The Financial Sector Deepening Africa (FSD Africa), the Banque Centrale du Congo and Elan RDC have launched the DRC – Innovation for Financial Services 2019 startup competition in the central Africa state. The race targets local startups, businesses, and entrepreneurs who have dedicated their efforts to devising relevant and value-adding financial services and payment innovations in the DRC.
The competition is classified into two primary categories: the first segment dubbed ‘Financial innovation for economic and social development’ will single out groups with innovative payments solutions of financial products that address real-world issues encountered in the state, whereas the second category named ‘Financial innovation for solidarity’ will earmark startups with financial services that can benefit displaced groups, families and communities that host them.
FSDA Africa will select three finalists from each of the two categories. The selection process will be done by independent judges.
Successful startups will be presented with a seed capital of US$ 13,000 in addition to technical support from experts, including FSD Africa itself.
The six startups will then stage their proposals in November to a panel of judges, who will then select one winner for each group. Afterward, the winners will have access to FSD Africa’s investment exercise that can raise up to US$130,000 in grants and technical support to launch and scale up their initial production.
FSD says that products and services will be judged in terms of feasibility and potential impact.
“Financial inclusion rates in the DRC remain low. With only seven percent of Congolese working in the formal sector, many people have limited to no access to basic financial services like bank accounts, savings, and loans. We have launched this competition to help change this narrative. We hope to energize local businesses and entrepreneurs in the country to come up with the solutions they need. We’ve seen technology drive financial inclusion in other parts of the continent, now is the time to invest in local solutions which can be game changers in DRC,” noted Joe Huxley, Director Strategy & Advocacy, FSD Africa.
To qualify, applicants need to be registered in the DRC and have local ownership of at least 50 percent.
Further information can be accessed from FSD’S site.