September 17, 2020, Lagos, Nigeria: Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access (EFInA) is pleased to announce the finalists from the recently concluded Fintech4wd Ideathon that challenged innovators to propose ideas to catalyze financial services access for microenterprises during COVID-19.

A total of 162 teams (468 participants) registered for the Ideathon, which included four pre-submission webinars by industry experts to support teams in developing relevant solutions. The ideas developed by the teams were reviewed by a panel of six judges. Winners and runners-up were selected based on the quality of the idea, the local readiness of the idea for the Nigerian consumers and context, and potential impact on microenterprises. 

Following numerous evaluation rounds, the top 3 teams selected from the Ideathon are:

  • Team Sirocco emerged as the winning team in the competition, comprised of Olamigoke Olabampe, Sola Onibokun and Nnaemeka Eziamaka. The team won a cash prize of N1,500,000.

Team Sirocco’s idea is a USSD interfaced platform that provides the unbanked and underbanked MSMEs access to loans for supplies, leveraging alternative data sources and innovative risk mitigants.

  • Team Locksley, finished in 2nd place, comprising Ife Makinde, Bolarinwa Kazeem, Ezekiel Adeyinka, Michael Asuquo Eyo and Ilerioluwa Adeoye. The team won the sum of N1,000,000.

Team Locksley’s idea is a competitive lending marketplace with a real time credit decision capability that enables MSMEs access information on available loans, apply seamlessly for these loans and generate credit scores.

  • Team Disruptors, which included Oluwatofunmi Awodiji, Oluwafisayomi Ojo, Ewerechukwu Asaka and Akintunde Joshua, came 3rd. The team won the sum of N750,000.

Team Disruptors’ idea is a community-based lending platform targeting MSMEs that leverages machine learning to enable better credit decision making for community-based collection platforms.

The Fintech4wd Ideathon showcased Nigeria’s potential for developing homegrown solutions to promote economic recovery during these challenging times, as we got idea submissions from each of the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria. EFInA acknowledges the efforts of all participants, particularly the top 10 teams from the Ideathon – Team Sirocco, Team Locksley, Team Disruptors, The Lovelace Team, Team Purple, Team Cashfog, Team Kapital Grow, Team Savannah, Team Tokeen and Team Rootech – who all developed interesting ideas with the potential to enable microenterprises thrive, even during this pandemic. 

Following the completion of the Ideathon, EFInA calls on all software developers who are looking to build these ideas into financial solutions to register for the upcoming EFInA Fintech4wd Hackathon and stand a chance to win up to N2,000,000. In the Hackathon, software developers will be developing solutions that aim to solve the supply chain and market issues that microenterprises currently have. We look forward to you joining us. For more information on the Fintech4wd Hackathon, please use this link: https://www.efina.org.ng/media-room/fintech4wd/.

EFInA is a member of the Financial Sector Deepening Network, funded by UKAID to promote financial innovation and inclusion in Nigeria.

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