G2012 Mexico Financial Inclusion: Innovative Solutions for Unlocking Access

G2012 Mexico and Ashoka Changemakers are launching this online competition to find the world's most innovative solutions that make valuable, affordable, secure, and comprehensive financial services accessible to underserved and excluded communities.

Join us in congratulating the winner of our US$100,000 Grand Prize:

Juntos Finanzas

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One cash prize of US $100,000 given to the top solution One of two US $1,000 cash prizes (if you enter before July 30, 2012).


Winner is Announced

November 3, 2012
  • Launch
    June 17, 2012
  • Early Entry Deadline
    July 30, 2012
  • Entry Deadline
    September 12, 2012
  • Finalists are Announced
    October 24, 2012
  • Winner is Announced
    November 3, 2012

Dear Changemakers Community,

Enabling underserved and excluded communities to participate in the formal financial sector has tremendous potential to create social and economic gains for individuals, private enterprises, and societies as a whole.

Today, 2.7 billion adults, more than half of the world’s working-age population, do not have access to financial services that would allow them to save money securely, borrow money affordably, make payments knowledgeably, and insure themselves against potential hardships or risk.

The leaders of the G20 nations recognize the importance of advancing full financial inclusion—providing every household with access to valuable, affordable, secure, and comprehensive financial services.

Access to credit, savings, and insurance would allow poor households to raise their standards of living, capitalize on opportunities, and weather tough times. On a larger scale, financial inclusion stimulates economic growth and contributes to the creation of more vibrant and stable financial systems.

Innovations and collaborative solutions are needed to make comprehensive financial services available to all. To spotlight and support these critical solutions, the G2012 Mexico and Ashoka Changemakers have partnered to launch the G2012 Mexico Financial Inclusion: Innovative Solutions for Unlocking Access competition.

This competition seeks innovations that address barriers to financial inclusion, including but not limited to:

  • Physical or other accessibility barriers that prevent communities from reaching financial services,
  • The shortage of affordable financial products tailored to the needs of underserved and excluded communities, and
  • The lack of incentives for financial service providers to continue serving low-income, poor, or marginalized communities.

Do you have an innovative solution? For example, are you using mobile technology to provide comprehensive banking services to rural communities? Are you using an innovative business model at a retail establishment that gives remote communities access to savings and cashless payments? Or, are you connecting entrepreneurs to microloans and insurance? Then we want to hear from you!

The top solution will win the grand prize of US $ 100,000.

It’s time to make full financial inclusion a reality. Submit your solution or nominate an initiative today!

Who should enter:

The G2012 Mexico Financial Inclusion: Innovative Solutions for Unlocking Access competition is open to all private sector participants from any country. Proposals are welcome from individuals and not-for-profit and for-profit organizations, including private financial institutions, private investors and companies, socially responsible investors, foundations, and citizen sector organizations. Your competition entry can describe a collaboration between more than one eligible organization. Private sector organizations that have partnered with public sector organizations are eligible. Competition judges and/or their affiliated initiatives (or organizations) are not eligible to submit entries. 

Why you should enter:

  • Join Ashoka Changemakers’ global online community that supports the impact you are making on the ground.
  • Gain visibility with our community and our competition partner.
  • A chance to win!

What you can win:

  • One cash prize of US $100,000 given to the top solution
  • US$5,000 given to each of the finalists
  • One of two US $1,000 cash prizes (if you enter before July 30, 2012).

How to enter:

  • Read these instructions for entering or watch this video.
  • Read these tips about how to make your entry stand out.
  • Entries must be submitted before September 12 at 5:00 PM EDT.

Read the fine print below to learn more about how you can win.

Competition Guidelines

We welcome entries that:

  • Reflect the theme and objectives of the G2012 Mexico Financial Inclusion Challenge;
  • Describe the potential to make valuable, affordable, secure, and comprehensive financial services accessible to underserved and excluded communities;
  • Are in any stage of development, from idea or concept, to proven programs;
  • Are submitted in English, Spanish, French, or Portuguese.

Assessment Criteria

Winners of the G2012 Mexico Financial Inclusion competition will be those that best meet the following criteria:

Innovation: This is the knock-out test; if the work is not innovative, the judges will not give it a high ranking. The entrant must describe an innovation with the potential to make valuable, affordable, secure, and comprehensive financial services accessible to underserved and excluded communities. The best entries will be those that reflect a substantial difference from other initiatives in the field and have the possibility for large-scale, global replication.

Social Impact: It is important that the competition entry describes a system-changing solution for the issue it addresses. Initiatives must target a specific barrier to full financial inclusion. Entries should explain how the solution measures, or intends to measure, social impact through both quantitative and qualitative data.

Sustainability: The proposals must have a clear outline for reaching long-term goals and securing financial backing—entries should describe not only how they currently finance their work, but also how they plan to finance it in the future. The most successful entrants go beyond discussing whether or not they will charge for services and describe a business plan. They should also describe strong partnerships and support networks to address on-going needs, and to aid in scalability and the maintenance of a clear financial strategy.

Competition Deadlines, Procedures, and Rules

Online competition submissions are accepted until September 12, 2012, 5 p.m. EDT. At any time before this deadline, competition participants are encouraged to revise their entries based on questions and insights that they receive through the Changemakers online discussion. Participation in the conversation enhances an entrant’s prospects in the competition and provides the community and the judges with an opportunity to understand the entrant’s project more completely.

There are three main phases in the competition:

  • Entry Stage: Beginning June 17, 2012, entries can be submitted until 5 p.m. EDT on September 12, 2012, and throughout this stage anyone can participate in an online review discussion with the entrants.
    • Early Entry Deadline: Entries received by 5 p.m. EDT on July 30, 2012 are eligible for the Early Entry prize.
    • Entry Deadline: 5 p.m. EDT on September 12, 2012
  • Online Review, Semi-Finalists, Finalists and Winners Selection, September 12 – November 3, 2012: Online review and discussion continues. Simultaneously, a team of Ashoka staff and shortlisters select 12 Semi-Finalists, followed by a panel of expert judges who select five Finalists from which the grand prize winner will be selected.
  • Semi-Finalists Announced, October 12, 2012
  • Finalists Announced, October 24, 2012
  • Winner Announced, November 5, 2012: The Changemakers competition winner—the individual, organization, or partnership selected by the expert panel of judges—will receive a cash prize totaling US $100,000 and be announced at the G2012 Mexico "Financial Regulation and Innovation: Effects and Perspectives for the Development of Emerging Markets and Developing Economies" event which takes place on November 2-3, 2012 in Mexico City..

Participation in the competition provides the opportunity to receive feedback about your solution from fellow entrants, Changemakers staff, judges, expert commentators, and the Changemakers community. Showcasing your market-based solution, and the challenges involved in creating social impact through community engagement, advises potential investors about how best to maximize the strategic impact of their future investments.

Disclaimer—Compliance with Legal Restrictions

Ashoka complies fully with all U.S. laws and regulations, including Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations, export control, and anti-money laundering laws. Any grants will be awarded subject to compliance with such laws. Ashoka will not make any grant if it finds that to do so would be unlawful. This may prohibit awards in certain countries and/or to certain individuals or entities. All recipients will comply with these laws to the extent they are applicable to such recipients. No recipient will take any action that would cause Ashoka to violate any laws. Additionally, Ashoka will not make any grant to a company involved in the promotion of tobacco use.


Total value:
100 200
One cash prize of US $100,000 given to the top solution One of two US $1,000 cash prizes (if you enter before July 30, 2012).

Competition entries

Title Contributor Location
Juntos Finanzas Ben Knelman Mountain View, United States