Announcing the winners: Finance Forward MENA 2019

SOURCE: VillageCapital

We’re excited to announce the winners of Finance Forward: Middle East and North Africa 2019, a Village Capital investment-readiness program held in Amman, Jordan in November in partnership with MetLife Foundation, an advisory board of MENA-based investors and experts, and local partners including Beyond Capital and Endeavor Jordan.

Two fintech startups, Solfeh and Kaoun, will share $50,000 in grant capital provided by MetLife Foundation after being selected by their peers through a process known as “peer selected investment.”

- Solfeh is a Jordanian micro-lending platform, providing same-day emergency cash advancements to salaried employees.

- Kaoun enables unbanked and underbanked individuals and businesses access to financial services through identification, payment and credit solutions and is based in Tunisia.

The cohort included eleven startups working on many aspects of financial health — including helping unbanked individuals gain access to formal financial services, creating digital identities for refugees and migrant workers, helping small business owners access affordable credit, and helping people in the region earn, save and invest for the future.

The startups competed in a Venture Showcase in front of a panel of judges from MetLife Foundation, Endeavor Jordan, Flat6Labs and Arab Bank. Kader, a Jordanian-based online recruitment platform targeted towards blue-collar and fast-moving jobs, took home a cash prize of $5,000 from MetLife Foundation.

The program was 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.