MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity – Rolling Competition
- The MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity is a US $50 million challenge fund. The guiding principles behind this fund are:
- a) Impact: Projects must have a positive effect on the rural poor through job creation, reduced vulnerability, income generation and productivity gains.
- b) Innovation: This Fund intends to harness the capacity and creativity of agribusinesses and the financial sector to increase access to, innovate and deliver financial services.
- c) Sustainability: Projects supported by the Fund should state clearly how they intend to achieve financial viability.
- Previously, the Fund operated two competitions, i.e. an Innovation Competition and a Scaling Competition. In 2017, however, the Fund introduced the Rolling Competition.
- FRP will function for seven years, with the last four years dedicated to monitoring and evaluation of the projects that receive financial support.
- The Rolling Competition will follow a rolling format, meaning that it will be open throughout the year. This means that applicants that are not successful earlier in the year will have time to re-evaluate and strengthen their applications, and then re-enter them.
- The Competition is open to project proposals from all over the world, as long as the projects are set for implementation in the 24 African countries of focus.
- The Rolling Competition seeks to support financial processes, services or products from organizations that will innovate and expand proven ideas, targeting new geographical and customer segments in rural and agricultural areas.
What are the competition benefits?
- The MCF FRP only supports ideas from institutions that are looking to deliver a financial product, service or process to smallholder farmers in eligible African countries.
- Successful applicants will receive funding of between US $250,000 and 2.5 million for their projects.
How many people will benefit?
- At least one million smallholder farmers in rural communities, their families, and/or other poor people will gain access to the products and services developed and/or taken to scale as a result of the Fund’s activities.
Which countries does the FRP focus on?
The African countries targeted for the implementation of this project are:
Benin Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Cote D’Ivoire
Djibouti DRC Ethiopia The Gambia Ghana
Kenya Liberia Madagascar Malawi Mali
Mozambique Niger Rwanda Senegal Sierra Leone
Tanzania Togo Uganda Zambia
Projects for the Rolling Competition must take place only in the countries listed above.
Below is a list of eligibility criteria for the projects under the MCF Fund for Rural Prosperity.
- Each proposal must be for a project within an institution.
- Projects may be proposed either by a single institution or a partnership of two or more institutions (can include a non-governmental organization). The lead applicant for the competition must, however, be a for-profit entity.
- Projects for the Rolling Competition must take place in one of the countries listed as eligible.
- The projects must demonstrate the potential to increase the availability of financial services to smallholder farmers in rural communities within the eligible countries.
- All applications for the Rolling Competition should require support of between US $250,000 and 2,500,000.
Institutions that are eligible for this competition include:
- Non-bank financial institutions such as insurance or leasing companies
- Firms that use mobile and IT technology to support the delivery of financial services to poor people in rural areas
- An Agribusinesses that either provides a financial service or that collaborates with financial institutions to deliver financial services to its supply chain
- Firms that provide non-financial services that are designed to assist rural poor people in accessing financial services. This kind of company can apply either as a single entity or in partnership with an agribusiness or financial institution.
How to Apply – Next Steps
- Simply download and complete the application form and submit it to the FRP.
- Some basic information about your company and an outlined description of the project you are proposing will be required in the application.
- Innovative ideas on how to improve rural poor people’s access to financial services stand a higher chance of winning the competition.
- The competition runs throughout the year, with applications being submitted and reviewed periodically.
- The first submission period closes for evaluation on Aug 10
How do I get more information?