What is the fund

What is Mastercard Foundation for Rural Prosperity?

Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity is a US$ 50 million challenge fund established by the Mastercard Foundation.


The Fund set out to enable 1,000,000 people in rural Africa to have better access to appropriate savings, credit and insurance products and services.

The Fund is alleviating poverty in rural communities by improving access to financial products and services that are:

  1. increasing their income (for example, with agricultural input loans that are improving crop yields);
  2. improving their resilience (for example, through access to insurance or savings); and
  3. lifting their communities (for example, by creating jobs and stimulating the growth of stable, rural finance markets).



The three principles guiding the Mastercard Foundation Fund for Rural Prosperity are:

  1. Impact: Projects should have a positive effect on the lives of rural poor people through job creation, income generation, increasing productivity and reducing vulnerability.
  2. Innovation: The Fund intends to harness the creativity and capacity of the financial sector and agribusinesses to innovate, increase access to and deliver financial services at scale.
  3. Sustainability: Projects should state explicitly how they aim to achieve financial sustainability over time.



The Fund is having a positive impact on financial service providers, customers and the overall financial services environment in the following ways:

Financial Providers and their Customers

  • ​​Funding the development and scaling up of innovative, rural agriculture finance models is enabling financial service providers and agribusinesses to explore new business opportunities;
  • Encouraging new entrants into the financial ecosystem, in particular agribusinesses, is creating links between rural customers and financial service providers; and
  • Developing a deeper understanding of customer needs and wants is leading to quality financial services and products aligned with client demand, which can in turn lead to better uptake and usage.

Financial Services Environment

  • ​​Achieving higher rates of financial inclusion on the continent driven by the private sector;
  • Coordinating learning and sharing across organizations in the sector to create a commercially sustainable market for rural and agricultural finance; and
  • Funding technical assistance delivered by local service providers to financial organizations. This is enabling providers and organizations to acquire the expertise to design appropriate rural and agricultural finance models, so as to lead to stronger market systems in the long term.