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With a cash reward of $50,000 up for grabs, the Arab Financial Inclusion Innovation Prize (AFIIP) is all set to make a grand comeback to the region. This forthcoming edition of the esteemed competition is expected to be even bigger and better than last year’s. 

Applications are now open to interested participants. So if you have an idea, product, or service that could potentially make a big impact on the financial services sector in the Middle East, here is your chance to be a part of a platform for innovators and entrepreneurs dealing in the financial services and FinTech sectors. 

The underlying theme of the competition is innovation that can boost financial inclusion in the Arab world by increasing mass access to quality financial services, reducing associated costs, and delivering an overall healthy financial ecosystem to the end client. 

The application window remains open till Aug 10, 2019. Candidates who are shortlisted will require undergoing a boot camp at the Village Capital Financial Forward. This is a critical part of the competition as it will provide the participants with all the technical support they need to develop their innovations.

Worth noting here is that AFIIP 2018 received almost 100 applications from 16 countries across the Arab World. The ideas and products submitted by the applicants were reviewed by a panel of 11 judges.

The shortlisting process was conducted in two stages based on a diverse range of criteria. The success of the competition could be gauged from the enthusiasm with which Jenny Atout Ahlzen, from Silicon Badia, later explained how exciting it was “to see the diversity of ideas submitted to AFIIP, both from startups and existing MFIs, with several of them having a golden opportunity to really move the needle on financial inclusion.”

While the competition is open to everyone, the applying teams must have at least one Arab member each and their proposals must be meant for implementing in the Arab world. The four main criteria that will determine their chances of being shortlisted are: 

  • Innovation. 
  • Impact.
  • Implementation.
  • Marketability.

To read more about AFIIP, and how to apply, you can click here.