In celebration of International Women’s Day, Visa has announced the launch of the first Visa Everywhere Initiative: Women’s Global Edition. The global program invites women entrepreneurs from around the world to tackle FinTech and Social Impact challenges for a chance to win US $100,000 (Kshs 10 million) in each of the two challenges. The program will culminate with a finals event to be held during kick-off of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
“More than 163 million women around the world have started their own business in the last five years, accounting for up to 37% of the workforce. Women entrepreneurship is on the rise and Visa is committed to inspiring more women to break through barriers through platforms like the Visa Everywhere Initiative,” said Lynne Biggar, Chief Marketing and Communication Officer at Visa.
Since 2015, the Visa Everywhere Initiative has provided visionary solutions for commerce and payment challenges of tomorrow. The program has activated regionally in 75 countries and awarded more than 70 leading startups with monetary prizes, mentorship and access to Visa’s clients and partners. Now, for the first time, the program will shift from regionally-focused events to a worldwide program centered on FinTech and Social Impact to shine a spotlight on the millions of underrepresented women business leaders and Visa’s commitment to micro and small businesses catalyzing change.
To participate, companies with at least one female founder are invited to submit solutions that tackle challenges facing the FinTech and Social Impact landscapes today through one of the two innovative briefs:
- Challenge 1 (FinTech): Leveraging your company’s unique capabilities, how could your solution help transform consumer, payments and/or commercial experiences locally, regionally or globally?
- Challenge 2 (Social Impact): How can women entrepreneurs around the world drive social impact by supporting sustainable and equitable livelihoods and strengthening local/regional economies?
Eligible participants will be divided into 6 regions: North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Europe (excluding France), France, Africa/Middle East. Each region will send one winner per challenge to the finals in Paris.
Key dates for the program are as follows:
o Open for submissions- March 6th
o Applications due April 14th
o Regional finalists selected per region- May
o Global Finals in Paris, France- June 7th
During the opening week of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, finalists will participate in networking opportunities with Visa’s global partner network, and a final live-pitching event to determine the overall VEI winners.
To reward the most impactful solutions, Visa will provide US $100,000 to each challenge winner, along with expert mentorship, access to clients and Visa’s vast network of partners. The winners will also receive tickets to the opening game of FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Visa will launch a global marketing campaign “Together as One” to celebrate the Visa Everywhere Initiative: Women’s Global Edition during which eight former women VEI winners and finalists, representing regions around the world, will star in the campaign to help inspire their peers to participate in the competition and pursue their dreams of taking risks and building a successful business.
“The Visa Everywhere initiative allowed us to add more value to our product by using APIs from its Developer Platform. As a result, we garnered enough recognition to win new customers and business opportunities! Personally, it was a great accomplishment,” said Amparo Nalvarte, CEO & Co- Founder, Culqi. “I am so proud to be a Visa Everywhere Initiative winner and am truly honored to be a part of the Women’s Global campaign. I can hardly wait to cheer for all of the amazing women that will be participating in this wonderful opportunity.”