By: D E Wasake, Principal,

Basic information


Late Start ups.

Sector focus:

Financial services particularly those using emerging technology e.g mobile money and branchless banking, social media and cloud computing.

Amounts provided:

$100,000 - $300,000

Funding type

Mainly shares or convertible debt (loan that can be turned into shares)

Key criteria

  • Innovative models that from companies that are developing game changing technologies and disruptive business models that will provide financial services to people at the base of the pyramid(BOP)
  • Need not have significant revenue but should be post research and development, full time team in place and ideally a pilot/prototype in the market.

Further information



Who is behind the venture?

Accion is a private nonprofit organization that is a pioneer in microfinance. It was founded in 1961.

What is the process like?

The fund was recently launched in April 2012 and so there is no clear information available but the expectation of the process is:

·         1. Send an initial email to Nicky (very professional gentleman) at:

·         2. submission of an executive summary to highlight the opportunity and the financing need.

·         3. Submission of detailed plan, due diligence and a site visit to ensure the team is in place.

Our view/tips for success?

1. Impress: The venture lab is an “experimental project” and so is seeking the “Next big thing”. We believe that the business plan/execuive summary you submit should show how you are embracing new/emerging technology to solve Africa’s problems. It should not be conservative but should balance the futuristic view with the practical aspects.

2. Market research. As the team is keen for technology that has been tested and a model starting to work in the market, you need to demonstrate evidence.

3. Scalability. Considering the work Accion does worldwide in the field of microfinance, a good model will need to show that it can be replicated, cheaply, preferably in other emerging economies and for the benefit of the “poorest of the poor” the focus of a lot of microfinance.

Otherwise, best of luck.


Inachee is not an agent or connected to this entity, it is an independent thought leadership and advisory firm. The information provided is based on our research and experience. Whilst we have taken steps to ensure the accuracy of the information presented here, there can be no guarantee that it will remain accurate.