Team Bethel has emerged as the winning team with a cash prize of three million naira in the 2022 virtual hackathon challenge competition held last month.
The competition was themed, ‘Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Finance… Breaking Barriers’, was organised by Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) in partnership with GIZ, and facilitated by Financial Services Innovators (FSI).
According to a publication by EFInA, the competition produced winners with innovative solutions geared toward addressing some of the key challenges MSMEs’ hinder access to finance from formal financial services in Nigeria.
“It showcased Nigeria’s potential for developing homegrown solutions that promote microbusiness financing from formal financial service providers in Nigeria.
“A total of 67 teams comprising 209 participants registered for the competition, which included four pre-submission webinars by industry experts to support teams in developing relevant solutions,” It stated.
The participating teams took on the challenge of developing creative and innovative ideas, and Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) that addressed one of the broad objectives and thematic areas such as financial management skills development, digitised credit appraisal and lending system, MSME product design toolkit, and alternative collateral options.
The ideas developed by the teams were reviewed by a panel of six judges. Winners were selected based on the Quality of the MVPs, innovativeness, scalability, and potential impact on the economy.
For team Bethel, its MVP called ‘E-Get-Debt’, is an app that enables microlending among MSMEs as lenders and merchants alike can digitally access the credit worthiness of potential borrowers using USSD.
Team Astra which finished in second place won the sum of two million naira. Its app allows an individual or a group of farmers to use their produce/grain as a form of collateral- Grain-Receipt
Team Esusu came in third place. The team won the sum of one million naira. Its MVP is a digital thrift and credit system designed for MSMEs to access microcredit leveraging regular thrift savings schemes to build their creditworthiness.
The platform allows validation of Know Your Customer data towards enhancing the delivery of digital financial services to the last mile.
EFInA/GIZ acknowledges the efforts of all participants, particularly the top 16 teams such as Sanwopay, Techmenders, Grader Tech, Pacify, Astra, GodhandX, Esusu, Lamuni, Windscope, Rootech Solutions, Sleek, Athens, Fleek, Bethel, and Include Me that developed interesting ideas and MVPs with the potential to enable microenterprises to thrive.