Applications open for $130k DRC fintech startup competition

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Financial Sector Deepening (FSD) Africa, the Banque Centrale du Congo and Elan RDC have opened applications for a US$130,000 fintech challenge in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Aimed at local startups, DRC – Innovation for Financial Services 2019 is looking to develop the financial services and payment solutions space in the DRC, with six finalists across two categories to be given access to US$13,000 each and technical support to develop their solutions.

These finalists will present proposals to a panel of judges in November, with the winner from each category gaining access to FSD Africa’s investment process and the possibility of raising up to US$130,000 in grant funding plus technical assistance to roll out and scale up their initial product’s piloting or testing.

“Financial inclusion rates in the DRC remain low. With only seven percent of Congolese working in the formal sector, many people have limited to no access to basic financial services like bank accounts, savings and loans. We have launched this competition to help change this narrative,” said Joe Huxley, director of strategy and advocacy at FSD Africa.

“We hope to energise local businesses and entrepreneurs in the country to come up with the solutions they need. We’ve seen technology drive financial inclusion in other parts of the continent, now is the time to invest in local solutions which can be game changers in DRC.”

To be eligible to apply, applicants need to be registered in the DRC and have local ownership of at least 50 per cent.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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