GSMA mWomen Innovation Fund for NGOs

Deadline: 1 November 2013
Open to: NGOs operating in low- and middle-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia
Grant: three to four grants, valued up to US$ 140,000 each for projects up to six months long

Description

The GSMA mWomen Programme is pleased to announce the launch of the next round of Innovation Fund grants for Non-Governmental Organisations (“NGOs”). Please note that, in order to be eligible, NGOs must be legally permitted to operate in the country of project implementation and must have at least two years of unqualified, audited financial history.

Grants

This round comprises three to four grants, valued up to US$ 140,000 each for projects up to six months long. The grants are intended to provide seed funding for NGOs to design and launch an economically sustainable product/service, distribution model or marketing campaign (an ‘offering’) that increases women’s access to and use of mobile phones and value-added services (‘VAS’). There are two main ways of doing this:

  1. Develop content or a service that is life-enhancing for resource-poor women, which can be widely disseminated via mobile. This could take place in the domain of health, agriculture, access to finance, entrepreneurship, education, etc. OR:
  2. Support a mobile network operator (“MNO”) in the design and launch of an offering that will increase resource-poor women’s access to and use of mobile. The NGO’s contribution could be done through generating actionable consumer insights, using grassroots networks to access the target communities, running educational campaigns, etc.

In both cases, it is required that the NGO is in partnership with an MNO. The concept note should outline who the MNO partner is, the role it would play and its economic incentive for doing so. By application stage, the operator partnership must be formalised and the Selection Panel will require written evidence of the commitment of the proposed MNO partner to the project.

Please note that there are two streams of grants in this round, both aiming to provide seed funding for the design and launch of an offering to increase women’s access to and use of mobiles:

  1. MNOs: two to three matching grants for mobile operators, each with a value up to US$ 70,000, for use in projects up to six months long, delivered with or without partners.
  2. NGOs (described in this document): three to four non-matching grants for NGOs, each with a value up to US$ 140,000, for use in projects up to six months long, delivered with a mobile operator partner.

For more information on the MNO grants, please visit the website HERE.

Eligibility

This grant stream is open to NGOs operating in low- and middle-income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and Middle East, and South and Southeast Asia.

NGOs are required to partner with a mobile operator in order to develop the offering and/or distribute the offering on a large scale. NGOs may have additional strategic partners for this project, where helpful. Please note that the grant funds will be received in full by the applying NGO.

Application

The Fund employs a two-stage application process:

  1. Concept Note Stage: The first stage includes preparation of a brief concept note (using the TEMPLATE HEREoutlining the proposed project, the MNO partnership, the target number of women reached and the plan for sustainability. An independent Fund Manager then reviews concept notes to assess their alignment with Fund objectives and fulfilment of project and organisation eligibility requirements.
  2. Application Stage: The Fund Manager then invites a small number of applicants to the Application Stage to prepare full applications, containing comprehensive details about the project. An independent Selection Panel evaluates these applications and awards grants to those best positioned to deliver on the Fund objectives. Historically, applicants who worked closely with the GSMA mWomen team to develop their applications have been considered more competitive by the Selection Panel than those who did not.

Please read the term sheet AVAILABLE HERE for full details of the Innovation Fund objectives and the organisation and project eligibility requirements, as well as management, data and knowledge sharing, and performance monitoring requirements.

Key dates for this round are as follows; all deadlines are 5 p.m. UK time:

  • Deadline for concept note submission: Friday, 1st November 2013
  • Invitations to submit applications distributed: Friday, 15th November 2013
  • Deadline for application submission: Friday, 10th January 2014
  • Grant awards announced to applicants early February 2014
  • Grant agreements signed: mid-February 2014

Please refer to the Innovation Fund for NGOs Term Sheet for more details. Do not hesitate to contact the team at [email protected] with any questions and/or to enquire about support during the application process.

Further details are available in the call for applications HERE and the official website HERE.

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