Innovations Against Poverty – What is it all about?

Saskia Rotshuizen
By on February 27, 2017

Innovations Against Poverty fund is announcing its second edition and will be soon calling for proposals. We talked to Javier Ayala from consortium leader SNV to learn about the opportunities for inclusive business ventures.

In a few words, what is Innovations Against Poverty?

The Innovations Against Poverty Fund challenges the private sector to develop products, services and business models that can contribute to the fight against poverty and climate change. It is a specialized fund with the specific mandate to identify and support innovative Inclusive Business models that deliver both commercial benefits for the private sector and developmental benefits for the low income population. The program is designed for companies which are based, or operate in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Uganda and Zambia and are active in the target sectors (see below). The fund will have 2 rounds of calls in 2017.

 

 “IAP is a specialized fund with the specific mandate to identify and support innovative Inclusive Business models that deliver both commercial benefits for the private sector and developmental benefits for the low income population”

 

Who is leading this program?

The IAP Fund is the result of a partnership. It is capitalized by Sida (Swedish International Development Agency) and managed by SNV Netherlands Development Organisation in collaboration with BoP Innovation Center and Inclusive Business Sweden.

 

What can entrepreneurs expect from the program? How is it different from other innovation funds?

The program offers the right mix that the entrepreneurs need:

  • Companies can apply for financial support ranging from €50.000 to €200.000, as a non-reimbursable risk capital for up to a maximum of 49% of the total required investment. The entrepreneurs’ investment must at least profile 25% in cash contribution.
  • Companies are offered advisory support – both in workshops and individual coaching –  for developing and rolling out their business models that engage low income groups and deliver a commercial return. This advisory support is to be delivered via a mix of international and local specialists, in the fields of inclusive business development, finance, innovation, amongst others. Besides, specialized support will be available through local associated consultants (to be financed by the investee) and through the on-line platform www.iba.ventures/iap

Furthemore, the program does not invest in risk free cases, since those cases can be served by other programs and institutions in the commercial markets. The program is rich from sharing experience, technologies and opportunities in 2 regions, 4 countries and 4 economic sectors.

IAP aims to work with entrepreneurs that will become drivers of change in their own markets, by taking their innovative ideas to scale, reaching a wide ecosystem impact, rather than a small pilot.

 

What types of ventures are you looking for? What makes a successful applicant to the program?

 

IAP aims to invest in private business initiatives that are:

 

With a focus on the following sectors:

Can you share some successes from IAP1?

There are several success and innovative examples from IAP1 in food production, turning waste to energy, mobile banking, solar energy technologies, transportation and more. Those interested can find a vast repository of IAP1 cases at: http://www.inclusivebusinesshub.org/all-innovation-against-poverty/

 

What are you personally looking forward to in this new edition?

I’m looking forward to get many exciting and creative ideas that have the potential to grow businesses but also improve the quality of life for many low income people. These ideas can be developed in a garage, a farm or in a very modern factory, but all that matters is that the entrepreneur is fully determined to take the challenge and make the change.

 

Anything else you would like to add?

The first call for applications will launch by March 24th, 2017, so we invite all those interested innovators to contact us at: support@innovationsagainstpoverty.org