kind of support will be provided for participants?

Selected teams will take part in dedicated clinics (workshops) to better understand the women's market proposition and the opportunity behind the female economy. In addition to business and technical workshops. Participating teams will also recieve guidance, expert advice and full sandbox access on the APIX platform.

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.

What will the pitch include?

As part of the pitch, you will demo your hack and present your solution in front of the judging panel (not exceeding 8 minutes) followed by Q&A. Your presentation must include the proof of concept demo, state the problem and research behind it, the proposed solution, the go-to-market strategy and the relevance to the female economy covering the judging criteria.

Meet – Ups

Shortlisted teams will meet with Challengers and market leaders to understand the problem statements

Hackathon clinics

The Alliance hack will include 6 clinics to support fintechs:

  • The Power of the Female Economy
  • Using Sex-Disaggregated Data
  • Developing a Gender Intelligent Business Model
  • Coding and developing the Solutions on APIX
  • Scaling through partnerships
  • Pitching Your Way To Success

Mentoring & Technical Expertise

Mentors from various financial institutions will be sharing their expertise and assisting the participating teams in creating impactful solutions.

Each team will be connected with:

  • A business Mentor: Women’s Market Champion to understand the key drivers to unlock the Female Economy
  • A Technical Expert: to support in developing the POC

Alliance Hack 2020 Winners

The Alliance Hack 2020 called for innovative tech-based solutions in four challenge tracks—banking, wealth, insurance, and payments. These challenges were designed to address barriers that keep women from accessing and benefitting fully from financial and non-financial services.

Tackling these challenges were thirteen teams; six working on banking, four on wealth, two on payments, and one on insurance. Each of these teams applied with an innovative proposal that they are now developing into a scalable solution, with support from the hackathon’s excellent experts and mentors. The teams hail from ten different countries—including Canada, Germany, Ireland, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, and the United States—reflecting the global nature of both the Alliance network and the issues at hand.

Alliance Hack 2020 Winners:

The Female Economy FinTech of the Year: Tyme Bank, South Africa
The Female Economy Silver Fintech: NDOVU, Kenya
Female Economy Bronze Fintech: GFI Fintech, Malaysia


For Alliance Hack related queries, please reach out to

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