近日，国际支付公司MasterCard旗下的农村发展基金会（Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity）将向非洲地区注资100万美金，以促进当地金融科技企业发展，提高创新能力，加速实现普惠金融。
该基金会财务总监Ann Miles表示，普惠金融战略能够提升金融服务的可获得性，为非洲当地的贫困地区、低收入群体、小微经济实体提供价格合理、安全便捷的金融服务和产品。自成立以来，农村发展基金会已经成功帮助超过100万非洲贫困人口提高了生活水平，初步实现了组织成立初期所设立的阶段性目标。Ann Miles也呼吁更多国际性金融组织能够关注金融弱势群体，加大资源倾斜，提高金融服务覆盖面积。
去年，Ibero Uganda、First Access和Letshego Financial Services成为该项目的获奖企业，获得了有该基金提供的100万美元奖金。
First Access通过与金融机构Esoko合作，成功设立了非洲首家农业信用评分平台。而Letshego Financial Services则开发出了名为LetsGo- Blue Box的业务模式，为农村地区的金融机构提供客户信息的收集与分析服务，并提供实时开立银行账户，制作财务报表等类银行业务。
The MasterCard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity (FRP) is set to invest over $1m into innovative and scalable financial products and services that improve the lives of poor people in rural areas of Africa.
“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.”
The foundation has unveiled a 2017 competition 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.
Since its launch in 2015, the Fund has held four competitions. Nineteen projects across Sub-Saharan Africa have been provided with financial support of over $23,802,913.
The fund has also announced Ibero Uganda Limited, First Access and Letshego Financial Services Mozambique as the 2016 Innovation Competition winners which took home a total of US$1,000,000 each.
With the cash Ibero Uganda Ltd will implement the Coffee Farmers Livelihoods Enhancement Project to reach smallholder coffee farmers with either a fertilizer advance and a cash advance. Ibero expects at least 35,000 farmers to increase their productivity by 100% and net income by 94%, leading to radical transformation in their livelihoods.
First Access in partnership with Esoko will develop Africa’s first-of-its-kind rural agricultural credit-scoring platform for lending institutions while Mozambique’s Letshego Financial Services is proposing the LetsGo- Blue Box agency banking model which will allow rural agents, for the first time in Mozambique, to collect biometric “know-your-customer” information (including digital pictures and geographical coordinates), open bank accounts in real time, print mini-statements, etc.