The Innovations Against Poverty (IAP) Fund officially opened its call for proposals and has now launched in all four target countries: Cambodia, Ethiopia, Uganda and Zambia. IAP is an initiative funded by Sida (Swedish International Development Agency) and managed by SNV Netherlands Development Organisation in partnership with BoP Innovation Center and Inclusive Business Sweden.
The IAP fund aims to identify and support innovative inclusive business ideas that deliver both commercial benefits for the private sector and developmental benefits for low income people, while advancing the inclusion and economic empowerment of women and youth. The challenge fund functions as a risk sharing mechanism and offers advisory support and non-reimbursable funding of up to €200 000 to companies active in the following sectors: agriculture & food, energy, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and ICT.
Over 500 participants came together in the 4 IAP countries to attend the launching of IAP’s first call for proposals and to participate in the launching workshops. The main objectives of the workshops were to familiarize potential applicants with the IAP fund, the concept of innovative Inclusive Business, and to present the application guidelines for concept note submissions.
Ms. Kim Davin, AMK Cambodia, described the workshop as “a great opportunity for all participants to understand the project and motivate them to apply for the fund”. Dr. Mebratu Meles, Ethiopia State Minister of Industry, stated that “IAP came in at an opportune time as the country is planning its transition to light manufacturing, constructing big integrated agro industry parks to attract private sector investment in potential sectors.”
Businesses can solve social and environmental issues, by including low income markets as part of the value chain
Mr. Javier Ayala, Executive Manager of the IAP Fund, delivered the informative workshops together with the respective national inclusive business officers and walked the participants through the IAP programme, the application process and ended the session with a set of innovative and inclusive business case examples.
Mr. Ayala explained the rationale behind the IAP programme as following: “As we all know, traditionally businesses have been focused in maximizing profits only, while ignoring the reality around them. … However, in recent times businesses started to realize that they have the capacity and a major opportunity to develop businesses that can solve social and environmental issues, by including the low income markets as part of the core business’ value chain, while successfully generating competitive profits…with this dynamic combination of private sector energy, low income population and government support the IAP has tremendous potential.”
The IAP team is looking forward to receiving inspirational and innovative Inclusive Business idea submissions during its first call for proposals. Proposals will be assessed and selected on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis until the 24th of July. Don’t wait for tomorrow, apply today: www.innovationsagainstpoverty.org .