UNCDF Sierra Leone FinT­ech Challenge 2019/2020 for Financial Inclusion

Application Deadline: May 30th 2019

The Bank of Sierra Leone in partnership with the United Nations Capital Development Fund and IBSA Fund are launching the Sierra Leone FinTech Challenge 2019-2020, under the theme of “Domestic resource mobilization”, to further support the financial inclusion of the middle and low-income population.

The Sierra Leone FinTech Challenge 2019-2020, has the overall goal of improving Sierra Leone’s domestic resource mobilization and the economic well-being of Sierra Leoneans living in rural and underserved areas. It aims to harness the growing digital economy in order to develop and test innovative solutions as a way to leapfrog access to finance, and consequently build out government and private sector platforms to operationalize the benefits of the digital economy.

It will test and build business models for digital infrastructure to shift from informal cash–based transactions to digital financial services that can mobilize domestic resources and address the latent needs around health, education, agriculture and help save and plan for the future.

The focus will be nationwide, with emphasis on rural areas, smallholder farmers, women groups and youth.

The Bank of Sierra Leone will provide two finalists access to the Regulatory Sandbox – a safe space for unregulated financial sector innovations to grow under the guidance of the Bank of Sierra Leone staff and other specialists.

Eligible Institutions

To be considered for the support, institutions should fulfill the following minimum requirements:

  1. Must be operating in Sierra Leone or have a partner who is operating in Sierra Leone. International or regional entities not based in Sierra Leone may apply provided that their work directly benefits an identified Sierra Leonean partner.
  2. Must be institutions with experience in providing or supporting some aspect of mobile financial services, including:  banks, other financial institutions, mobile network operators and Fintech.   
  3. The product, service or solution must be implemented in Sierra Leone;
  4. The product, service or solution can have a financial nature, but a support service to a financial service provider will also be permitted;
  5. The product, service or solution must be network operator agnostic;
  6. For Sierra Leone-based organizations: The lead applicant must have a registered business in Sierra Leone with at least 15% ownership by a citizen of Sierra Leone; For non-Sierra Leonean Fintechs from innovation hubs, this requirement does not apply at the beginning of the competition;
  7. The lead applicant must have a sound track record of performance of at least one year; and
  8. The lead applicant must be a for-profit entity or be part of a chain of for-profit institutions;

For More Information:

Visit the Official Webpage of the Sierra Leone FinT­ech Challenge 2019-2020 for Financial Inclusion


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