Invention is critical to the future we all want

International Entrepreneurship

We believe in the power of local invention and entrepreneurship to address social and economic challenges to improve the lives of the poor in developing countries as represented by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

New product solutions support scalable businesses that provide jobs while also addressing intractable global challenges, such as:

  • Access to clean water and sanitation
  • Agricultural productivity and food security
  • Access to healthcare
  • Access to clean and affordable energy

To achieve impact at scale, inventor entrepreneurs need access to an invention ecosystem – including supporting services, market intelligence, mentors, physical infrastructure, supportive policies and capital to develop and take their products to market – which is frequently under-developed in low- and middle-income countries.

Our Approach

We support programs to empower local inventors and entrepreneurs in India and East Africa to develop and incubate cost-effective and scalable solutions that address social, economic and environmental challenges in low- and middle-income countries.

To create impact in a sustainable way at scale, we prioritize building local systems that support inventors and entrepreneurs and promote financial innovation as a powerful tool for change.

We strengthen ecosystems by:

  • Funding local business enablers such as incubators and accelerators with a robust network of experienced entrepreneurs, mentors, industry experts and investors, and the resources to help build pathways for businesses to grow and scale.
  • Identifying additional approaches to strengthen the ecosystem to jumpstart industries, scale enterprises or advance beneficial services and policies.
  • Addressing gaps in access to capital for invention-based enterprises by utilizing both grants and Program-Related Investments (PRIs) to invest in early-stage impact funds, test new financial vehicles and share those new models to unlock more capital.
  • Uncovering the challenges and opportunities for invention to address the needs of the poor at scale through market studies, research, convenings and competitions.

Learn more about International Entrepreneurship

Grantee Profiles

April 15, 2018

Villgro: Incubating invention-based businesses in India and developing countries

November 1, 2018

Gearbox: Improving the ecosystem for hardware inventor entrepreneurs in East Africa

February 1, 2019

Biosense: Developing innovative medical devices to diagnose chronic medical conditions in India

Learn More

Access international entrepreneurship resources here.