By Alicia Sornson, Project Manager at Village Capital
We’re excited to announce the full cohort for the 2019 Finance Forward Middle East and North Africa (MENA) accelerator:
- All Compliance Services (Washington, DC) is a platform that helps banks accept and service the world’s under-banked and unbanked population by providing customized risk management software bundles, manageable on a single platform.
- Bankey (Arlington, VA) is a blockchain-enabled digital wallet operating in MENA that provides unbanked individuals, refugees and migrants with access to financial services through a network of banked individuals and businesses known as “keys”.
- Ciwa (Rabat, Morocco) is a digital solution for securing and managing tontines, rotative savings and credit communities.
- Fundbot (Beirut, Lebanon) is a digital factoring solution providing SMEs access to bank credit for invoices in order to provide for working capital needs.
- Finllect (Dubai, UAE) is a personal finance app that enables the Gen Z to learn about and manage money easily.
- Hawayati (Washington, DC) is a digital identity for mobile populations that intends to drive financial inclusion through identity, beginning in the Middle East with refugees and scaling to a worldwide presence serving mobile populations.
- Kader (Amman, Jordan) is an online recruitment platform targeted towards blue-collar and fast-moving jobs.
- Kaoun (Tunis, Tunisia) enables unbanked and underbanked individuals and businesses access to financial services through identification, payment and credit solutions.
- Merakido (Cairo, Egypt) is a gamified habit-building financial wellbeing application.
- Rumman (Amman, Jordan) is an automated micro-saving and investment application which allows people to invest for their future starting from as little as $1.
- Solfeh (Amman, Jordan) is a micro-lending platform, providing same-day emergency cash advancements to salaried employees.
Finance Forward MENA 2019 is part of Finance Forward, a multi-year global coalition led by founding partners MetLife Foundation, PayPal, and Village Capital to support entrepreneurs on four continents who are building tech-enabled solutions to challenges around financial health, economic mobility, and community resilience.
This year’s cohort includes entrepreneurs working on different aspects of financial health including helping unbanked individuals gain access to formal financial services, creating digital identities for refugees and migrant workers, gaining access to employment, aiding small business owners to access affordable credit, and offering opportunities for underserved people to earn, save and invest for the future.
This program was open to entrepreneurs across the MENA region, with selected companies coming from Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Morocco and UAE. Company selection was made with guidance from our Advisory Board, as well as our local partners Beyond Capital, Endeavor, Arab Bank, Jordan Entrepreneurship & Innovation Association, Andersen Tax & Legal, and Landmark Hotel.
Participating startups will receive intensive feedback from and connections to potential customers, partners, mentors, and Metlife employees, as well as broad exposure to regionally-focused investors at a weeklong workshop in Amman, Jordan this November. Two participating entrepreneurs will be eligible for capital up to $50,000 from the Metlife Foundation.
Village Capital operates the most active financial health accelerator in the world, with 22 past accelerators and bootcamps that have supported more than 200 startups. We were recently named Best Fintech Accelerator by Finovate.