Nigerian start-ups operating in the Sharing Economy, and/or developing services for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have an opportunity to apply for an equity free £250,000 GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund, which closes on July 16, 2017.
Those applying in the Sharing economy are advise to note that “mobile-based platform, product or service which enables low-income citizens in emerging markets to generate income from ‘underutilized assets’ through sharing those assets with their peers” are considered for application, while those who provide services for SMEs are considered as “any mobile-based solution, product or service designed for Micro, Small
and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) – formal or informal – in emerging markets which unlock improved productivity and growth.”
The fund exposed winners to technical assistance, and the opportunity to partner with mobile operators in their markets to help scale their products and services into sustainable businesses with positive socio-economic impact, according to the fund managers.
The GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund, according to the managers, supports innovative start-ups in emerging markets to achieve sustainable growth and improved socio-economic impact.
The objectives to establish partnerships between mobile operators and start-ups in order to increase the reach of innovative mobile services, test business models with the greatest potential for growth and impact and provide lessons and examples on the ways in which mobile is driving positive socio-economic change, the fund is opened to African entrepreneurs and those operating in Asia-Pacific.
Entrepreneurs from the following countries in Africa are eligible to apply: Nigeria, Africa: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo Dem Rep., Congo Rep., Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Swaziland, São Tomé and Principe, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Those from Asian countries include: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, and entrepreneurs from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Pitcairn Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu are eligible for the Pacific countries.
Applicants, according to the fund managers, are expected to submit and justify their requirements for the project to be funded, as well as funding amount and duration. Funding amount can be between £100,000 and £250,000 and requires a certain level of matching from the applicant.
According to the fund managers, although this funding is equity free, its disbursement will be based on milestones achievements and incremental fund payments will be dependent on the start-up delivering proof that mutually agreed milestones/targets have been completed/achieved.
There are other conditions attached to the funding and those requiring more information are encouraged to ask through firstname.lastname@example.org. The Fund supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Australian Government, the GSMA and its members.
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