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Applications are now open for the 2023 Ethiopian edition of the Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI), a fintech competition that sees startups pitch their innovative solutions to solve tomorrow’s payment and commerce challenges.

With the deadline for application submissions set on August 20, 2023, VEI Ethiopia is seeking innovative and ambitious entrepreneurs who are uplifting communities by solving payment and commerce challenges faced by businesses of all sizes and sectors.

This year’s VEI Ethiopia final will be held in September, and a total of $50,000 USD in prize money will be distributed among the different winners. The prizes include $25,000 USD for the overall winner, $15,000 USD for the second-place finisher, and $10,000 USD for the third place fintech.

Akofada (DFS Ethiopia)

In addition to the monetary prizes, VEI winners gain access and exposure to Visa’s extensive network of partners in the banking, merchant, Venture Capitalists, and government sectors. Furthermore, the winners receive recognition from one of the world’s most trusted and valuable brands.

Globally, the Visa Everywhere Initiative has supported start-ups from over 100 countries, helping them collectively raise more than $16 billion in funding since 2015. The VEI network of start-ups has grown to nearly 12,000.

“The Visa Everywhere Initiative is a platform that empowers fintechs and entrepreneurs to showcase groundbreaking, impactful solutions in the world of payments and commerce,” said Yared Endale, Visa Country Manager for Ethiopia.

The first VEI Ethiopia challenge in 2021 was won by ArifPay. Meanwhile, this latest round of the competition follows Visa’s recent announcement by Andrew Torre, the Regional President for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa (CEMEA), during his visit in June. The CEMEA president reaffirmed Visa’s commitment to expanding digital payments in Ethiopia and announced new initiatives to advance fintech innovation and support women-led small and medium businesses (SMBs). This includes plans for a second in-country edition of the VEI fintech competition and the launch of Visa’s She’s Next women’s empowerment initiative.

The 2023 Visa Everywhere Initiative Ethiopia Competition for Fintechs is particularly interested in innovative solutions in the following areas:


  • Agriculture
  • Logistics
  • Healthcare
  • Education
  • Urban mobility
  • Gig Economy
  • Insurance

Digital issuance:

  • Money transfer and remittance
  • Digital wallets, P2P, and transfers
  • Alternative lending

Value-add for merchants and/or consumers in regard to finance:

  • Data and analytics
  • Retail technology

And/or (M)SME solutions that address:

  • Access to finance
  • Access to new customers/markets
  • MSME Business services such as inventory management, payroll processing, and customer relationship management

To apply, visit

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