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Introducing our 2021 impact report

By Alix Peterson Zwane, CEO  |   Posted 24th March 2022

I am delighted to launch the Global Innovation Fund’s 2021 impact report, detailing the progress made to advance GIF’s mission of accelerating innovation to improve the lives of the world’s poorest people.

Through grants, loans and equity investments, GIF’s portfolio of innovations has the potential for outsized social impact whether through new technologies, policies, business models, or behavioural insights.

The building blocks of communities are public services that work for everybody. Dynamic and productive jobs and markets – in which the agency of women and girls is reflected – are universal and timeless, in London or in Lagos, through locally-driven solutions. We need innovation in development to achieve these goals.

In 2021, we cemented ourselves as strong investors who maximise the impact of donor funding by making strategic grants and investments, providing targeted venture support, and generating evidence so both the private sector and non-profit organisations we support can thrive and grow.

This year GIF closed six new transactions, addressing challenges ranging from gender-based violence, to the effects of COVID-19, to improving water sanitation. The innovations in our portfolio are expected to benefit 135 million people by 2031, improving their standard of living by four percent on average.

Our exit strategies have seen $5 million in returned capital and we have recycled this money back into the fund, enabling us to reinvest it in new, evidence-based innovations with the potential to bring about lasting social impact for millions of people.

As the report notes, central to achieving international development goals is confronting the challenges of climate change and gender inequality. At COP26 in Glasgow, I was delighted to launch our Innovating for Climate Resilience fund, in partnership with the Global Resilience Partnership and the Adaptation Research Alliance, which has been made possible by seed funding from our partners at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

I would like to take a moment to thank all of GIF’s donors who have made our work to support innovation and create the evidence needed to sustain real impact.

Enjoy the highlights of what was another significant year for GIF in our 2021 impact report.