MSC launched the ‘Financial Inclusion Lab’ in India—a one-of-its-kind incubation program that aims to address financial exclusion. The lab will provide intensive consulting, catalytic support, prototyping capital, and customized services to early-stage FinTech start-ups that focus on the low- and middle-income (LMI) segments.

The USD-9.5-million initiative will identify and bring to scale early-stage FinTech start-ups that help LMI families. The start-ups will enable access and usage of appropriate financial products and services, such as savings, credit, and insurance for LMI households. The Lab is part of IIMA-CIIE’s Bharat Inclusion Initiative (BII), a program that incubates and supports start-ups that develop technologies to benefit under-served communities in the areas of livelihoods, financial inclusion, health, and education.

The Bharat Inclusion Initiative receives support from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, and the Omidyar Network. The overall initiative would channel approximately USD 25 million over the next 3-4 years to back start-ups that use the ongoing digital transformation in India to create access to services for hundreds of millions of families.

At the time of writing, the Financial Inclusion Lab was gearing up to incubate six cohorts covering about 60 start-ups over a period of four years.