GIF, the Global Innovation Fund

gifThe Global Innovation Fund invests in social innovations that aim to improve the lives and opportunities of millions of people in the developing world. Through our grants and risk capital, we support breakthrough solutions to global development challenges from social enterprises, for-profit firms, non-profit organisations, researchers, and government agencies. GIF is supported by the Department for International Development of the United Kingdom, the United States Agency for International Development, the Omidyar Network, the Swedish Agency for International Development Cooperation and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Australia. To date, these partners have pledged to invest £ 125 million over the next five years.
GIF can support a wide range of organizations and innovative projects in various stages of development, ranging from the early stages of start-up for implementation at a larger scale. GIF uses a funding model on several levels and offers three stages of financing. Applicants may apply for any stage depending on their level of development.


These phases are identified by GIF:


Pilot Phase
In this phase, GIF provides seed capital to support start-up and field-testing of innovations.


Test & Transition
GIF funds innovations that have already proven their success on a small scale.


Scaling Up
In this last phase GIF supports the expansion of the innovations that have already shown great potential in terms of social impact and effectiveness.


GIF generally do not finance the following types of projects:

  • Traditional development projects or current practices (such as building schools, wells, goods and services to the poor through commonly used methods)
  • Innovations that are applicable only to very specific situations and contexts
  • Basic scientific research (eg laboratory research)
  • Expansion plans of private companies in developing countries, without demonstrable potential impacts and social impacts (eg poverty reduction)
  • Religious activities (for example, the construction of a church)


Who can apply for funding to GIF?
GIF supports single organization and / or coalitions of social enterprises, for-profit companies, non-profit organizations, government agencies and research which are based in any eligible developing country.


How to submit a project

Applicants must submit a 2-4 page initial document or 8-12 slides that answer the questions listed below:


Innovation and Plan

  • What is the problem or global development challenge your innovation addresses?
  • How will your innovation address the problem?
  • How is your approach better than current ways of solving the problem?
  • If applicable, describe the business model you will use to commercialise the innovation.
  • How will you use the funding provided by GIF?
  • What are the key risks to the success of your innovation? How will you try to address these risks?


Impact and Potential to Scale

  • What is your plan for bringing your innovation to a large scale (e.g. through private sector, government, international donors/nonprofit organisations, or a combination) over the coming years?
  • What are the 2-3 main expected impacts of your innovation?
  • How do you intend to track progress or evaluate the success of your innovation (methods and key metrics)?
  • Who are your target customers or beneficiaries? Describe their demographic characteristics (income group, gender, etc.)
  • Roughly how many people do you expect your innovation will reach if it is successful (e.g. in 3-5 years or longer-term)? Explain your estimates.


There is no deadline for the submission of projects. The fund GIF analyzes the proposals on an ongoing basis.


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One comment on “GIF, the Global Innovation Fund
  1. I read with interest that Global Innovation Fund aims to improve the lives of people in the developing world through grants and risk capital to specified organizations and researcher institutions. I would like to know if my organization can apply for the GIF grants.

    I work with the Non- Governmental Organization (NGO) called Fight Against Poverty and Exclusion from Tanzania in Sub-Saharan Countries.

    The major aim of the organization is to help vulnerable and marginalized people living in the rural areas of Tanzania to end poverty and exclusions.

    The organization is legally registered by the NGO Register from the Ministry of Community Development, Gender and Children.

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