Saturday, 19 March 2016

MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity


The MasterCard Foundation has launched its second Innovation Competition for Africa’s Smallholder Farmers and Rural Poor, as part of the Foundation's $50 million challenge Fund.

The competition promotes innovation in rural financial services to improve the lives of more than one million financially excluded people and requires proposals that seek to design, pilot, test and launch new financial products and services that can effectively meet the financing needs of people living in poverty in rural and agricultural areas. 

PRIZES
Between $250,000 and $1,000,000 funding for each successful applicant.

DEADLINE
28 March 2016.

ELIGIBILITY
  • The proposal must be for a project within an institution.
  • Projects may be proposed by a single institution or by a partnership of two or more of them (which could include a non-governmental organization); however, the proposal must be made by one company acting as the lead organization.
  • Projects for the Innovation Competition must be looking to deliver a financial service, product or process to rural and financially excluded poor people in one of the countries listed as eligible for the Innovation Competition.
  • Firms that apply should have transparent ownership and governance structures.
  • Firms that apply should have an established and verifiable institutional track record. The Fund will only consider start-ups in exceptional circumstances where there is strong evidence that the new company has credible and experienced investors and management team.
    Examples of institutions that are eligible include:
    • Banks;
    • Non-bank financial institutions such as insurance or leasing companies;
    • Agribusinesses that provide a financial service or that partner with a financial institution to deliver a financial service to their supply chain;
    • Firms that use mobile or IT technology to support the delivery of financial services to rural poor people; and
    • Firms that provide a non-financial service designed to facilitate increased access to financial services for financially excluded rural poor people. These firms may apply on their own as a lead applicant or may apply in partnership with a financial institution or agribusiness.

    Applications made to the Innovation Competition should be for support of between $250,000 and $1,000,000. 

    The Innovation Competition is open to project proposals where implementation will take place in the following countries:

    Benin
    Burkina Faso
    Burundi
    Cameroon
    Côte d’Ivoire
    Djibouti
    DRC
    Ethiopia
    The Gambia
    Ghana
    Kenya
    Liberia
    Madagascar
    Malawi
    Mali
    Mozambique
    Niger
    Rwanda
    Senegal
    Sierra Leone
    Tanzania
    Togo
    Uganda and
    Zambia

    JUDGING CRITERIA
    • What is the potential for the proposed idea to change access to financial services in rural Africa?
    • In what way is the proposed idea new? Is it new to the financial services sector, new to the country, new to the continent? Perhaps it is even a first in the world?
    • To what extent does the proposed project reach financially underserved markets?

    COMPETITION PAGE