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Village Capital and MetLife Foundation Put Out Call for Latin American Startups Focused on Economic Inclusion, Financial Health, and Community Resilience

The program will support startups helping communities and individuals adapt to global challenges related to climate change, healthcare, wellness, and economic mobility
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Mexico City (January 8, 2023) Village Capital, in partnership with MetLife Foundation, launched a call for applications for “ADAPT: Social Innovation for a More Resilient Future,” an accelerator program for impact-driven startups developing solutions that enable equity, democratize access to basic services, and strengthen communities and individuals in the face of climate change, economic inequality, and other challenges to their wellbeing.

The accelerator will take place from March to May, 2024. Applications close on February 9th. Full details and eligibility criteria can be found here.

Latin America faces unprecedented challenges, including natural disasters, economic struggles, and limited access to quality healthcare, leading to community instability. Approximately 192 million Latin Americans lack healthcare due to financial constraints, impacting family incomes and savings. Wealthier countries like Brazil, Chile, and Colombia report decreased savings, while Mexico sees increased savings used to cope with inflation. Mental health services are scarce, with only 10% of the Mexican workforce having access and inadequate resources allocated in Chile and Colombia. The region urgently needs tools for community resilience in the face of uncertainty. 

Following the successful launch of the ADAPT initiative in LatAm and the U.S.’ in 2022, this year’s initiative will support projects that are working towards social resilience, prioritizing startups led by women, as well as founders who have lacked the opportunity to pursue higher education. Village Capital and MetLife Foundation’s goal is to support those who have been marginalized or have had less access to resources to scale their projects.   

“Village Capital is thankful for the support of MetLife Foundation once again to launch this accelerator program in Latin America. We believe in reinventing the system to support entrepreneurs who are addressing critical social challenges,” said Daniela Guerrero, Program Manager at Village Capital. “We are particularly excited to welcome initiatives led by women and entrepreneurs without higher education, as we work together to build a more resilient and inclusive society in the region.”

The call for applications is open to startups in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico that build solutions addressing one or more of the following challenges:

  • Disaster Preparedness: Focused, but not limited to, natural disaster recovery solutions that can help community leaders prepare for and recover from climate-related and other natural disasters.
  • Health and Wellness: We’re interested in startups that offer new and innovative ways to deliver services equitably, democratize access and reduce biases in health services, and build a more efficient and affordable healthcare system.
  • Access to education: We are interested in startups working on increasing access to educational services, offering resources to upskill the working population, or working on solutions to digitize resources.
  • Financial Resilience: We look for solutions that seize opportunities for improved financial security by equipping communities with the right tools to have a savings plan and to access financing when needed. 

From March to May 2024, the selected startups will participate in three online and one in-person summit in Mexico City, as well as receive mentorship from potential strategic partners, investors, customers, and other founders and Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESOs) in Latin America. Startups will also have an opportunity to have a one-on-one session with an investment analyst for feedback and support.

Two companies from each cohort will be selected by their peers and will receive $10,000 (USD) each from MetLife Foundation to further scale their solutions. All startups that apply to the program will be invited to join Abaca, Village Capital’s online free product that empowers entrepreneurs to make strategic decisions that align with their mission and vision in their fundraising journey. Abaca houses tools that help entrepreneurs identify their level of investment readiness, plan and track milestones, explore financing options, and identify relevant resources and capital providers.

For more information, reach out to Yireth Villaverde at Village Capital (yireth.villaverde@vilcap.com).

About Village Capital 

Village Capital is reinventing the system to back the entrepreneurs of the future. Known for its groundbreaking approaches to supporting founders who are building solutions to emergent social, economic, and environmental challenges, VilCap unlocks critical social and financial capital for early-stage companies to maximize business and impact growth. Since 2009, Village Capital has supported over 1,500 startups that have raised over $5 billion in investment capital. It has made more than 150 investments through its various affiliated funds, including Vilcap Investments, which has invested in 110 peer-selected companies. Over 20,000 entrepreneurs have improved their investment readiness through its network of entrepreneur support organizations and its platform, Abaca. Learn more at www.vilcap.com and follow @villagecapital.

About MetLife Foundation

At MetLife Foundation, we are committed to driving inclusive economic mobility for underserved and underrepresented communities around the world. We collaborate with nonprofit organizations and provide grants aligned to three strategic focus areas – economic inclusion, financial health and resilient 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. Since its inception, MetLife Foundation has contributed over $1 billion to strengthen communities where MetLife has a presence. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit www.MetLife.org