Innovations Against Poverty (IAP) challenges the private sector to develop innovative products, services and business models that can contribute to the fight against poverty and climate change, with a specific focus on the inclusion and empowerment of women and youth. IAP provides non-reimbursable 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. IAP is funded by Sida (Swedish International Development Agency) and managed by SNV in partnership with BoP Innovation Center and Inclusive Business Sweden.
The private sector is a real catalyst for low income people to lift themselves out of poverty through new job opportunities, increased income, and access to basic goods and services. Simultaneously low income markets represent a large business opportunity. The four billion people living on less than €6 a day constitute a global consumer market with a combined purchasing power valued at €4 trillion. The low income population has the potential to increase labour, supplier and distribution channels that can support expanded production and market supply. This offers significant scope for Inclusive Business
initiatives to make a positive impact on low income people’s quality of life.
By thinking innovatively, companies can develop business ideas that solve social and environmental issues, while at the same time maximizing their competitiveness and profitability. Many of these initiatives are not realised due to perceived commercial, technical or financial risk. By functioning as a risk sharing mechanism, IAP aims to stimulate the development of innovative Inclusive Business ideas that otherwise would not have taken place within the private sector.
IAP is designed for companies with ideas to be implemented in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Uganda and Zambia and in the following four sectors: agriculture, energy, WASH and ICT. For an innovative inclusive business to be supported by IAP, it should be commercially viable, inclusive, innovative, scalable and enviromentally conscious.
IAP provides selected companies with financial support ranging from €50.000 to €200.000, as a non-reimbursable risk capital for up to a maximum of 49% of the total required investment. In addition to financial support, IAP offers companies advice in developing and rolling out their business models that engage low income groups and deliver a commercial return. Business development and innovation support will be available to further develop the business idea and practices during group workshops and individual coaching. Besides, specialised support will be available through local associated consultants (to be financed by the investee) and through the online platform
Achievements to date:
- More than 1,300 companies responded to the call for applications that was launched in June 2017;
- After a thorough selection, contracts were signed with 36 companies
- The portfolio is worth €27.2 million;
- Of this €22.7 million was invested by the private sector and €4.5 million by the project (an investment ratio of 5:1)