Visa Launches First Global Competition Focused on Celebrating Women Entrepreneurs

Thursday 07 March 2019
Dubai - MENA Herald:

Calling all women entrepreneurs! In celebration of International Women’s Day, Visa (NYSE: V) today reinforced its dedication to women empowerment with the launch of the first Visa Everywhere Initiative: Women’s Global Edition. The global program invites women entrepreneurs from around the world to tackle FinTech and Social Impact challenges for a chance to win $100,000 in each of the two challenges. The program will culminate with a finals event to be held during kick-off of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™.

“More than 163 million women around the world have started their own business in the last five years, accounting for up to 37% of the workforce. Women entrepreneurship is on the rise and Visa is committed to inspiring more women to break through barriers through platforms like the Visa Everywhere Initiative,” said Lynne Biggar, chief marketing and communication officer at Visa.

Since 2015, the Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI) has provided visionary solutions for commerce and payment challenges of tomorrow. The program has activated regionally in 75 countries and awarded more than 70 leading startups with monetary prizes, mentorship and access to Visa’s clients and partners. Now, for the first time, the program will shift from regionally-focused events to a worldwide program centered on FinTech and Social Impact to shine a spotlight on the millions of underrepresented women business leaders and Visa’s commitment to micro and small businesses catalyzing change.

To participate, companies with at least one female founder are invited to submit solutions that tackle challenges facing the FinTech and Social Impact landscapes today through one of the two innovative briefs.

  • Challenge 1 (FinTech): Leveraging your company’s unique capabilities, how could your solution help transform consumer and/or commercial payment experiences locally, regionally or globally?
  • Challenge 2 (Social Impact): How can women entrepreneurs around the world drive social impact by supporting sustainable and equitable livelihoods and strengthening local/regional economies?

Additional program highlights:  

  • All corners of the world: Eligible participants will be divided into 6 regions: North America, Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Europe (excluding France), France, Africa/Middle East. Each region will send one winner per challenge to the finals in Paris.  
  • Important dates: Key dates for the program include:

- Open for submissions- March 6th

- Applications due April 14th

- Regional finalists selected per region- May

- Global Finals in Paris, France- June 7th

  • Finals activities: During the opening week of FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™, finalists will participate in networking opportunities with Visa’s global partner network, and a final live-pitching event to determine the overall VEI winners.
  • Bridge of Support: To reward the most impactful solutions, Visa will provide $100,000 to each challenge winner, along with expert mentorship, access to clients and Visa’s vast network of partners. The winners will also receive tickets to the opening game of FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™.
  • Global campaign: Visa will launch a global marketing campaign “Together as One” to celebrate the Visa Everywhere Initiative: Women’s Global Edition. Eight former, women VEI winners and finalists, representing regions around the world, will star in the campaign to help inspire their peers to participate in the competition and pursue their dreams of taking risks and building a successful business.

"Being a finalist in the Visa Everywhere initiative has given me international exposure, connections, and opportunities,” said Rania Helal, CTO of VRTeek, one of the finalists from the Visa Everywhere Initiative MENA competition. “I hope that as one of the faces of this wonderful campaign, girls just like me all over the world will be inspired to believe in themselves, to push a little harder, to be proud of their goals, to help others, to share, to create, to serve and to inspire."

Underscoring Visa’s ongoing commitment to advancing women entrepreneurs, the Visa Everywhere Initiative: Women’s Global Edition builds on the recent launch of She’s Next, Empowered by Visa, a global platform created to encourage women small business owners as they build, sustain and advance their businesses around the world. She’s Next is supported by the Female Founder Collective (FFC)—a network of businesses led by women, supporting women. Following a successful inaugural event in Atlanta, GA, She’s Next and the FFC will host their next event today in New York, in honor of International Women’s Day.

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