Two top women entrepreneurs from the FinTech and Social Impact challenges have emerged winners of the Visa Everywhere Initiative, and received $100,000 each, including access to Visa’s network to grow their companies.
Earlier this month, Visa hosted the Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI): Women’s Global Edition, marking the first time the program has focused on organisations with at least one woman founder or co-founder from around the world who are changing the world by solving business and social challenges.
The new global competition spotlighted the underrepresented millions of women business and social impact leaders, tasking them to solve a FinTech and – for the first time – a Social Impact challenge for a chance to win $100,000 per challenge along with mentorship, access to Visa products and programs,and exposure to key participants in the commerce ecosystem.
Nearly 1,300 applicants applied to participate in the program.
Just before the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 kick-off, 12 finalists from six regions pitched their innovative solutions to a panel of judges. Two finalists, Tez Financial Services from Pakistan, represented by its co-founder and business head, Naureen Hyat, and Green Girls Organizationfrom Cameroon, represented by its founder, Monique Ntumngia, were selected as the winners of the FinTech and Social Impact challenges, respectively.
Giving details, Senior Vice President of Social Impact at Visa, Marianne Mwaniki, said: “As the worldwide rate of female entrepreneurship continues to rise, Visa is giving a voice to the collective strength of women who are creating impact in the global economy, spinning the fly wheel of innovation from the bottom up – and we will continue to do so through investments and partnerships that enable women-founded businesses to thrive.
“All of the finalists in this global Visa Everywhere Initiative are testaments to how diverse, women-owned businesses can grow, uplifting economies in communities across the globe, and we intend to provide them a platform to create connections and opportunities to succeed.”
The Women’s Global Edition is an extension of the established VEI program, and reflects Visa’s commitment to investment in women entrepreneurs. Since the inception of the VEI in 2015, more than 6,000 startups have participated in 24 innovation programs and have collectively raised more than $2.5 billion in funding.
Co-founder and Business Head of Tez Financial Services, Naureen Hyat, said: “The Visa Everywhere Initiative has been a remarkable opportunity for Tez, Pakistan and our cause to enhance financial inclusion.”