The VISA Everywhere Initiative (VEI) is an open innovation program with a specific focus on fintech startups. The program helps startups gain access to opportunities including grant prizes and global visibility. Launched in 2015, VEI has recruited startups from 100 countries.
In the Ethiopian context, VISA signed a memorandum of understanding with the Ministry of Innovation and Technology and Shega Media and Technology last week to implement VEI principles in the country.
As such, the partners have affirmed their intention to collaborate to drive the visibility of fintech startups in Ethiopia and promote digital development. There will also be a focus on training, capacity building, increasing digitisation opportunities with a specific focus on empowering youth to take bold and innovative measures.
VEI also launched a competition in Ethiopia on February 18th. Entry for the competition closed on April 9th with 59 entries submitted. The winner for the competition will be entered into the the final round for the Central Europe, Middle East, and Africa region to compete against four other finalists.
The finalists for the Ethiopia competition, from which the winner will enter the CEMEA region finals, are Arifpay, Chapa, E-birr, Orbit Health, and Smile Pay. The winner will be announced on May 10th at 3 PM and will also be awarded USD 5,000.