Team Bethel wins N3million prize from EFInA/GIZ virtual hackathon

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The 2022 virtual hackathon challenge, titled “MSME Finance…Breaking Barriers”, organized by Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA) in partnership with GIZ and facilitated by Financial Services Innovators (FSI), produced winners with innovative solutions aimed at address some of the key challenges hindering MSMEs’ access to finance for formal financial services in Nigeria.

A total of 67 teams (209 participants) registered for the Ideathon-Hackathon, which included four pre-submission webinars led by industry experts to help teams develop relevant solutions. 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, digitized appraisal system and Credit Lending, the 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 quality of MVPs, innovation, scalability, and potential impact on the economy.

After many judging rounds, the top 3 selected winning teams are:

  • Team Bethel emerged as the winning team of the competition, composed of Dara Olabampe and Ogheneakpobo Oghoro. The team won a cash prize of N3,000,000.

MVP of Team Bethel, E-GET-DEBT is an application that enables microcredit among MSMEs, as lenders and merchants can digitally access the creditworthiness of potential borrowers and record their loan history through an online and offline mode . It creates a credit history for micro and nano MSMEs, even within their community, and improves their chances of accessing loans from financial service providers.

  • The Astra team finished in 2n/a place, including Nnaemeka Eziamaka and Michael Eziamaka. The team won the sum of N2,000,000.

Team Astra’s MVP is an application that allows an individual or a group of farmers to use their produce/grain as a form of collateral. Grain reception

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  • The Esusu Team, which included AbdulAzeez Oguntoyinbo, Emmanuel Asaolu, Joseph Ashogbon, Oluwaseun Omale and Ifeanyi Maduagwu came 3rd. The team won the sum of N1,000,000.

Team Esusu’s MVP is a digital savings and credit system designed to enable MSMEs to access microcredit by leveraging regular savings savings programs to build creditworthiness and validate KYC data to improve the provision of digital financial services to the last mile.

In his remarks at the event, EFInA Managing Director Mr. Isaiah Owolabi expressed his gratitude to GIZ and FSI, the implementing partner, as well as to the developers and general participants. According to him, addressing the barriers to MSMEs accessing finance will have a productive impact on the Nigerian economy by addressing some of the economic issues. On the other hand, Markus Wauschkuhn, Coordinator of the Sustainable Economic Development (SEDEC) Cluster and Program Manager Pro-poor Growth and Promotion of Employment in Nigeria – SEDIN, GIZ, congratulated the winners of the Ideathon-Hackathon. He said the winning solutions, once implemented, will help break down some of the limiting barriers that MSMEs face, thereby enabling the sector to generate more gains for the nation.

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The MSME Finance…Breaking Barriers Ideathon-Hackathon showcased Nigeria’s potential to develop local solutions that promote microenterprise financing by formal financial service providers in Nigeria. EFInA/GIZ recognizes the efforts of all participants, especially the top 16 teams – Sanwopay, Techmenders, Grader Tech, Pacify, Astra, GodhandX, Esusu, Lamuni, Windscope, Rootech Solutions, Sleek, Athens, Fleek, Bethel and Include Me that developed exciting ideas and MVPs that can help micro businesses thrive. A representative of the winning team expressed immense gratitude to the hackathon organizers for the opportunity to showcase their creativity and innovative prowess in an effort to address some of the issues that are hampering MSMEs in Nigeria.

The SMEDAN/NBS 2020 survey reports that the Nigerian MSME sector comprises approximately 39.7 million enterprises and contributes 46.3% to the national GDP, also accounting for 87.9% of employment. The sector has huge potential which has yet to be maximized due to several challenges such as access to finance.

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