68 million adults in America are currently disconnected from the financial system, with 17 million of those individuals having no bank accounts at all (FDIC 2014). Even including Americans with bank accounts, many are not able to successfully save; According to the Federal Reserve, one half of Americans can’t pay for an unexpected $400 expense through savings or credit cards, without selling something or borrowing money. This is often due to the burden of debt, or the lack of financial literacy, and access to credit.
To address this challenge, Village Capital is seeking financial technology entrepreneurs from across the US that are disrupting existing industries and increasing financial health for underserved communities and small businesses to participate in the Village Capital FinTech: US 2016 program, held in partnership with PayPal. This three-month program will support entrepreneurs with an award-winning program curriculum, 1:1 mentorship from sector leaders, and tailored engagements with potential strategic partners and investors.
At the end of the program, the top 2 peer-selected ventures will receive an offer for $75,000 USD investment in pre-committed capital from VilCap Investments and Access Ventures.
Village Capital, in partnership with PayPal, is seeking entrepreneurs with ventures that:
- Improve the financial resiliency of underserved households to withstand unexpected expenses such as health care costs, loss of income, etc.
- Increase income stability for underserved populations and revenue growth for small businesses through financial education, tools for a 1099 economy, alternative access to credit, access to investment products at transparent and fair fees, etc.
- Decrease financial barriers to fair credit and/or decrease the burden of long term debt
- Increase access to basic financial products around critical financial decisions and life events at fair costs; such as mortgages, insurance, and student loans.
- Focus on improving access to and affordability of financial services for immigrant or non-english speaking populations.
Workshop 1: 5/23-5/26 – Richmond/DC
Workshop 2: 7/12-7/15 – New York City
Workshop 3: 9/13-9/16 – San Francisco