The program received applications from entrepreneurs across the region, with selected companies from Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and the United States. They help those without a bank account gain access to formal financial services, create digital identities for refugees and migrant workers, provide access to employment for youth and women, help small business owners access affordable credit, and provide opportunities for the underserved to earn, save and invest Future.
The cohort was selected under the guidance of the Finance Forward MENA Advisory Board and the local partners BeyondCapital and Endeavor.
The entrepreneurs in the program benefit from an award-winning curriculum that focuses on investing. Based on the results of the Village Capital Accelerator programs to date, Finance Forward alumni are expected to raise a total of $ 10 million in follow-up funding worldwide over the next five years. In addition, the entrepreneurs are introduced to mentors who can help their company to be successful from a regulatory and technical point of view.
Allie Burns, CEO of Village Capital, said, “Finance Forward is to focus on early-stage financial technology companies that are life changing but potentially sitting in the investor’s blind spot. It is a difficult period for such ventures, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, that is relatively overlooked by the early-stage investment system. So we’re helping these entrepreneurs speak the same language as investors, while also bringing investors ‘attention to these companies that offer some really excellent services that are actively improving users’ financial health. “
“With the recent boom in fintech development, it is an exciting time to support entrepreneurs,” said Elena Butarova, Head of Levant Countries and General Manager of MetLife Egypt. “For the MetLife Foundation, Finance Forward is an opportunity to harness the energy and creativity of entrepreneurs with integrative solutions for the region’s more than 140 million low-bank consumers. By supporting them, we will build better financial health for consumers, more resilient communities, and create economic opportunities. “
Here are the eleven startups that are improving financial health in the MENA region and have received a spot in the Finance Forward MENA 2019 program:
- All Compliance Services (Washington, DC) is a platform that helps banks accept and serve the worldwide bank and bankless by providing customized risk management software packages that can be managed on a single platform.
- Bankey (Arlington, VA) is a blockchain-enabled digital wallet operating in MENA that provides access to financial services to those without bank accounts, refugees and migrants through a network of individuals and businesses known as “Keys”.
- Ciwa (Rabat, Morocco) is a digital solution for securing and managing tontines, rotary savings and credit communities.
- Fundbot (Beirut, Lebanon) is a digital factoring solution that provides SMEs with access to bank credit for invoices to meet working capital needs.
- Finllect (Dubai, United Arab Emirates) is a personal finance app that enables Generation Z to easily learn and manage money.
- Hawayati (Washington, DC) is a digital identity for mobile populations designed to drive financial inclusion, from the Middle East with refugees to a global presence for mobile populations.
- Kader (Amman, Jordan) is an online recruitment platform geared towards blue-collar and fast-moving jobs.
- Kaoun (Tunis, Tunisia) enables private individuals and companies with and without bank details to access financial services through identification, payment and credit solutions.
- Merakido (Cairo, Egypt) is a gamified habit formation application for financial wellbeing.
- Rumman (Amman, Jordan) is an automated micro-savings and investment application that allows people to invest in their future for as little as $ 1.
- Solfeh (Amman, Jordan) is a fintech microcredit platform that offers same-day cash advances to employees in the event of an emergency.
About Village Capital
Village Capital operates the world’s most active financial health accelerator with 22 prior accelerators and bootcamps that have supported more than 200 startups. We were recently named Best Fintech Accelerator by Finovate. Previous programs in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates identified and awarded funding to fintech entrepreneurs working on solutions ranging from digital financial management tools to digital payment apps.
About the MetLife Foundation
At the MetLife Foundation, we believe financial health belongs to everyone. We bring bold solutions, deep financial literacy, and meaningful grants together to build the financial health of people and communities who are underserved and striving for more. We partner with organizations around the world to develop financial health solutions and build stronger communities by engaging MetLife volunteers to drive impact. The MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community engagement. Since its inception through late 2018, the MetLife Foundation has provided $ 822 million in grants and $ 85 million in program-related investments to make a positive impact on the communities in which MetLife operates. To date, our financial health work has reached 9.9 million low-income people in 42 countries. To learn more about the MetLife Foundation, visit metlife.org.
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© Press release 2019