Financial Innovations for Women Affected by Migration (FIWAM)

Posted 2 months ago

Financial Innovations for Women Affected by Migration (FIWAM) is a Growth Program funded by the Impact-Linked Fund for Gender Inclusive Fintechs (ILF for GIF) and managed by the Impact-Linked Finance Fund. The goal is to provide Impact-Linked Finance and expert support for growth-stage fintechs interested in having a direct or indirect impact on financial inclusion for migrants, and especially women migrants.


Grow your business!

Up to 15 startups from each of Asia, MENA, and Sub-Saharan Africa will be selected to receive 3-months of hands-on support for:

  • Enhancing the company’s growth through the experimentation methodology and key growth concepts
  • Making impact count by defining a bold impact story of the business and building an impact management framework
  • Strengthening the company’s network through Seedstars’ extensive network of community mentors, experts, and international development organization
  • Learning about impact investors and how to increase investment readiness
  • Fully covered regional and international trips as part of the program events

Application Criteria

  • Must be a for-profit entity with operations in a Sub-Saharan African, MENA, or Asia
  • Provide a fintech solution.
  • Must have at least one year of active operations and be ready for growth
  • Woman-led companies are highly encouraged to apply!


Program Timeline




Participate in cross-regional training sessions that help you set and achieve growth milestones through group sessions with finance and migration experts, to attain investment potential and scale your impact


One-on-one coaching with an industry experts focused on helping you overcome your biggest business hurdles and increasing the reach of your financial solutions to women migrants and women affected by migration


Match with a founder in your track, allowing for knowledge-sharing and collaboration opportunities


Exposure for yourself and your company on the program website and program marketing activities


For each regional track we will hold roundtable discussions as well as pitch events for an audience of potential strategic and financial partners


All selected companies will be screened for eligibility to receive funding from the Impact-Linked Fund for Gender-Inclusive Fintech

Program Background

According to the recent report by Village Capital, “Catalyzing Financial Inclusion: Gender-Inclusive Fintech Solutions for Migrants,” globally, there’s an estimated 281 million international migrants and more than 55 million internally displaced persons. Many migrants choose or are forced to migrate due to economic challenges, conflict and climate change; amongst other reasons. They are exposed to significant challenges and vulnerabilities at departure, during their migration journey as well when they arrive at their destinations. One of the key obstacles they face is limited access to financial products tailored to their needs and particular situation. These challenges are even more evident with women migrants and women affected by migration, who also face cultural barriers, restricted mobility and higher illiteracy levels, in addition to existing barriers to financial access.

We’re looking to support startups building solutions to the following challenges faced by women migrants and women affected by migration:

Lack of access to financial services: Solutions that are improving access to banking services for women affected by migration, which include – identification solutions, solutions that allow for bank access from their country of origin, solutions that provide access to digital services, solutions that provide access to low-cost remittance products, solutions that provide mechanisms for alternative credit scores, solutions that provide access to unified and open Application Programme Interfaces (APIs).

Language and Literacy Barriers: Solutions building products specifically for women affected by migration with a focus on improving digital and financial literacy, solutions improving migrant’s access to financial services, educational solutions that increase awareness of products available for migrants, solutions improving access and awareness of government services, policies that are targeted towards migrant populations.

Lack of Trust: Solutions that are built with a deep understanding of local contexts; solutions that utilize informal economy practices; solutions that build their product and marketing plans for migrant populations; solutions that offer social and collaborative lending opportunities.

Constraining external environment: Solutions that allow for digital forums for women affected by migration to connect, mobilize and raise grievances to the concerned authorities for resolutions; legal tech platforms that make it more accessible and affordable for the refugees and migrants to seek help against legal malpractices or policy gaps; cross-border insurance and pension products that allow migrants access social protection services from their country of origin.

Unsteady income stream and limited job opportunities: Solutions that are creating innovative, affordable and more accessible financial products and services for migrants – low interest credit and loans, low ticket insurance products, social and collaborative lending solutions; solutions that facilitate learning and skills training to improve the employability of migrants; solutions that improve market access for migrant merchants and producers; solutions that facilitate the success or growth of migrant-led small and medium size enterprises such as point-of-sale terminals, payments processing, digital inventory management and more.

Additional sources:
World Migration Report 2022

UNHCR Global Trends in Forced Displacement 2022

World Economic Forum Global Risks Report 2022. (Chapter 4, Barriers to Migration)

Job Features

Job CategoryOpportunity

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