Apply for funding

What type and amount of funding should I apply for?

The fund is flexible in our funding structure: we can provide anywhere from $50,000 – $15 million and we can use any form of capital – grants, equity, debt, hybrid capital, etc. This page is intended to help prospective applicants understand what type and amount of funding is most appropriate for their innovation.

For a broader discussion of the rationale behind our staged funding approach, please see the “Stages of Financing” page.

Amount of Funding

We use a staged funding approach at the Global Innovation Fund. The more evidence you have of the effectiveness of your innovation, and the larger its scale, the larger our potential investment.

Please take a minute to read through this page before you apply to know what stage is appropriate for you. We take into account three main factors when determining your stage: level of development of the innovation, number of beneficiaries and the level of evidence.

The fund has caps at each stage – we can take small bets on pilots, whereas we are able to invest millions in innovations that have already proven their viability and are ready to scale. The fund also employs a different level of due diligence at each stage – we have a streamlined process for pilots, whereas we conduct in-depth due diligence over an extended period of time for scale-stage support.

  • Pilot: Your innovation is still in an early phase. You are testing core assumptions around operational, social and financial viability. The maximum we can fund per pilot is $230,000 USD.
  • Test and Transition: Your innovation has completed initial testing and is now transitioning to larger scale. You have some information on your operational, social and financial viability. You want to solidify this before you scale. The maximum we can fund per intervention is $2.3 million, although the average investment size is smaller.
  • Scale: Your innovation has solid operational, social and financial viability. You have strong evidence that my innovation improves the lives of those living on less than $5 PPP per day. Now you want to replicate your innovation in new countries and context, reaching millions of people. The maximum we can fund per innovation is $15 million, although the average investment size is much smaller.

After reading this section, please do your best to classify yourself into one of the three stages. However, it will not be deal-breaking if you mis-classify yourself – we are happy to work with the most competitive candidates to better understand what stage your innovation is at after you submit your initial application.

What type of support should I apply for?

  • If you are a for-profit company, or have a market route to scale, it is likely more appropriate for you to apply for equity or debt. The fund may give grants to for-profit companies in the cases where there is a large social impact and there is a clear case that we are not crowding-out private capital. Additionally, we are open to providing grants to for-profit companies to fund rigorous evidence generation around the impact of your model on people living on less than $5 PPP per day.
  • If you are a non-profit, and have a public-sector or hybrid path to scale, a grant is likely to be most appropriate. To secure a grant, however, you need to demonstrate that your innovation has the potential to be a cost-effective way to solve the given development challenge.