Sunday 02, July 2017 by Georgina Enzer

MetLife Foundation & Verb launch financial inclusion competition in Egypt & Lebanon

MetLife Foundation and Verb have launched the Egypt and Lebanon leg of a global competition to identify and support entrepreneurs, non-profits and other impact organisations that help advance financial inclusion.

The Inclusion Plus competition will reach 10 countries over the span of three years.

The competition is designed to attract participants that have an innovative idea or solution to empower the nearly 50 million 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. Top teams that advance to the semifinal round will be paired with MetLife associates as mentors. Finalists will compete for a total of $100,000 in grant funding.

MetLife Foundation is 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. Inclusion Plus is an innovation competition that seeks to build a strong, stable ecosystem to support those working to accelerate access to financial services for those who need it most.

"Our goal is to help our clients build social innovation ecosystems," says Verb 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 do not just find one great idea, we actually strengthen the innovation ecosystem."

Verb anticipates that Inclusion Plus will attract 25 social ventures in Egypt & Lebanon and will engage 75 MetLife associates from both countries to serve as mentors and judges for the competition, contributing hundreds of volunteer hours.

"We are delighted to launch the competition in partnership with Verb and MetLife Foundation. It is one of MetLife Egypt's priorities to support SMEs and entrepreneurs, and we are proud to be part of this initiative which contributes to MetLife Foundation's financial inclusion efforts to empower this important segment in the community," said Elena Butarova, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of MetLife in Egypt.

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