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Ending 2020 on Track for Impact

By Alix Peterson Zwane, CEO  |   Posted 22nd December 2020

This has been an extraordinary year for all of us. Here at the Global Innovation Fund, we’ve focussed on protecting the impact of our existing portfolio by supporting our portfolio partners to respond and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic. In some cases this has involved GIF providing additional funding, being flexible around the timing or terms of our investment, or working with innovators and entrepreneurs as they pivot their approach to play an active role in pandemic response. At the same time, we’ve made great new investments for development impact, including in innovations that focus on pandemic response and recovery.

As 2020 draws to a close, we are able to look at how we are doing on delivering social value through the investments we’ve made.

Since 2015, we’ve invested nearly $100m in innovations with the potential for outsized social impact to improve the lives of the world’s poorest people.

It takes time and experimentation to get innovations to scale, which is why GIF is committed to being a patient investor able to stick with innovations on that journey. We forecast the social impact of innovations we’re backing ten years into the future to help us see just how many people such an innovation could reach and how it might improve, or even save, their lives.

Our team of expert development economists have worked over the past year to revise our impact forecasts to understand just what level of social value the innovations in our portfolio are on track to deliver over the next ten years.

By 2030, innovations currently in the GIF portfolio are expected to benefit 109 million people per year and generate an average of 5.1 million Person-Years of Income Equivalent annually – that means over 100m people will have a standard of living is five percent greater than it would have been.

Focussing on potential future impact doesn’t mean we are not delivering impact now – some of our earliest investments are delivering transformative impact across the developing world. Just four of our early investments, One Acre Fund, DMI, Paga, and SafeBoda, have generated an estimated $534m in net social value since GIF invested in them and they continue to generate additional social value today.

Innovation is playing a central role in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be central to the economic and social recovery to follow. At GIF, we are proud to be supporting innovators whose bold solutions have the potential to solve big global development challenges.

Thank you to everyone who has worked with us in 2020. We look forward to even more collaboration and partnership in 2021.