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.
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.