Mercy Corps launches $1million fund to test blockchain solutions for financial inclusion
17-03-2022 11:11:05 | by: Bob Koigi | hits: 4258 | Tags:

Mercy Corps is launching a new Crypto for Good Fund of $1 million to test and support blockchain-based solutions for people who are currently low-income and/or unbanked. 

Up to 10 social enterprises will receive up to $100,000 in grant funding to test their pilot projects applying decentralized finance and blockchain technology to build financial inclusion solutions for users in emerging markets. Applicants can submit their pilot proposals on Medium . Applications are open from March 15th to April 15th, 2022.

Through Mercy Corps Ventures, the impact investing arm of Mercy Corps, startups will receive grant funding, mentorship, networking opportunities, brand exposure, and more. Pilot projects should utilize decentralized finance and blockchain technology to improve access to financial services and other livelihood improvements for low-income communities in frontier and emerging economies.

“We are excited to partner with visionary founding teams to identify, test and prove the potential  of crypto and web3 to improve financial access for the 1.7 billion people in the world who are currently unbanked,” says Scott Onder, Senior Managing Director of Mercy Corps Ventures. “Our aim is to validate use-cases and accelerate the development of solutions that drive positive impact for users in emerging markets.”

Applicants must be early-stage startups leveraging blockchain to deliver financial inclusion solutions to low-income and/or un/underbanked users, have active users and commercial revenue, and be an entity registered and operating in the country of pilot. Pilots can operate in Africa, South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Pacific Islands, Eastern Europe or Western Balkans.

Mercy Corps Ventures is particularly interested in supporting entrepreneurs local to the market in which they're operating as well as female founders, applicants with representation of women at all levels of the organization and/or solutions that reach an extensive female-user base.