Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) has partnered with GIZ to bridge the huge MSME financing gap existing in Nigeria.
This is coming through a virtual hackathon challenge themed: ‘MSME Finance…Breaking Barriers’.
The Nigerian MSME sector (about 39.7m businesses) plays a huge role in the economy, contributing to 46.3% of the National GDP, and equally accounting for 87.9% percent of employment.
The potential of the MSME sector is yet to be maximized because of several impending challenges some of which this Hackathon is expected to address.
Interested participants must be 18 years old and should register on the portal on or before August 1, 2022.
The hackathon competition will kick off with four webinars commencing from July 28 to August 1, 2022, and will be facilitated by industry experts. At the end of the registration, outstanding candidates will be shortlisted to participate in the hackathon, either as a team of two or a maximum of five people.
However, switching of teams will not be allowed. All participants will be required to take on the challenge of developing creative and innovative ideas, and MVPs that address at least one of the broad objectives of the Hackathon.
While the teams are expected to develop technological applications to solve real-life problems in suburban communities, the hackathon challenge aims at addressing at least one of the thematic areas including Financial Management Skills Development, Digitised Credit Appraisal and Lending System, MSME Product Design Toolkit, and Alternative Collateral Options.
They are also expected to pitch their innovative ideas virtually to a panel of judges on August 31, 2022. Criteria for judging the entries include Product design (30%) Innovativeness (30%), Scalability (30%) and Presentation (10%). The winner of the challenge stands to win N3 million; 1st runner-up, N2 million; and 2nd runner-up, N1 million.
Speaking on the hackathon, the Chief Executive Officer, EFInA, Mr Owolabi Isaiah, said he is excited to introduce the virtual hackathon challenge. In his words: “Despite the proliferation of credit providers in Nigeria – both regulated and non-regulated – the financing gap for MSMEs has widened due to several issues like inability to fulfil requirements (financial records, collateral), manual/rigid credit reporting system, high default rate, manual KYC verification process, lack of financial management skills, and lack of market linkages etc.
Therefore, it has become imperative to facilitate an inclusive financial system that seamlessly avails credit to MSMEs irrespective of their size of operations, category and availability of traditional collateral requirements to boost the economy, reduce poverty levels, and provide job opportunities.”
To ensure the goals of the hackathon challenge are achieved, EFInA and GIZ are working closely with Financial Services Innovators (FSI).
How to participate
Interested in the hackathon? Click Here to visit the registration portal.