The 2022 Women in FinTech Hackathon reached its climax on Friday with six teams getting their share of the $10,000 (sh38m) collective cash prize to develop their ideas.
Of the 20 teams that were selected for the Hackathon, the overall winner was Elevation, bagging sh4m, followed by Academic Personal Assistant (sh2.5m), Oliwa Events (sh2m), Go Green (sh1.5m) and Insure Wallet and Lands Resource receiving (sh1m) each in that order.
The Women in FinTech Hackathon is part of HiPipo’s commitment towards empowering women with the required digital and financial inclusion skills to be able to innovate and develop new products.
Speaking during its third edition ceremony held in Kampala, Minister of State for Information and Communication Technology Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo urged private sector players to do more to make women financially included.
Minister of State for Information and Communication Technology Joyce Nabbosa Ssebugwawo (2L) hands a certificate to a participant. (Courtesy photo)
“Women are overrepresented among the unbanked in Uganda. For example, there is a wide gender gap in access to technology, skills and financial products for the women,” she said.
“Despite global efforts, women financial inclusion has made little progress over the last decade [because] women continue to face greater financial exclusion compared to men with shocks like the pandemic threatening to reverse some of the gains made so far.”
The Hackathon was organised by HiPipo in partnership with Level One Project, Mojaloop, ModusBox, CyberPLC Academy and Crosslake Technologies and generously supported by Gates Foundation.
According to Innocent Kawooya, the HiPipo CEO, all teams met the minimum expectations of the hackathon as they were able to have working minimum viable products (MVPs) and also integrated payment solutions from third parties.
Former executive director of the Uganda Investment Authority Maggie Kigozi encouraged the teams to focus on building a good relationship with their customers, saying these will guide them to prosper in business.
“You must have integrity. When you promise us something, make it happen,” she told the teams.
Former executive director of the Uganda Investment Authority Maggie Kigozi speaking during the ceremony. (Courtesy photo)
“I congratulate you for your ideas and innovations. I want to congratulate government on the role it has played in driving ICTs. The Universal Primary Education (UPE) made a huge difference in this country, especially to women.
“Whenever there was limited funds home, the boys went to school and for us (girls) we stayed home. But because of UPE and now Universal Secondary Education (USE), women have been pulled out of the homes and the farms,” she added.
The founder and managing director of Pivot Payments Limited Princess Shamirah Kimbugwe said there are several untapped opportunities in the market that can be leveraged to develop good solutions.
“Currently, access to healthcare in Uganda is a virgin area that can be explored. The lack of trust, bookkeeping are other challenges in this market. You may develop systems that for instance make document verification and face identification very easy [as a solution],” she advised.