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|This year the initiative has gone global and will focus on outstanding female entrepreneurs|
The international programme from the global leader in digital payments invites female entrepreneurs from around the world to tackle fintech and social challenges for a chance to win $100,000 in each of the two challenges.
The programme will culminate in a final event to be held during the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France this summer.
According to Lynne Biggar, chief marketing and communications officer at Visa, more than 163 million women around the world have started their own business in the last five years, accounting for up to 37 per cent of the workforce.
“Female entrepreneurship is on the rise and Visa is committed to inspiring more women to break through barriers through platforms like the Visa Everywhere Initiative,” said Biggar.
Since 2015, the Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI) has provided visionary solutions for the commerce and payment challenges of tomorrow.
The initiative has already taken place in 75 countries and awarded more than 70 leading startups with monetary prizes, mentorships, and access to Visa’s clients and partners.
Now, for the first time, the programme will shift from regionally-focused events to a worldwide one to shine a spotlight on the millions of under-represented female business leaders and Visa’s commitment to catalysing change in micro-sized and small businesses.
To participate, companies with at least one female founder are invited to submit solutions that tackle challenges facing the fintech and social impact landscapes today.
Eligible participants will be divided into the six regions of North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Europe (excluding France), France, and Africa-Middle East. Each region will send one winner per challenge to the finals in Paris.
Applications to the programme will be due on April 14, with regional finalists selected for each region in May, and the global finals in Paris on June 7. During the opening week of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019, finalists will participate in networking opportunities with Visa’s global partner network, and a final live-pitching event to determine the overall VEI winners.
To reward the most impressive solutions, Visa will provide $100,000 to each challenge winner, along with expert mentorship, and access to clients and Visa’s vast network of partners. The winners will also receive tickets to the opening game of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
To mark the occasion, Visa will launch a global marketing campaign titled “Together as One” to celebrate the initiative. Eight former female VEI winners and finalists will star in the campaign to help inspire their peers to participate in the competition and pursue their dreams of taking risks and building a successful business.
Amparo Nalvarte, CEO and co-founder of startup Culqi, said, “The VEI allowed us to add more value to our product by using application programming interfaces from its developer platform. As a result, we garnered enough recognition to win new customers and business opportunities. Personally, it has been a great accomplishment.”
“I am so proud to be a VEI winner and am truly honoured to be a part of the Women’s Global campaign. I can hardly wait to cheer for all of the amazing women that will be participating in this wonderful opportunity,” she added.