(By Adva Saldinger)
There are a growing number of financial technology companies starting up across the globe in an effort to find ways to harness technology to reach underserved or unserved customers. While financial inclusion presents both a development and a business opportunity, there are challenges that constrain the ability of this cadre of entrepreneurs. These challenges include funding, regulations, appropriate technology, human resources and building trust.
To help address part of the funding gap, JPMorgan and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Catalyst Fund in 2016. Impact investors help identify innovations or companies that are not yet investment ready — those companies get derisking grant capital through the fund and customized technical assistance. It is that customized help that sets the fund apart from many accelerators or incubators, which often focus on more general business skills- continue reading.