Susty Opportunities


The GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund (“the Fund”) supports innovative start-ups in emerging markets to achieve sustainable growth and improved socio-economic impact. The objectives of the Fund are 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.
  • Provide lessons and examples on the ways in which mobile is driving positive socio-economic change.

The Fund is open to projects from start-ups registered and operating in selected countries in Africa and Asia and will run several rounds between 2017 and 2020.

For each round there will be specific areas of focus. During this round, the focus is:

  1.  Sharing economy: defined as any mobile-based platform, product or service which enables low-income citizens in emerging markets to generate income from ‘underutilised assets’ through sharing those assets with their peers.
  2. Services for SMEs: defined 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.

Applicants must be aligned with one or both of the above focus areas in order to be eligible.

Throughout the life of the grant, start-ups must demonstrate that they are promoting sustainable development outcomes in their community, market and/or region.

Start-ups will set and agree measurable socio-economic targets over the life of the project. Examples include: number of people positively impacted by a product or additional income generated through a service. These measures will also be tracked for a period of time after the end of the grant (up to 2 years).

Pitch stage: Apply between 1st June to 16th July 2017

The support package includes:

  • Funding in the form of a grant between GBP 100,000.00 to GBP 250,0000.00 which should be used for a specific project
  •  Mentoring on the use of mobile technology
  • Facilitation of relationships with mobile operators.

Beyond these areas of support, the selected start-ups will also benefit from enhanced visibility through the programme’s insight publications, learning through exchange with other portfolio start-ups and networking opportunities through the programme’s contacts.

Click here to learn more and apply here.

Olabanji Jackson
Banji is an Environmental & Social Risk Analyst whose work involves reviewing the E&S implications of large scale projects and making a case for integrating sustainability in business models. He is passionate about micro-finance, financial literacy and growing social enterprises. In his spare time he loves to dabble in photography and creative non-fiction writing.