I'm passing on some information on a grant program that could be of interest to many people in this community:


If you are working in energy, water or sanitation services and have been experimenting with mobile technology and infrastructure to develop your business, check out the Mobile for Development Utilities Innovation Fund. First round applications are due on December 7, 2014.

With the support of the UK Government, the M4D Utilities Innovation Fund will provide up to an additional £3.2M in grants. The grants could be Seed (to support early stage innovations), Market Validation (to scale promising mobile technologies in partnerships of technology providers and mobile network operators and/or tower companies) and Utility Partnerships (to support partnerships between solution providers and utilities or government agencies).


While you are developing your Concept Note you can draw inspiration to previous winners of the Mobile Enabled Community Services innovation fund in the first round and then again in the second round. What you may find most interesting is the range of innovative business models that have been won grants.
 Pay as you go models (with mobile money or airtime) are the most popular:

  • M-KOPA in partnership with Safaricom
  • Mobisol in partnership with MTN Rwanda
  • Fenix International in partnership with MTN Uganda
  • Kamworks in partnership with WING
  • Nova Lumos in partnership with MTN Nigeria
  • Persistent Energy Ghana, in partnership with Tigo, Airtel and MTN
  • Eco Energy Finance in Pakistan

Models that use the mobile communication technology are also popular:

  • Development Workshop Angola in partnership with SeeSaw to measure water delivery effectiveness
  • Next Drop in partnership with the Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board


Powering towers and adjoining local communities models are being worked upon by:

  • Emergence Bioenergy in partnership with Grameenphone


Other interesting winners include Machine to Machine (Portland State University in partnership with Living Water International) and Solar Leasing (from Easypaisa a joint venture of Telenor Pakistan and Tameer Bank).