Applications open in UAE for 2024 Visa Everywhere Initiative

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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Applications open for Visa Everywhere initiative
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Applications have opened in UAE for the Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEMEA) edition of the 2024 Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI), a global open innovation program and competition that sees fintech startups pitch their solutions to solve tomorrow’s payment and commerce challenges.

In addition to equity-free funding, VEI winners gain access and exposure to Visa’s vast networks of partners in the banking, merchant, venture capital, and government sectors. The winners also benefit from receiving recognition from one of the world’s most trusted and valuable brands.

With applications until May 6th, this year’s VEI will see a virtual CEMEA competition on July 17. The startup that wins at the CEMEA finale will participate in the global finale, competing against winners from Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and North America, at the TechCrunch Disrupt event in San Francisco on October 29th, 2024.

Salima Gutieva_Application opens for 2024 Visa Everywhere Initiative
Salima Gutieva
VP & UAE Country Manager,

“The Visa Everywhere Initiative is a powerful platform that empowers and uplifts fintechs and entrepreneurs to showcase the most ground-breaking, impactful solutions solving tomorrow’s challenges in the world of payments and commerce. Fintechs have the potential to offer broad social benefits to the markets they operate in, particularly when it comes to providing financial services to those who have traditionally been underserved. At Visa, we believe access to the digital economy drives equitable, inclusive growth, and VEI is an important means of supporting the growth journey of fintechs in UAE, helping them take small but significant steps towards making an impact.”

The program first launched in the US in 2015 and quickly expanded into a global program. To date, nearly 15,000 startups have participated, and have collectively raised over AED175B ($48 billion) in funding. VEI 2023 saw Nigeria’s Drugstock take home the VEI global grand prize of AED183,000 ($50,000), as well as the Audience Favorite prize of AED36,700 ($10,000).

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