Omidyar Network, in partnership with the United States Agency for International Aid and the governments of the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Australia, has announced the launch of a fund to support breakthrough solutions to global development challenges.
To be headquartered in London, the Global Innovation Fund will take a venture capital-like approach to investing in social innovations aimed at improving the lives of and opportunities for millions of people in developing countries. With financial commitments from the partners totaling more than $200 million, the fund will offer grants, loans, and equity investments ranging from $50,000 to $15 million to pilot, test, and scale transformative innovations, with the largest amounts reserved for innovations with the potential to spread across multiple countries. Announced in conjunction with the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York City this week, the fund is accepting applications for funding and expects to be at full operational capacity by next spring.
"We must find and invest in more effective, faster, and more efficient ways of ending aid dependency," said Justine Greening, UK secretary of state for international development. "The Global Innovation Fund is now open for business and can support ambitious ideas to transform lives in some of the poorest countries in the world. As we work toward a new set of post-2015 development goals, fresh thinking and new ideas will be critical to ending extreme poverty for good."
"The Global Innovation Fund is a big step forward for impact investing and international development," said ON managing partner Matt Bannick. "As a global, multi-partner NGO, GIF will be able to glean best practices and lessons learned from promising innovations all over the world and bring them to scale through flexible financing, including private, government, and philanthropic capital."