Women Financial Inclusion Innovation Challenge 2022

Despite the remarkable progress in the economic inclusion of women in Bangladesh, there remains a substantial gender gap in access to formal financial services. Participation of women in formal financial services has contributed to reducing poverty and empowering women. In this context, accessible, affordable, and appropriately designed financial products will play a vital role in creating opportunities for women to access financial services. The challenge fund aims to boost financial inclusion among women by providing access to new financial products, ensuring usage, and addressing barriers typically faced by women entrepreneurs and customers.


Problem Statement

Detailed description of the issue we're attempting to resolve
The latest data from the 2021 Global Findex database indicate that, between 2017 and 2021, Bangladesh's financial gender gap decreased from 29 per cent to 20 per cent—an important transformation for development. However, many women remain excluded from the formal financial system. In addition, reports also found that Bangladesh has significant gender gaps in the usage of digital payments at 15%. 27% of deposits come from women, but women only receive 1.8% of the credit. Furthermore, there is a 13% gender gap in phone ownership, 14% in mobile financial service (MFS) account ownership, and 44.8% in labour participation. Multiple research studies identified the following barriers associated with access and usage of financial services among women:

Outcome/results expected

  • Increase in savings and borrowing through formal institutions among women.
  • Sizeable reduction of gender gap in the use of digital payments among account owners.
  • Sizeable reduction of the gender gap in overall account ownership.
  • Improved financial health of women by addressing investment and risk management needs

Submission Deadline
07 October, 2022



Process Flow of the event:
Technical Evaluation
Selection Committee
Agreement and disbursement
Submission Deadline
07 October, 2022



What is an Innovation Challenge?

Innovation Challenge is about solving a well-regarded problem. a2i circulates the problem and innovators are asked to submit their idea or solution to solve that.


How many days are required to get the final results?

It may take about three months from the launch date.


What are the evaluation stages?

Generally, 4 steps of the process, shortlisting, Bootcamp, technical evaluation, and approval from the Executive Committee.


What are the selection criteria?

innovative concept, feasibility, strategy, implementation plan, management team, etc.


What additional support will be given to the innovators?

Marketing, promotion, partnership, intellectual property support, fundraising, mentoring, training, etc. will be given from seed to growth and scale-up stages.


What is the winning prize?

Up to 1 crore BDT, considering the due diligence and technical evaluation.


Should I submit a technology-based solution?

a2i Innovation Fund invites innovators to solve problems with technology-based solutions.


Why should I participate in the Innovation Challenge?

Innovators have the opportunity to participate in national problem-solving as well as financial, technical, mentoring and other necessary support from a2i and industry leaders.


Who is eligible to submit an idea/solution?

Any individual/team/company/consortium/organization is eligible.


What to do if I don’t get a confirmation email?

It would usually mean that you have not been selected primarily.


Where to contact for any query or feedback?

Any query of generic nature related to content, design, service, or technological issues can be sent through email or contact form.


What to do if I face any problems regarding registration, login, password recovery or difficulty in submission?

Delete/clean your browser history, cache, or cookies and try again. If you still face difficulty, please email us at aif.support@a2i.gov.bd or contact us through the Contact Form.


What is FinLabBD?

The FinLab BD is an effort to build knowledge and foster innovation and entrepreneurial activity directed towards improving financial inclusion and livelihood for the lower and middle income segment. Taking an ecosystem development approach, the program aims to create and disseminate resources that help startups and entrepreneurs get the right knowledge, tools, funding, partners, and access to test markets to help develop inclusive solutions