The GSMA is looking for start-ups, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and social enterprises in Africa, South or South East Asia. These organisations should be leveraging digital technology to deliver urban services with socio-economic, commercial and environmental impact in the following sectors:
Two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050, with most urban growth concentrated in Africa and Asia. This poses challenges to basic service provision as city authorities and urban service providers struggle to meet the demands of rapidly growing populations.
To build on the success of the previous rounds of the GSMA Innovation Fund, a new round will open for applications in May 2021 to scale digital solutions that provide essential urban services to underserved populations from low- and middle-income countries in Africa, South Asia, and South East Asia. Grants and additional support are provided to start-ups, small to medium enterprises, or social enterprises that leverage digital technology, especially mobile, to deliver urban services with socio-economic, commercial, and environmental/climate impact.
The objective of the Fund is to extract insights from business models to inform the improvement of essential urban services delivery across energy, water, sanitation, plastics and waste management. Grants will be utilised to test digital innovations, enable scale, and provide essential services to underserved populations across all four sectors.
The grant projects must seek to demonstrate:
Successful projects for The GSMA Innovation Fund for Digital Urban Services will receive an equity-free grant of between £100,000 and £250,000 to scale their innovation over a 15- to 18-month period
The support package includes:
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting more than 750 operators with almost 400 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as MWC Barcelona, MWC Shanghai, MWC Los Angeles and the Mobile 360 Series of conferences.