The Ecobank Fintech Challenge is one of Africa’s biggest Fintech Accelerators, backed by the continent’s biggest bank, by footprint, and designed to promote Africa’s most promising fintech start-ups.
The program provides selected Fintechs with the opportunity to fast-track their growth by gaining commercial partnership and product integration with Ecobank’s pan-African platform and unified ecosystem. It targets Fintechs that are ready to scale and then provides them with support and access to Ecobank’s 33 African markets so that they can grow to become true Pan African Fintech success stories.
Applications for the latest edition of the challenge are scheduled to close by the end of the week and with time running out to apply, this article provides all the key information on the challenge to help you quickly decide if it’s the best move for you.
Partner Ecobank, Reach Africa: The Challenge
The challenge has had 3 previous editions and achieved some commendable milestones along the way, positioning itself as one of the most important annual events for the African Fintech Ecosystem achieving several Key Milestones.
The first two editions, held in 2017 and 2018 saw vibrant final events which were held at the Ecobank Group Headquarters in Lomé with Finalists and other participants flying into the Togolese capital to grace the occasion. After a break in 2019 to optimize the challenge flow, Ecobank launched a 3rd edition in 2020 with the final event held virtually but hosted in the Ecobank Head Office in Accra. Across 3 editions, the competition has had 41 finalists, all of whom have been inducted into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship.
Information, Access, Support: The Fellowship
The Ecobank Fintech Fellowship is key to achieving the Ecobank Fintech goals and is designed to provide the Fellows with 3 key components to their success – Information, Access, and Support.
The fellowship equips all fellows with key information needed to make the next step in their growth. This information ranges from fundraising advice to key information required to efficiently pursue and cultivate the partnerships needed to grow. It also provides key information on Internal Ecobank Systems and helps the fellows clearly outline which business teams they are most aligned with and which areas of the bank they should be targeting for partnerships.
Once the information is provided to the fellows, the fellowship provides access to the key business units and support in deliberations and discussions as well as during integration. The Fintech Department ensures that fellows are able to have the right discussions, with the right people and receive all the support they need.
Ecobank Fintech Challenge 2021
For the latest edition of the challenge, Ecobank are seeking for products that meet a specific set of pain points, identified by the Bank’s business units. This year’s pain points are:
- Customer Experience: products which will innovatively improve Ecobank customers’ experiences interacting with the bank and accessing its services.
- Financial Inclusion: products that will help the bank increase it’s reach and widen the Inclusion net for financial services on the continent.
- Payments: products that enhance payment services, providing speed and security.
- Credit Scoring: products that allow the bank to garner a complete look at customer behaviour and make it much easier to process credit applications.
- Internal Tools products that facilitate and optimize internal Ecobank processes, leading to increased efficiency
- Ecosystem Aggregation products that allow Ecobank to manage its ecosystem and aggregate it much more efficiently.
- Ecobank encourages all Fintechs with products that address any other pain points to also apply, as the opportunity is not limited to products addressing the identified pain points.
The Finalists will get inducted into the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship and are provided with opportunities and possible partnerships with Ecobank including:
- Multinational product roll outs: A Once in a Lifetime opportunity to pursue collaboration with Ecobank and possibly launch products in Ecobank’s over 30 markets across Africa.
- Service provider partnerships: start-ups may be selected by Ecobank to become a pan-African service partner to Ecobank.
- Mentoring and networking support: access to networking and mentoring opportunities within the Ecobank Group and its vast network of global and African partners. Fellows will keep the status of Ecobank Fintech Fellow for one year.
- Integration with existing Ecobank digital offerings: The Challenge offers opportunities for Fintechs to potentially integrate with Ecobank’s existing digital offerings.
The Ecobank Fintech Challenge offers Africa focused Fintechs a great opportunity to expand their horizons and potentially partner with one of the continent’s true banking giants. It is an opportunity not to be missed. You can apply here now