Reflecting the growing appreciation of the role that market-related activity has in producing sustainable social impact, the application process for the second round of grants from the Alliance’s Innovation Fund demanded more sophisticated business models and projections. Most of the applicants–and all of the grantees–more than rose to the occasion. As with Round 1, the grantees are a markedly diverse group, supporting initiatives from Latin America to Africa, coming from both secular and faith based origins, and focusing on rural and urban needs. But all of them see the mission related market activity as a means of providing sustainable revenue.
In alphabetical order, the Round 2 winning applicants and their proposals are:
Freedom from Hunger | Latin America
- Challenge: Many Latin American microfinance institutions lack capacity to provide professional development necessary for optimal field agent performance that jeopardizes performance and exposes clients to the risk of over-indebtedness.
- Solution: Transform existing training series for field agents into a long distance learning e-platform, thus providing cost-effective and accessible training opportunities that will build field agent capacity and comply with emerging regulatory requirements.
Global Health Ministries | Cameroon
- Challenge: How to address dramatically reduced funding of missionary hospital so as to continue providing essential services for population.
- Solution: Increase capacity for providing elective and fee-paying surgery for local population by expanding surgical facilities.
Innovation: Africa | Uganda
- Challenge: Provide resources and facilities for off the grid individuals to have electrical power in their lives.
- Solution: Create a readily replicable “Rural Energy Center” where individuals can access services including internet access, photocopying and printing, television access, and cellphone charging, and purchase items including solar lanterns, haircuts, water packs, and cold drinks.
Pro Mujer | Bolivia
- Challenge: Chronic diseases—obesity, high blood pressure, elevated glucose levels, etc.—are a major health burden, particularly for the poor.
- Solution: Building upon existing financial services infrastructure and resources to deliver health services, implement a new health plan addressing these concerns designed to be client focused, market‑driven, and self‑sustaining.
These winners were selected from among a pool of applicants that responded to the Fund’s second RFP in April, 2013.
Those applications meeting the Fund’s objective requirements were reviewed by an external panel consisting of Paul Holmes, Terra Lawson-Remer, and Glenn Yago, where they were scored based on the innovation the proposal presented—its creativity, the clarity of its goal and role, and the consistency of the innovation with the organization’s mission.
That review narrowed the field to six finalists, all of which made in-person presentations to a second independent group, which included Amy M. Bell, Walter (Skip) Auch, and Michael D. Park. The finalists’ presentations focused on business elements, such as understanding of markets, business strategy, viability, and management capacity.
Check out AFGG Blog Posts re the Innovation Fund
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