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The MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity Launches New Funding Opportunity for Financial Services Providers to Improve the Lives of Poor People in Rural Africa

The MasterCard Foundation (www.MasterCardFdn.org) Fund for Rural Prosperity (FRP) (www.FRP.org) today launched a new competition to find and support providers of innovative and scalable financial products and services that improve the lives of poor people in rural areas of Africa. 

The 2017 competition will follow a ‘rolling’ format. It will be open throughout the year with applications submitted and evaluated periodically. The first submission period will close for judging on August 10, 2017. Unsuccessful applicants will be able to refine and resubmit their applications subsequently, along with new entrants in the competition.

The Fund for Rural Prosperity will accept applications for innovative financial solutions that expand and deepen financial inclusion for poor people in rural areas of Africa. It will also support selected solutions that have already been successfully implemented and are being scaled to a new sector, a new geographic area, or for a new use.  

Applications can be from any financial services provider in any country in the world providing the solution proposed is implemented in specific countries of Africa (see the list of countries below). With this new model of competition, The MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity expects to receive a high number of quality proposals focused on enabling people living in poverty to participate in the formal financial sector of their country.

Since its launch in 2015, the Fund has held four competitions. Nineteen projects across Sub-Saharan Africa have been provided with financial support. The Fund has committed US$23,802,913 to these projects. The 2017 competition launch coincides with the announcement of the 2016 Innovation Competition winners. Three projects have been awarded support by the Fund to implement innovative financial solutions. A total of US$3,000,000 has been committed to these firms:

  • Ibero Uganda Limited
  • First Access
  • Letshego Financial Services Mozambique

“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,” said Ann Miles, Director of Financial Inclusion at The MasterCard Foundation. “We have seen financial services providers step up with truly innovative and scalable ideas to drive financial inclusion for this group of people. We hope that other actors in this space are taking note so that they, too, can emulate or support success and bring the benefits of financial inclusion to millions more people.” 

More information about the 2017 rolling competition, including application forms, guidance notes, and details on eligible countries are available on the website at www.FRP.org

Distributed by APO on behalf of The MasterCard Foundation.

Note to Editors: The countries of focus for The MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity rolling competition are: 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. 

For more information, please contact:  Jemima Gathumi-Mungoma Operations Manager The MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity  +254 (0)709576382  JMungoma@FRP.org 

Roger Morier  Senior Manager Communications, The MasterCard Foundation  +1-647-837-5290  RMorier@MasterCardFdn.org   

About The Mastercard Foundation:  The MasterCard Foundation works with visionary organizations to provide greater access to education, skills training and financial services for people living in poverty, primarily in Africa. As one of the largest private foundations, its work is guided by its mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. Based in Toronto, Canada, its independence was established by Mastercard when the Foundation was created in 2006. For more information and to sign up for the Foundation’s newsletter, please visit www.MasterCardFdn.org. Follow the Foundation at @MastercardFdn on Twitter. 

About KPMG: KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services. We have more than 155,000 outstanding professionals working together to deliver value in 155 countries worldwide. KPMG’s International Development Advisory Services, Africa (“KPMG IDAS”), is an Africawide department hosted by the KPMG Kenya member firm and is a global Centre of Excellence for development work on the continent. We have adopted a pan-African approach to development, employing full-time development experts complemented by a network of specialized consultants across Africa. KPMG IDAS is currently implementing some of the largest, most exciting and innovative development programmes in Africa for a variety of public and private sector clients. For more information, please visit: www.KPMG.com/das. 

Note: Information on the 2016 Innovation Competition winners is provided here (http://APO.af/FMsp91).