GIF is a unique hybrid investment fund that supports the piloting, rigorous testing, and scaling of innovations targeted at improving the lives of the poorest people in developing countries.
Through our investments, we support a portfolio of innovations that collectively open up opportunities and improve the lives of millions of people across the developing world. We support innovators at all stages of development.
Through grants, loans (including convertible debt), and equity investments ranging from $50,000 to $15 million, we back innovations with the potential for social impact at a large scale, whether they are new business models, policy practices, technologies, behavioural insights, or new ways of delivering products and services that benefit the poor in developing countries.
Application Eligibility: All Countries
Type of Funding
We believe innovative solutions can come from many different types of organisations – whether private sector or public sector, for-profit or non-profit. To that end, GIF provides a range of financing types, including grants, loans (including convertible debt), and equity investments. We expect applicants to present a clear rationale for the type of financing for which they are applying.
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. However, we have the flexibility to provide blended finance solutions depending on your funding needs.
GIF is prohibited from providing grant finance for purely commercial or profit-making activities. If your funding is for setting up or growing a commercial business, it is recommended that you apply for debt or equity.
However, for-profit entities may apply for grant finance where the output will benefit the public in general. This may be when creating a new market, working in partnership with government, or when producing resources that are intended to be of general public benefit (‘public goods’). For-profit entities can also apply for grant finance to undertake evaluation activities to understand and share the impact of their innovation on people living in poverty or that is expected to benefit the development sector as a whole.
Every investment we make is designed to support innovations on their path to scale. However, we recognise that some of the promising innovations that will change the development landscape are currently only in their infancy.
GIF, therefore, supports innovators from early-stage field pilots right through to large-scale implementation. The goal is not to fund small organisations that stay small, and medium-sized interventions that stay medium-sized. It is to support organisations to scale up to reach millions of people.
To do this we use a staged funding approach allowing us to manage risk sensibly. We take smaller bets on riskier, unproven innovations at the pilot stage and invest larger amounts in innovations demonstrating strong evidence of success through rigorous impact evaluations.
Please select ‘Pilot’, ‘Test and transition’ or ‘Scale’ to view the criteria for each stage.
Understanding our criteria
New solutions can come from anywhere and we are open to a huge range of innovations working in many different contexts, but we have precise requirements and are unable to fund work that does not meet these criteria.
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.
Full Application & Due Diligence
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.
How To Apply
Before deciding whether to apply, determine whether you can show how your organization and innovation meets the requirements below:
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