The GSMA Innovation Fund for Digital Urban Services (Fund) is looking for start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Africa and South-East Asia to build innovations that deliver essential urban services to the undeserved. The Global System for Mobile Communications Association (GSMA) has 10 years of experience running innovation funds on many topics on social services development using mobile applications. GSMA’s approach is to fund inclusive projects that have a clear socio-economic impact and are commercially sustainable. GSMA believes digital solutions have the power to reduce inequalities within our world by connecting everyone and everything to a better future. The Fund will be used to extract digital insights from business models to improve necessary urban services delivery across energy, water, sanitation, plastics and waste management. The Fund will provide grants for businesses to test and scale digital innovations.

How will the successful applicants benefit?

Successful projects for The GSMA Innovation Fund for Digital Urban Services will receive;

  • Grant funding between UGX 500 million and UGX 1.2 billion to support projects over 15 to 18 months;
  • Bootcamp (a programme of expert-led sessions and targeted networking) and regular online clinics on topics such as product or service improvement, human-centred design and usability testing;
  • Learning exchange opportunities with other grantees and networking opportunities with other GSMA partners;
  • Monitoring and evaluation support to evidence socio-economic impact and promote product improvement;
  • Facilitation of relationships with mobile operators and public sector organizations where relevant;
  • Opportunity to increase your visibility and raising your profile to potential investors and partners through profiling in GSMA publications, social media and events.

Who is eligible to apply?

Interested applicants must meet the following criteria;

  • Have active users and commercial revenue in at least one eligible low- or middle-income market in Africa and Asia
  • Commit to providing 25% to 50% matching funding depending on the total grant amount requested
  • Be an entity registered and operating in the country of project implementation (whether domestic or foreign-owned or a joint venture).
  • Be fully compliant with relevant business licensing, taxation, employee and other regulations in all applicable countries of grant project operation.
  • Be registered and have a bank account in the country where they will receive the grant money
  • Only one organization can apply for funding and become a grantee.


How to apply

Register and apply for the Fund here

Application deadline: 02 July 2021

For more information about the Fund: