Tez Financial Services and Green Girls Organization Selected as Winners of Visa Everywhere Initiative: Women’s Global Edition After Worldwide Search
- Two topwomen entrepreneurs from the FinTech and Social Impact challenges received $100,000 (USD) each and access to Visa’s network to grow their companies.
Lahore (Muhammad Yasir) Earlier this month, Visa (NYSE:V) hosted the Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI): Women’s Global Edition, marking the first time the program has focused on organizations with at least one woman founder or co-founder from around the world who are changing the world by solving business and social challenges. The new global competition spotlighted the underrepresented millions of women business and social impact leaders, tasking them to solve a FinTech and – for the first time – a Social Impact challenge for a chance to win $100,000 per challenge along with mentorship, access to Visa products and programs, and exposure to key participants in the commerce ecosystem.Nearly 1,300 applicants applied to participate in the program.
Just before the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ kick-off, 12 finalists from six regions pitched their innovative solutions to a panel of judges. Two finalists, Tez Financial Services from Pakistan, represented by its co-founder and business head, Naureen Hyat, and Green Girls Organization from Cameroon, represented by its founder,Monique Ntumngia, were selected as the winners of the FinTech and Social Impact challenges, respectively. “As the worldwide rate of female entrepreneurship continues to rise, Visa is giving a voice to the collective strength of women who are creating impact in the global economy, spinning the fly wheel of innovation from the bottom up– and we will continue to do so through investments and partnerships that enable women-founded businessesto thrive,” said Marianne Mwaniki, Senior Vice President of Social Impact at Visa. “All of the finalists in this global Visa Everywhere Initiative are testaments to how diverse, women-owned businesses can grow, uplifting economies in communities across the globe, and we intend to provide them a platform to create connections and opportunities to succeed.”
The Women’s Global Edition is an extension of the established VEI program, and reflects Visa’s commitment to investment in women entrepreneurs.Since the inception of the VEI in 2015, more than 6,000 startups have participated in 24 innovation programs and have collectively raised more than$2.5 billion in funding. This year, Visa expanded the competition to include a globalchallenge for organizations with at least onewoman founder to submit solutions that tackle the vast societal and business challenges facing social impact landscapes. The FinTech competition measured how applicants leveraged their companies’ unique ability to solve or transform consumer and/or commercial payment experiences locally, regionally or globally. The FinTech winner Tez Financial Services from Pakistan, represented by Naureen Hyat, is the first fully digital financial institution in Pakistan providing frictionless financial services to the unbanked and under-banked via a smartphone application.
“The Visa Everywhere Initiative has been a remarkable opportunity for Tez, Pakistan and our cause to enhance financial inclusion,” said Naureen Hyat, Co-founder and Business Head of Tez Financial Services. “It has not only served as a driver for growth but has also allowed us to tap into the connectivity and numerous partners at Visa. I’m honored to be a part of such a thriving group of women entrepreneurs. All of these finalists have already achieved so much – I’m excited to continue to be a witness to our growth collectively beyond this competition.” The Social Impact Challenge sought women-led businesses around the world who are supporting sustainable and inclusive livelihoods and strengthening their local or regional economies. The Social Impact winner Green Girls Organization from Cameroon, represented by Monique Ntumngia,is a non-governmental organization that trains women and girls to harvest and create renewable energy from the sun and bio-waste.
“This opportunity will allow Green Girls to reach more women and girls and expand our footprint to provide renewable energy,” said Monique Ntumngia, Founder of Green Girls Organization. “Visa’s network and support will not only help my organization scale but will provide a number of rural African communities sustainable energy sources from the sun and bio-waste – creating a ripple effect of impact.”