The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation believes that access to digital financial services is fundamental to enable poor people to become more economically stable, prosperous and resilient. And while great progress has been made in this space, the true potential of data and analytics has not been fully explored in the context of digital financial services for the poor.
Last fall, we announced round 15 of our Grand Challenges Explorations (GCE), an initiative to encourage innovation and help incubate early-stage projects in specific fields of interest to the foundation. GCE Round 15 was the second time our Financial Services for the Poor program participated in the GCE program, and was the first time we sought new ideas related to data collection and analytics to power digital financial services delivery. We put out a call to action, and were very pleased with the response!
We received a total of 115 applications from 20+ different countries - and while judging was extremely difficult, we are pleased to have selected 12 finalists. This group of 12 represent a diverse set of approaches, technologies and models, which will be developed and incubated in a number of countries, including Kenya and Uganda. These awards will be announced in November 2015.
With such a strong response to our initial first round, the Financial Services for the Poor team has launched another Grand Challenges Exploration this month on a similar topic, titled:'Explore new data collection and analytics applications to power digital financial services delivery at scale'. For more information, click here.
If you have a great idea, we hope you consider applying for this exciting opportunity. If you know someone who might be interested, please share this opportunity - applications must be submitted no later than November 11, 2015, 11:30 am U.S. Pacific Time to be considered.