Application: MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity 2017

The 2017 Competition is designed  to support innovative financial products, services or processes from organizations that will design, pilot and test new ideas, as well as those that aim to expand proven ideas into new geographies or a new customer segment in rural and agricultural areas.

Application Deadline: 10th August 2017

Eligible 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, Zambia

About the Award: The MasterCard Foundation Fund provided for Rural Prosperity is a US$50 million challenge fund to extend financial services to people living in poverty.

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We are looking for innovation in all applications, be they for new ideas or ideas that are ready for scaling.  When considering your ideas, you should address the following issues:

  • What is the possibility of the proposed idea to change access to financial services for smallholder farmers in Africa?
  • What is innovative about your proposed idea? For example, is it new to the financial services sector, new to the country, novel to the continent? Perhaps it is even a first in the world? Is there a significant process improvement that changes the way you deliver a service or product?
  • To what extent does the proposed project extend to financially underserved markets?

Type: Grants

Eligibility: The MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity will only assist ideas from institutions looking to deliver a financial service, product or process to smallholder farmers in an eligible African country (see list of countries above).

Projects may be proposed by a single institution or by a partnership of two or more (which could include a non-governmental organization); however, the lead applicant must be a for-profit firm.

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 support that the new company has credible and experienced investors and management team.

Firms that apply should have transparent ownership and governance structures.

Examples of institutions that are qualified 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 offer a non-financial service designed to facilitate increased access to financial services for financially excluded rural poor people. These firms can apply on their own as a lead applicant or may apply in partnership with a financial institution or agribusiness.

Please note that this list is not exhaustive. We are looking for applications from institutions that have a financial service offering.

Selection Criteria: Eligible projects under The MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity are expected to meet the following criteria:

  • 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 lead applicant must be a for-profit entity.
  • Projects for the 2017 Rolling Competition must take place in one of the countries listed as eligible.
  • Projects must show the potential to increase the provision of financial services to smallholder farmers in eligible countries.

Number of Awards: We expect that at least one million smallholder farmers, their families, and/or other poor people in rural households will be able to utilize the products and services developed and/or taken to scale.

through the Fund’s activities.

Value of Award: Applications made to the 2017 Rolling Competition should be for support of between US$250,000 and US$2,500,000.

How to Apply: APPLY NOW

Visit the Program Webpage for Details

Award Providers: MasterCard Foundation


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