Innovation is one of the driving forces in development. However, innovation can be expensive and at times risky, which often prevents or delays the emergence of important new ideas and stimuli. That is why Katalyst has launched the Innovation Fund initiative, a grant delivery mechanism to spur and encourage innovations in Bangladesh’s agri-business sector. Targeted at a broad range of actors such as private sector companies, NGOs, associations, think-tanks and consultancy firms, the Innovation Fund is supporting new initiatives that have the potential to act as a catalyst for change and bring about enduring changes in the lives of rural farmers across Bangladesh. As such, those new innovations will help farmers to realize their full potential by increasing and enhancing their economic involvement in the markets.
How it works:
We are looking all year round for proposals on effective, efficient and creative solutions that address challenges prevailing in one or more of Katalyst’s sectors of work: Farmed Fish, Information Channels, Maize, Vegetable, and Women’s Economic Empowerment. Submitted proposals are evaluated against some criteria and grants are awarded to the most suitable ideas which can bring sustainable solutions at scale.
Innovation Fund works under two approaches:
1. Partnership Grants: Through this mechanism, Katalyst aims to partner with private sector companies, associations, NGOs and think-tanks that come up with innovative business ideas in the selected agricultural sector. Katalyst offers financial grants and provides technical expertise (if necessary).
2. Sub-facilitation: Using this mechanism, Katalyst is partnering with facilitating organizations (international or national NGOs, activation agencies and consultancy firms) that have sufficient capacities and experiences to analyze, design and implement ‘Making Markets Work for the Poor’ (M4P) interventions with very little oversight from Katalyst. Innovative strategies are requested from these organizations to address different constraints identified and analyzed by Katalyst.
The Innovation Fund is overseen by the Katalyst Innovation Fund Management (IFM) Team.