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About the MIT/MASTERCARD Program : The Zambezi Prize raises awareness of entrepreneurship and financial inclusion, encourages the flow of capital to financial inclusion ventures, and advances entrepreneurship and financial inclusion to fuel broad-based prosperity.
In order to participate in the MIT Zambezi Prize for Innovation in Financial Inclusion, your company needs to address one of the following nine challenges:
- Low Financial Literacy
- Limited Access to Financial Institutions
- Low and Unpredictable Income
- Proof of Identity
- Distrust of Financial Services
- Difficulty in Meeting Unforeseen Shock
- Limited Commercial Viability
- Complex and Costly Partnership Agreements with Other Stakeholders
- Limited Financial Infrastructure
The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT in collaboration with the MasterCard Foundation is awarding ventures that contribute to financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa
Application Deadline: 1st June 2018
Eligible Countries: Sub-Saharan African countries
- African Presence
- Active Company
- Founder’s intention to work full-time on the venture
- Availability to travel to the Zambezi Boot Camp in Boston
- Your company must solve one of the 9 financial inclusion challenges
If selected as finalists, ventures must have a founder or co-founder to attend MIT’s Entrepreneurship Development Program in Boston in 2018.
- The prize is open to a wide spectrum of financial inclusion ventures demonstrating innovation and potential for impact, financial sustainability, and scalability.
- The venture must be in its early stages, having progressed beyond concept.
- Vision and Purpose: What is your company’s mission? What are the pain points you are addressing?
- Scalability: What is your business model? How do you plan to grow over the next 5 years?
- Inclusion Challenge: How are you addressing one of the nine financial inclusion challenges of the Zambezi Prize?
- Ecosystem Impact: What impact is your company currently making in your community or in your market?
- Level of Innovation: What is innovative about your approach to advancing financial inclusion?
- Leadership: What are the guiding principles that motivate you? Which specific leadership strategies do you use to contribute to financial inclusion?
Number of Awards: 10
Value of Award: $200,000 USD divided thus:
- First place winner: $100,000 USD.
- Second and Third place winners: $30,000 each
- 7 Finalists – $5,000 Each
Award Providers: The Zambezi Prize is presented by the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT and The MasterCard Foundation.