Today, MetLife Foundation announced its exclusive sponsorship and launch of The Financial Inclusion Challenge. The Challenge, developed in partnership with MetLife Foundation and managed by The Wall Street Journal, is a two-year global project launching in Asia with the aim of encouraging non-profit and for-profit enterprises to submit proposals that provide innovative, sustainable solutions for individuals and families struggling to be part of the financial mainstream.

The Challenge is part of a major editorial initiative by The Wall Street Journal called “Financing the Future,” which will provide news and insights about the world's more than 2 billion people who are largely excluded from banking, lending, insurance, credit, investing and other basic financial services.

“The issue of access and inclusion is very real. MetLife was founded on the simple but powerful insight that everyone needs access to the right financial tools to pursue more from life. That core belief has shaped MetLife’s business since our founding in 1868. And, that same belief inspired MetLife Foundation’s new focus on financial inclusion,” said Chris Townsend, president of MetLife Asia, and a MetLife Foundation Board Member. “This project will allow us to engage key stakeholders on a very important topic in a dynamic and growing region.”

The Financial Inclusion Challenge will allow the Journal to solicit and highlight cutting-edge ideas that address financial exclusion issues holding so many people back in the region. The Challenge will be prominently featured in The Wall Street Journal, the world’s leading source of business, financial and economic news. All decisions about news coverage and publication will be made solely by The Wall Street Journal’s news department.

A panel of independent, expert judges will select entries to the Challenge and recognize winning programs, products and services in three areas: education; technology; products and services. There will be one overall winner from these categories. Applications will be accepted from around the world with a focus on implementation in Asia.

“The Wall Street Journal specializes in reporting on economics and finance in their broadest forms, and delving into what financial stability can do in propelling people out of poverty is a high priority for our newsroom and a crucial factor in the development of nations across Asia,” said Paul Beckett, Asia Editor. “We look forward to bringing our reporting expertise to illustrating those issues over the next six months.”

In addition to The Wall Street Journal’s news reporting on this topic, MetLife Foundation, in collaboration with WSJ Custom Studios (a division of the Journal’s advertising department) will be hosting a content hub rich with information and resources on the topic of financial inclusion.

“We believe this project with the Wall Street Journal will point the spotlight on what’s working, what needs attention, and the solutions to help more people achieve their full financial potential,” said Dennis White, president and chief executive officer of MetLife Foundation.

In 2013, MetLife Foundation committed $200 million over five years toward advancing financial inclusion around the world. To date, it has committed $70 million toward that goal, with close to $24 million invested in programs advancing financial inclusion in Asia. The Foundation’s strategy, which includes sourcing diverse, high-impact portfolio of partners and developing signature programs, aims to have significant impact in communities around the world. To learn more visit

About MetLife Foundation 
MetLife Foundation was created in 1976 to continue MetLife’s long tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Since its founding through the end of 2014, MetLife Foundation has provided more than $650 million in grants and $70 million in program-related investments to organizations addressing issues that have a positive impact in their communities. Today, the Foundation is dedicated to advancing financial inclusion, committing $200 million to help build a secure future for individuals and communities around the world. For more information, please visit


For Media: Simon Smith