At GIF, we invest in a range of innovations with strong potential for social impact at a large scale. We define ‘innovation’ broadly to include new business models, policy practices, technologies, behavioural insights, or ways of delivering products and services that benefit the poor in developing countries — any solution that has potential to address an important development problem more effectively than existing approaches.
At the fund, we believe that innovation can come from many different
types of organisations – whether private sector or public sector,
for-profit or non-profit. To that end, the fund offers a range of
financing types, including grants, loans (including convertible debt),
and equity investments.
The fund expects applicants to present a clear rationale for the type
of financing they apply for. We would normally expect for-profit
companies with a commercial pathway to scale to apply for debt or
equity. For-profit institutions requesting grants must give compelling
rationale on why they are requesting grants rather than risk capital
such as equity or debt, e.g. why the innovation can be considered as a
public good that benefits society, or why grants are appropriate for
this stage or specific use of funding.
Across our portfolio, we support innovators who are committed to using and generating rigorous evidence about what works. We offer financing from USD $50,000 to $15 million, with the largest funding amounts reserved for innovations that can demonstrate evidence of success and that have potential to spread across multiple developing countries.
Realising impact potential
We are serious about scaling up successes and following through with transformative ideas until they realise their impact potential. We are willing to take informed risks as needed to invest in the best ideas early on, and we will continue to support ideas that have proven success in achieving social impact. We expect our most successful innovations will eventually scale up to reach millions of people in developing countries with support from the private sector, developing country governments, donors, or philanthropy.
GIF for Researchers
Evidence is at the heart of GIF’s staged
approach to investment. We take well-informed risks in pursuit of high
social benefits and, as we do so, we embed learning into each investment
we make. Whether you are a researcher with an innovative but untested
idea, you have already evaluated an innovation and found it to be
promising, or you are interested in evaluating an innovation which is
currently being implemented, we want to hear from you