Visa to empower, celebrate women entrepreneurs in global competition

Visa, a global payments technology company has launched its first global competition to celebrate and empower outstanding women entrepreneurs to commemorate the 2019 International Women’s Day.

The competition- ‘Visa Everywhere Initiative’ begins with the Women’s Global Edition, which focuses on providing women entrepreneurs with a platform to showcase their ground-breaking solutions.

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 the kick-off of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019.

Submissions for the ‘Women’s Global Edition’ opens on Wednesday, March 6, while applications close on Sunday, April 14. Selection of regional finalists will be in May, while global finals will be in Paris, France for Friday, June 7.

“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,” Visa’s chief marketing and communication officer, Lynne Biggar said.

Since 2015, the Visa Everywhere Initiative 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.

But, for the first time, the program will shift from regionally-focused events to a worldwide program centred 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 in the programme, 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.

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.
During the opening week of FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2010, finalists will participate in networking opportunities with Visa’s global partner network, and a final live-pitching event to determine the overall VEI winners.

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.

Visa will also 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.

“The Visa Everywhere initiative allowed us to add more value to our product by using APIs from its Developer Platform. As a result, we garnered enough recognition to win new customers and business opportunities! Personally, it was a great accomplishment,” said Amparo Nalvarte, CEO & Co-Founder, Culqi.

“I am so proud to be a Visa Everywhere Initiative winner and am truly honoured to be a part of the Women’s Global campaign. I can hardly wait to cheer for all of the amazing women that will be participating in this wonderful opportunity.”

In its 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 FFC will host their next joint event in New York on March 6th, in honour of International Women’s Day.

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