VISA has expanded to Sub-Saharan Africa its global innovation programme for start-ups to solve future commerce challenges, enhance their product propositions and provide visionary solutions for Visa's partners.
Entrants in the Everywhere Initiative will have the opportunity to compete for a chance to win up to US$50 000, access to Visa's products and services, expert mentorship and support from Visa and exposure to key Visa partners and clients.
Beginning March 23, Visa invites eligible participants in the region to submit their business solutions.
"In a highly dynamic industry, Visa's Everywhere Initiative allows us to explore a host of ideas that solve business challenges, influence our product roadmaps, support our customers, and shape our culture of innovation," said Andrew Torre, Visa President for Central Europe Middle East and Africa.
With just 17 percent of people in Africa having access to formal financial services, almost a third of funding raised by African startups in 2017 was in the fintech sector.
Venture funding for African startups jumped by 51 percent to $195 million in 2017.
Geraldine Mitchley, Senior Director for Digital Solutions for Visa Sub Sahara Africa, said with over $100 million invested over the past ten years alone, the region's fintech industry was on the brink of a transformative breakthrough.
"We believe the time is ripe to bring together its brightest minds and work on the next big idea in payments technology. With a clear goal of enabling cashless economies and financial inclusion, Visa is committed to fostering an entrepreneurial spirit and driving innovation in its payments landscape," Mitchley added.
To date, the programme has had nearly 2 100 participating startups across the world.