This Competition’s aim was to provide support for expansion of proven ideas for financial product, service or process into new geographies or new customer segment in the rural areas.

Click here to read about the previous winners in 2015 competition.

The Scaling Competition provided support to projects in:

  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Ghana
  • Kenya
  • Mozambique
  • Senegal
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Zambia


Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity only supports ideas from for-profit organizations that are looking to deliver a financial service, product or process to rural poor people in an eligible African country.

Projects may be proposed by a single institution or by a partnership of two or more institutions; however, the proposal must be made by company acting as the lead organization.

To be considered for financial support, applying firms were required to provide established and verifiable institutional track record, while start-ups were only considered in exceptional circumstances where there was strong evidence that the new organization had credible and experienced management team and investors.

Applying firms were required to have in place transparent ownership and governance structures.

Examples of institutions that were eligible included:

  • Banks;
  • Non-bank financial institutions (for example, insurance or leasing companies);
  • Agribusinesses that provide a financial service or partner with a financial institution to deliver a financial service to their supply chain;
  • Firms that use mobile or IT technology to support the delivery of financial services to rural poor; and
  • Firms that provide a non-financial service designed to facilitate increased access to financial services for financially excluded rural poor people. For the latter category, they may apply on their own as a lead applicant or may apply in partnership with a financial institution or agribusiness.
Eligibility criteria
  • The proposal had to be for a project within an institution.
  • Projects could be proposed by a single institution or by a partnership of two or more institutions; however, a lead organization was accountable for the proposal.
  • Proposed projects for the Innovation Competition had to take place in one of the countries listed as eligible.
  • Proposed Scaling Competition projects had to take place in one of the eight core eligible countries. Projects had to demonstrate potential to increase the provision of financial services to the financially excluded rural poor in target countries.
  • Applications made to the Innovation Competition were for grants of between US$250,000 and US$1,000,000. For the Scaling Competition, applications financial support request was between US$750,000 and US$2,500,000.


Download the scaling brochure.