Financial Solutions for Migrants is an accelerator for impact-driven startups developing bold solutions that have the potential to increase the financial inclusion of migrants, including refugees, and especially targeting women. This program is funded by the Impact-Linked Fund for Gender Inclusive Fintechs (ILF for GIF) and managed by the Impact-Linked Finance Fund. The ILF for GIF provides Impact-Linked Finance and technical assistance to fintechs to incentivize a stronger focus on gender transformative outcomes. Applications are now closed.
The program will:
Define: Develop and refine an in-depth, contextualized understanding of financial inclusion challenges for migrant and particularly migrant women across Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. Results will be shared in a public-facing report;
Accelerate: Identify and scale 30+ startups addressing those challenges through a combination of intensive in-person and virtual investment readiness training and platform-based long-term support. The acceleration will contribute to improving the ability of the products and services represented to fit the needs of migrant women; and
Convene: Build and develop partnerships that drive broad awareness of the challenges and opportunities in this space, catalyzing investment, storytelling, and other essential support for these solutions.
Must be a for-profit entity and have operations in a Sub-Saharan African / MENAT / South & Southeast Asian country
Market-based solution that tackles the above listed challenges or has the potential to serve migrants
Have at least a minimum viable product (MVP) and some traction under their belt. Relaxation may be made for products in development if value proposition showcased is considered strong
Have meaningful customer or business validation (not limited to revenue, can also be successful pilot studies, number of users, and/or strategic partnerships)
Companies with founders of diverse backgrounds and products with a focus on women migrant consumers will be preferred
Globally, there’s an estimated 281 million international migrants and more than 55 million internally displaced persons. Among many challenges, migrants face a significant obstacle - the current financial services do not meet their needs. Large swaths of migrants are still unbanked, remittance fees remain high, and poor legislation leaves millions of migrants without solutions to their financial needs.
We're looking to support startups building solutions to the following challenges faced by migrants:
Lack of access to financial services: We are looking for solutions that are improving access to banking services for migrant populations - identification solutions, solutions that allow for bank access from their country of origin, solutions that provide access to digital services, solutions that provide access to low-cost remittance products, solutions that provide mechanisms for alternative credit scores, solutions that provide access to unified and open APIs.
Language and Literacy Barriers: We are looking for solutions building products specifically for migrant populations, solutions with a focus on improving digital and financial literacy, solutions improving migrant’s access to financial services, educational solutions that increase awareness of products available for migrants, solutions improving access and awareness of government services, policies that are targeted towards migrant populations.
Lack of Trust: We are looking for solutions that are built with a deep understanding of local contexts; solutions that utilize informal economy practices; solutions that build their product and marketing plans for migrant populations; solutions that offer social and collaborative lending opportunities.
Constraining external environment: We are looking for solutions that allow for digital forums for migrants to connect, mobilize and raise grievances to the concerned authorities for resolutions; legal tech platforms that make it more accessible and affordable for the refugees and migrants to seek help against legal malpractices or policy gaps; cross-border insurance and pension products that allow migrants access social protection services from their country of origin.
Unsteady income stream and lack of job opportunities: We are looking for solutions that are creating innovative, affordable and more accessible financial products and services for migrants - low interest credit and loans, low ticket insurance products, social and collaborative lending solutions; solutions that facilitate learning and skills training to improve the employability of migrants; solutions that improve market access for migrant merchants and producers; solutions that facilitate the success or growth of migrant-led small and medium size enterprises such as point-of-sale terminals, payments processing, digital inventory management and more.
Opportunities to network and receive mentorship from investors, strategic partners, founders, and business leaders.
Build deep connections with other founders in your track and our larger Village Capital investor and alumni network. Participate in mock board meetings with representatives from relevant institutions, corporates, and investors that can help their organization scale.
Interactive workshop weeks tailored to help their company identify early milestones and prepare them for their next round of capital (if relevant). All selected companies will receive post-program support from the Village Capital team
One-on-one coaching with an investment analyst focused on building a financial model, identifying unit economics, and on using financial metrics to drive both their business and investor diligence.
Exposure on Village Capital’s program website and other communications collateral.
All selected companies will be screened for eligibility to receive funding from the Impact-Linked Fund for Gender-Inclusive Fintech
In-person in Istanbul, Turkey
With support from the Impact-Linked Finance Fund, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and the Austrian Development Agency, Village Capital is excited to launch the Catalyzing Financial Inclusion: Gender-Inclusive Fintech Solutions for Migrants report.
Learn more about mentoring with Village Capital