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GSMA Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation

Application Deadline: 9 January 2022 at 23:59 UTC.

On November 9, during the Science and Innovation day at COP26, the GSMA announced the launch of the GSMA Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation. This new Fund will help accelerate the testing, adoption and scalability of digital innovations that enable the world’s most vulnerable populations to adapt, anticipate and absorb the negative impacts of climate change.

The GSMA is looking for start-ups, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and social enterprises in Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Caribbean, Latin America and Eastern Europe that leverage digital technology, particularly mobile, to deliver climate resilience and adaptation solutions to and with low-income and vulnerable populations.*

Successful projects will receive an equity-free grant of between £100,000 and £250,000 to scale their innovation over a 15 to 18 month period.

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply, applicants must meet the following criteria:
• Be a small and growing enterprise or start-up leveraging digital technology, especially mobile, to deliver climate resilience and adaptation solutions to low-income and vulnerable populations in countries that are eligible to receive official development assistance. Have active users and commercial revenue (users and revenue from any products or services offered by the organisation) in at least one eligible country.
• Be an entity registered and operating in the country of project implementation (whether domestic or foreign-owned or a joint venture). In cases where responsibility for service delivery lies with a downstream partner, rather than the applicant, for example service delivery by a local government, it may be acceptable for the applicant to be registered in a country other than that of project implementation.
• Be fully compliant with relevant business licensing, taxation, employee and other regulations in all applicable countries of grant project operation.
• Be registered and have a bank account in the country where they will receive the grant money (if not the same as the project implementation country).
• Be an eligible entity and demonstrate that a majority of their income is derived from commercial activities. Early-stage companies who have not reached this threshold will need to demonstrate a reliable path to sustainability via commercial activities that generate revenue to be considered.
• Commit to providing 25% to 50% matching funding depending on the total grant amount requested.
• Only one organisation can apply for funding and become a grantee. Applicants are encouraged to have downstream partners who have a role in the project as per the GSMA’s Downstream Partner Guidelines. In case government entities are grant project partners, they cannot be a sub-recipient of the grant.
During the selection process, we will also ensure eligible applicants have/are:
• Adequate financial systems, to report regularly to the Fund, providing evidence of expenditure of grant funds and match funds and undergo an external audit. In addition, shortlisted applicants will be required to produce unqualified audited financial accounts as a condition for funding.
• An adequate bank account, to receive and hold grant payments.
• Adequate internal human resource capability to implement the proposed project and comply with the Fund’s reporting requirements within the planned timeframe.
• Applicants may need to demonstrate how they are compliant with all applicable laws and regulations across markets of operations.
• Compliant with fundamental Human Rights Laws, the UK Modern Slavery Act and Gender Equality Act, Child Protection Policies.
• Compliant with GSMA Safeguarding Policy (on Children and Vulnerable Adults) in all implementation markets.
• Adhere to the principals of the EU General Data Protection Regulation data privacy (GDPR).
They particularly encourage the following applicants to apply:
• Female founders, and applicants with good representation of women at all levels of the organisation.
• Local entrepreneurs, and applicants with good representation of local talent at all levels of the organisation.
• Applicants who have partnerships with relevant local stakeholders (e.g. community-based organisations) to deliver the project on the ground.
• Applicants who proactively demonstrate their solution disproportionately and actively reaches more female users.
• Applicants who have a clear understanding how their solution improves the resilience and adaptative capacity of vulnerable communities and have proactively taken steps to set targets and systematically measure these impacts.
All applicants need to consider:
• The Fund will not support the development or prototyping of any new hardware solutions. Where there is a proposal to use existing hardware solutions (e.g. weather monitoring equipment) as part of the project, applicants must be able to clearly demonstrate that all required approvals for wide-scale importation and use of the hardware exist prior to grant execution. In instances where there is assembly of completed pre-existing and previously used hardware components, this may be considered on a case-by-case basis by the GSMA.

Application Procedure

Applicants may be required to respond to additional GSMA due diligence requests, including disclosing relevant supply chains.
• Being able to demonstrate the potential and appetite to form strategic partnerships with mobile operators and/or technology organisations.
• Being able to use or be planning to use mobile technology strategically.
• Being able to use the Principles for Digital Development when designing their solutions.
• Having a plan for long-term sustainability and societal impact beyond the lifespan of the grant (such as through user uptake, business model, financial viability, follow-on funding etc.) and demonstrate there is further potential for scale or replication.
• Preference will be given to applicants (organisations) that have not received prior FCDO or Sida grant funding through the GSMA. Applicants that have received grant funding from the GSMA in the past will need to demonstrate why they require an additional grant.

Official Website: GSMA Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation

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