The final round of Inclusion Plus, an innovation competition organized by MetLife Foundation and Verb that seeks to find solutions that would accelerate financial inclusion in Bangladesh, will start on Monday. Participants will submit products, programs, or services that have a measurable impact on financial inclusion. Top entries have the opportunity to compete for a grants pool totaling $100,000.
Participants will present solutions that increase access to quality, sustainable financial services in one or more of the following subcategories: Financial Technology – revolutionize the way people make payments, transfer money, manage finances, save for the future, and more, Financial Products & Services – provide unbanked or underbanked individuals and families with the tools and services that meet their needs and enable them to build a more sustainable future and Financial Capability – promote programs and systems that empower people to take control of their financial lives.
Inclusion Plus Bangladesh has successfully identified and accelerated innovative and meaningful financial solutions for low-to-moderate income households.
After months of recruiting over 50 talented entrepreneurs from around Bangladesh, 20 high-quality social ventures advanced to the semifinal round. Semifinalists received mentorship from 50 MetLife Bangladesh associates, who coached and supported them as they competed to become finalists.
On Monday, the five finalists will pitch a VIP panel of judges to compete for over $100,000 in grants, with the top winner receiving $50,000. The judges are Md Nurul Islam, chairman of MetLife for Bangladesh, Nepal, and Myanmar, Dr Lee Ng, vice-president and chief operating officer of LumenLab, MetLife’s Innovation Centre, Asif Saleh, senior director, Strategy, Communication, and Empowerment, BRAC and BRAC International, Feisal Hussain, team leader, Business Finance for the Poor in Bangladesh (a project of UK aid, Financial Institutions Division of the Ministry of Finance and Bangladesh Bank), and Rima H Madani, leading the IT team as the deputy general manager, Transcom Group of Companies Ltd.
The competition has been organized by MetLife Foundation and Verb.
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 2016, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $744 million in grants and $70 million in program-related investments to organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. In 2013, the Foundation committed $200 million to advance financial inclusion globally.
Together with its 170 financial inclusion partners, the Foundation works in 39 countries to develop solutions that help nearly 3.5 million low-income people build a more secure and financially healthy future.
Verb provides people with the tools, knowledge and networks they need to make change. Founded in 2013 in Austin, Texas, the talent development platform specializes in leadership development, guided mentorship, and social impact projects. Verb enables on Monday’s employees and social innovators to gain the skills needed to become global purpose-driven leaders.