Women In FinTech Magazine January 2023 Edition #LevelOneProject

We are excited to share with you the Women In FinTech Magazine—January 2023 edition. A magazine that is solely dedicated to Women In FinTech.

These women have set an example for other women to follow. The Women In FinTech magazine increases the visibility of female leaders in the field and strengthens their connections to other participants. It also encourages more women to pursue careers as innovators, entrepreneurs, and executives in financial services.

It is a compilation of interviews, opinions—and many more elements. This includes an impressive list of 100 #WomenInFinTech. The list recognizes women leaders in FinTech who are solving sticky gaps and creating solutions within previously excluded, untapped or underrepresented markets.

We express our gratitude to Cyberplc Academy, INFITX, Crosslake Technologies, Mojaloop Foundation, #LevelOneProject and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for their generous support.

We also appreciate the efforts of the team that worked hard to produce this magazine.

We believe you will share it widely too.

Tap Here to Read/Download the Women In FinTech Magazine January 2023 Edition #LevelOneProject.

FinTech and IIPS in Africa – A 40 Days 40 FinTechs #LevelOneProject 2022 report

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has transformed Africa’s financial infrastructure. Initial focus has been on giving rich and middle-income users access to advanced digital financial tools. However, the Financial Technology (FinTech) industry will not support sustainable and inclusive growth fully unless all consumers, including low-income and vulnerable groups, which are usually excluded by the traditional banking network, are enrolled into the formal financial system.

HiPipo advocates for and supports Digital Financial Service Providers (DFSPs) who deploy solutions that meet Level One Project (L1P) Design Principles: accessible, reliable, valuable, affordable, and profitable. Indeed, we launched the 40 Days 40 FinTechs programme to encourage the development of a sustainable financial ecosystem that is geared towards meeting the needs of low-income users. Since the inaugural 40 Days 40 FinTechs season in 2020, we have profiled over 100 FinTechs. Working with our local and international partners, HiPipo has supported the nascent FinTech sector by providing access to technical and business skills. For example, we coordinate Mojaloop training that shows DFSPs how to build interoperable, digital payment systems that seamlessly connect stakeholders, such as individual users, banks, government entities, merchants, mobile network operators, providers, and technology companies.

As ever, we are most grateful for the ongoing support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

This year, the 40 Days 40 FinTechs programme profiled 47 participants that offer unique solutions to local problems across Africa. For example, Little, a Kenyan FinTech, is revolutionising the transport sector. FutureLink Technologies enables SACCOs to access wholesale credit at 2.5% per annum while the average bank rate in East Africa is 18%. WomenSave uses mobile money accounts to enable unbanked women to save.

We are immensely proud of our success so far. For example, this year’s 40 Days 40 FinTechs campaign generated visibility estimated at roughly $9.1 million. We are confident that our work will be sustainable given our holistic, inclusive, multi-stakeholder and low-income user-focused strategy. For instance, this year, women participation was three times more than season one. Women-led FinTechs have created products in sectors such as agriculture, informal trade, merchants, healthcare, loans and savings.

We also work with relevant stakeholders to ensure that DFSPs and their customers have a governance structure to coordinate FinTech sector policy and regulatory activities. For example, new enabling regulation has created advantages, such as separation of telecom businesses from mobile money operations. Evidence shows increased consumer trust because financial and banking operations are licensed and supervised by relevant financial regulatory authorities. Yet, more work is required to address regulatory issues that still affect FinTechs, such as speed and cost of licensing.

In addition, despite their enormous financial inclusion potential, small FinTechs lack the capacity to build interoperable solutions. Other areas of focus include bettering the lives of the underserved groups, especially women. Moreover, the rising frequency of hacks, exploits and scams against financial solutions has increased the urgency of addressing cyber threats and vulnerabilities.

We are delighted to present to you six Thematic discussions and 47 innovative technical solutions that use financial technology to transform lives across Africa.

Read/Download FinTech and IIPS in Africa – A 40 Days 40 FinTechs #LevelOneProject 2022 report

MTN Uganda and MTN MoMo win 2022 Digital Brand of the Year

MTN Uganda and MTN MoMo were the biggest winners at the 2022 Digital Impact Awards Africa, with the two sister companies bagging the biggest accolade of the night; the Digital Brand of the Year – Diamond Accolade. Centenary Bank came second and took home the Gold Prize.

MTN Uganda and MTN MoMo’s overall victory ended the four years long uninterrupted banks’ dominance for this category. In 2020 and 2021, Standard Chartered Bank won Digital Brand of the year while in 2019, Stanbic Bank won Digital Brand of the Year. In 2018, it was won by Centenary Bank.

While handing over the awards to the winners, Hon. Eng. David Karubanga, the Patron of HiPipo, Member of Parliament Kigorobya County and Chairperson Committee of Physical Infrastructure at the Uganda Parliament thanked all companies that are spearheading Uganda’s digital and financial inclusion journey.

“I am happy to see the progress that the country is making on matters of digital and financial inclusion. The efforts of the government and the private sector are all contributing to this success. The Digital Impact Awards Africa continue to play a key awareness and appreciation role,” Hon Karubanga said, adding;

“I thank HiPipo and its partners for being consistent. Even in a bigger way, I congratulate all the winners and encourage them to continue innovating for the betterment of our people.”

Now in the ninth consecutive edition, the Digital Impact Awards Africa is a platform that promotes Digital Inclusion, Financial Inclusion and Cyber Security. The Awards recognize and celebrate stakeholders that are spearheading the use of digital mediums to serve communities.

The Digital Impact Awards Africa celebrate digital excellence across the continent; big or small, local or international.

The 2022 edition was part of the broader Digital and Financial Inclusion summit held at Kampala Serena Hotel on Friday 18th November.

The summit brought together C-Level executives and stakeholders that are spearheading the scaling, adoption and usage of digital and financial services across Africa. It explored strategic trends and technologies that are shaping the future of Digital, ICTs and Business. Special attention is paid to the safety of customers’ funds and security of platforms in the Digital Financial Services ecosystem.

The summit discussed Uganda’s Digital and Financial Inclusion Journey, the disruptive impact of COVID-19 on the business ecosystem and what players are doing to recover, and Financial Inclusion for the people at the bottom of the pyramid. The summit had a special panel-themed Women on the Wheels – Financial Inclusion for Women Boda Boda riders.

Both the Digital and Financial Inclusion Summit and the Digital Impact Awards Africa were presented by HiPipo in partnership with Level One Project, Mojaloop, PortX (formerly ModusBox), and Crosslake Technologies and supported by the Gates Foundation.

2022 Digital Impact Awards Africa Winners’ List.

  • Financial Inclusion Excellence.
    1. Letshego Digital Mall – Gold
    2. MTN MoMo Advance – Diamond.
  • Digital Banking Excellence.
    1. Stanbic Bank – Gold.
    2. Standard Chartered Bank – Diamond
  • Banking Innovation Excellence.
    1. Craft Silicon | Mobile Banking Solution – ELMA – Gold
    2. CenteMobile Loans| Centenary Bank – Diamond
  • Community/MFI Banking Innovation Excellence.
    1. Pride Microfinance Limited – Gold
    2. Centenary Bank – Diamond
  • FinTech Innovation Excellence.
    1. Safecar by SafeBoda – Gold.
    2. Kawu Smart Card by Kawu Uganda – Diamond
  • Financial Services Digital Excellence.
    1. Comviva and Airtel Mobile Commerce Uganda Limited (AMCUL) – Silver
    2. MTN MoMo – Gold.
    3. Standard Chartered Bank – Diamond
  • Consumer Goods Digital Excellence.
    1. Jude Color Solutions – Gold.
    2. Jumia Uganda – Diamond
  • Utilities and Government Services Digital Excellence.
    1. NSSF – Gold.
    2. NWSC – Diamond
  • Technology Services Digital Excellence.
    1. Airtel Uganda & Airtel Mobile Commerce – Gold.
    2. MTN Uganda & MTN MoMo – Diamond
  • Digital Campaign Excellence
    1. NSSF Hi-Innovator – Gold.
    2. Stanbic National Schools Championship – Diamond
  • Digital Brand of the Year.
    1. Centenary Bank – Gold
    2. MTN Uganda & MTN MoMo – Diamond.

Panel Discussions at the 2022 Digital and Financial Inclusion Summit.

Financial Inclusion for Women on Wheels; Women Boda Boda Riders.

The Panelists were: 

  • Nyadoi Zurah. 
  • Babra Brizila Asimo.
  • Atim Albright.
  • Jenifer Kia.
  • Angwech Dillish.

Instant and Inclusive Payment Systems (IIPS): Why are Instant and Inclusive Payment Systems (IIPS) important? How do we build National Instant and Inclusive Payments Systems?

The Panelists were:

  • Mercy Nekesa – Founder and CEO, Sundetails by Raining Vegetables.
  • Moses Rutahigwa – Head, Consumer, Private and Business Banking, Standard Chartered Bank Uganda.
  • Edgar Mugume – Head of Business Development, Craft Silicon
  • Paul Ekudu – Executive Director, Pegasus Technologies.

Winning from the Boardroom; What are C-Level Executives and Business Leaders doing to ensure that Digital and Financial Inclusion is achieved. What are they doing to bring onboard the least included groups particularly; Women, Youth, PWDs and Informal Traders?

The Panelists were: 

  • Irene Kaggwa Sewankambo – Ag. Executive Director UCC.
  • Damali Ssali – Chief Programmes and Projects Officer PSFU.
  • Anna Nambooze – Country Director for Uganda and South Sudan, TradeMark East Africa.
  • Lydia Nakamya – Head, Digital Banking and Partnerships, Standard Chartered Bank.

FINANCIAL SYSTEMS FOR THE POOR: An African continent where poor people, people at the bottom of the pyramid can capture opportunities and build resilience through financial services. The Ugandan point of view! 

The panelists were:

  • Nelson Kituuka – Managing Director, Card Pesa. 
  • Vincent Tumwijukye – Chief Executive Officer, FutureLink Technologies.
  • Japhet Aritho – Managing Director, Airtel Mobile Commerce Uganda Limited.
  • Beatrice Mawemuko – Head Strategic Partnership, MTN Mobile Money. 
  • Andrew Ssemaganda- General Manager Strategy, Centenary Bank.

Here are the nominees for the 2022 Digital Impact Awards Africa

Following the conclusion of the entries’ submission and verification process, HiPipo is pleased to unveil the nominees of the 2022 Digital Impact Awards Africa.

Digital Impact Awards Africa is a platform that promotes Digital Inclusion, Financial Inclusion, and Cyber Security. The Awards recognize and celebrate stakeholders that are spearheading the use of digital mediums to serve communities.

The Digital Impact Awards Africa celebrate digital excellence across the continent; big or small, local or international.

The 2022 Digital Brand of the Year category will see five finance and technology giants go head to head as Centenary Bank is nominated alongside Standard Chartered Bank, Stanbic Bank, MTN Uganda, and Airtel Uganda while the Digital Campaign Excellence category has the Stanbic National Schools Championship drawn against Mpola Enjoyments by Bell Lager, Bolingo Extra by YOTV Channels in partnership with MTN Uganda and NSSF Hi-Innovator. Altogether there are 11 categories this year.

Voting in the 2022 Digital Impact Awards Africa will run until 18th November 9am. While all nominees are winners, the overall winner per category will be determined by a combined public-jury vote.

The Awards now in their 9th consecutive edition will be held on Friday 18th November 2022 at Kampala Serena Hotel as part of the annual Digital and Financial Inclusion summit.

The summit explores strategic trends and technologies that are shaping the future of Digital, ICTs, and Business. Special attention is paid to the safety of customers’ funds and security of platforms in the Digital Financial Services ecosystem.

This year’s summit will bring together C-Level executives that are spearheading the scaling, adoption, and usage of digital and financial services across Africa. The summit will discuss the disruptive impact of COVID-19 on the business ecosystem and what players are doing to recover.

Speakers will come from multinationals, large enterprises, small and mid-sized enterprises, and start-ups. Additionally, the summit will offer a platform for informal businesses (like market vendors, smallholder farmers, sole proprietors, public transporters, and e-commerce delivery agents, etc.)  

The summit and awards are using these 3 official tags; #IncludeEveryone, #DIAA2022, and #LevelOneProject.

Here is the full list of the 2022 Digital Impact Awards Africa nominees.  

  • Financial Inclusion Excellence.
    1. Letshego Digital Mall
    2. MTN MoMo Advance
    3. Group Loans for VSLAs by True African Limited
    4. Airtel Quick Loan in partnership with Housing Finance Bank and YABX
    5. MSacco by Future Link Technologies
  • Digital Banking Excellence.
    1. Stanbic Bank
    2. Centenary Bank
    3. Standard Chartered Bank
    4. ABSA Bank
    5. United Bank for Africa Uganda Limited (UBA)
  • Banking Innovation Excellence.
    1. Trust Mobile Loan | Finance Trust Bank
    2. 3600 Rewards Program | Standard Chartered Bank
    3. FlexiPay | Stanbic Bank Uganda
    4. CenteMobile Loans| Centenary Bank
    5. Eazzy Banking | Equity Bank
    6. Craft Silicon | Mobile Banking Solution – ELMA
  • Community/MFI Banking Innovation Excellence.
    1. Future Link Technologies  
    2. Pride Microfinance Limited
    3. Centenary Bank
    4. Post Bank Limited
    5. Letshego
    6. Finance Trust Bank
  • FinTech Innovation Excellence.
    1. Working Capital and Emergency Loans by Card Pesa
    2. Digital Ticketing for Transport services by KaCyber Technologies
    3. Sup Money by Jpesa
    4. Kawu Smart Card by Kawu Uganda
    5. Safecar by SafeBoda
    6. Jumia Food Mart by Jumia Uganda
    7. Bolingo Extra by YOTV Channels in partnership with MTN Uganda
  • Financial Services Digital Excellence.
    1. Standard Chartered Bank
    2. Comviva and Airtel Mobile Commerce Uganda Limited (AMCUL)
    3. Centenary Bank
    4. Stanbic Bank
    5. United Bank for Africa Uganda Limited (UBA)
    6. MTN Mobile Money Uganda
  • Consumer Goods Digital Excellence.
    1. Riham Group
    2. Jude Color Solutions
    3. Movit
    4. Club Pilsener
    5. Café Javas
    6. Bell Lager
    7. Jumia Uganda
  • Utilities and Government Services Digital Excellence.
    1. Ministry of Health
    2. NSSF
    3. NWSC
    4. UMEME
    5. URA
  • Technology Services Digital Excellence.
    1. Airtel Uganda
    2. Huawei Technologies
    3. MTN Uganda
    4. TECNO Mobile
    5. Cente Tech
  • Digital Campaign Excellence.  
    1. Stanbic National Schools Championship
    2. Mpola Enjoyments by Bell Lager
    3. Bolingo Extra by YOTV Channels in partnership with MTN Uganda.
    4. NSSF Hi-Innovator
  • Digital Brand of the Year.
    1. Centenary Bank
    2. Standard Chartered Bank
    3. Stanbic Bank
    4. MTN Uganda
    5. Airtel Uganda

Women in FinTech Hackathon Winners and Participants celebrated

Our Reporter.

After an intense and knowledge-packed week, the 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon, culminated in to the Women in FinTech Summit on the 16th of September.

The Women in FinTech Summit was characterized by colour and pomp as the top six teams were announced and rewarded. Even so, all the 20 Teams got their fair share of the collective USD 10,000 reward prizes.   

While presiding over the Summit, Owek. Hon. Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo, the Minister of State for ICT noted that the Women in FinTech Hackathon is a noble idea that uplifts women and also fosters overall country development.

“We are happy that HiPipo and partners are exploring women’s formal and informal income-generating opportunities that add value to women’s lives and livelihoods using digital solutions. I thank HiPipo for applying a gender lens across all its projects and driving stakeholder influence to advance women’s financial inclusion and economic empowerment. To my daughters that have completed this program, I applaud you and thank you for your commitment. Please use this knowledge to uplift even more women,” Nabbosa said.

The Hackathon had a total of 20 women-led and women-dominated teams. Team Elevation was declared the overall winner and took home a cash prize of UGX 4,000,000 thanks to its product named Kutayarisha; which is a web-based platform that provides maternity services and products to pregnant women in Urban-rural communities with need to have timely and reliable access to maternity care.

 Academic Personal Assistant (APA), Oliwa Events, and Go Green came second, third, and four respectively while both Lands Resource and Insure Wallet tied at the fifth spot.

Prof. Maggie Kigozi, who was the Hackathon Chief Mentor advised the young developers to use the opportunity presented to them to transform and improve the lives of their communities.

“At an individual level, I am always ready and willing to help people attain success. If there is one advise I would give all of you today, it is pull up your sister. Please pull up your sister. Do not go alone because there is no much point. You will not go very far if you go alone,” Kigozi said. 

The Women in FinTech Hackathon and Summit were organized by HiPipo in partnership with Level One Project, Mojaloop Foundation, ModusBox, CyberPLC Academy, and Crosslake Technologies and generously supported by Gates Foundation. The Summit had several thematic panel discussions and speeches.

“Leadership is the ability to see the grey areas and hear the unspoken words. When I talk about this I am asking you to check yourself and ask yourself that as a woman who wants to serve my nation, where do I want to play? Do I want a leadership role, a regulators’ role, innovator’s role, an investor’s role, or a consumer’s role?”, Princess Shamirah Kimbugwe, Pivot Payments Limited the founder and managing director said in her keynote address, adding;

“There is no question as to if a woman is a worthy player in the FinTech industry. There is just a question of where the woman should play in the value chain. There are a lot of opportunities for Women in FinTech. As a woman player, you have a whole list of opportunities that you can tap in to.”

On her part, Damali Ssali, the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) chief of programmes and project officer noted that as a way of curbing high transactional costs in the financial technology industry, PSFU is working with partners, particularly HiPipo and Gates Foundation to implement the Pearl of Africa Instant and Inclusive Payment Switch.

2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon participants make final presentations

Our Reporter.

After over a week of ideation, designing, developing, and coding, the 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon reached its climax on Thursday 15th September with the 20 teams presenting their final minimum viable products (MVPs) to the judges.

Day five was very tense and action-packed as participants prepared for the final pitches. The 20 teams that made the final submissions were Her Duuka, Funa House Property, Tawaza Digital Varieties, Lands Resource, Oliwaa Events, Lima Pesa, Jibu, Academic Personal Assistant (APA), The Platter, Rental Pro, Sayl Kare, E-Truck Service, Insure Wallet, The Fintech Devotee, Tegeka Investment Club, Go Green, Autopay, Elevation, Sueno and Izere Education.

According to Innocent Kawooya, the HiPipo CEO, all teams met the minimum expectations of the Hackathon as they were able to have working MVPs and also integrated payment solutions from third parties.

“We have been amazed by what we have seen today. The twenty teams have really put in a lot of effort and extra hours to reach this far. From their presentations and product tests, you can clearly see great solutions,” Kawooya said, adding:

“It will be interesting to see how they move to the next steps in their products’ development. As prototypes, they are good, but then they have and in fact, must put in extra effort to complete the job at hand. We promise to continue supporting them in every way possible.”

On her part, Cleopatra Kanyunyuzi, the Hackathon Lead Facilitator and CEO of Club Tangaza noted that as a trainer, she was excited to see how the teams improved each passing day. She thanked the participants for their commitment to the hackathon and the broader women inclusion drive.

“It has been a busy week but yes, the teams have been very committed. You can see that each team has had tremendous growth compared to when they came here. On behalf of the facilitators, we wish all the teams the best for the future. Let them continue with their products even after the Hackathon,” Kanyunyuzi noted.

Now in its third edition, the Women in FinTech Hackathon is part of HiPipo’s commitment towards empowering women with the required digital and financial inclusion skills so that they can go out there; innovate, prosper, earn and develop their families and communities. 

The winners of the 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon will be unveiled on Friday 16th September at Mestil Hotel and rewarded.

“We are all set for the Women in FinTech summit, which is a culmination of the Women in FinTech Hackathon. All participants are looking forward and optimistic about winning. The top 5 teams will be announced and rewarded at the summit. Even so, all participants will take home something because they are all winners. I take this early opportunity to congratulate all of them,” Charlotte Neeza, the HiPipo FinTechs Events Manager noted.  

The Women in FinTech Hackathon, Summit, and Incubator project is presented by HiPipo in partnership with Level One Project, Mojaloop, ModusBox, CyberPLC Academy, and Crosslake Technologies and generously supported by Gates Foundation.

Women Innovators tipped on how to succeed in a male dominated FinTech Industry

Our Reporter.

Over the years, the financial technology industry has been male-dominated. However, a lot of effort has in the recent years been geared towards changing this, some of which is already bearing fruits.

According to Princess Shamirah Kimbugwe, the Pivot Payments founder and managing director, while gender imbalance is still a challenge, the industry has over the years matured and now prioritizes knowledge and skills.

“In comparison to other industries like banking, legal, and medicine; technology is more open, inclusive, and more welcoming. Half the time, people in technology don’t want to front their religion, tribe, race or gender,” Kimbugwe said.

She added: “Technology is about the leadership, the knowledge and skills you bring on to the table. The technology industry is about performance regardless of your gender. I have personally witnessed this transformation over the more than 14 years I have been in this industry.”

Kimbugwe revealed this while mentoring the 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon participants. She further urged them to continue with the journeys ‘they have started because the FinTech industry is fast growing with a lot of opportunities.’

“The future of the FinTech industry is very bright. We are seeing more investment, interest from abroad, product diversity, and more homegrown products. That said, we must all agree that innovation has to work very closely with regulation,” she said.

Pivot Payments is a Bank of Uganda licensed financial technology company that is building a Pan African Neo Bank and serving export labourforce users who have typically been financially exploited or excluded. The company currently serves more than 250,000 customers and has processed more than two million transactions in less than five years.

Meanwhile, Day four of the 2022 #WomeninFinTech Hackathon activities included the 20 participating teams pitching their products, testing Mojaloop open source software, and presenting their minimum viable product (MVP) phase two. A product pitch is the process of presenting to and persuading potential investors to buy into the idea of investing in your product. 

According to Mastulah Sarah Nakisozi, the Jibu Team Leader, the Hackathon has so far been a great learning experience for her and all participants.

“As a student of computer science, my skills have improved through software development, and prototype creation using different platforms. I have also improved my communication and pitching skills,” she said.

The Women in FinTech Hackathon will culminate into the Women in FinTech summit on Friday 16th September, where the best performing teams and individuals from across East Africa will be announced and receive their share of the USD 10,000 collective prize money. The best teams will also automatically qualify for the Women in FinTech Incubator program that will run until January 2023.

The Women in FinTech Hackathon, Summit, and Incubator project is presented by HiPipo in partnership with Level One Project, Mojaloop, ModusBox, CyberPLC Academy, and Crosslake Technologies and generously supported by Gates Foundation.

Women in FinTech Hackathon participants introduced to Mojaloop Open Source Software

Our Reporter.

Day three of the ongoing Women in FinTech Hackathon was action-packed, with participants working on their products’ MVP phase one.

In products’ development, MVP stands for a minimum viable product. According to ProductPlan, a minimum viable product (MVP) is a product with enough features to attract early-adopter customers and validate a product idea early in the product development cycle. The MVP is a critical milestone in the product development eco-system.

Minus the MVP, the participants were also introduced to Mojaloop Open Source Software.

According to Sam Kummary, one of the developers of Mojaloop, this software was designed to provide a reference model for payment interoperability. It can be used to overcome barriers that have slowed the spread of digital financial services.

In his presentation, Kummary took the teams through how developers and innovators can freely use the Mojaloop core code, join the community, and build inclusive, real-time payment systems to help support economies. He shared in-depth insights on the Mojaloop scheme, hub and platform and the roles that each play.

“Mojaloop can be used to create interoperable payment solutions in areas such as person-to-person transfers, payroll, and other bulk payments, account management and fraud monitoring,” Kummary said.

On his part, Innocent Kawooya, the HiPipo CEO noted that innovators can use Mojaloop to develop secure and interoperable payment systems that are acceptable globally.

“Payments Schemes around the world are in the process of implementing or considering implementation, of Mojaloop-based interoperable payments systems. Women in FinTech Innovators can use Mojaloop open-source software to support financial services companies, government regulators, and others taking on the challenges of interoperability and financial inclusion,” Kawooya said.

Still on Day 3, the teams were mentored on Product Management. This session was delivered by Mercy Angela Nantongo, the EzyAgric Product Manager.

Nantongo noted that Product Management is a continuous process that ensures that both the product owners and customers get the best results possible.

“Product Management is important as it is the first interaction with customers before any issues arise. It plays a key role in product marketing at initiation, before you build, while building the product, and after you complete the product. Product Management ensures that you are on top of the market trends. It ensures that your customers get the best quality of your product,” Nantongo said.

Organized by HiPipo in partnership with Level One Project, Mojaloop Foundation, ModusBox, CyberPLC Academy, and Crosslake Technologies and generously supported by Gates Foundation, the 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon has brought together 20 women-led teams this year. The week-long Women in FinTech Hackathon will culminate into the Women in FinTech summit on Friday 16th September at Mestil Hotel, Kampala; where the best performing teams and individuals from across East Africa will be announced and receive their share of the USD 10,000 collective prize money. The best teams will also automatically qualify for the Women in FinTech Incubator program that will run until January 2023.

We are equipping Women with skills and right tools to transform Society

Our Reporter.

Day Two of the 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon concluded with Teams completing their Solution and Prototype designs.

According to Boston Technology, a Solution Design is the first step towards the eventual physical deployment of any solution. It is a visual blueprint for what needs to be built out. On the other hand, a prototype design is an early sample or a visual model of a product created to test a concept or process.

With these two tasks completed, the teams are all optimistic that they will be able to each deliver a minimum viable product – MVP at the end of the hackathon.

According to the HiPipo CEO, Innocent Kawooya, the Women in Fintech Hackathon doesn’t only address the gender diversity challenge in the technology industry but also empowers women with the right skills and tools to think, design, innovate and transform societies.

“Seeing the teams getting down to serious work is a great deal for us because it shows how far we have come; from having a dream, putting it on paper as an idea and now executing it. The same process is what all innovators must go through to actualize their products,” Kawooya said, adding;

“The facilitators and mentors in this hackathon are equipping participants with the required technology skills and also introducing them to real life realities that they must overcome if they are to succeed.”

Now in its third edition, the Women in FinTech Hackathon is part of HiPipo’s commitment towards empowering women with the required digital and financial inclusion skills so that they can go out there; innovate, prosper, earn and develop their families and communities.  This year’s edition has gathered 20 Women-led teams of between two to four members each.

It is presented by HiPipo in partnership with Level One Project, Mojaloop, ModusBox, CyberPLC Academy and Crosslake Technologies and generously supported by Gates Foundation.

Minus the ‘FinTech’ technical work that the hackathon is about, the participants were on day two mentored by Cynthia Mpanga, a renowned public relations practitioner and corporate affairs manager at Standard Chartered Bank, Uganda. Her mentorship was focused on personal branding, public relations, and communication.

The week-long #WomeninFinTech Hackathon will culminate into the Women in FinTech summit on Friday 16th September at Mestil Hotel, Kampala; where the best performing teams and individuals from across East Africa will be announced and receive their share of the USD 10,000 collective prize money. The best teams will also automatically qualify for the Women in FinTech Incubator program that will run until January 2023.

We are learning, innovating, and hope to win – 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon participants

Our Reporter.

With the 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon underway, participants are thrilled and full of hope that they will at the end of it be better people; ready to transform the world through financial technology innovations.

They attribute this to the detailed daily program designed by the organizers that mixes learning technology, developing solutions, and improving personal skills.

Winfred Nandawula, the Team Leader of Tawaza Initiative notes that the Hackathon is helping them breakdown huge concepts into realistic and achievable products.

“One of the biggest issues that has been out there is that innovators have so many things that are going on and have a wide scope of things they are dealing in. But today we are here to learn that you can scale down a problem into something narrower and more achievable. Most of the teams are here to win, learn, innovate and solve community problems,” Nandawula noted.

Now in its third edition, the Women in FinTech Hackathon is part of HiPipo’s commitment towards empowering women with the required digital and financial inclusion skills so that they can go out there; innovate, prosper, earn and develop their families and communities.  This year’s edition has gathered 20 Women-led teams of between two to four members each.

Sophie Nabaale, a participant from Team Sueno- Wetase noted that even though she has been at a hackathon before, the Women in FinTech Hackathon is different from the first one she attended as it teaches both innovation and life skills.

“For example, today, we learnt about financial management, which is a key topic for individuals and businesses. We are here to learn all that is there to learn and I expect to win regardless of the tight competition. But even without winning, I am sure that what I will get from here will impact so much on me and my team at large,” Nabaale said.

Day One of the Hackathon saw teams complete their Problem Statements and Business Cases in addition to being introduced to Level One Project principles. They were also mentored on Finance Management by Damali Ssali, the chief programs and projects officer at Private Sector Foundation Uganda, and Personal Growth by Wendy Nanfo, the COO Kuda Bank (Uganda).

Novita Nyirarukundo, a participant from Kisoro District and Team Leader of Land Resources observed that even though this was her first hackathon, the first day surpassed her expectations.

“We have been introduced to the latest financial technology and new ways of innovation. I have been inspired by the different speakers such as Madam Wendy who mentored us on personal growth. I have realized that success and rest do not sleep together. In all, we are learning and competing for the top prize,” she said.

The 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon seeks to close the Gender Gap in Access to Technology, Skills, and Usage of Digital Financial Services. It will provide women innovators and students an opportunity to use digital financial technology to explore business concepts. The hackathon will introduce participants to useful tools and offer an introduction to technologies such as Mojaloop Open-Source Software, and guidance from Level One Project foundational material. The skills gained from this initiative will cover Level One Project Principles, Instant and Inclusive Payment Systems (IIPS), Inclusive Finance, and FinTech in general.

According to Cleopatra Kanyunyuzi, the Project’s Lead Facilitator and also co-founder of Club Tangaza, the Hackathon is key in closing the gender diversity gap that is currently experienced in the technology industry.

“Technology has been around but it is a male-dominated space. So when HiPipo comes up with such a project, it is trying to onboard more women in this space. The women that are being trained here will in the future contribute to not only closing the gender gap but also changing their communities. This is a learning vehicle that is enriching the ladies and giving them a push to venture and actively participate in the Financial Technology industry,” Kanyunyuzi explained. 

The week-long Women in FinTech Hackathon will culminate in the Women in FinTech summit on Friday 16th September at Mestil Hotel, Kampala; where the best performing teams and individuals from across East Africa will be announced and receive their share of the USD 10,000 collective prize money. The best teams will also automatically qualify for the Women in FinTech Incubator program that will run until January 2023.

The Women in FinTech Hackathon, Summit, and Incubator project is presented by HiPipo in partnership with Level One Project, Mojaloop, ModusBox, CyberPLC Academy, and Crosslake Technologies and generously supported by Gates Foundation.