Trigger Innovations Project

About Trigger Innovations Program

Trigger Innovations is a social innovations program aimed at improving the lives and opportunities of millions of people in Uganda.

Through our grants and risk capital, we support breakthrough solutions to Ugandan Stat up companies from social enterprises, for-profit firms, non-profit organizations, international organizations, researchers, and government agencies.

We seek solutions that can scale up commercially, through the public/philanthropic sector, or through a combination of both in order to achieve widespread adoption

Our Approach

At Trigger Innovations, we invest in a range of innovations with strong potential for social impact at a large scale. We define ‘innovation’ broadly to include new business models, policy practices, technologies, behavioural insights, or ways of delivering products and services that benefit the poor.

Across our portfolio, we support innovators who are committed to using and generating rigorous evidence about what works. We offer financing with the largest funding amounts reserved for technology innovations that can demonstrate evidence of success and that have potential to spread across multiple developing countries.

We are serious about scaling up successes and following through with transformative ideas until they realise their impact potential. We are willing to take informed risks as needed to invest in the best ideas early on – and we will continue to support ideas that have proven success in achieving social impact. We expect our most successful innovations will eventually scale up to reach millions of people in Africa with support from the private sector, governments, donors or philanthropy.

Stages of Funding

At Trigger Innovations, our goal is to scale innovations backed by rigorous evidence. So every investment we make is designed to support innovations on their path to scale. However we recognise that some of the promising innovations that will change the development landscape are currently only in their infancy. That’s why we have the flexibility to support innovators from early stage field pilots right through to large scale innovations.

Borrowing from the experience of venture capital, we use a tiered financing model and offers three stages of funding. The goal of our staged funding approach is not to fund small organisations that stay small, and medium sized interventions that stay medium sized. It is to support organisations to scale up to reach millions of people. The following are the stages of funding

  • Pilot Funding (Up to 30,000 USD): At the Pilot stage, the fund provides seed capital to support the startup and field-testing of innovations. The goal of this stage is to refine the basic concept or business model and establish the viability of an innovation at a small scale through testing in real world contexts.
  • Test & Transition Stage (Up to 250,000 USD): At the Test & Transition stage, the fund supports innovations that have already demonstrated success at a small scale. This stage is for innovators who require support for continued growth and for assessing the likelihood that the innovation can achieve social impact and/or market viability at a larger scale.
  • 3. Scaling Up (Up to 1Million USD): At the Scaling Up stage, the fund supports the expansion of innovations that have already demonstrated a strong track record of social impact and effectiveness. This category of funding helps innovators transition successful approaches to a large scale, usually with the goal of eventually achieving widespread adoption throughout one or more countries.

Our Focus

Technology & Digital innovations

Innovative ICTs applications that have demonstrated their potential in addressing key development challenges in African societies (e.g. in communities) or economy, including: software, mobile/wireless technologies and local language software. It is about developing new solutions that address everyday challenges that help Africans live and work more successfully.

Agriculture/Agribusiness

Innovations that have demonstrated a lead in the agricultural sector, particularly value Added at specific points of the agricultural value chain. It is about providing new ways to ensure a food secure future for the African continent and the world.

Health & Wellbeing

Innovations that have demonstrated high impact or potential in improving the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of individuals or communities through prevention, treatment etc.

Manufacturing & Service Industry

Innovations that have demonstrated a lead on addressing the key pillars of innovation in production technology/industry: creating high added value, greener, more customer focused and/or high quality products; manufacturing more with less input materials, using the lowest energy and creating less or zero waste.