While the number of people with formal accounts has increased, with mobile phones as a key enabler, innovation is still needed to give underserved or excluded populations the ability to safely transfer and save funds, borrow money, and manage risks with insurance, both for individuals and for their micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Through this challenge, the MIT Solve community is looking for eight technology-based solutions that will make transactions easier, protect against predatory debt, and increase the ability of individuals and MSMEs to take risks and build wealth. Solve seeks solutions that:
make it easier and more affordable for individuals and MSMEs to make investments and transfer payments across geographies and different types of platforms;
provide new ways to accurately assess the credit-worthiness of MSMEs and individuals, including methods that reduce bias against borrowers who have traditionally lacked equitable access to credit;
create and/or reduce frictions to scale safe personal identification methods for individuals who have been kept out of the formal financial system due to a lack of formal identification;
help gather, synthesize, or use relevant data to inform the design of insurance products tailored to populations at greater risk of facing shocks such as climate disasters, health-related disruptions, or unstable markets.
All teams selected for Solve’s Global Challenges will receive a $10,000 grant. Additionally, the GSR Foundation will award a prize to solutions that use innovative technology to address pressing issues in their communities and the world (preference will be given to solutions that use blockchain to improve financial inclusion). Up to $200,000 will be awarded across several Solver teams from any of Solve’s 2023 Global Challenges.
Additionally, supported by the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, the AI for Humanity Prize is open to solutions leveraging data science, artificial intelligence, and/or machine learning to benefit humanity. Up to $150,000 in funding will be awarded across several Solver teams from any of Solve’s 2023 Global Challenges.