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Apply For EFInA, GIZ’s N6 Million MSMEs Hackathon Challenge

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Apply For EFInA, GIZ's N6 Million MSMEs Hackathon Challenge, EFInA CEO Owolabi Isaiah

The Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) has partnered GIZ to launch a cumulative of N6 million naira hackathon challenge on innovative solutions to bridge the huge Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) financing gap existing in Nigeria.

EFInA, a financial sector deepening (FSD) organisation, and GIZ, a German international development cooperation and international education work promoter, are calling for entries into the MSMEs hackathon challenge, urging creative innovators to apply for a chance at winning the prizes.

The hackathon challenge gives creative innovators the opportunity to showcase their smart innovations that bring solutions to, especially the challenges plaguing the enterprises in terms of financing.

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The initiative would be available through a virtual hackathon challenge themed: ‘MSME
Finance…Breaking Barriers’.

The Nigerian Economy:

Note that the Nigerian MSME sector which boasts about 39.7 million businesses, plays a huge role in the economy.

The sector also contributes about 46.3% of the National Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as well as accounting for about 87.9% of employment in the country.

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Therefore, this hackathon challenge is geared towards maximizing the the potential of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country.

Reasons for the hackathon challenge:

Also, the initiative seeks to break the barriers impeding on the potentials of the MSMEs by addressing such challenges via tech solutions.

How to register for the hackathon challenge:

To register for the hackathon, innovators must follow the programme’s portal to participate.

Participants must visit https://bit.ly/msmefinance_breakingbarriers to access the programme.

Requirements to qualify to participate for the MSMEs Hackathon Challenge:

The programme requires that contesting innovators must be at least 18-years-old.

Also, the participants must register via the programme’s portal, https://bit.ly/msmefinance_breakingbarriers on or before August1,2022.

What you must know about the MSMEs Hackathon Challenge:

The hackathon competition will kick off with four (4) webinars commencing from July 28 to August 1, 2022.

Also, it will be facilitated by industry experts.

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Meanwhile, at the end of the registration, outstanding candidates will be shortlisted to participate in the hackathon.

The candidates can be shortlisted either as a team of two or a maximum of five people.

However, switching of teams will not be allowed.

All participants will be required to take on the challenge of developing creative and innovative ideas, and MVPs that address at least one of the broad objectives for the Hackathon.

Objectives of the MSMEs Hackathon Challenge:

According to the programme, participants who form a team are expected to develop technological applications to solve real-life problems in suburban communities.

Also, the hackathon challenge aims at addressing at least one of the thematic areas which includes:

  1. Financial Management.
  2. Skills Development.
  3. Digitised Credit Appraisal, and;
  4. Lending System, MSME Product Design Toolkit and,
  5. Alternative Collateral Options.

More process:

Moreover, participating innovators are also expected to pitch their innovative ideas virtually to a panel of judges.

This will take place on August 31, 2022.

Well, one thing is to have interest in MSMEs Hackathon Challenge; another is to know what criteria would be used in judging innovations.

Therefore, the programme uses 4 criteria in judging whose innovation stands out more from the crowed.

Criteria for judging the entries include:

The criteria for judging the innovations includes

  1. Product design (30%): For this category, the structural design of the innovative development has a major role in determining its successful consideration.
  2. Innovativeness (30%): similarly, the unique idea behind the innovation and how remarkable it is equally counts greatly in winning the challenge.
  3. Scalability (30%): For the scalability, the innovation must have the potential to expand of scale into bigger venture within a period not too long.
  4. Presentation(10%): Also, participants would be judged based on how well they present their innovations to the judges.

A good presentation that shows confidence in the innovation and the solutions it promises also counts immensely in winning the hackathon challenge.

Prizes to be worn:

Winners stand to win a cumulative prize of at least N6 million.

Therefore, the winner of the challenge stands to win N3 million while the 1st runner-up, will get N2 million.

Similarly, the second runner-up would get N1 million.

What they are saying:

Speaking on the hackathon, the Chief Executive Officer, EFInA, Mr. Owolabi Isaiah, said he is excited to introduce the virtual initiative.

In his words:

“Despite the proliferation of credit providers in Nigeria-both regulated and non-regulated- the financing gap for MSMEs has widened due to several issues like inability to fulfill requirements (financial records, collateral), manual/rigid credit reporting  system, high default rate, manual KYC verification process, lack of financial management skills, and lack of market linkage sets.

“Therefore, it has become imperative to facilitate an inclusive financial system that seamlessly avails credit to MSMEs irrespective of their size of operations, category and availability of traditional collateral requirements to boost the economy, reduce poverty levels, and provide job opportunities.”

Meanwhile, to ensure the goals of the hackathon challenge are achieved, EFInA
and GIZ are working closely with Financial Services Innovators(FSI).

Implications:

The hackathon presents lofty opportunities especially to Gen Zs and Millennials in Nigeria to showcase their creative prowess at bringing smart solutions to the problems facing the sector.

Also, the challenge will see an assemblage of many innovative solutions from which adoptions can be made to further improve the MSMEs in Nigeria.

Likewise, it would provide startup funding necessary to set a smart and innovative solution rolling in solving some of the challenges facing the sector, among others.

 

Anthony Chinonso Ogbonna is the editor of Techuncode media. He is a seasoned journalist whose stint cuts across broadcast, print and, especially, the online media. A graduate of Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Anthony holds a Masters Degree in Multimedia Journalism. He aligns his belief with those of world tech communities, holding tenaciously that the world is solely driven and can only be best with tech. Furthermore, Anthony believes that technology is simple, fun and is not what one, especially Africans, should be scared of, hence, his passion for telling compelling stories about tech in ways relatable to the ordinary user. He has his hobbies in reading and designing (new hobby though.)

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