Funding Opportunity: Global Innovation Fund

About the Organization

The Global Innovation Fund is a non-profit, impact-first investment fund headquartered in London with offices in Washington, D.C., Nairobi and Singapore. We invest in the development, rigorous testing, and scaling up of new products, services, business process, or policy reforms that are more cost-effective than current practice and targeted at improving the lives of the world’s poorest people.Through our grants and risk capital, we support these breakthrough solutions from for-profit firms, non-profit organisations, researchers and government agencies to maximise their impact and catalyse meaningful change. Because the best ideas for solving some of the world’s most critical development problems can come from anyone, anywhere, we provide an open window to receive innovative ideas and assess whether they are right for GIF investment.About the GrantWe seek out innovations we believe have the greatest potential to improve the lives of millions of people living in poverty.At GIF, we believe that innovation, by which we 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 we 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.Your innovation must:· Be focussed on the poor: GIF is focussed on finding new ways of improving lives for those living in poverty. Your innovations must be designed to bring benefits for those who live on the equivalent of $5 a day. We are especially interested in funding innovative solutions that impact those living on less $2 a day or other vulnerable or disadvantaged groups.· Be a new approach: As an innovation funder we do not invest in business as usual. Rather, to meet our criteria your innovation must be new approach which differs from solutions which are already widely practiced. This could be a new business model, policy practice, technology, or new ways of delivering products and services that benefit the poor.· Improve upon alternatives solutions: If you have a new approach which brings benefits to the poor and is not already widely used, the next question is the most important: “how does it improve upon existing or competing approaches?” Your innovation must have a strong rationale for its approach and be more viable, impactful or cost effective than alternative solutions.· Be backed by evidence of potential impact: Your innovation must be informed by evidence of what works. This evidence might focus on the changes in the lives of your beneficiaries or customers, or ‘how-to’ evidence on how your solution can be deployed or scaled successfully.· Be able to be applied widely: We focus on approaches which can be widely used or applied in many developing countries and do not consider innovations which are only viable solutions in one local context. Investing in innovation is all about learning about the potential of new solutions, and we want that learning to benefit others who are facing similar challenges in different settings.· Have the potential to scale to reach millions of people: WE only fund innovations which have the potential to scale to benefit millions of people. Scaling can take place through any number of ways– growth of a successful business or through uptake by a government partner, for example – and we seek those innovation which have the most credible plans for how scale can be achieved and sustained without relying on ongoing investment from GIF or indefinite philanthropic funding.· Be led by strong and dynamic teams: We look for innovations which are backed by teams which have a deep understanding of the problems they are tackling and the context in which they are working. Applicants should demonstrate a solid track-record of leadership and skills needed to leverage the partnerships required to succeed and navigate the challenges which come with scaling innovations.· Be ready for investment: Your Innovation must be ready to be applied in a real-world setting so that our funding can contribute to your progress toward scale. If your innovation needs more work before putting it to the test, then we recommend you apply at a later date. For commercial enterprises, we look for strong markers of consumer demand or willingness to pay before investing.· Generate new knowledge about what works: We look for teams which share our passion for evidence. You must be committed to using our investment to generate new evidence on potential impacts and how to scale effectively, and to sharing learning to showcase successes (and failures) to others facing similar development challenges.· Have a clear role for GIF: GIF seeks to fill market gaps and is especially interested in supporting innovations that may otherwise struggle to find appropriate forms of funding. We aim to make smart investments which can attract more funding to the most promising approaches, so we look for applications which have a clear rationale for why GIF is needed and how partnering with GIF can contribute to the long run vision of success.· Be sensitive to gender impacts: You are expected to assess how individuals of all genders access, experience or benefit from your innovation, and to ensure that your innovation is designed to mitigate identified gender risks and maximise opportunities to achieve gender equality outcomes.· Be cognisant of climate risk and opportunities: You should consider the potential of your innovation to contribute to climate adaptation and resilience for those living in poverty, as well as assess the climate risks to your innovation (the extent to which success is exposed to climate risk) as well as the climate risks arising from your innovation (how the innovation may contribute to adverse climate outcomes).How to ApplyNew solutions can come from anywhere and we are open to a huge range of innovations working in many different contexts, we have precise requirements and are unable to fund work that does not meet these criteria. Before applying, please carefully read the guidance on What We Fund and the Types and Stages of Funding available.Once you have established your work fits with GIF criteria, the next step is to complete a short application to tell us about your innovation, how it meets our criteria, and what can be achieved with our funding.If we want to know more about your innovation and how GIF can support you on your journey to scale, a member of our investment team will arrange a follow-on call to learn more.In the event we decide to progress to due diligence, we will request a full application which includes information on your team, budgets and plans. Due diligence processes include interviews with your team and other stakeholders, calls with referees, input from external technical experts, and potentially a visit to meet your team and observe your work. We will also request information on your organisation and key staff members to enable us to complete environment, social and governance (ESG) due diligence including anti-money laundering checks. Our due diligence process is guided by an internal investment committee and may involve feedback from, and co-creation with, the GIF team.Upon satisfactory completion of due diligence, GIF will convene a Decision Panel comprised of senior leadership at the fund and external experts. The panellists will consider the application against our investment criteria to assess whether your proposal is a good fit for the fund and decide whether to approve or reject your application.Decision Panel approval is conditional upon satisfactory completion of final financial and legal compliance, and negotiation of a funding agreement. The final funding agreement will vary for different types of capital, and may include a valuation process, conditions of loan, and agreement of deliverables and key performance indicators.Apply for fundingFor more information please check the Link

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