KAMPALA, UGANDA —Different reports indicate that Africa’s population is evenly distributed on sex and gender lines. Country Meters puts it at 50 percent for both women and men respectively while a 2021 World Bank report for Sub-Saharan Africa puts it at 50.2 percent in favor of Women and 49.8 percent for Men.
That said, there are glaring disparities when it comes to access to opportunities and resources. For instance, in 2021, less than 1 percent of foreign funding to Africa went to women-led enterprises.
As a way of addressing such inequalities, HiPipo, through its Include EveryOne Program, runs the annual Women in FinTech Hackathon, Summit, and Incubator project to especially empower 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 cardinal purpose of these inter-twined initiatives is to champion women’s financial inclusion through active participation in the initiation, development, and rolling out of financial technology products that are well-tailored to serve women and everyone. And indeed, the HiPipo Women in FinTech initiative is exceptionally supporting efforts toward closing the Gender Gap in Access to Technology, Skills, and Usage of Digital Financial Services.
Between 2020 and 2022, the Women in FinTech Hackathon, Summit, and Incubator project attracted over 4,000 participants and directly trained more than 300 women. Through dedicated mentorship, many of these Women have since graduated as Software Engineers and Computer Science specialists. Some have ideated, developed, and launched Financial Technology products that are transforming their communities while others have received seed capital from both the project and external contributors to further pursue their dreams.
This success is thanks to HiPipo’s thoughtful Women Empowerment and Inclusion efforts, coupled with the commitment, collaboration, and active participation of its partners: Level One Project, Mojaloop Foundation, INFITX, Cyberplc Academy, Ideation Corner, and Crosslake Technologies. Even so, all this may have remained a pipe dream had it not been for the generous support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The fourth edition of the annual Women in FinTech initiative is here and will run between 10th August and 8th December 2023. First, the Women in FinTech Hackathon will run from 10th to 18th August while the Women in FinTech Summit will be held on 19th August.
Meanwhile, the Women in FinTech Incubator will run from 4th September to 8th December 2023.
“It is fulfilling to witness the greatness that has come from this initiative. In the last two years, over 50 of our past participants completed their University degrees in software engineering and other computer science-related courses. This is a clear way of closing the gender skills gap in the digital innovation and Financial Technology spaces. Many have conceived and developed amazing products, others are working tirelessly to roll out their innovations,” Innocent Kawooya, the HiPipo CEO, noted while announcing this year’s Women in FinTech edition.
He added: “In 2023, we are looking at having even a bigger contribution to Women’s Financial Inclusion. As we did in 2022, we are including the entire East African region. We intend to decentralize the Hackathon so that we give a fair chance to interested participants from across East Africa.”
The hackathon is open to women-led teams of 2 to 4 members, with each team having at least 67 percent female composition.
According to Charlotte Neeza, the HiPipo FinTech Events Manager; all interested participants only need to complete and submit the entry forms with details of their teams’ composition and the product they intend to innovate after which the organizing team will review each entry and revert.
“The registration link is available and active until the end of July 2023. But because this is a very competitive, first-come-first-serve hackathon competition, we encourage all those interested to register at the earliest possible time,” Neeza said.
The Women in FinTech Hackathon will culminate in the Women in FinTech summit on 19th August 2023 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. This will be in addition to the winners automatically qualifying for the Women in FinTech Incubator program that will run from September until December 2023.
Register your Team today and stand a chance to take part in this exciting Hackathon.
In case of any queries, reach out via socialweb@HiPipo.com