Fintech is a great tool to bolster financial inclusion by helping banks and microfinance institutions to become more efficient and effective in reaching underserved market segments.
The importance of fintech is growing, with ever more innovative and effective tools enabling and strengthening the operations and services of financial institutions. However, the adoption and implementation of effective fintech solutions is still at a nascent stage in many parts of the world.
To overcome this challenge, the EFSE and the SANAD Fund, advised by Finance in Motion, partnered with Village Capital and the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT) to foster an active and constructive dialogue between established financial institutions and emerging fintech startups.
The Fincluders Bootcamp built on the successes of the EFSE Fincluders Startup Challenge and the SANAD Fincluders Startup Challenge by bringing together 12 of the most promising fintech for financial inclusion companies to learn from each other, hone their strategies and polish their pitches to take the next step towards becoming established market players.
The participants received support and were able to meet over 70 dedicated mentors and potential customers and partners over the two-week boot camp. These included representatives from international and regional banks and financial institutions, established Fintech companies, venture capital, angel and institutional investors, as well as experts from development finance, major law firms and advisory services companies.
Interspersed with the many meetings, moderated peer review sessions focused on refining some key topics for the startups to ensure their success. The sessions helped the startups refine their answers to the following questions:
- What is your vision statement?
- How to build a successful team?
- What is your value proposition?
- How to map you business model and target market?
- Are your target customer assumptions and segments correct?
- How to measure your company’s impact?
- Are your financial assumptions correct?
- What are your company’s strengths and risks?
- How to refine your product demonstrations and investor pitching?
- What are the best strategies for fund raising and exits?
Following the intensive two week Bootcamp the participating startups identified key strategic goals for the coming year in order to reach commercial success. To further enable these worthy companies in their endeavour the Fincluders programme is providing dedicated travel sponsorship and support for exposure visits to important events or potential markets of interest and continuous to involve the companies in its large regional network of financial institutions and partners.
The startups will attend key industry events to identify and meet potential partners and investors, explore the potential of pilot projects with financial institutions and implement projects, conduct market research trips and source for key strategic hires.
While the Fincluders startups have already come a long way they still have a challenging road ahead to reach maturity and provide financial inclusion to underserved groups in the target regions of the EFSE and SANAD Fund.