Laboratorio CAF de Inclusión Financiera 2020

Solutions for financial inclusion


CAF-development bank of Latin America-organizes the second edition of the Financial Inclusion Laboratory 2020: Enterprises to respond to the COVID-19 crisis in order to promote the generation of viable technological solutions that will help to solve public and private sector needs arising from the crisis generated by the pandemic in the following areas:

  • Financial inclusion of vulnerable groups
  • Financial inclusion with impact on the productivity of MSMEs

The Laboratory has a number of regional partners, including:

    • Accelerators: Google for Startups, Endeavour or Seedstars.
    • Investment Funds: ALLVP Venture Partners, New Ventures, Adobe Capital, Dalus Capital, Angel Ventures, Bamboo Capital Partners (BCP).
    • Regional Allies: Felaban, Ibero-American Women’s Network at Fintech, UNDP Accelerator Lab. Allies by country: National Securities Commission of Argentina, Banco Santander Argentina, Banco Ciudad, Chamber Argentina of Fintech, Banco Nacional De Bolivia, Banco Central de Bolivia, Banco Sol, SC Angeles, Cetus, Asoban Bolivia, Banco Central de Brasil, CVM, Banco de Desarrollo de Minas Gerais, Comisión para el Mercado Financiero de Chile, Asociación Fintech Chile, Bancolombia, Asobanal de Colombia, Camara de Comercio de Bogota, Colombia Fintech, Superintendencia Financiera de Colombia, Alianza por el Entrepreneurship y la Innovación, Banco Guayaquil, Superintendencia de Banks de Ecuador, Banco Central del Ecuador, Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores México, Secretaría de Hacienda de México, FintechU, Asociación de Banks de Paraguay, ENIFI-ENI Paraguay, Vision Banco, Camara Paraguaya de Fintech, Asbanc Peru, Emprende UP, Superintendence of Banks of Peru, Association of Commercial Banks of the Dominican Republic (ABA), Trinidad and Tobago International Financial Centre, Chamber Fintech Uruguay Impact, Uruguay Fintech Forum, Hub Caracas IESA.

    The Financial Inclusion Laboratory 2020 will support projects and business initiatives with a high degree of innovation and incorporate technological elements to respond to the need to reduce the gap between those who do not have access to financial services and the banked population, as well as promote the use and quality of financial products and services as a mechanism to mitigate the effects of the crisis generated by the COVID-19. It is a platform that brings together the public, private and entrepreneurial sectors and investors in the spirit of fostering business opportunities, encouraging the interaction of the members of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and giving concrete solutions to development needs raised by the allies of this initiative.

    CAF and its partners aim to promote a financial inclusion that benefits vulnerable groups in a context such as the current one where the need to universalize financial inclusion is evident, as well as to support MSMEs with innovative financial products and services for the recovery phase of the economic crisis, which is determined by the prevalence of the digital environment.

    To whom the call is addressed

    The call is addressed to natural or legal persons located in some member country of CAF who are developing projects that are find early stage of development or consolidated initiatives.

    The competition is open to entrepreneurs, programmers, designers and entrepreneurs. Participants will be required to complete the following registration template

    Competition Dynamics

    CAF presents challenges in two categories (financial inclusion of vulnerable groups and financial inclusion with impact on the productivity of the MSMEs) on which entrepreneurs postulate their technological base solutions, which are already functioning in the market.

    • It will be possible to present pilot projects, existing solutions that need acceleration and ideas that are already on the market and that can be scaled or replicated in other countries.
    • A committee set up by the allies of this initiative will evaluate the projects and the selected ones that will obtain a higher score will be presented in a pitch day for a final open evaluation to questions from the experts.
    • In this pitch day all the laboratory allies will participate, both in the public and private sectors, so they could give parallel opportunities of
    • The best 11 startups will be selected to participate in the acceleration programs offered by Google for Startups, Endeavour and Seedstars.
    • Additionally, through the pitch day, entrepreneurs will have potential access to funding and/or technical advice from different lab partners, both regionally and by country.

    Contest goals

    • Finding technological solutions that contribute to the financial inclusion of vulnerable groups and the productivity of small and medium-sized SMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    • Promoting innovation, productivity, the competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises, and promoting business ideas that positively impact the lives of Latin Americans.
    • Generating agreements for acceleration, investment and/or technology transfer to empower the chosen enterprises.
    • To recognize the initiatives that provide solutions to the financial sector and to public entities. works in the promotion of financial inclusion and, in turn, to visit the entities that support the enterprises. • Strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Latin America and the Caribbean.

    Categories and sub-categories

    The competition aims to find concrete technological solutions in the following 2 areas:

    Financial inclusion of vulnerable groups
    • Access (physical and connectivity) to financial services by vulnerable or financially excluded populations, including rural people, informal workers, women, youth, migrants, indigenous people, among others.
    • Financial education for vulnerable populations that encourages better financial decision-making, as well as the use of financial products and services.
    • Promoting access and use of formal funding by vulnerable populations taking into account their context and needs.
    • Promoting the use of electronic money based on the particular needs of vulnerable populations, as well as the characteristics of countries.
    • Design and conformation of digital group banking products through formal financial institutions.
    • Conforming effective channels to encourage inclusion and financial education through banking correspondents, associative collectives, postal money companies, input stores, etc.
    • Creating solutions that allow rural people to offer their products in a virtual way and receive payments
    • Creating a solution aimed at employers to motivate their domestic workers to bank with preferential costs in handling fees.
    • Creating mechanisms to promote digital identity that will enable confidence in the use of digital financial services by the vulnerable population.
    • Development of microinsurance and insurance products through technology (Insurtech). Financial inclusion with impact on the productivity of SMEs
    • Creating opportunities to facilitate access to the credit of small and medium-sized enterprises (collateral, credit, credit, microcredit, etc.).
    • Creating a sector-wide platform of technology solutions for SMEs.
    • Creating a solution that allows the offer of financial services to SMEs in an easy and transparent way.
    • System to facilitate the formalization of companies, include them in electronic invoicing and encourage their Digital transformation.
    • New alternative financing schemes for SMEs, startups and people for their productive projects.
    • Electronic payment mechanisms that provide MSMEs with security in transactions and lower costs.

    Important Dates

    The deadline for submission of projects will be from 5 October to 8 November 2020 at 23:59 hours.

    • The review of the projects will take place between November 6 and November 20, 2020.
    • The Financial Inclusion Lab organization will inform the contestants about the shortlisted proposals between November 20 and December 5, 2020.
    • Presentation of the pitch & matchmaking event: December 9, 2020.
    • Acceleration activities: January to April 2021. 7. Awards and rewards
    • CAF and the evaluation committee will choose the best startups from CAF member countries.
    • The selected startups will be invited to present their initiative on a pitch day to be held on December 9.
    • The 11 winning entries will be featured in the acceleration programs of Google for Startups, Endeavour or Seedstars, which will start in January 2021 and will last for 3 months.
    • All proposals will have the possibility of entering a funding round by private sector allies.
    • All proposals will have the possibility of entering the laboratory program of public and private allies.


    The Selection Committee of the Financial Inclusion Laboratory will be made up of representatives of the allied organizations. This instance will be responsible for selecting the best initiatives and those that best respond to the needs raised by the allies. The decision of the Committee of Jurors will be final and unappealable.

    Selection criteria

    The Selection Committee of the Financial Inclusion Laboratory will be in charge of selecting the projects for the presentation of the pitch and the macthmaking event to be held on December 9, 2020. The criteria that the Committee will use for the selection of the initiatives will be as follows:

    • Differential innovative aspects
    • Generation of value
    • Potential for growth and replicability in other areas
    • Incorporation of technologies
    • Commitment to project development

    Terms and conditions

    The Financial Inclusion Lab reserves the right unilaterally and without warning, to exclude any participant, especially when suspected or detected that it is incurring falsehood or affects the proper functioning and normal course of the competition.

    The decisions of the Selection Committee shall be final and no action shall be taken.

    Applications that do not contain all the requested requirements will be automatically disqualified.

    Intellectual Property

    All participants must have sufficient titles on the industrial property rights in the trademarks, business ideas, logos, trade names that they make part of or are included in the proposals.

    Through the acceptance of the bases to participate in this call, the contestants manifest not to infringe any intellectual property rights; in such a way that they exempt the Competition of Inclusion of Financial and its allies from any responsibility for the use of these contents.

    Participants are responsible to third parties for the images and content that they make public during the competition and are responsible to the Financial Inclusion Contest in relation to the following considerations:

    • Are owners, rightholders or have obtained from third parties the consent to grant their publication in the framework of the call.
    • The participants fully comply with the laws regarding the right to privacy, the good name, intellectual property rights, industrial property or the like.
    • All participants are responsible for the veracity of the data provided to participate in the call.
    • The participants assume under their sole responsibility the consequences of damages or actions that are derive from the use of the contents and/or programs included in their proposals, as well as their reproduction or dissemination. • The intellectual and/or industrial property of the projects presented in the Financial Inclusion Contest will belong-if applicable-exclusively to the participants who have presented them.


    The confidentiality in relation to the ideas and/or projects presented by the participants is guaranteed. The Laboratory of Financial Inclusion may only disseminate, at any time and through any means, the general characteristics of the projects or initiative, as well as the names of such ideas and/or projects and of the participants, mainly, of the winners.


    The participants, and in particular the winners, expressly authorize with the acceptance of these bases to the Laboratory of Financial Inclusion to fix, reproduce, disseminate and use by all means written, spoken and signed, in all ways, by any means and on any support, its name, image and voice, and the general characteristics and the name of the ideas or projects submitted without any provision and without prejudice to the provisions of the Intellectual Property and Confidentiality sections of this document.


    For further information, contact Diana Mejia ( and Robert Valls (


November 8, 2020
Program dates Jan 1 - Apr 30, 2021
Organizer CAF
Website Visit website
Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay
Sectors EdTech, Financial services, Fintech, HealthTech