SC – UNCDF Driving Islamic Fintech Innovation Ecosystem with FIKRA
25 May 2021
Accelerator programme global call for submission kick-starts today!

The Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) and the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), through its Centre for Financial Health programme, today launched an innovation programme to develop a vibrant Islamic fintech innovation ecosystem in Malaysia’s Islamic capital market (ICM).
The programme, known as the FIKRA Islamic Fintech Accelerator Programme (FIKRA), kicked off today with its inaugural initiative, the first accelerator focusing on fintech for the ICM in Malaysia. FIKRA aims to identify and scale relevant and innovative Islamic fintech solutions that can help address three main challenge areas, namely, new ICM offerings, accessibility and social finance integration*.

SC Chairman, Datuk Syed Zaid Albar said, “Islamic fintech in the Malaysian capital market is still at a nascent stage, but there is great potential for exponential growth with the right ecosystem. The accelerator and future initiatives under FIKRA will advance the development of Islamic fintech while creating an ecosystem that nurtures talent, funds innovation, commercialises ideas and solutions, and creates jobs and opportunities.”

FIKRA is designed to turn ideas into real-life solutions taking innovators through the entire value chain from ideation, solutions validation, prototype building, creating a fundraising pitch deck, to preparing applicants for an effective pitching to potential investors and more.

Fintech start-ups who participate in FIKRA’s first accelerator initiative will benefit from regulatory guidance, the programme’s mentorship, social networks, and more. The methodologies used for the programme are developed by UNCDF based on their prior experience running innovation challenges through their Financial Innovation Lab (FinLab) and now scaled to address finance related initiatives under the Centre for Financial Health.

"To achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is important to ensure that product offerings focus on building financial resilience and security for the people we serve," said Preeti Sinha, Executive Secretary for UNCDF. "As we look to broaden market participation, FIKRA can be an avenue for innovators to cultivate their solutions that can potentially provide a much-needed and timely boost for the Malaysian ICM. We look forward to partnering with the SC on this innovative initiative."

Participants will also have the opportunity to work closely with FIKRA’s industry partners such as Bank Islam Malaysia, Gobi Partners, Kenanga Investment Bank, and Permodalan Nasional Berhad.

The programme is currently open for registration, and is scheduled to commence in July 2021 for three months, culminating in a public virtual demo day during the annual SCxSC Fintech Conference 2021.

*For more information, and to apply for the accelerator programme, visit the UNCDF website. Applications close on 30 June 2021.
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