Global Innovation Fund (GIF) Seeks Innovations to Improve the Lives of People in Developing Countries

Grants and investment finance to support the testing, development and scaling up of social innovations with strong potential to improve the lives and opportunities of people in the developing world.

The Global Innovation Fund (GIF) is a non-profit innovation fund based in the United States and UK that offers grants, loans, equity investments and hybrid capital to support the development, testing and scaling of social solutions of benefit to low- and lower-middle income countries. Innovations of interest include new business models, policy practices, technologies, behavioural insights or approaches to delivering products and services with the potential to address an important development problem more effectively than existing approaches.

GIF seeks out innovations that have the greatest potential to improve the lives of millions of people living in poverty and only select innovations that:

  1. Are focussed on the poor.
  2. Are novel approaches which are not commonplace.
  3. Can improve upon alternatives solutions.
  4. Are backed by evidence of potential impact.
  5. Can be widely applied in many different settings.
  6. Have the potential to scale to reach millions of people.
  7. Are led by strong and dynamic teams.
  8. Are ready for investment.
  9. Will generate new knowledge on what works.
  10. Have a clear role for GIF.

GIF invests in solutions to development challenges which will meaningfully improve the lives of people living in developing countries. GIF is especially interested in innovations that impact people living on less than $2 per day (PPP) or vulnerable groups such as women and girls, the disabled, minority or indigenous groups, refugees or displaced communities or other vulnerable populations.

GIF accepts 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

Applicants may be based anywhere in the world, but the innovation must target people living on less than the equivalent of $5 per day (PPP) in developing countries.

GIF operates a tiered financing model linked to the following three funding stages:

  • Pilot – Funding of up to $230,000 is available to test core assumptions around operational, social and financial viability.
  • Test and transition – Funding of up to $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 – Funding of up to $15 million is available to expand the reach of innovations with a view to reaching millions of people in the long term if successful.

GIF accepts applications on a rolling basis, with no specific deadline to apply.