Karandaaz Pakistan, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) is supporting solutions that foster financial inclusion of women in Pakistan.


About this Round


Women financial inclusion at large has stayed very low despite the efforts from the industry on increasing the over all financial inclusion number. Women specifically, in Pakistan, are faced with problems when it comes to adoption of Financial Services that may include: Mobility, Documentation (Availability), Usability (Less Conducive for Women vs Men) and Accessibility (Low Phone Ownership and Marginalization in technology adoption etc.) Karandaaz invites applications in two categories to support businesses that not only create financial products but also from the businesses that enable women consumers to adopt Financial Services.

Who can apply?

Type A:

Technology-enabled solutions including but not limited to

  • Marketplaces and other E/M-Commerce players
  • Digital Social Platforms
  • Digital Use-cases for Women (Lifestyle Apps, Recommendation App, Ride-hailing etc.)
  • (Non-Financial Sector Players)

Type B:

  • Banks
  • Branchless banking providers
  • Fintechs, NBFIs
  • MFBs
  • Other entities can apply in consortium with a licensed provider


Dates to Remember


Call for Applications


Panel Discussion on Market Gaps in Women’s Financial Inclusion


Application Deadline


Selection Decision for Applicants Shortlisted for Pitch Presentation


Pitch Day details will be communicated to the shortlisted applicants later

Terms & Conditions

1) Selected applicants must commit to:

  1. Participating in all components of the program, including funding pitch day.
  2. Participating in events, documentation and monitoring and evaluation activities as required by Karandaaz.

2) Submission of an application does not guarantee selection for any part of the program or funding.

3) The applicant will be selected for the program at the sole discretion of Karandaaz and its partners.

4) Karandaaz retains the right to accept or reject any application without providing a reason.

5) Karandaaz retains the right to negotiate the budget proposed by the applicant and rationalize it in consultation with the applicant.

6) Invitation to pitch for funding will be made at the sole discretion of Karandaaz. Decisions of Karandaaz judges will be considered final and will not be open to contestation.

Term Sheet


The challenge is open for all market players operating in the financial inclusion space that are registered in Pakistan, including but not limited to:

Marketplaces, lifestyle apps, ride hailing apps, banks, branchless banking providers, fintechs, NBFIs, MFIs/MFBs and other relevant market players. The applicants should be registered in Pakistan. This program is not open to individuals.

Start-ups that have grown beyond the MVP stage and have acquired customers that are generating revenue for the company are eligible.

In FIWC-2020, Karandaaz is primarily looking for tech-based solutions. However, you are encouraged to apply if you have a blend of digital and non-digital solution and have a solid proposition for financial inclusion of women.

The challenge is targeting products, services and viable financial solutions, and is not open to research projects.

Karandaaz seeks to help applicants develop, refine and scale ways to reduce the gender gap in financial inclusion.

Applicants’ proposed solutions are expected to lead to (any one, few or all) of the following outcomes

  1. Increased uptake of financial services or products of previously un-banked and/or undeserved women
  2. Increased autonomy of women using accounts
  3. Improvement in financial capabilities of women
  4. Enabling environment for growth of women-led SMEs and economically active women
  5. Helping women overcome the hurdles faced by the prevalent systematic discrimination in the financial marketplace
  6. Promoting a safer and more inclusive environment in women’s finance

Questions or complaints related to FIW Challenge can be sent at email:  fiwc@karandaaz.com.pk

You will only need to fill out an online application form. However, shortlisting applicants will be required to fill a proposal document on Karandaaz provided template (provided to only shortlisted applicants).

Applicants will receive milestone-based grant and exposure to segmentation study done on Pakistani women for the use of Digital Financial Services

Karandaaz will select applicants and inform them via email. Applicants which are not selected will also be informed via email. To remain updated about the program, you can follow our Facebook page or visit fiwc@karandaaz.com.pk

If selected, you will commit to:

  • Participating in pitch day for funding at applicant’s own cost.
  • Participating in events, documentation and monitoring and evaluation activities as required by Karandaaz. In particular, this may include but not be limited to:

1) Measuring direct users and beneficiaries, as well as indirect beneficiaries of project.
2) Participating in lesson learning and experience sharing activities for internal and
public audiences.
3) Providing a demonstration of the product or service.
4) Participating in Karandaaz annual review process.

There is no application fee for participation.
Submission of application(s) does not guarantee selection for funding.

Submission of applications does not guarantee selection for the programme. Karandaaz retains the right to reject applications without providing any reason. Decisions made by Karandaaz or its appointees at all stages of the selection and financial award process will be considered final and will not be contestable.

Applications Open