Call for Expression of Interest - SHIFT Challenge Fund Facility Opens Second Window

Call for Expression of Interest - SHIFT Challenge Fund Facility Opens Second Window

March 15 , 2016
Bangkok, Thailand - 

The United Nations Capital Development Fund’s (UNCDF) regional programme Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformations (SHIFT) Challenge Fund Facility opens the second window. SHIFT seeks to advance economic empowerment and market participation for low-income consumers, microenterprises and SMEs, with a specific focus on women, by unlocking access to financial services.

The second window of the Challenge Fund titled “Fostering innovative business models for women’s financial inclusion” will award up to US$1.8 million in matching grants to projects offering either an innovative approach or scaling-up an existing approach for financial service delivery to women in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Viet Nam. The SHIFT Challenge Fund Facility invites financial institutions, non-bank financial institutions and businesses to submit an Expression of Interest (EoI) between the 22 February and 15 April 2016.  Following a transparent and competitive selection process, the challenge fund will award the best proposals with matching grants from $100,000 to $500,000 covering approximately 50 per cent of the project’s costs.

Information Workshops will be held to provide a presentation on the Challenge Fund's Second Window and clarify questions pertaining to the EoI preparation and submission. The schedule of the Information Workshops will take place as follows:

Date Time Venue Location
21 March 2016 1:30pm-4:30pm Sunway Hotel, No. 1, Street 92, Sangkat Wat Phnom Penh, Cambodia
25 March 2016 2:00pm-5:00pm United Nations Development Programme, Lane Xang Avenue Vientiane, Lao PDR
29 March 2016 2:00pm-4:00pm GOUNH, Green One UN House, Ground Floor, Conference Room C2, 304 Kim Ma Hanoi, Viet Nam
Postponed TBC TBC Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam
31 March 2016 2:30pm-4:30pm Park Royal Hotel, 33 Alan Pya Phaya Road, Dagon Township Yangon, Myanmar

SHIFT's Challenge Fund Second Window is primarily funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The UNCDF's Expanding Financial Access (EFA) programme provides earmarked funding to the Second Window in Myanmar. 

APPLY NOW: Second Window Expression of Interest Application Form
For more information, download the Second Window Information Note

Submission Deadline: Friday, 15 April 2016 at 23:59 (ICT)

Please submit your completed application form to the following email addresses: and Please mention in the email subject line: "Confirm Interest in submitting EoI – SHIFT Second Window"


UNCDF is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 48 least developed countries (LDCs). With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development. This last mile is where available resources for development are scarcest; where market failures are most pronounced; and where benefits from national growth tend to leave people excluded.  


Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformations (SHIFT) advances women’s economic empowerment by unlocking financial markets, and integrating women-centric strategies in growing inclusive enterprises. SHIFT uses innovative financing mechanisms to extend investments in last-mile financial infrastructure. Fundamentally, SHIFT catalyses innovative partnerships across financial, policy, data and training markets to accelerate financial inclusion and women’s economic participation in the developing world.


Now Available for Download: 

Expression of Interest Application Form 

Application Deadline:
Friday, 15 April 2016 at 23:59 (ICT)

For more information, please contact
Fakhrul Islam
Fund Facility Coordinator, SHIFT and CleanStart Programmes