Karandaaz Pakistan, with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), is supporting solutions that foster financial inclusion of women in Pakistan.

Application Closed

About this Round

Karandaaz invited proposals for gender-smart, women-centric financial products and services that reflect the needs and preferences of female customers in the financial services marketplace.

The goal of the Financial Inclusion of Women (FIW) Challenge is to provide financial service providers, FinTechs, research and advisory firms, and other relevant market players an opportunity to pilot and test, or scale interventions that account for the different female market segments, needs and preferences of women, and the bottlenecks to their inclusion.


Ideation and Design Thinking Workshop
Milestone-based Grant Upto PKR 15,000,000

Who could apply?

  • Financial Service Providers, including but not limited to Digital Financial Service Providers (DFSPs), Financial Institutions, Microfinance Institutions and Microfinance Banks
  • Research and Advisory Firms
  • Other relevant market players

The applicants had to be registered in Pakistan. This program was not open to individuals.

Applications Closed



Applications Opened


Introduction Workshops


Applications Closed


Intimation to Shortlisted Applicants


Deadline for Submission of detailed Technical and Financial Proposal

Funding Pitch Day

TBD and 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:

  • Financial Service Providers (DFSPs, MFIs and MFBs)
  • Research and Advisory Firms
  • Fin-Techs
  • Other relevant market players


The applicant must apply as part of a firm, and not as an individual.

While preference will be given to applicants who can demonstrate that they have already started developing or testing a women-centric product or service, the challenge is open to applicants at the ideation stage. However, the applicant must be able to clearly articulate the value proposition of the proposed solution.

Yes! We are looking for both tech-based and non-tech solutions that account for the different female market segments, address the needs and preferences of women, and/or address bottlenecks to their inclusion.

The proposed solutions may be in any area that facilitates women’s financial inclusion, including but not limited to issues around credit, savings, payments, mobile wallets, block chain, alternative credit, e-commerce, insurance, remittances and pensions.

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

Through this challenge, 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 underserved women
  2. Increased autonomy of women in using accounts
  3. Increased security and privacy for women users
  4. Improvement in financial capabilities of women
  5. Enabling environment for growth of women-led SMEs

If you have a question or complaint related to FIW Challenge, please email  fiwc@karandaaz.com.pk.

You will only need to fill out an online application form

Applicants will receive milestone based grant and HCD based ideation.

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
  • 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, with prior notice from Karandaaz

4)        Participating in Karandaaz’s annual review process

There is no fee for participation.

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 Closed