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Offer: NGO Grants: GSMA mWomen Innovaton Fund - Deadline to submit concept note: 1 November 2013

The GSMA mWomen Programme with the support of USAID and AusAID has launched the Round 4 of the NGO Grants under the GSMA mWomen Innovaton Fund which provides 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’).

The GSMA mWomen Programme was launched by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in October 2010, the GSMA mWomen Global Development Alliance is a programme in partnership with USAID, AusAID, GSMA and Visa. It aims to increase women’s access to and use of mobile phones and life-enhancing mobile services in developing markets.

The GSMA mWomen Innovation Fund for NGOs aims to provide funding to NGOs in order to:
a) Accelerate the use of mobile technology to achieve development-related goals, specifically the empowerment of resource-poor women
b) Provide solutions to the barriers to women’s adoption and use of mobile phones and value-added services (“VAS”)
c) Generate lessons and models of success which can be shared with the wider development community, as well as mobile operators

The strategies that can be adopted can be:
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.

The Fund employs a two-stage application process:
1. Concept Note Stage
The first stage includes preparation of a brief concept note outlining 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 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.

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.

The Fund will support projects in low- and middle-income countries in:
- Sub-Saharan Africa
- North Africa and Middle East
- South and Southeast Asia

This round comprises three to four grants, valued up to US$ 140,000 each for projects up to six months long.

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.

The definition of success for the Innovation Fund is:
 An increase in the number of women who have access to mobile services
 An increase in the availability of relevant, life-enhancing VAS for women
 A larger set of proven approaches for addressing the needs of resource-poor women and reducing the barriers to the adoption of mobile phones

The definition of success for a grant-supported project is:
 Design and launch of an economically sustainable product or service, distribution model or awareness campaign (an ‘offering’) that increases women’s access to and use of mobile phones and VAS
 Generation of evidence of the social and economic value of the offering which can be shared
 Generation of insights into how to reduce women’s barriers to adoption on a large scale

For more information on the MNO grants, please visit

Key dates for this round are as follows; all deadlines are 5pm 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




thank you

thank you


lydiagcallano's picture

Great tidings

Thank you for sharing this opportunity for our less fortunate women around the globe. It will give them a chance to access resources and improve their lives.

God bless!

Ma. Lydia G. Callano
Iloilo, Philippines
+63 33 3158137 or 5138830

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