In January 2017, we were named Gulf regional winners of the social start-up competition, Chivas, The Venture. Last week (13-17th March), the winners of all the regional competitions were invited to Oxford, England to participate in Accelerator Week, which provided mentorship and guidance for all the start-ups ahead of the final in July.
An illustration was made of all participating start-ups, showcasing what each business does in an artistic way. We loved it and wanted to share the interactive version on our blog. If you run your mouse across the image, a pop-up box will tell you what each business is and the social issue they’re addressing. But before you do, try and guess where’s NOW Money?
NOW Money has won the Gulf regional final of Chivas The Venture, a global search to find and support the next generation of start-ups that want to succeed while creating a better future for society, after both co-founders, Ian Dillon and Katharine Budd, presented a winning pitch to a panel of five judges.
The competition, which was hosted at the Marina Social, Intercontinental Dubai Marina in Dubai on 18th January 2017, invited four social start-up enterprises to pitch their business and the positive social impact it will have on society.
NOW was selected as the winner based not only on its ability to improve the lives of 26 million low-income migrant workers in the GCC countries by including them in the financial system, but it’s on its scalability too. The judges were impressed that NOW can provide the opportunity to create an inclusive financial ecosystem on a national, regional and global level and also combat financial crime.
NOW will represent The Gulf in the upcoming Chivas The Venture global final in Los Angeles in July 2017. The 30 finalists from across six continents will have a chance to pitch for a share of a $1 million fund in front of an expert panel of judges who are looking for businesses that can offer scalable and sustainable solutions to real world issues.
The company has also won a place at Chivas The Venture’s Accelerator Week, in Oxford, UK, where they will receive world-class mentorship and support in preparation for the global final of the competition.
“We are so proud to have been part of this competition which recognises companies who strive to create social change, and to win the Gulf regional final is just fantastic”, said Mr Dillon. “It’s been such a journey to get to this stage, and we’re looking forward to the next six months as part of The Venture programme with an enormous sense of anticipation, excitement and confidence. We are the only company whose sole purpose is to stamp out financial exclusion, and the funding that we could receive from this opportunity could be a real game changer.”
Commenting on the judges’ decision to award the title to NOW, Gaurav Sabharwal, Managing Director, Pernod Ricard Gulf, and head of the judging panel commented:
“This year’s final delivered a very exciting and informative day of competition. Our four finalists represented four very different businesses, but they all shared a common theme – that of making a social impact. However, our decision to choose NOW was unanimous. Their business can positively benefit the lives of literally millions of people and can be replicated geographically, quickly and cheaply.The potential social impact is astounding. We believe NOW is a worthy winner capable of representing the region on a global stage and competing strongly for its share of The Venture’s US$1m global social enterprise fund.”
NOW uses mobile banking technology to provide accounts, financial inclusion and a range of low-cost remittance options to low-income migrant workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, improving their lives and saving them and their families significant money, in a profitable and sustainable manner.