The MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity (FRP) has committed to supporting providers of innovative and scalable financial products and services that improve the lives of poor people in rural Africa.
The FRP has launched a competition that will be open throughout the year, with applications from financial inclusion solutions submitted and evaluated periodically. Solutions that have achieved success in implementation and are being scaled to a new sector, a new geographical area or for a new use will then receive funding.
Applications are open from any financial service provider in these countries: Burundi, Benin, Burkina Faso, 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.
The MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity is a $50 million challenge fund to extend financial services to people living in poverty. It works to ensure that one million people in rural Africa have access to appropriate savings, credit and insurance services.
Launched in 2015, the Fund has held four such competitions and provided funding of more than $23 million to 19 projects across sub-Saharan Africa.
Ann Miles, Director of Financial Inclusion at The MasterCard Foundation. “Our Fund for Rural Prosperity has already met its initial objective of improving the lives of one million smallholder farmers and poor people in rural Africa.”
The Fund for Rural Prosperity also announced the winners of the 2016 competition as it launched its 2017 edition. It has committed $3 million to implement Ibero Uganda Limited, First Access and Letshego Financial Services Mozambique.
The first submission period for this year’s competition will close for judging on 10 August 2017. The competition allows unsuccessful applicants to subsequently resubmit their application along with new entrants in upcoming submission periods.