ALP Seminar 2019

EFInA Launches US$2m FinTech Challenge Fund to Drive Financial Inclusion

Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) took the occasion of the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, to Nigeria to introduce a new challenge fund focusing on financial technology (Fintech) companies to enhance the uptake and usage of financial services by the low income population of Nigeria.

At a business networking event hosted by the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Paul Arkwright, on Wednesday, 29 August 2018, EFInA’s Board Chair, Segun Akerele, Introduced EFInA as a financial sector development organization that promotes financial inclusion in Nigeria. The company’s mission is to make the financial sector work better for the poor. He explained further that EFInA is for International Development (DFID) and the Bill and Melinda Gate Foundation. DFID is a United Kingdom government department responsible for administering overseas aid

In launching the fund Bunmi Lawson, a board member of EFInA, said: “Following our recent request for information at our Fintech Outreach Forum, it gives me great pleasure to announce the launch of a new $2 million fund for start-up and growth stage Fintech firms looking to increase access to financial products and services for the poor as well as reduce the rate of financial exclusion in the country”.

Lawson categorically stated that “The aim of the fund is to stimulate and catalyze the financial technology delivery channels provided by the Fintechs. The fund, to be be known as “The Fintechs Challenge Fund”. Will be used to pilot and support the development of innovative financial products services through the use of digital technology. In addition, the new fund will support projects that help strengthen financial resilience in Nigeria by aligning innovation and modern technology with the needs of the target audience.

“As we see changes happening faster and faster in our environment, we have to anticipate and step up our pace as well”. There is immense opportunity in the market and our aim is to see to it that Nigerians are well placed to take advantage of these new opportunities and in the process reduce poverty and boost our GDP”.

In conclusion, she stated that the grants will cover and range of between US$50,000.00 (Fifty thousand US Dollars) up to US$200,000.00 (Two Hundred US Dollars) for the “Fintech challenge 1 grant” and a range of between US$200,000.00 (Two Hundred Thousand US Dollars) to $500,000.00 (Five Hundred Thousand US Dollars) for the Fintech Challenge Grant 2”. She said that more information about the grants will be made available to prospective applicant at the formal Request for the Proposal event to be held by the company in the near future.

The event was held at the FMDQ Exchange Place in Victoria Island and it was attended by the British Prime Minister and various UK Government officials and a high level delegation of UK-based CEOs and their Nigerian counterparts.