Innovative Digital Tools and Digital Platforms for Financial Inclusion in China

Location of Job: 
05 Sep 2019
15 Sep 2019
About the organization: 

UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the 47 world’s least developed countries. It creates new opportunities for poor people and their communities by increasing access to microfinance and investment capital. UNCDF focuses on Africa and the poorest countries of Asia and the Pacific, with a special commitment to countries emerging from conflict or crisis.It provides seed capital – grants and loans – and technical support to help microfinance institutions reach more poor households and small businesses, and local governments finance the capital investments – water systems, feeder roads, schools, irrigation schemes – that will improve poor peoples’ lives.

Recently, UNCDF has formulated its strategy ‘Leaving no one behind in the digital era’ based on over a decade of experience in digital finance in Africa, Asia and the Pacific. UNCDF recognizes that reaching the full potential of digital financial inclusion in support of the Sustainable Development Goals aligns with the vision of promoting digital economies that leave no one behind. The vision of UNCDF is to empower millions of people by 2024 to use services daily that leverage innovation and technology and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals. UNCDF will apply a market development approach and continuously seek to address underlying market dysfunction.

In January 2019, UNCDF started its work in China, while operations were officially launched in May. Over the past decade, China made remarkable progress in digital payments, e-commerce and digital technology space, making China one of the leading countries in the digital economy.

About the Job: 

The purpose of this request for applications (RFA) is to support UNCDF team in China to implement its strategy focused on financial innovation and financial health.

UNCDF invites company and firms registered in People's Republic of China (PRC) to participate to this RFA in order to present  innovative products, services and business models that can solve social and environmental issues for the following segments: smallholder farmers, women, youth and workers of the gig economy, while successfully maximizing their competitiveness and profitability. The applicants should demonstrate their ability to support the afore mentioned segments with innovative digital tools like digital platforms.

UNCDF is planning to support China-based institutions serving those target groups by providing technical assistance support and mentoring through the Financial Innovation Lab (FinLab), which will be setup to connect existing financial institutions with innovative digital solution providers. New forms of services will be tested in the FinLab, for being then scaled up as example for digital development of other countries. Through this infrastructure UNCDF would focus on supporting new digital projects around inclusive innovation, and bringing together partnerships, tools and resources to deliver specific digital solutions for low-income people. The focus under inclusive innovation is to support development of new use-cases, products or business models that could drive outcomes around financial health/financial security for different segments, as mentioned, including women, youth, MSMEs, farmers, etc. This will be achieved by supporting various stakeholders in the market:

  1. Working with the established providers to solve some key challenges of these segments by crowding in solutions across start-ups or individuals and
  2. Working with start-ups to solve use-cases that would drive customers to actively consume financial and digital services.
  3. In the process through the Lab, UNCDF will also work with government and regulators to support innovation and open frameworks that could drive creation of plug and play model between start-ups and industry players.

The overall duration of the technical assistance support for the successful applicants will be up to two (2) years.

How to Apply: 

Applications and any consultation about this RFA should be submitted via email at [email protected]; copying in (cc) [email protected] with "China digital innovation platforms" in the subject line. The deadline to submit any query or request of clarification is 2 September 2019.

Applications should be returned to the UNCDF by email no later than midnight on 15 September 2019 23:59 EST.