Latam - UK Programme
Financial technology, or simply fintech, is the use of innovative technologies to deliver financial services. The growing opportunity for fintech to widen financial inclusion led Shaping Horizons to adopt it as the focus of its work in 2020-2021. Fintech for Inclusion advanced financial inclusion in Latin America and the United Kingdom by creating synergies between both regions. According to the Inter American Development Bank, 46% of the adult population in Latin America did not have a bank account in 2017. Likewise, in the United Kingdom, over 1 million people were reported not to have a bank account. These numbers represent a common measure of the lack of financial inclusion. Advancing financial inclusion is a critical priority in both regions and can accelerate 13 out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations.
The programme followed a structure of three stages. The first stage was a digital Pre-Incubation between September 2020 and December 2020, a digital Ideation between January 2021 and May 2021, and a digital Acceleration stage between June 2021 and September 2021. We jointly organised the 2020-2021 programme with Global Shapers Buenos Aires Hub, the Accelerator Lab of the United Nations Development Programme in Argentina and the United Nations Volunteering Programme.
Over 90 participants and 22 mentors representing Latin America and the UK attended the programme. We guided them with 26 digital innovation tools that we purposely created to create transferable and entrepreneurial capacity in participants and mentors.
Loans and Microcredits: solutions that aim to increase the financial resources of those who need it to maintain their activities or livelihoods. Some recent examples include: micro-credits, crowdlending, and many more.
Savings and Investments: solutions that aim to increase the financial resources of people and/or organisations. Some recent examples include: fixed-term savings, crowdfunding, stocks, and many more.
Payment methods: solutions for people and/or organisations that allow the exchange of goods. Some examples include: credit cards, pins, QR codes, facial recognition, fingerprints, and many more.
Financial Education: teaching or assisting, through consulting for personal or enterprise purposes.