MetLife Foundation & Verb to Accelerate Financial Innovation
MetLife Foundation and Verb announced a global competition to identify and support entrepreneurs, non-profits, and other impact organizations that help advance financial inclusion for an estimated 2BN people across the world – Inclusion Plus. MetLife Foundation will be the sole sponsor and has selected Verb - a social enterprise that produces massive social entrepreneurship competitions in partnership with global companies, foundations, and governments - to run the competition.
The Inclusion Plus competition will reach 10 countries over the span of three years; it’s an innovation competition that seeks to build a strong and stable ecosystem to support those working to accelerate access to financial services for those who need it most. Top teams that advance to the semifinal round will be paired with MetLife associates as mentors. Finalists will compete for a total of $100K in grant funding. Inclusion Plus will culminate with a final event later this year, where the winners will be announced.
The competition launched in Egypt and Lebanon last week (June 27), and attracted participants that have an innovative idea or solution to empower the nearly 50M Egyptians and Lebanese that manage their day-to- day financial lives without a bank account. For example, participants may have breakthrough innovations focused on improving personal financial health. Other applicants include those that are working to scale and grow their existing solutions.
Verb anticipates that Inclusion Plus will attract 25 social ventures in Egypt and Lebanon, and will engage 75 MetLife associates from both countries to serve as mentors and judges for the competition, contributing hundreds of volunteer hours.
“Our goal is to help our clients build social innovation ecosystems,” says Verb’s CEO Suzi Sosa, “Financial well-being is a complex problem that cannot be solved by any single solution. Our social impact engagement platform enables us to connect entrepreneurs, investors, corporate partners, mentors and thousands of people from the public. By strengthening this network, we don’t just find one great idea, we actually strengthen the innovation ecosystem.”
“We are moving beyond corporate social responsibility towards social empowerment and innovation, and we are delighted to be participating in the Inclusion Plus competition. The partnership with Verb provides an exceptional opportunity to discover and develop solutions that can contribute to improving the financial situation of those that need it most within our community and ensure long-term sustainability,” said Jean-Claude Noujaim, MetLife Lebanon General Manager.
To learn more about the competition, visit mena.inclusionplus.com.