Innovation Grant RFP 6 -Window 2: Digital Financial Services for Women
The deadline for the RFP is 6:00 pm on May 11, 2015

All applicants can apply for Window 1 or Window 2 or both, if applicable

EFInA is pleased to announce its sixth request for proposals (RFP 6) for the Innovation Grant. RFP 6 has two windows. Window Two will only consider proposals that aim to promote the uptake and usage of digital financial services by women. Digital Financial Services (DFS) are the range of financial products/services that people can access electronically, e.g., through their mobile phones. Paying for the following financial transactions will be considered: goods and services, utility bills, hospital bills, insurance, school fees, pensions, etc.; as well as government-to-person payments; sending/receiving money; saving money; and loan disbursements/repayments.

About the EFInA Innovation Grant The EFInA Innovation Fund was launched in 2009 with the objective of promoting the development and implementation of innovative financial products and services targeting the unbanked and under-banked low income population. The Fund seeks to support new ideas and approaches to expanding financial access to the underserved population in Nigeria.

As innovation involves taking risks, EFInA will share the risk of developing and implementing innovative products by providing grant subsidies for commercial and policy related initiatives. EFInA seeks to support the commercial viability of products and services for the underserved population.

Background of the EFInA Innovation Grant RFP 6 Window 2: Digital Financial Services for Women The EFInA Access to Financial Services in Nigeria 2014 survey1 revealed that women are less likely to be banked, more likely to rely on informal financial services, and more likely to be financially excluded than men. Only 14.7 million women (29.4% of total adult women) compared with 19.2 million men (44.1% of total adult men) are banked. Of the total adult women population, 21.9 million are formally included, 6.7 million use only informal products, and 21.4 million are financially excluded. One of the key reasons for women not having a bank account is that “banks are too far from where they live/work.” This is cited as a barrier by 4.9 million women without a deposit money bank account and 4.1 million women without a microfinance bank account.

Of the women who are currently financially excluded, 14.9 million (69.9% of financially excluded women) are interested in financial matters. The top three financial topics that they are interested in are: how to save regularly, how to open a bank account, and how to save for old age.

Digital financial services present a unique opportunity to reach women, who are often time-poor, less able than men to travel to bank branches, less likely to leave their place of work/business to conduct financial transactions. Women also value convenience and privacy when managing money. 28.6 million women (58.0% of total adult women) own a mobile phone. Furthermore, 7.3 million women who are financially excluded own a mobile phone.

EFInA is seeking to fund projects that will extend digital financial services to women in Nigeria. Successful applications will provide a compelling use case that meets the needs of women by offering different products through a range of channels and financial access points. In addition, applicants should include a detailed plan for customer education on the benefits of digital channels for conducting financial transactions. Applicants are therefore encouraged to consider the relevance and affordability of the digital financial services offered.

1 Source: http://www.efina.org.ng/assets/Updated-Documents/A2F/EFInA-Access-to-Financial-Services-in-Nigeria-2014-Survey-Key-FindingswebsiteFINAL.pdf

What is EFInA looking for in RFP 6? Window 2: Digital Financial Services for Women

  1. Applicants must have a track record of success for providing digital financial services or financial services targeted at women
  2. Applicants must provide compelling use cases for innovative digital financial services for women
  3. Applicants must describe how the proposed products/services meet the needs and/or addresses barriers specific to women
  4. Applicants must provide a strong business case that demonstrates how the proposed products/services and channels meet the needs of the low income female population (defined as those earning N50,000 or less per month)
  5. Applicants should take into consideration the fact that women are typically less likely to leave their place of work/business to conduct financial transactions
  6. Applicants should have the capacity to implement the proposed project and demonstrate sustainable impact within 24 months
  7. Applicants must develop effective customer awareness campaigns that demonstrate the benefits of the products/services and provide information on agent locations, if applicable
  8. Applicants must have the resources to match 50% of EFInA’s grant funding

Who can apply? Window 2: Digital Financial Services for Women

  • Licensed Financial Institutions (e.g., Deposit Money Banks, Microfinance Banks, Insurance Providers, etc.)
  • Licensed Mobile Money Operators

Partnerships with relevant organisations are encouraged

How much money does EFInA provide?

Size of Grant

$250,000 - $2,000,000

Applicant’s Contribution

All applicants will be expected to match at least 50% of the Grant awarded by EFInA. The grantee’s matching funds may be used to acquire fixed assets or fund project staff at a disclosed rate and on a basis acceptable to EFInA for the purpose of the project. EFInA will also consider other forms of grantee contributions (especially for start-up companies)

Eligible Expenditure

EFInA grant funding can be used to cover the costs of:

  • Launching, rolling-out and implementing a new product, service or delivery mechanism, including:
    • Scale deployment of products/services
    • Training of agents
    • Technical assistance or special consultancy support
  • Market awareness campaigns and advertising expenses that are directly related to the project being funded and aim to improve awareness and financial capability/literacy of the targeted (low income) customer segment

Non-Eligible Expenditure

EFInA funds CANNOT be used for:

  • Subsidising the organisation’s general operations and staff related costs
  • On-lending to customers
  • Office relocation, branch infrastructure, general fixed assets
  • Advertising and marketing expenses not associated with financial capability/literacy or directly related to the project being funded
  • Obtaining a business operations license
  • Acquiring an equity stake in a new or existing business

Maximum Term of EFInA Grant Funding

24 months from the first disbursement of the Grant

Funding Conditions

The Grant is payable in quarterly tranches with each payment linked to the achievement of pre-agreed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and milestones set forth in the detailed project plan and Grant Agreement.

How can an organisation apply? Follow and complete the following four steps:

Step  1: Complete the EFInA Innovation Grant application form
Download Innovation Grant Application Form here

Step 2: Complete financial and work plan templates including the following associated tabs:
Download financial and work plan templates here

  • Work plan
  • Milestones
  • Project budget (expenditure)
  • Project P&L statement

Step 3: Include evidence for company eligibility – provide a copy of the following documentation or completed forms

  • Certificate of incorporation
  • Memorandum and Articles of Association
  • Most recent Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) 7  (Particulars of the Directors)
  • Most recent Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) 2 (Statement of share capital and return of allotment of shares)
  • Form Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) 10 (Form of annual returns) filed for the year preceding the year of the Grant
  • Audited accounts statements for the last 2 years preceding the year of the Grant (however, new entities or joint ventures may present the audited statements of their main sponsor or shareholders)
  • Signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with all implementation partners
  • A letter from the organisation’s Board approving the EFInA Grant application and stating their commitment to the proposed project 
  • Where applicable, applicants with  intellectual property that is protected by law in Nigeria must demonstrate proof that they have obtained permission to use such intellectual property prior to commencing a project funded by the EFInA Innovation Grant

Step 4: Provide capacity statements

  • Copy of Mobile Money Operator’s licence, if applicable
  • Copies of relevant licenses/regulatory approvals for the proposed project from relevant regulators, e.g., Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) and any other regulator
  • Evidence of compliance with the CBN’s Mobile Money Operators monthly data reporting requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV) of the members of the proposed project team

How will EFInA evaluate the grant application? The following criteria will be used to assess all proposals:

Criteria Digital Financial Services for Women Weighting
A. Viable Business Case
  • Is the proposed project backed by market research and data?
  • Is the business case for the proposed project sound and realistic?
  • Can the organisation provide a description of the range of products/services they will offer?
  • Is the customer value proposition clear? What are the benefits for women?
  • If agents are utilised, is there a clear value proposition for agents?
  • If agents are utilised, will the proposed project target female agents?
  • Are the project timelines and targets realistic and achievable?
  • Has the organisation anticipated and sufficiently planned for project risks?
  • Has the technology that will be utilised been fully developed, tested, and piloted by the organisation?
  • Will the project achieve scale (in terms of number of customers served and agents recruited, if applicable)?

25%

B. Capacity to Implement the Project
  • Has the proposed project team successfully implemented projects of similar magnitude/complexity?
  • If partner organisations will be involved, have existing partnerships led to successful implementation of projects?
  • Does the proposed project team have prior experience in successfully implementing a project that provides financial services to women and/or provides digital financial services?
  • Has the proposed project been successfully piloted, researched or implemented by the organisation?
  • Does the proposed team have experience in implementing financial inclusion related projects?

20%

C. Developmental Impact
  • Do the proposed products/services provide a compelling use case for low income women?
  • Do the proposed products/services have the potential to create new jobs for women?
  • Does the proposed project improve the welfare of women in under-served areas?

15%

D. Innovation
  • Does the proposed project offer a different product, service, or delivery mechanism from what is typically offered in the Nigerian market?
  • Is the innovation scalable to other regions in Nigeria?
  • Will the proposed project contribute to furthering the financial inclusion agenda in Nigeria?

15%

E. Consumer Protection, Awareness and Education
  • Does the organisation have a strong customer service function? Will customer service be offered in multiple languages?
  • Can the organisation provide details on pricing, terms and conditions for customers and how they will ensure that they are fair and transparent? 
  • Does the organisation have an effective and efficient customer redress system?
  • Will the promotional materials be customised to the languages spoken by customers in the target areas?
  • How will the organisation ensure that the technology platform utilised is secure and consumer data is protected?
  • What is the plan for educating customers on how to use their mobile phone to access financial products/services; and for agents on the benefits of being an agent, if applicable?

10%

F. Sustainability
  • Will the proposed products/services create customer behaviour change that will lead to continued usage?
  • Has the organisation provided evidence that it can continue to offer these products/services after EFInA funding has been fully disbursed?
  • Is the Board of the organisation committed to implementing this project (in terms of strategic direction, funding and other resources needed) for the proposed project duration?

10%

G. Geographic Reach
  • Will the proposed project lead to deepening financial inclusion among women living in rural areas?
  • Will the proposed project lead to deepening financial inclusion in the North East or North West geo-political zones?
  • How many Local Government Areas (LGAs) in each proposed state will be covered?

5%

How will EFInA monitor the project? Monitoring and Evaluation is an on-going process throughout the tenure of the Grant. The grantee’s Programme Manager is responsible for ensuring that the overall objectives of the Grant are met as well as ensuring project governance and relationship management. The M&E process will involve:

  • Monthly update meetings, calls and/or reports
  • Quarterly visits and meetings conducted by EFInA
  • Quarterly progress reports to be sent by the grantee to the Grants Administrator in a format pre-defined by EFInA
  • An end-of-project evaluation report that includes lessons learned, major challenges, and key achievements, which will be presented to EFInA’s management
  • Grantees may be subject to audits
  • Changes to the project must be communicated to, and approved by EFInA through a pre-agreed Project Change Control process included in the Grant Agreement

What is the timeline for the entire Innovation Grant Application process? To view a complete timeline visit the Innovation Grant Application Process page

Which organisations have received Innovation Grants from EFInA in the past? To view Innovation Grant Recipients visit the Grant Recipients page

Completing your RFP6 application All applicants must complete the Innovation Grant Application Form and Templates listed on this page. All completed grant application forms, templates and required documentation should be submitted to the EFInA Grants Team at innovation@efina.org.ng by 6:00 pm on Monday, May 11, 2015. EFInA will notify all applicants of the outcome of their applications by Friday, August 14, 2015.

Use the checklist below to ensure you have a complete application
You can also download the checklist here

Required Documents Checked
1. Application form  
2. EFInA financial & work plan template (complete the four tabs)

Work plan/Milestones/Project Budget/Projected Profit&Loss Statement

 
3. Certificate of incorporation  
4. Memorandum and Articles of Association  
5. Most recent Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) 7  (Particulars of the Directors)  
6. Most recent Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) 2  (Statement of share capital and return of allotment of shares)  
7. Form Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) 10  (Form of annual returns) filed for the year preceding the year of the Grant  
8. Audited accounts statements for the last 2 years preceding the year of the Grant (however, new entities or joint ventures may present the audited statements of their main sponsor or shareholders)  
9. Signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with all implementation partners  
10. A letter from the organisation’s Board approving the EFInA Grant application and stating their commitment to the proposed project  
11. Where applicable, applicants with intellectual property that is protected by Nigerian law must demonstrate proof that they have obtained permission to use such intellectual property prior to commencing a project funded by the EFInA Innovation Grant  
12. Copy of Mobile Money Operator’s licence, if applicable  
13. Copies of relevant licenses/regulatory approvals for the proposed project from relevant regulators, e.g., Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), and any other regulator  
14. Evidence of compliance with the CBN’s Mobile Money Operators monthly data reporting requirements  
15. Curriculum Vitae (CV) of the members of the proposed project team  

Frequently Asked Questions To see frequently asked  questions (FAQs) visit Application Guidelines FAQs page

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON EFInA INNOVATION GRANTS, CONTACT US
Email: innovation@efina.org.ng