Guidelines

Find Out how to Get a Project Grant.

The main guidelines include the eligible countries, the overall criteria, the specific criteria for the different interventions, as well as the selection criteria. All these criteria are explained on this page below. The proposal guide contains all information and can be downloaded at the end of the page.

What SCBF Offers:

0.1 years
Maximal duration of project funding
0 CHF
Maximal SCBF grant size per project

Priority and Eligible Countries

Priority Countries*

  • Asia

Bangladesh, Mongolia, Nepal, Hindu Kush Region (Afghanistan, Pakistan), Mekong Region (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar)

  • MENA

Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Tunisia

  • Latin America

Bolivia, Cuba, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua

  • Sub-Saharan Africa

Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Lesotho, Niger, Malawi, Mali, eSwantini, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Tanzania, Great Lakes (Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda), Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan)

Eligible Countries*

  • Asia

India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam

  • MENA

Jordan, Libya, Lebanon, Morocco, Yemen

  • Latin America

Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Peru

  • Sub-Saharan Africa

Cameroon, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Madagascar, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Togo

*Except for smallholder farmers projects which is all countries that receive ODA

Eligibility Criteria for Grant Proposals

  • Funding technical assistance for innovative financial products, channels and services (no infrastructure)
  • Eligible countries as listed (except for smallholder farmers which is all countries that receive ODA)
  • Minimum outreach to at least 4’000 new clients; low-income households, smallholder farmers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME)
  • Minimum 20% self contribution by the Partner Financial Institution (PFI)
  • Third-party contributions (desirable)
  • Financial and institutional self-sufficiency is reached or on a clear path towards it
  • Proven social mission in serving low-income clients, notably women, preferably in rural areas
  • Compliance with responsible finance practices and data / privacy standards
  • Involvement of PFI’s senior management
  • Mobilisation and development of local / regional competences through hiring of local consultants and by having international consultants spending at least 60% of their expert days in-country (desirable)

Specific Eligibility Criteria for our Interventions

Innovation and Product Upscaling

  • Social performance measurement system or rating available
  • Training of staff of financial institutions
  • Contribution to industry building and knowledge sharing
  • Focus on rather small TA teams and favoring medium-term specialists

Feasibility Study

Only available to SCBF Members.

  • It should be the groundwork for developing subsequent product up-scaling proposals
  • Strong commitment to launch the new innovative financial products by the PFI
  • Mobilisation of local and regional consultants

Financial Education

Only available to SCBF Members.

  • Linked to product up-scaling proposals
  • Offering of training services should go beyond the completion of the SCBF funding
  • Contain generic financial literacy training components beyond components on business advisory, financial product explanation and responsible marketing of the financial product

Selection Criteria

The following are the key selection criteria for receiving a grant from SCBF:

  • Objective of maximizing outreach to low-income households and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) especially in rural areas and/or with particular focus on low-income women.
  • Innovative financial services and service delivery mechanisms with reduced transaction costs for both clients and financial institution that meet the specific financial needs of low-income households and particularly low-income women. Caution is given in promoting loan products, particularly in competitive financial markets with a high penetration rate of low-income households where a risk of client over-indebtedness exists.
  • Innovative insurance and savings services with low transaction costs for both clients and the financial institution that help mitigate risks of low-income and very poor people, notably in rural areas.
  • The support represents an innovative solution to financial inclusion as judged from the inclusive financial sector context of the country concerned. It has an important impact on SCBF target groups through selecting partner (financial) institutions with a specific market positioning.
  • Training of staff of financial institution and their distributors in responsible finance practices vis-à-vis low-income and notably illiterate clients. Contributions to an improved financial literacy level of low-income actual and potential clients are desirable.
  • Mobilization and development of local / regional competences and capacities, especially through hiring of local consultants and staff of local organisations as well as through the preference of having international consultants spending at least 60% of their expert days in-country.
  • Contribution to industry building and knowledge sharing.

Download the Complete Proposal Guide