TechInAfrica – The Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD Africa) and the other two entities, the Banque Centrale du Congo and Elan RDC, has launched a competition: DRC – Innovation for Financial Services 2019. The competition is funded by UK aid and aims at encouraging local businesses and entrepreneurs to further develop financial services and payment solutions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
DRC – Innovation for Financial Services 2019 competition has two main categories; Financial Innovation for Economic and Social Development and Financial Innovation for Solidarity. The first category aims at encouraging candidates to propose their innovation payment solutions of financial services in correlation to the real issues faced in DRC. Meanwhile, the second category addressed to candidates who focus on financial solutions that bring advantages to displaced people, families, and the communities that host them.
Among all candidates, there will be only three finalists selected from each category. The three finalists will have a chance to receive seed capital of US$13,000 and technical support from local and international experts. The selection of three finalists will be made in June.
Later in November, three finalists will deliver their proposals in front of a panel of judges to select the winner from each category. The rest two finalists will have access to FSD Africa’s investment process. They will also have a chance to raise a fund of US$130,000 in grants as well as technical support to scale up their initial product and service’s piloting or testing.
Joe Huxley, Director Strategy & Advocacy, FSD Africa, said: “Financial inclusion rates in the DRC remain low. With only seven percent of Congolese working in the formal sector, many people have limited to no access to basic financial services like bank accounts, savings, and loans. We have launched this competition to help change this narrative.”
He added, “We hope to energize local businesses and entrepreneurs in the country to come up with the solutions they need. We’ve seen technology drive financial inclusion in other parts of the continent, now is the time to invest in local solutions which can be game changers in DRC.”
For those who are interested to apply for the competition, they need to be registered in the DRC and have at least 50% of the local ownership.
You can download the guidelines and application form for the DRC – Innovation & Financial Services 2019 competition here.