April 28 marked the global launch of the Innovations Against Poverty programme, a new funding opportunity for entrepreneurs who fight poverty through innovation. The three-year-programme is an initiative by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). Through the programme, companies can get financial support and advice on inclusive business models.
Sida is encouraging companies and market oriented NGOs in developing countries to apply for the Innovation Against Poverty-programme. Innovations in technology and business practices are critical in creating opportunities for people living in poverty to improve their living conditions. Sida’s intention with this programme is to stimulate the development of new products and business models and to accelerate the process of business establishment in emerging markets.
Innovations Against Poverty (IAP) is designed for companies based in, or operating in, developing countries. The programme focuses on smaller organisations with innovative ideas as well as larger companies that need advice and support to develop “inclusive business” models which expand opportunities for the poor and disadvantaged in developing countries.
In these models, the people in developing countries can be engaged as employees, suppliers, distributors or consumers. Companies can be active in all sectors where innovation leads to poverty reduction, from agriculture and infrastructure to health and education.
The programme will function as a risk sharing mechanism for sustainable business ventures which have strong potential to impact poverty. IAP will provide a grant covering 50 per cent of total project cost up to € 20,000 to explore an innovation or a new market, or up to € 200,000 to a company to undertake a research and development project aimed at an innovation against poverty – a product, service, system, business model or a concept ready to be put to market test, or adaptation of existing products to be affordable and accessible by the poor.
Sida works through a group of specialists led by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the British initiative "Business Innovation Facility” to offer external expertise, networks and a platform to exchange experience of doing business in developing countries.
“Our goal is to fund about 60 new services and products with the three-year-programme. We also target companies wishing to export to – or who are already involved in – developing countries to expand business and local community development,” says Charlotte Petri Gornitzka, Director General of Sida.
For more information and interviews with Sida personnel working with the programme, contact the Press Office by email email@example.com or phone +46 8 698 55 55.
For questions to the team managing Innovations Against Poverty, contact Ms Ruth Brannvall at firstname.lastname@example.org or +46 733 211 006.