Over 1.8 billion adults are still unbanked or poorly served by existing financial products and services, leaving them unable to pursue economic opportunities, vulnerable to shocks, and at risk of permanent debt or even modern slavery. While the number of people with formal accounts has increased, with mobile phones as a key enabler, innovation is still needed to give underserved or excluded populations the ability to safely transfer and save funds, borrow money, and manage risks with insurance, both for individuals and for their micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
The drivers of financial exclusion include lack of access to the internet and financial service agents, unclear explanations of product offerings, lack of formal ID, and discrimination, particularly against women, ethnic minorities, people of color, persons with disabilities, displaced communities, and low-income populations. Ensuring access to tools that allow everyone to take risks, plan for the future, and survive upheavals will require tailored solutions that provide equitable access to affordable financial services. Technology and innovation can help with both increasing access to appropriate services as well as creating products, such as loans secured by digital collateral or weather-indexed microinsurance, that meet the financial needs of the unbanked and underbanked.
The MIT Solve community is looking for eight technology-based solutions that will make transactions easier, protect against predatory debt, and increase the ability of individuals and MSMEs to take risks and build wealth.
People of color in the US are more likely to be underbanked or unbanked. They are more likely to be offered costlier loans, pay more monthly banking fees, and have fewer options for banking. As part of Solve’s ongoing work on US racial equity, we will select 1-2 solutions from the US working to address these disparities for our Black & Brown Innovators in the US Program.
- MIT Solve – Solver Award
- All Solver teams selected for Solve’s Global Challenges and the Indigenous Communities Fellowship will receive a $10,000 grant funded by Solve.
- Up to $200,000 will be awarded across several Solver teams from any of Solve’s 2023 Global Challenges.
- Up to $150,000 in funding will be awarded across several Solver teams from any of Solve’s 2023 Global Challenges.
Open for All aged people.
Eligible Regions: Open for All
- Applicants have to submit their solution at MIT’s website.
Application Deadline: May 9, 2023Application ClosedOfficial link