Solve - MIT - Financial Inclusion Challenge Movemeback African initiative cover image


Challenge Overview
Over 1.8 billion adults are still unbanked or poorly served by existing financial products and services, leaving them unable to pursue economic opportunities, vulnerable to shocks, and at risk of permanent debt or even modern slavery. 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). 

The drivers of financial exclusion include lack of access to the internet and financial service agents, unclear explanations of product offerings, lack of formal ID, and discrimination, particularly against women, ethnic minorities, people of color, persons with disabilities, displaced communities, and low-income populations. Ensuring access to tools that allow everyone to take risks, plan for the future, and survive upheavals will require tailored solutions that provide equitable access to affordable financial services. Technology and innovation can help with both increasing access to appropriate services as well as creating products, such as loans secured by digital collateral or weather-indexed microinsurance, that meet the financial needs of the unbanked and underbanked. 


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. To that end, 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 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


MIT Solve - Solver Award

  • All Solver teams selected for Solve’s Global Challenges and the Indigenous Communities Fellowship will receive a $10,000 grant funded by Solve

The GSR Foundation Prize

  • 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. The prize is funded by the GSR Foundation, an independent charity founded by GSR, a leading cryptocurrency trading firm. The Foundation seeks to advance education, promote equality of opportunity, and contribute to a sustainable world, emphasizing blockchain and innovative technology-powered solutions. Up to $200,000 will be awarded across several Solver teams from any of Solve's 2023 Global Challenges

The AI for Humanity Prize

  • The AI for Humanity Prize is open to solutions leveraging data science, artificial intelligence, and/or machine learning to benefit humanity. The prize is made possible by The Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, a philanthropy committed to advancing AI and data solutions to create a thriving, equitable, and sustainable future for all. Up to $150,000 in funding will be awarded across several Solver teams from any of Solve’s 2023 Global Challenges

About Solve - MIT

Solve is an initiative of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) that advances solutions from tech entrepreneurs to address the world's most pressing problems. Solve issues four Challenges each year to find the most promising Solver teams that will drive lasting, transformational change. Solve then deploys its global community of private, public, and nonprofit leaders to form the partnerships these Solver teams need to scale their impact.