Karandaaz Pakistan launch the 2nd round of “Karandaaz Financial Inclusion of Women Challenge”

Islamabad | Oct 8, 2020

Karandaaz Pakistan has launched the second round of its annual challenge titled, Karandaaz Financial Inclusion of Women Challenge on 8th October, 2020 in Islamabad. Karandaaz Pakistan has invited applications in two categories to support businesses that not only create financial products but also from the businesses that enable women consumers to adopt Financial Services. The proposed solutions may be in any area within the two defined categories.  In Category A, technological solutions that enable and encourage adoption of formal financial Services by the women and should result into large number of women using formal financial services such as Technology enabled solutions, opening a bank account, carrying out online transactions and Accessing a financial service. In Category B, Women centric financial products and channels Creation of Financial Products (credit, savings, insurance, investments, etc.) with an adoption strategy ensuring need of a specific segment of women, access, profitability and reach. Successful applicants will be awarded the grant up to PKR 15 million per winner in order to pilot, test or scale their interventions.

The socio-economic empowerment of women is critical for the sustainable development of Pakistan. Karandaaz Pakistan is practically working towards this goal and soliciting proposals from financial service providers, including digital financial service providers, financial institutions, microfinance institutions, and microfinance banks; research and advisory firms; and other relevant market players to propose & develop gender-friendly & women-centric financial products and services according to the requirements and inclinations of Pakistani women. Successful applicants will receive funding through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the UK’s Foriegn, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) for implementing their solution based innovative ideas.

Particularly in Pakistan, women lack the basic understanding and access when it comes to adoption of Financial Services that may include: Mobility, Documentation (Availability), Usability (Less Conducive for Women vs Men) and Accessibility (Low Phone Ownership and Marginalization in technology adoption etc.) despite the efforts from the industry on increasing the overall financial inclusion number. Promoting financial inclusion of women is a core vision of Karandaaz; in the pursuance of its vision, Karandaaz invites applications for the second round in two categories to support businesses that not only create financial products but also from the businesses that enable women consumers to adopt Financial Services.

Ali Sarfraz, CEO Karandaaz Pakistan said

Since last year, Karandaaz Pakistan, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is supporting solutions that foster financial inclusion of women in Pakistan through its annual initiative titled as “Karandaaz Financial Inclusion of Women Challenge”. We are once again seeking applications in two categories. Type A applicants will be proposing technology-enabled solutions that’s aimed to encourage and enable Pakistani women to adopt formal financial products & services in a convenient way. While on the other hand, type B applicants are welcomed for the Creation of Financial Products (credit, savings, insurance, investments, etc.) with an implementation approach ensuring focused requirements of a specific segment of women’s access, profitability and reach.

Rehan Akhtar, Chief Digital Officer at Karandaaz Pakistan said “

With a successful implementation of the round one of “Karandaaz Financial Inclusion of Women Challenge”, this year we are anticipating way more responsiveness & innovativeness from the applicants. The quick and easy access to financial products and services to all the Pakistani women irrespective of their socio-economic conditions is the key theme of this initiative. Entities registered in Pakistan, have to come up with such ideas that contain sheer practicality and adaptability in its nature so that it can be a helpful tool to increase financial inclusion of Pakistani women. Applicants’ proposed solutions are expected to lead to reduce the gender gap in financial inclusion by provision of enabling environment for growth of women-led SMEs and economically active women, helping women overcome the hurdles faced by the prevailing systematic discrimination in the financial marketplace & promoting a safer and more inclusive environment in women’s finance

”.

Karandaaz Pakistan is accepting applications from interested entities till November 08, 2020. More information about the challenge can be found at https://fiwc.karandaaz.com.pk/

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