The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity marks the second phase of the Mastercard Foundation’s initiative.

Mastercard Foundation
Mastercard Foundation

Initially, the Foundation launched the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity in 2014, spanning eight years. This program supported 38 participants from 15 African countries in developing and expanding financial products and services aimed at rural communities, with a strong emphasis on agriculture.

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Notably, the Fund facilitated access to financial services for over 5.3 million individuals, surpassing its initial target of 1 million.

Building on the achievements and insights gained from the first phase, the Mastercard Foundation introduced the Fund for Resilience and Prosperity in 2023.

This new seven-year initiative, with a budget of US$ 126 million, focuses on supporting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the agriculture, climate adaptation, and digital economy sectors across 20 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The primary goal of this Fund is to foster enterprise growth and stimulate the creation of dignified and rewarding employment opportunities for young men and women.

Eligibility Criteria

While the requirements may vary across different challenge fund sectors, all initiatives seek proposals from innovative and commercially viable SMEs that aim to generate meaningful employment opportunities for young individuals, including women, individuals with disabilities, and refugee youth. Applicants must meet specific criteria outlined for each challenge, with selection based on meeting the Fund’s selection criteria threshold.


The Mastercard Foundation Fund for Resilience and Prosperity employs four key interventions:

1. Challenge Fund: Offering direct financial assistance to SMEs through a challenge fund to overcome barriers hindering their scalability and, consequently, create sustainable employment opportunities for young individuals.

2. Connect Fund: Providing support to SMEs to enhance their readiness for investors, as well as facilitating partnerships with potential financiers to ensure their growth and sustainability.

3. Technical Assistance (TA): Providing non-financial support through technical assistance and capacity building to address challenges related to human capital and market access.

4. Convening and influencing: Bringing together relevant stakeholders to foster an enabling business environment through strategic partnerships and digital platforms, thereby driving systemic change and addressing barriers to youth employment, particularly among young women.

Focus Countries

The Fund aims to support SMEs in 20 Sub-Saharan African countries, ensuring the distribution of solutions that can create sustainable employment opportunities for young men and women, individuals with disabilities, and refugee youth beyond the program’s duration.

These countries include Benin, Burundi, Botswana, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

Deadline: November 22nd, 2024



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