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Process

HOW DOES THE FUND WORK?

The Fund has had a competitive phase (2015 - 2017) focusing on attracting and selecting applications for support, and is now in a post-competition phase (2018 - 2021) dedicated to monitoring and evaluating the projects that were selected and received financial support.

The Fund started by operating two calls for applications per year (an Innovation competition and a Scaling competition) in 2015 and 2016, and then offered more opportunities for businesses to compete for support through a rolling competition, which had three collection periods in 2017 and one in early 2018.

The original Innovation competitions focused on projects for 24 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, DRC, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Madagascar, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Togo and Zambia.

The original Scaling competitions focused on projects for 8 countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

The rolling competition focused on projects (whether innovative or scalable) for 24 countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, DRC, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Madagascar, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Togo and Zambia.

Once successful projects are selected and contracted, this is followed by disbursement, monitoring and evaluation and learning steps, all taken during the implementation phase of each approved project.

The broad process is outlined below:

  1. A public invitation to submit project concept notes or initial applications;
  2. Screening of the initial project concept notes by the Fund Manager, in terms of defined eligibility and selection criteria to arrive at a project concept notes shortlist;
  3. Submission of the project concept notes shortlist to the Mastercard Foundation for review;
  4. Review and approval of shortlisted project concept notes by the Foundation to proceed to business plan stage;
  5. Communication to successful applicants to submit business plans/full applications;
  6. Submission of business plans to the Fund Manager by shortlisted applicant firms;
  7. Financial and technical appraisal of applications in terms of the project eligibility, selection criteria and other project approval procedures by the Fund Manager, who then prepares its recommendations in a business plan review memorandum for each application;
  8. Review and evaluation of business plans and business plan review memos by the Fund Manager's strategic management team, who make clear funding recommendations to the Foundation;
  9. Review and evaluation of business plans and Fund Manager recommendations, presentations of the project to the Fund selection committee, and selection of awardees by the Foundation. The Foundation awards financial support to those eligible applications that offer the potential for the highest impact bearing in mind the project eligibility and selection criteria;
  10. Sign-off of final business plan review memoranda by the Foundation for the approved projects;
  11. Preparation of participation agreements by the Fund Manager, which stipulate disbursement schedules, milestones, reporting requirements and targets. These are operative for the life of the Fund. The Fund Manager then enters into a contract with the recipient firm on behalf of the Foundation;
  12. Disbursements, and monitoring of project implementation by the Fund Manager to the project (through self-reporting required and from regular project visits) on an ongoing basis based on deliverables achieved; and
  13. Distilling and dissemination of relevant learnings from both successful and failed projects to various audiences.