Co-operative Bank has launched the “Co-op Akili Kali Innovation” challenge intended to foster a partnership with technology innovators to tackle gaps and challenges faced by Cooperative Societies.

The challenge, supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), is a call for passionate innovators to collaborate with Co-operative Bank in building the next generation of financial solutions beneficial to the Co-operative movement and its membership of over 20 million Kenyans.

Interested persons may submit their applications through the Co-operative Bank website by August 7.

Shortlisted candidates will be taken through a 5-week co-development and co-design program supported by a dedicated team from Co-operative Bank and nominated Cooperatives, after which a virtual demo event will be held to select one or more winners.

The winners stand to be awarded a cash reward of up to Sh5 million and an opportunity to integrate and launch their innovation with the lender.

Co-operative Bank Director of Cooperatives Banking Vincent Marangu.

The bank is looking for technology innovators that can rapidly develop solutions to build value for Co-operatives and enable them to service members’ demands more efficiently while ensuring that the essence of the Co-operative movement, which is ingrained in enabling both national and social development for individuals through a shared economy, is sustained.

The new innovations will also give Cooperatives a competitive edge and strengthen their resilience in the rapidly changing financial landscape in Kenya, particularly in light of the myriad challenges occasioned by COVID-19.

Speaking during the rollout of the Co-op “Akili Kali Challenge” the Bank’s Director of Co-operatives Banking Vincent Marangu noted that the growth trends of Co-operatives in Kenya indicate a great opportunity for Co-operatives to offer valuable services to existing and potential new members whose demand for more and better services has grown with the digital revolution.

The Co-operative Movement in Kenya is the largest in Africa and among the top 10 globally, with over 22,000 registered Co-operatives and over Sh600 billion in savings.

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