Last Mile Accelerator Program is an initiative that connects underserved communities to digital financial services through Web3, DeFi, and other businesses.
After an impactful first accelerator program in 2021, Last Mile Money, a collaboration between worldwide design firm IDEO and the Gates Foundation, is encouraging promising early-stage enterprises that are linking disadvantaged communities in developing markets to financial technology to apply for the second round of funding.
“The potential of digital financial services for underprivileged populations in the final mile is yet largely untapped.” One major roadblock is the lack of a reliable, widespread cash in/cash out network,” said — Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Program Officer Dave Kim.
“We’re delighted to support a group of global organizations trying to establish quick, affordable, and trusted on/off ramps from fiat to virtual currencies and back through our accelerator because there’s a demand for innovation and funding here,” he added.
The objective of Last Mile Money is to deliver world-class financial services to millions of last-mile consumers, including high-interest savings, vehicle payout insurance, extremely affordable remittances, and more. We believe that intelligently developed solutions may assist millions of last-mile customers achieve financial resilience and establish routes to a better life.
Current digital banking instruments, which are often not developed with the needs of last-mile consumers in mind, are generally underserving this rapidly rising sector. By creating intuitive products and services, we employ IDEO’s human-centered development model to accelerate businesses.
With the advent of blockchain technologies, we see Web3 as having the ability to help underprivileged communities establish more valuable financial systems.
Consider how we used Web3 to provide a better savings vehicle to small merchants in Rwanda and thereby enhance their savings habits. In the future, we’re particularly interested in seeing how design might help last-mile and other underserved people benefit from the Web3 revolution.
Who can participate in the last Mile Accelerator?
Any business that brings together last-mile users and financial empowerment. We’re especially interested in collaborating with DeFi/Web3 firms servicing emerging market users for this accelerator, but all are welcome to apply.
Benefits of participation
Startups that are accepted will be eligible for a variety of perks, including:
Ventures will be assigned dedicated teams of IDEO designers to assist them in overcoming design obstacles that are impeding growth.
To assist participants with the use of knowledge, we provide a variety of customizable design support options ranging from office hours to 4–6 week sprints.
- Grants of $30–50,000 with additional top-ups are possible depending on demand and traction.
- CICO Collective Membership
- Access to a network of partners
How to apply
Interested ventures and entrepreneurs in the Last Mile Accelerator program can apply here before Friday, July 15, 2022.
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