The 2020 GSMA innovation funds are now open for applicants within the Asia-Pacific and Africa region. The theme for this year is “Mobile Internet Adoption and Digital Inclusion.” The new fund aspires to increase mobile internet adoption to the market segment without mobile internet access. You will receive an equity grant worth £100,000 to £250,000 which can scale your operations over a 15 to 18 month period.
The funding will be accompanied by mentorship, linkages to mobile operators for partnership, and technical assistance.
The idea behind the fund’s origin is to improve inclusivity. The mobile industry links over 3.5 billion people to the internet. Despite the high penetration, there is still a huge 3.3billion group that does not use mobile internet services. They mostly comprise of marginal groups who are often disenfranchised such as rural communities, the illiterate, or females.
If the current trend persists around 40 percent of the populations in low and middle-income countries will remain offline by 2025. The fund organizers will be looking at affordability, accessibility, security, safety, and the level of digital expertise. In addition, if the product has a bias towards including more women than men, that works even better.