In 2009, EFInA launched our Innovation Fund to encourage financial services providers to develop and launch products and services targeting the unbanked and under-banked low income segment. The Innovation Fund seeks to support new ideas and approaches to expanding financial access to the unbanked and under-banked population in Nigeria. As innovation involves taking risks, EFInA shares the risk of developing and implementing innovative products by providing grant subsidies for commercial and policy related initiatives.
Innovation is sometimes hard to define, and therefore difficult for prospective bidders to address. The EFInA Innovation Fund focuses on novel ways of providing access to financial services in Nigeria, rather than replicating existing approaches. It aims to:
- Generate and pilot new ideas and business models that increase access to financial services for low income customers that are unbanked and under-banked.
- Support projects that extend the provision of inclusive financial services.
- Maximise the impact of EFInA‚Äôs Innovation Fund by supporting innovative projects that have good potential for replication.
¬†The Innovation Fund offers two types of grants:
Technical Assistance Grants
Technical assistance grants are given at an early stage to provide support for projects in design, pilot or development as a stepping stone for larger initiatives. Projects are to be implemented within 12 months of the grant being awarded.
Innovation grants provide larger long term funding and are available for projects in sectors defined by our Request for Proposals (RFP).
The key focus sectors, eligibility criteria and evaluation criteria of the Innovation Fund are provided below: