Innovations Against Poverty (IAP-II) will be launching its “Second Call for Proposals opening from 31 March, 2020” for wide variety of applicants, ranging from small scale start-up ventures to mature businesses that will bring positive social and environmental impact. The selected candidates will be offered funds and advisory support from IAP for the period of 2020 to 2022.
IAP challenges the private sector to develop products, services and business models that can contribute to the fight against poverty, and climate protection in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Uganda and Zambia. It is funded by Sida (Swedish International Development Agency) and managed by SNV in partnership with BoP Innovation Center and Inclusive Business Sweden.
The program is designed for companies which are operational or plan to enter the market (with a local partner in case of foreign companies) in the following sectors under ICT:
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Through their financial and non-financial services, they support innovative Inclusive Business models that deliver commercial benefits for the private sector and developmental benefits for the low-income population, while paying specific attention to gender equality and environmental sustainability.
Private sector development has proven to be a real catalyst of change when it comes to creating the opportunity for low income people to lift themselves out of poverty. Additionally, low income markets represent a large business opportunity: the four billion people living on less than $8 USD a day constitute a global consumer market with a shared purchasing power valued at 5 trillion USD.
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The low income population provides the potential to increase labour, supplier and distribution channels that can support expanded production and market supply. IAP provides funding to companies that engage the urban and rural low income population as innovators, entrepreneurs, producers, consumers, or distributors. Companies can apply for funding from IAP through open calls.
By thinking innovatively, companies can develop business ideas that solve social and environmental issues while at the same time maximizing their competitiveness and profitability. However, many of these initiatives are exposed to commercial, technical and financial risks, and have limited access to markets. Most companies initiating an innovative Inclusive Business idea traditionally lack the technical support required and are too large for micro-finance, and too small and risky for mainstream commercial debt and venture capital, making them part of the so-called “Missing Middle” gap.
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In this context, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) launched the Innovations Against Poverty Fund (IAP) to stimulate private sector development initiatives which otherwise would not have taken place.
The IAP fund functions as a risk sharing mechanism, with the specific mandate to identify and support innovative Inclusive Business models that deliver both commercial benefits for the private sector and developmental benefits -such as the creation of jobs, income increase and access to basic goods and services- for low income people, with specific attention to gender and environmental integration.
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