Allie Burns

Allie Burns, CEO, Village Capital

US-headquartered firms, Village Capital, MetLife Foundation, PayPal, along with other local partners have collaborated to launch ‘Finance Forward’- a global coalition to support fresh entrepreneurs.

Venture capital firm, Village Capital on Monday announced that the joint venture will be supporting 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 will pour in $850,000 as capital through grants and direct investments. The coalition is positive to drive at least $10 million in follow-on funding to program participants over the next five years.

Allie Burns, CEO, Village Capital commented, “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.”

She continued, “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 platform will feature nine regional accelerator programs and boot camps over the next two years, targeted at improving the financial health of low- and medium-income people and small business owners. The participating companies will be eligible to receive a capital boost ranging from $25,000 to $75,000.

Talking about the coalition, Sarah Willis, Director, Financial Health at MetLife Foundation asserted, “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,” added Tyler Spalding, Director, Corporate Affairs at PayPal.

In total, the Fintech startup is aiming to improve the financial health of at least 700,000 low-income people and 10,000 micro and small businesses owners.

by Sheeba Bhagat Dawar
Market Analyst at IBS Intelligence
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