Thursday, June 17, 2010

Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access - Grants available

EFInA awards USD$1.5 Million Innovation Grant to Stanbic IBTC Bank in support of their Alternative Banking Platform to extend financial services to the Unbanked
In 2009, Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) launched its Innovation Fund. The Innovation Fund is a special facility within EFInA which seeks to promote innovation in the development and deployment of financial services and thus expand financial access to the unbanked and low income population in Nigeria.
EFInA Innovation Grant Round 1 was completed in October 2009. We received and assessed 44 bids out of which the Stanbic IBTC Bank E-susu Project was successful and received a grant of $1,500,000. “We are pleased to support Stanbic IBTC in their effort to extend financial services to the unbanked.” said Yewande Adewusi, Programme Manager, EFInA. “The E-susu Project kicked off with the intention to service the unbanked market but has evolved to meet the needs of both the unbanked and underserved population through its convenient no-hassle banking approach.” said Karimot Bamisedun, Segment Manager, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc.
“Findings from the EFInA Access to Finance 2008 survey showed, only 21 per cent of the adult population of Nigeria has a bank account, which means that over 68m people have no access to formal financial services.” said Modupe Ladipo, Chief Executive Officer, EFInA. “Access to a range of affordable, safe and reliable formal financial product and services – such as savings accounts, credit, insurance and money transfer services can improve the lives of the unbanked and help to reduce poverty in Nigeria in the long run.”
EFInA is pleased to announce that the Competition is now open for the EFInA Innovation Grant Round 2. The funding from EFInA will serve to accelerate innovative products and services that extend formal financial services to the unbanked and under-banked population in Nigeria. The deadline for submission of proposals is 6pm on June 4th, 2010. For further information on the eligibility and evaluation criteria, and our application and submission process, please go to: www.efina.org.ng/innovation_grants.htm
EFInA is an independent, professional, non-profit organization funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Source

If you are interested in innovation, particularly for rural and micro banking and finance, read (or read about) Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank, and also look into the seed funding also available from EFInA, and see related projects funded at Omidyar Network.
Get some money from EFInA to implement your solution.

EFInA also hosts regular Innovation Forums with past themes including:
“Transforming Access to Finance through Branchless Banking”.
“Increasing Access to Finance through Islamic (Non-Interest) Banking”.
“Card & ATM Fraud: Trends, Prevention and Legislation

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