BFA and The MasterCard Foundation want to thank our guests for coming to the FIBR Launch last week. We were joined by professionals from the financial inclusion, financial services, fintech, impact investing and SME communities in Accra.
David Porteous, CEO of BFA, introduced FIBR and outlined the models for the types of incoming shaping and insurance partners the project is looking for in Accra. He also announced that Fidelity Bank had signed up as the first deposit linkage partner. What this means is that Fidelity will hold some FIBR funds locally and in return, agree to look closely at providing support to FIBR Project partners who wish to apply for funding when needed. Fidelity does not have an obligation to lend to them (since lending is based on prudent credit criteria) but this relationship enables more banks to interact with entrepreneurs, opening up other opportunities to link financial service providers to new digital services. We look forward to sharing news as different types of partners come on board in the coming weeks. Organizations interested in becoming a project partner should take the self-assessment and read the partner agreement.
During the week of the launch, the FIBR team had been on the ground working with potential FIBR partners on nanoprojects, a 3-4 day project in the form of a design sprint to engage organizations by honing in on a specific customer problem. The nanoproject prepares the groundwork that a future FIBR package of technical assistance and funding could help solve. Furthermore, the nanoproject allows the FIBR team to get a first-hand measure of the organization's readiness and commitment to partake in a full FIBR engagement. Together, the FIBR team and the organization get to validate the problem and solution in the marketplace by conducting user research in the field and testing prototypes that come out of the sprint. As FIBR advances and organizations are approved as partners by the Investment Committee, we will be sharing videos and materials about what problems we have tried to solve, what we have learned and how the lessons learned tie into the larger FIBR learning agenda.