Under this GrEEn Innovation Challenge “Boosting financial inclusion and job creation in Ashanti and Western regions of Ghana”, the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) will select successful candidates in the development or expansion of innovative use-cases, products or business models to facilitate access and usage of financial services targeting youth, women, returning migrants and MSMEs and help them in the post-COVID-19 recovery in the Ashanti and Western regions of Ghana.
UNCDF is bringing its expertise in promoting financial inclusion and inclusive economies to support job creation under the “Boosting Green Employment and Enterprise Opportunities in Ghana (GrEEn)” Programme funded by the European Union Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF).
This programme will contribute to addressing the root causes of irregular migration through green and climate-resilient local economic development and improving prospects of beneficiaries, by creating employment and enterprise opportunities in selected sectors and regions, specifically Ashanti and Western regions.
The action aims at supporting job creation in regions of departure, transit and return of Ghana, creating local financial ecosystems that facilitate the development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and enabling the transition of local economies to green and climate-resilient development.
Successful applications will receive:
- Up to US$ 50,000 or up to US$ 150,000 in co-funding, depending on the maturity of the solution proposed
- Technical Assistance
- Connection with key stakeholders
Scope of Work
This challenge revolves around two intervention pillars of the UNCDF/GrEEn financial inclusion agenda which aspires to “Leave no Ghanaian behind in the digital age” and aligns to the government priority of Digital Transformation and Financial Inclusion.
- PILLAR 1. Customer Empowerment
- PILLAR 2. Inclusive Innovation
- Eligibility conditions:
- The lead applicant must be a Financial Service Provider duly registered (i.e. a bank, microfinance institution, insurance company, payment service provider, agent banking aggregator, mobile network operator, fintech company, non-banking financial institutions).
- The lead applicant and its partners must be registered entities with at least one year of operations and must have statutory accounts and audited financial statements for at least one operating year.
- The applicants can be based anywhere globally, however the operations of the applicant’s organizations should target the vulnerable groups identified by this RfA i.e. youth, women, returning migrants and MSMEs in Ashanti and Western regions of Ghana.
- Applicants must have fulfilled all obligations relating to the payment of social security contributions or obligations relating to the payment of taxes per the legal provisions in their registration country.
- Depending on the main area of activity, the lead applicant or the consortium partners must have the relevant operating licenses to work and operate in Ghana.
- Applicants may apply only once under this RFA, whether independently or in a consortium.
- Applicants must contribute at least 10 percent of the project’s cash costs (costs may include technical infrastructure, resources, and operations).
- Applicants must have at least an existing solution having tested a proof of concept that is ready to undergo pilot testing.
- Joint applications between market players (including those examples of registered entities given above and non-governmental organizations, public institutions, associations) in Ghana are encouraged if the solution proposed will expand delivery networks and promote last-mile access to the target groups.
- Applications from consortiums of organizations must show that the intention of the partnership was established prior to this call for applications (e.g. memorandum of understanding between said legal entities which must be attached to the submission form). The members need to designate a party as the main entity.
- The applicants can be based anywhere globally, however the operations of at least one of the consortium’s member organizations should target the vulnerable groups identified by this RfA, namely youth, women, returning migrants and MSMEs in Ashanti and Western in Ghana.
- The applicants should have all the required regulatory approvals in Ghana (if any) to conduct the pilot or scale up of the solutions/products/platform.
- UNCDF Financing Grant Agreement will be signed by the entity appointed by the other members of the consortium as the lead applicant.
- Exclusion criteria:
- Applicants shall not have been the subject of bankruptcy, liquidation, judicial settlement, safeguarding, and cessation of activity or any other similar situation resulting from a similar procedure.
- Applicants and any of their staff or member of their board of directors shall not be included in the United Nations financial sanctions lists, particularly in the fight against the financing of terrorism and attacks on international peace and security.
For more information, visit https://www.uncdf.org/article/6471/innovation-challenge-under-the-green-project