The GSM Association (GSMA) has opened applications for its Innovation Fund for Mobile Internet Adoption and Digital Inclusion. It is offering equity-free grants between £100,000 and £250,000 to selected startups. The aim is to support mobile internet providers that are based in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
GSMA is focused on startups that are developing solutions to barriers to the following mobile internet adoption:
- Accessibility: Innovations that improve the accessibility and usability of handsets and mobile internet services for citizens who are unable to access them.
- Affordability: Innovations that improve the affordability of handsets and mobile internet services.
- Digital skills: Innovations that focus on improving basic digital skills and confidence to access and use mobile internet.
- Safety and security: Innovations that focus on the safety and security of individuals regarding the use of mobile internet; these innovations will not include tackling issues of data privacy and fraud.
“Today, we understand the value of being connected like never before. “Mobile operators have invested almost 1 trillion USD in network infrastructure over the past five years, bringing mobile internet coverage to 91 percent of the world’s population. Despite this, 3.3 billion people are not using mobile internet services,” said John Giusti, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA.
The UK Department for International Development, BMZ, and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development in Germany support the Fund. It will support the startups that are providing affordable mobile internet to subscribers.
The criteria for eligibility is the demonstration of commercially scalable models. To apply for the GSMA Innovation Fund before May 22, click here.
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