The application for the GSMA Innovation Fund For Assistive Tech is now open. This is for start-ups, SMEs, or social enterprises in Africa and Asia with innovative solutions that address barriers to digital inclusion of people with disabilities.
The initiative is owned by GSMA, supported by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office. So, if you fall into the above category, you can apply now.
About the GSMA Innovation Fund for Assistive Tech
The GSMA Innovation Fund for Assistive Tech (“the Fund”) supports innovative start-ups, small to medium enterprises, or social enterprises (which must be revenue-generating and commercially focused) in low- and middle-income countries across Africa and Asia to achieve sustainable growth and improved socio-economic impact.
The objective is to support solutions which address one or more of the following barriers to drive the digital inclusion of people with disabilities; It includes;
- Access; increasing accessibility and usability of mobile technology to increase access to services for people with disabilities.
- Affordability; improving the affordability of handsets or mobile phones and usage fees for people with disabilities.
- Relevance; ensuring the availability of content, products, and services that are relevant to, and meet the needs of, people with disabilities.
- Knowledge and skills; providing people with disabilities with the knowledge and skills required to access and use mobile services, as well as increasing awareness and understanding of the benefits of mobile technology.
- Safety and Security; addressing harassment, theft, fraud, and security concerns of people with disabilities who want to use mobile services and/or building trust in these services.
In the end, successful projects will receive an equity-free grant of between £100,000 and £250,000 to scale their innovation over a 15- to 18-month period.
To be eligible to apply, you must meet the following criteria:
- Have active users and revenue in at least one eligible low- or middle-income market.
- You must be fully compliant with relevant business licensing, taxation, employee, and other regulations in your applicable country of grant project operation.
- Be registered and have a bank account in the country where you will receive the grant money (if not the same as the project implementation country).
- If you are a social enterprise registered as not-for-profit legal entities and can demonstrate that a majority of your income is derived from commercial activities, you can apply.
- Entities such as tech hubs, incubators, and accelerators are NOT eligible to apply to the Fund. NGOs are NOT eligible to apply. Also, applicants cannot apply as a consortium.
- Be compliant with fundamental Human Rights Laws, the UK Modern Slavery Act, and Gender Equality Act, Child Protection Policies.
- Be compliant with GSMA Safeguarding Policy3 (on Children and Vulnerable Adults) and any other relevant disability laws in all implementation markets.
- You must be able to demonstrate adherence to the EU General Data Protection Regulation data privacy (GDPR).
The deadline for the application is Oct 16 at 11:59 pm (GMT +1). If you find interest in the GSMA Innovation Fund for Assistive Tech, apply using this link; https://gsma.forms.fm/gsma-innovation-fund-for-assistive-tech-2/forms/8243
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