Including people in the financial system is more than just letting them have a bank account. It is also about helping them build healthy financial lives and participate in today’s connected economy.
COVID - 19 is a pandemic of both historic public health and economic proportions. In addition to its health implications, it has exposed and exacerbated the instability of our financial and economic systems. Among the most affected segments are informal and daily wage workers, gig economy workers, and small business owners who are suffering from loss of work and income. The pandemic is, therefore, putting the financial health of individuals, communities and by implication, entire countries at stake.
While most governments are doing the best they can in terms of providing both health-care as well as financial support, times like these require swift global cooperation between both the public and private sector.
With support from MetLife Foundation, UNCDF is launching a COVID - 19 financial health challenge. We are looking for solutions that can help build and improve financial health and resilience of individuals and small businesses; as well as solutions that directly address the financial health needs of people who are most impacted by the pandemic, including women, youth and the elderly.
And thus, COVID - 19 Financial Health Challenge was launched by UNCDF and MetLife Foundation, in partnership with Singapore FinTech Festival to drive a more financially healthy society.
Financial Health is a holistic concept that enables us to define, measure and create end-consumer impact more meaningfully and sustainably. With the COVID - 19 crisis upending societies and economies, financial health of all individuals is even more relevant. Financial Health is defined as: "The ability to meet one’s ongoing commitments, now and in the future, and under adverse circumstances, be in control of one's finances and have the ability to meet one's financial goals and enjoy things one values“
Financial Health = Financial Freedom + Financial Resilience
The ability to meet one’s financial goals and enjoy things one values
The ability to meet one’s commitments under adverse circumstances - think COVID - 19 - or the ability to cope with and recover from a financial shock
Register to participate
Participating teams submit expression of interest/proposals to one or more challenge statements
Proposals will be reviewed and shortlisted by an independent panel of experts appointed by UNCDF
Shortlisted participants would go through a two stage process before the top 2 winners are selected
Evaluation and selection of award winners by independent judging panel
COIVD - 19 Financial Health Challenge aims to identify solutions and/or business models that go beyond the basic elements of financial inclusion with an aim to improve the financial health of end consumers (specifically low and moderate income) to gain more control of their financial lives, improve resilience, make informed decisions and achieve their financial goals.
For this problem statement, let's zoom in on the ability to meet one's ongoing commitments under adverse circumstances. We term this ability as financial resilience, or the ability to cope with and respond to a financial shock.
Here we ask for solutions that cater to three specific segments. The proposed solution could address financial freedom for one or more of the following segments and one or more of the outcome questions outlined above.
Winning teams will get the chance to:
Access to mentors, wider network and support in launching pilot in UNCDF geographies.
Winning teams will get S$20,000 in cash stipend from MAS and S$40,000 in grant support from UNCDF and a chance to win an additional S$50,000 cash prize from MAS.
Winning teams will get to demo at the MAS Global FinTech Hackcelerator as part of Singapore FinTech Festival, the world’s largest FinTech Festival that attracted over 60,000 global audience in 2019.