Submitted by MetLife Foundation
Village Capital today announced the launch of Finance Forward — a global coalition created with MetLife Foundation, PayPal, and local partners to support more than 100 early-stage entrepreneurs building tech-enabled solutions around financial health in the United States, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and India.
Finance Forward will provide capacity-building support for entrepreneurs in the program, as well as $850,000 in capital through grants and direct investments. Based on the past results of Village Capital accelerator programs, the coalition is aiming to drive at least $10 million in follow-on funding to program participants over the next five years.
Finance Forward will feature nine regional accelerator programs and boot camps over the next two years. Each program will drive investment to entrepreneurs building solutions to improve the financial health of low- and medium-income people and small business owners. Participating companies will be eligible to receive capital ranging from $25,000 to $75,000 to help support the growth of their company.
Village Capital runs the most active financial health accelerator in the world, with 22 past programs that have supported more than 200 startups, many in collaboration with PayPal or MetLife Foundation. In Finance Forward, PayPal and MetLife volunteer leaders will help shape the thesis for each program and provide 1-1 mentorship to entrepreneurs in each region alongside other deeply engaged, industry-leading partners, including Moody’s Corporation for the program in Latin America.
“We’re excited to continue our long-standing work with these two industry-leading partners to broaden the scope of our Financial Health practice,” said Allie Burns, CEO, Village Capital. “We’ve seen real progress on financial inclusion in the past few years, thanks in large part to mobile phones, a changing regulatory environment, and a new generation of companies creating true technology innovation in fintech. But simply being included is only the start; now that people are in the system, we need to make sure they can actually use the system to build their financial health: the ability to manage your income, get a loan when you need it, and plan for your financial future.”
“The onset of fintech has brought new possibilities to the design and delivery of financial services, and broadened aspirations for our work to build financial health for all,” said Sarah Willis, Director, Financial Health at MetLife Foundation. “The Finance Forward coalition stems from a belief that with the right mentors, investments and an emphasis on locally-relevant solutions, tech entrepreneurs will continue to transform the way low-income people benefit from the financial sector.”
“Even with the rapid increase in bank accounts in emerging markets, many people remain significantly underserved by the financial system today,” said Tyler Spalding, Director, Corporate Affairs at PayPal. “We’re excited to build on the last five years of impact with Village Capital to continue supporting entrepreneurs with innovative solutions to improve the financial health of individuals and businesses around the world. This is PayPal’s purpose, and we’re proud to work with Village Capital and their global community of entrepreneurs to democratize financial services for the underserved.”
In total, Finance Forward aims to improve the financial health of 700,000 low-income people and 10,000 micro and small businesses owners. The initiative will also convene meetings with industry leaders in each market; support five accelerators and incubators through Village Capital’s VilCap Communitiesoffering; produce a series of reports on trends and best practices that will be made available to the public; and host a global alumni summit for Village Capital program graduates.
Past participants in Village Capital programs include Indian startup Loans4SME, a platform for small businesses to raise debt capital that has contributed $35 million of working capital to more than 70 businesses, and Mexican startup ePesos, a mobile payments startup that secured one of the largest-ever startup equity raises in Mexican history shortly after participating in the program.
For more information, reach out to Ben Wrobel at Village Capital (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Finance Forward Founding Partners
About Village Capital
Village Capital helps entrepreneurs bring big ideas from vision to scale. Our mission is to reinvent the system to back the entrepreneurs of the future. Our vision is a future where business creates equity and long-term prosperity. Since 2009, we have supported more than 1,000 early-stage entrepreneurs through our investment readiness programs. Our affiliated fund, VilCap Investments, has invested in more than 100 program graduates, including 8 early-stage US fintech companies like Vault, Fig Loans, and Finix.
About MetLife Foundation
At MetLife Foundation, we believe financial health belongs to everyone. We bring together bold solutions, deep financial expertise and meaningful grants to build financial health for people and communities that are underserved and aspire for more. We partner with organizations around the world to create financial health solutions and build stronger communities, engaging MetLife employee volunteers to help drive impact. MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since its founding through the end of 2018, MetLife Foundation provided $822 million in grants and $85 million in program-related investments to make a positive impact in the communities where MetLife operates. To date, our financial health work has reached 9.9 million low-income individuals in 42 countries. To learn more about MetLife Foundation, visit metlife.org.
Fueled by a fundamental belief that having access to financial services creates opportunity, PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) is committed to democratizing financial services and empowering people and businesses to join and thrive in the global economy. Our open digital payments platform gives PayPal’s 277 million active account holders the confidence to connect and transact in new and powerful ways, whether they are online, on a mobile device, in an app, or in person. Through a combination of technological innovation and strategic partnerships, PayPal creates better ways to manage and move money, and offers choice and flexibility when sending payments, paying or getting paid. Available in more than 200 markets around the world, the PayPal platform, including Braintree, Venmo, Xoom and iZettle, enables consumers and merchants to receive money in more than 100 currencies, withdraw funds in 56 currencies and hold balances in their PayPal accounts in 25 currencies. For more information on PayPal, visit www.paypal.com/about. For PayPal Holdings, Inc. financial information, visit investor.paypal-corp.com.
Finance Forward: Latin America Regional Partner
Moody's is an essential component of the global capital markets, providing credit ratings, research, tools and analysis that contribute to transparent and integrated financial markets. Moody's Corporation (NYSE: MCO) is the parent company of Moody's Investors Service, which provides credit ratings and research covering debt instruments and securities, and Moody's Analytics, which offers leading-edge software, advisory services and research for credit and economic analysis and financial risk management. The Corporation, which reported revenue of $4.4 billion in 2018, employs approximately 13,200 people worldwide and maintains a presence in 44 countries. Further information is available at www.moodys.com.
Moody’s believes in a world where more people have access to opportunity, and where everyone has what they need to grow and thrive. We are committed to opening the door to a better future through our global corporate social responsibility programs empowering people around the world with the knowledge, resources and confidence they need to succeed. For more information visit moodys.com/csr.
MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 by MetLife to carry on its long-standing tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. MetLife and MetLife Foundation have invested more than $15 million for Alzheimer's research and public information programs, including $10 million through the Awards for Medical Research program. Working with the Alzheimer's Association, the Foundation has supported caregiving videos, resources for the Hispanic community and the Safe Return identification program, which addresses the problem of senior wandering. The Foundation has expanded its focus on aging issues, including helping people remain physically and mentally fit and remaining engaged in the community. It also supports programs addressing issues of caregiving, intergenerational activities and volunteer opportunities. Grants support health, education, and civic and cultural programs. More information about MetLife Foundation is available at www.metlife.org.
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