July 22, 2020 (Washington, DC) —Village Capital today announced the twelve early-stage fintech startups that were selected to take part in Finance Forward MENA 2020. An accelerator, Finance Forward MENA will provide the startups with five weeks of online and in-person training focused on improving their business models and making their financial health solutions available to those who need them most in the current economic climate.
Each startup selected for the accelerator will work closely with mentors, potential clients and partners, as well as investors they need to scale their impact, using tools developed to help their self-evaluation, such as Village Capital’s Abaca. The top five peer-selected companies will be eligible to share $150,000 USD in grant funding from MetLife Foundation.
“While there has been considerable improvement in global financial inclusion over the last decade, there is still work to do in all regions, especially in MENA,” said Alicia Sornson, Manager of Programs & Partnership in MENA at Village Capital. “I am incredibly excited to work with the twelve startups selected for this program that are developing products to help low-income individuals, families and small businesses manage their day-to-day finances as well as build short-and long-term savings and wealth.”
Finance Forward MENA 2020 is a part of a multi-year global coalition led by founding partners MetLife Foundation and PayPal to support entrepreneurs building tech-enabled solutions to challenges around financial health.
The program received applications from entrepreneurs operating across the region, with selected companies coming from Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, the UAE and Turkey. They are helping unbanked people gain access to formal financial services, creating digital identities for refugees and migrant workers, providing access to employment for youth and women, helping small business owners access affordable credit and offering opportunities for underserved people to earn, save and invest for the future.
“The financial health challenges created by COVID-19 for individuals and small businesses are significant,” said Dirk Ostijn, Head of EMEA, MetLife. “Times of crisis can spur great innovation, and the Finance Forward entrepreneurs are working with energy and optimism as they seek solutions for these challenges.”
The twelve startups in the cohort that are improving financial health in MENA (Middle East and North Africa) are:
For more information, reach out to Rustin Finkler at Village Capital (firstname.lastname@example.org).
About Village Capital
Village Capital helps entrepreneurs bring big ideas from vision to scale. Our mission is to reinvent the system to back the entrepreneurs of the future. Our vision is a future where business creates equity and long-term prosperity. Since 2009, we have supported more than 1,000 early-stage entrepreneurs through our investment readiness programs. Our affiliated fund, VilCap Investments, has invested in more than 100 program graduates, including 8 early-stage US fintech companies like Vault, Fig Loans, and Finix.
About MetLife Foundation
At MetLife Foundation, we are committed to expanding opportunities for low- and moderate-income people around the world. We partner with nonprofit organizations and social enterprises to create financial health solutions and build stronger communities, while engaging MetLife employee volunteers to help drive impact. MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. From its founding through the end of 2019, MetLife Foundation provided more than $860 million in grants and $85 million in program-related investments to make a positive impact in the communities where MetLife operates. Our financial health work has reached more than 13.4 million low- and moderate-income individuals in 42 countries. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit metlife.org.
Fueled by a fundamental belief that having access to financial services creates opportunity, PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) is committed to democratizing financial services and empowering people and businesses to join and thrive in the global economy. Our open digital payments platform gives PayPal’s 277 million active account holders the confidence to connect and transact in new and powerful ways, whether they are online, on a mobile device, in an app, or in person. Through a combination of technological innovation and strategic partnerships, PayPal creates better ways to manage and move money, and offers choice and flexibility when sending payments, paying or getting paid. Available in more than 200 markets around the world, the PayPal platform, including Braintree, Venmo, Xoom and iZettle, enables consumers and merchants to receive money in more than 100 currencies, withdraw funds in 56 currencies and hold balances in their PayPal accounts in 25 currencies. For more information on PayPal, visit https://www.paypal.com/about. For PayPal Holdings, Inc. financial information, visit https://investor.paypal-corp.com.