Global payments company, Visa has launched its first global program to empower women entrepreneurs in celebration of the 2019 International Women’s Day.
Called the “Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI): Women’s Global Edition,” the competition is aimed at showcasing female entrepreneurs with visionary solutions for commerce and payment challenges. The competition calls on women entrepreneurs from around the world to tackle challenges in the areas of Fintech and Social Impact. The best solution for each area wins $100,000.
Since its creation in 2015, the VEI has been a region focused competition, involving over 75 countries and has awarding over 70 startups. But for the first time, the program will be celebrating women entrepreneurs who, to a large extent, are underrepresented.
“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.”
Lynne Biggar, Chief Marketing and Communication Officer, Visa.
Intending participants/startups will have at least one female founder to qualify for the competition. These startups are to submit solutions that tackle challenges facing the Fintech and Social Impact sectors. These are:
- 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?
Participating startups will be divided into 6 regions: North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Europe (excluding France), France and Africa/Middle East. One winner per challenge (two winners in total) would be representing each region at the finals.
The finals will be held during the kick-off of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019, where the startups would have a live-pitching event to determine the overall VEI winners.
The selected winners (1 for each challenge) would be provided with $100,000 in funding, expert mentorship, access to global clients and Visa’s vast network of partners.
The winners will also receive free tickets to the opening game of FIFA Women’s World Cup in Paris.
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