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Application Process

The application process has two stages.

The first stage involves submission of an online initial application (Concept Note) – a concise summary of your business idea. The Initial Application template and Guidance Notes are available once you register.

The 2017/2018 competition will follow an online ‘rolling’ format. It will be open throughout the year with applications submitted and evaluated periodically. The fourth and final call for applications is now open and will close on 31 January 2018.

2017 rolling competition infographic

Submitted applications will be reviewed for eligibility and against the selection criteria. Unsuccessful applicants will be able to refine and resubmit their applications subsequently, along with new entrants in the competition. The new model of competition will allow applicants to submit high quality business ideas due to the continuous feedback.

In the second stage of the application process, the shortlisted applicants will be invited to submit a full business plan proposal.  

At this point, the applicant will be required to provide more detailed information on the proposed project, including financial, business performance and development impact projections. The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity team will be available to provide guidance at this stage. It is possible that applicants will be invited to present business plans in person to the Fund's Selection Committee.

Selection Criteria

Selection for the 2017 Rolling Competition is based on the following criteria:

Criteria Weighting
Capacity of the company to implement 20%
Commercial viability 20%
Development impact 25%
Innovation 25%
Capacity development of end users 10%

the innovation brochure

Download the Competition Guidance Notes.


Once the review process is completed, the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity will make final awards to successful business plan proposals. A Partnership Agreement, which stipulates disbursement schedules, milestones, reporting requirements and targets, is the governing contract between the Fund Manager and the applicant and will be operative for the life of the Fund.


For a quick reference to some of the common questions being asked about the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity, please click here.