Inter-American Awards for Financial and Entrepreneurial Innovation

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), through its Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), acknowledges innovative initiatives focused on financial inclusion and the development of SMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean. In 2017, the Awards’ focus will be on: Financial Inclusion and the use of digital technology.

The winner of each category will receive a recognition during Foromic 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In 2017, the categories of the Inter-American Awards for Financial and Entrepreneurial Innovation are:

Selection Process

Phase 1: Acceptance of online applications

Applicants must submit their application in the Foromic website. In the application, applicants can enter both the general and the specific information about the entity's activities.

Application deadline: September 18th, 2017

Phase 2: Institution selection

The applications received will be reviewed quantitatively and qualitatively, this analysis process may include interviews. From this screening process, a group of finalists will be drawn, and out of the finalist, a Selection Committee will choose the winners. The winners will be notified in October and invited to receive the award at the opening ceremony of Foromic.

Category: Institutions that promote financial inclusion

The category of Financial Institutions that promote the inclusion of the Inter-American Awards for Financial and Business Innovation will recognize financial service providers that are successfully using digital technologies to grant access to financial products and services to unaddressed or excluded segments of the population or micro-enterprises. And that at the same time, are contributing to generate economic value or to improve the quality of life of low-income populations in the Latin American and Caribbean region. The award will acknowledge the business models or service models that use digital technologies to incorporate new clients, reduce the costs, and improve the quality and variety of financial services for its customers.

Winners will be selected considering their financial performance in the context in which they operate; the quality, use and innovative aspect of their financial products, services, tools and support channels; as well as the potential to escalate and/or replicate it. Innovative efforts that reach out to a significant number of new or underserved or excluded clients will be especially valued. The category Financial Institutions that Promote Inclusion will be receiving applications in two subcategories:

  • Regulated Financial Intermediaries.
    • Operate under the prudential supervision of the banking supervisor of the country in which it operates (e.g., savings and credit banks, municipal savings and credit funds, EDPYMEs, Financial Cooperatives, etc.)
  • Other financial service providers
    • Operate a financial company, NGO, company, or another legal status

Criteria

Candidates to the category Institutions that Promote Financial Inclusion must meet the following criteria:

  • Offer a financial service (e.g., credit, payments, savings, or insurance), directly or through its partners, or in alliance with other entities
  • Focused sustained efforts to promote financial inclusion and/or to improve the lives of families in Latin America and the Caribbean, including micro and small businesses, frequently neglected groups, such as emerging entrepreneurs, senior citizens, the rural population, women, and youth, among others
  • Demonstrate a solid financial performance
  • Present an innovation in one or more of the following:
    • The design of products and/or services
    • The use of service channels
    • Support tools
  • Show how the entity is leveraging on digital or mobile technology to promote financial inclusion
  • Have audited financial statements for the past 3 years
  • Innovation must be active and have a sustainable impact model
  • The institution must have been operating for at least three years in a borrowing member country of the IDB

Category: Financial Services for Small Farmers

The category "Financial Services for Small Farmers" will recognize innovations in using digital technologies to improve the quality of the products and services for small farmers (agricultural / livestock / aquaculture) in the Latin American and Caribbean region. The award seeks to identify outstanding initiatives from a wide range of suppliers in the agricultural ecosystem, such as financial institutions, associations and farmers cooperatives, companies and business entities (exporters, processors, agricultural distributors, etc.) that provide financial services and products to promote financial inclusion and/or to strengthen the productivity and resilience of small producers. This award seeks to identify those initiatives that have successfully commenced and that represent a tangible benefit to the small farmers. Furthermore, initiatives must display a high level of customer acquisition and a potential for escalation. Examples of initiatives include: loans, savings, payments, insurance, remittance, factoring, leasing, forwards, electronic storage, among others, that use digital channels to offer solutions to small producers’ financial needs.

The category Financial Services for Small Farmers will be receiving applications from:

  • Regulated financial institutions (e.g., e.g., savings and credit banks, municipal savings and credit funds, EDPYMEs, Financial Cooperatives, insurance companies, etc.)
  • Cooperatives and farmers associations
  • NGOs
  • Agricultural enterprises and entities (e.g., exporters, processors, distributors, suppliers of inputs, etc.)
  • Fintechs

Candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • Operate under financial entity, NGO, company, or other legal status
  • Provide a financial service directly or in alliance with a regulated intermediary to small producers
  • Have at least three years of operation

Criteria

Candidates to the category Financial Services for Small must meet the following criteria:

  • Present an innovation using digital technology (directly or in alliance with third parties) that has some tangible benefit to small producers (e.g., improving access to finance, reducing risks and costs, increasing market access, etc.)
  • Innovation must be active and have a sustainable impact model
  • Demonstrate a solid financial performance
  • Must have at least 3 years of audited financial statements
  • Must have operations in one of the IDB’s borrowing member countries

Local Award

Organized by FONCAP and Banco Nación, the 1st National Innovation Award in Microfinance (FINC 2017) seeks to promote innovative alternatives in this sector. This edition will take place in the context of FOROMIC, scheduled to take place in Buenos Aires between October 30th and November 1st.

More: www.premiofinc.com.ar