News & Events

December 2020


This report is based on data up to 31 December 2020 from the portfolio of Fund participants. In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic presented unprecedented business and personal challenges to the participants and their customers. Positively, many Fund-supported businesses showed remarkable resilience in innovating and continuing to provide financial products and services, some requiring support in the Covid-19 Recovery and Resilience challenge to protect gains made but also to take advantage of new opportunities. Understandably, resilience on the part of Fund participants and beneficiaries is a common theme in this report.


Despite the effects of the pandemic as well as climate related and political shocks, Fund participants reached 1.4 million new customers (beneficiaries) in 2020, with nearly 50% being under the age of 35 and 34% being women in rural areas. 65% of the over 2,000 direct jobs created in 2020 were for those under the age of 35. In the year, some 710,000 customers were supported with some form of capacity building to enable them use the financial products and services availed, including some 36 new products launched in the period by the portfolio.

These 2020 results contributed to a cumulative 4.7 million customers that the Fund portfolio has reached, 34% being customers under 35 and 33% being women living in rural areas. Approximately 5,000 direct jobs have been created in total to 31 December 2020, with 3.1 million customers receiving capacity building from participant businesses to use the over 200 financial products and services launched with Fund support. These results significantly exceed initial expectations of the Fund performance when conceptualized some seven years ago. Also significantly, for every dollar disbursed by the Fund, the participants leveraged another 2.7 dollars from their partners and own commitments; injecting far more investment into financial inclusion than envisaged.

Insights on how this was achieved despite the pandemic and other shocks and more detailed results can be found in the report.


To help its participants and beneficiaries withstand and recover from the crisis, the Fund launched a new funding window in 2020. This provided existing participants with the opportunity to access top-up grants in order to i) adapt business operations to overcome accessibility challenges and continue to serve rural communities, ii) provide bridging finance to affected communities, particularly women and smallholder farmers, and/or iii) support income retention for affected workers.
Read more about the 12 selected participants, commitments made and initial results in the report.



In 2020, the Fund awarded additional funding to high performing participants under their Strategic Investments window. This top-up funding aimed to i) leverage existing projects to create work opportunities for young men and women in line with Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works programme and/or support the growth of MSMEs within their value chains;  ii) accelerate and scale up existing successful projects within the portfolio; and iii) support participants that have been impacted by COVID-19 and thus require more time and resources to roll out their Fund-supported project at scale and achieve the intended impact.


FutureLink Technologies has been successful in adapting to the shock generated by the pandemic. Although the impact on their customers, operations and profits was significant as the crisis hit, the company was able to respond in multiple ways.  As FutureLink collects a lot of data on product usage, this provides useful insights into customer behaviour. This represented a good case opportunity to illustrate in more detail how participants were impacted by the crisis, and what strategies have contributed to strengthening their resilience.

Read the FutureLink case study on resilience in the report.