Global Innovation Fund Programme

Global Innovation Fund Programme
Global Innovation Fund Programme

Global Innovation Fund Programme – GIF accepts applications on a rolling basis – our window is always open with no deadlines or rounds of funding.

Please carefully review the guidance before deciding whether to invest time in preparing an application. Doing so will increase your chances of success.

Start by reviewing What We Fund to gauge whether there is an initial match between your funding needs and GIFs investment thesis and criteria.

If you believe that you meet our funding criteria then review the Type of Funding and the Stage of Funding section for additional criteria on the type of capital available (grant, debt, equity or a blended approach.

h) and the amount of funding for which you can apply. Global Innovation Fund Programme


Starting Your Application

Before deciding whether to apply, determine whether you can show how your organization and innovation meets the requirements below:



. Apply for USAID Development Innovation Ventures

. CambriLearn scholarship programme

Application Process

Understanding our criteria:

Before applying, please carefully read the guidance on What We Fund and the Types and Stages of Funding available. 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.Global Innovation Fund Programme

Initial Application:

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.

Follow-on call:

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.Global Innovation Fund Programme

Full application and 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.

Decision Panel:

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.

Funding agreement:

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.Global Innovation Fund Programme


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.

Global Innovation Fund Programme
Global Innovation Fund Programme

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.

Stage of development Pilot innovations are at an early stage but you have a credible plan for how it can be developed and tested in a real-world setting.
Evidence We value any relevant evidence or research findings that demonstrate why the innovation is needed, such as evidence of customer demand or interest in the innovation. We do not expect that strong evidence already exists to prove the value of the innovation, but we do need a clear rationale for why the innovation could have a greater impact or be more cost effective than existing approaches.
Potential to scale The innovation has the potential to be politically and logistically feasible at scale, or has the potential to scale commercially as evidenced by customers willingness to pay. At pilot stage there may be one or more potential pathways for scaling the innovation.
Use of funds Investment at the pilot stage is focussed on testing core assumptions around operational, social, and financial viability. This could include initial research and development, introducing an innovation to target customers, assessing user demand and willingness to pay, and documenting social outcomes and costs of spreading the innovation.
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