Global Innovation Fund (GIF)Overview
This program seeks to invest in social innovations that aim to improve the lives and opportunities of millions of people in the developing world. It is a 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.
The program support innovators at all stages of development. Through grants, loans (including convertible debt), and equity investments ranging from $50,000 to $15 million, GIF 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.
The Fund uses a staged funding approach:
- Provide seed capital to support the startup and field-testing of innovations.
- Funding of up to USD230,000 is available.
2. Test and transition
- Support innovations that have already demonstrated success at a small scale.
- Funding of up to USD2.3 million is available.
- Support the expansion of innovations that have already demonstrated a strong track record of social impact and effectiveness.
- Funding of up to USD15 million is available.
The application process involves six steps:
- Initial application
- Information gathering and learning more
- Full application
- Due diligence
- Decision panel
- Funding agreement
Australia's innovationXchange will invest $30 million over the next four years in GIF. This investment will enable Australia to effectively and cost-efficiently seek ideas from across the globe with a particular emphasis on the Indo-Pacific region (both ideas from the region and ideas that positively impact the region).
Eligible applicants include (in any country):
- Social enterprises
- For-profit companies
- Non-profit organisations
- Government agencies
- International organisations
The program is open to funding innovations in any sector as long as they can show that their innovation improves the lives of those living on less than $5 PPP per day, especially less than $2 PPP per day.
Eligible types of innovation include developing:
- New products or services that benefit poor and vulnerable communities.
- New ways of delivering or adapting already-existing products and services so that they are more effective in reaching the poor, such as through innovative marketing or distribution strategies.
GIF is interested in innovations that enable greater social impacts to be achieved compared to current practices. This could mean reaching more people per dollar spent, for example. The fund supports innovations that are expected to lead to large, transformative improvements to development outcomes rather than incremental changes.
The main assessment criteria include:
- Innovation and impact
- Measuring success and sharing lessons learned
- Potential to scale
The program does not typically fund the following types of projects:
- Traditional development projects or approaches that are similar to current practices (e.g. building schools, drilling wells, or delivering other goods and services to the poor through commonly used methods).
- Innovations that are applicable to very specific, narrow contexts and/or lack potential to have meaningful social impacts on a large scale (e.g. potential to reach millions of people).
- Basic scientific research (e.g. laboratory research).
- Plans to expand private businesses in developing countries without demonstrable potential to achieve significant social impacts (e.g. reducing poverty).
- Religious activities (e.g. building a church). Note: Religious organisations conducting activities with broader development goals are welcome to apply, however.
- Research & Development
- Business Support