Applications are now open for the Global Innovation Fund (GIF) – a social impact first investment vehicle that works with mission-aligned development agencies, philanthropy, and other funders to find and fund evidence-based innovations with the potential to positively impact the lives of millions of the world’s poorest people.
The Global Innovation Fund invests in the development, rigorous testing, and scaling up of new products, services, business process, or policy reforms. Through its grants, GIF supports these breakthrough solutions from for-profit firms, non-profit organisations, researchers, and government agencies to maximise their impact and catalyse meaningful change.
They play a distinct role alongside existing development assistance by taking smart risks public agencies cannot using a range of financial instruments to achieve their mission.
If you are a non-profit and your innovation does not involve generating revenues from users or customers, a grant is likely to be most appropriate.
Stages of Funding
GIF has a staged funding approach, whereby the amount of funding available is tiered according to the level of maturity of your innovation and the activities proposed. The three tiers are:
- Pilot – the innovation is at an early stage but you have a credible plan for how it can be developed and tested in a real-world setting. Funding of up to USD 230,000 is available to test core assumptions around operational, social, and financial viability.
- Test and transition – the innovation has already shown promise of success at a small scale, and you have some information on your operational, social, and financial viability which you want to solidify before you scale. Funding of up to USD 2.3 million is available to support further growth and generate additional evidence on whether the innovation can achieve social impact and market viability, for commercial innovations.
- Scale – the innovation has a strong evidence base and logistically credible plan for scaling to reach millions of people. Funding of up to USD 15 million is available to expand the reach of innovations with a view to reaching millions of people in the long term if successful.
What they Fund?
- At GIF, they believe that innovation, by which they mean any solution that has potential to address an important development problem more effectively than existing approaches, can come from anyone, anywhere.
- This means that they accept applications working in any sector in any developing country.
- Any type of organisation may apply. This includes social enterprises, for-profit companies, non-profit organisations, government agencies, international organisations, and research institutions in any country. It is recommended that individual innovators, entrepreneurs, or researchers apply through an affiliated organisation.
Any type of organisation may apply. This includes social enterprises, for-profit companies, non-profit organisations, government agencies, international organisations, and research institutions in any country. It is recommended that individual innovators, entrepreneurs or researchers apply through an affiliated organisation.
GIF is open to innovations which meet their criteria in any sector or country. However, there are some activities they do not fund. These include:
- Theoretical research, or purely lab-based activities that are not linked to implementation of a specific proposed real-world pilot or demonstration project.
- Approaches that are only applicable in a single country (unless the innovation is expected to scale to a large proportion of one of the world’s most populous developing countries).
- Innovations that involve supporting a political candidate or party.
- Innovations where the primary purpose is to support the broader innovation ecosystem, such as incubators, accelerators, or other innovation funds.
- Innovations involving any product or activity deemed illegal under applicable laws or regulations or subject to internationally agreed phase-outs or bans as defined in global conventions and agreements (such as dealing with certain hazardous chemicals or ozone depleting substances, and any activity endangering protected wildlife).
- Innovations that involve production or use of luxury goods, soliciting prostitution or engaging in human trafficking, terrorist activity, or use of prohibited drugs, gambling and pornography.
For more information, visit https://www.globalinnovation.fund/apply/