UNCDF, in collaboration with UNESCAP, is launching an Innovation Fund on digital solutions for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises in Asia-Pacific. The Innovation Fund seeks to co-fund companies to pilot innovative digital and financial solutions that improve access to finance and/or enhance operational efficiency of women-led MSMEs.
The goals is to co-fund and provide technical support for companies to pilot innovative digital solutions and/or digital financial solutions which support women-owned, managed and/or led MSMEs. Eligible applicants are welcome to submit a proposal that addresses this goal.
The Innovation Fund is targeted at solutions that are ready for pilot testing and will provide US
$25,000 to US$ 50,000 of co-funding for selected projects.
Successful applications will receive:
• Up to $50,000 of Co-Funding
• Technical Assistance
• Connection to Investors
Eligible applicants who can apply for the Innovation Fund include (but not restricted to): regulated Financial Institutions (Banks, MFls, Insurance companies); Payment Service Providers; Agent Banking Aggregators; Mobile Network Operators; Technology Providers; FMCG/Agriculture Companies; FinTech Companies; and NGOs.
Companies with an innovative solution that will lead to increased access to finance for MSMEs, in particular women-owned, managed or led MSMEs - and which is ready for pilot testing in one or more of the target countries.
The applicant can be based anywhere globally, but the project must target womenowned, managed or led MSMEs in one or more of the target countries.
Joint proposals between market players in the target country/ies (for example, financial service provider, FinTech company and telecom provider) that expand delivery networks and promote rural/last-mile access to MSME finance are encouraged to apply.
If the digital solution/product is a financial solution/product which requires piloting with a regulated financial institution and requires regulatory approval before piloting, the applicant must partner with a regulated financial service provider in the target country lies for delivery of the innovative solution.
Either the applicant or their financial service provider partner must be a registered entity with at least one year of operations and statutory accounts.
The applicant must have an existing solution that is ready to undergo pilot testing for a duration of 9 to 12 months.
The applicant can be based anywhere globally, but the project must target women-owned, managed or led MSMEs in one or more of the target countries. The target countries include: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Myanmar, Nepal, Samoa, and Viet Nam.