Investing in a gender-lens model at scale
The mission of Frontier Innovations Foundation (FIF) is to promote and support organizations that investing in the economic empowerment of women and vulnerable communities around the world.
To do this, FIF aims to bring together the technologies, new business models and investment to grow and support a community of last mile distribution organizations. We believe that our approach will help social entrepreneurs address their common challenges that are necessary to scale global access to digital first solutions, high impact solutions in healthcare, finance, climate, agriculture, and more promoting opportunities for income and resilience for all.
We aspire to support a global community of last mile organizations around the world that comes together to collectively tackle common challenges for women around the world.
Our mission is to formulate, design and fund experiments for those improving access to energy for customers at the base of the pyramid.
As it learns, FIF commits to share its insights with this growing community.
Established in 2013, Frontier Innovations is a 501(c)3 non-‐profit that promotes organizations, captures learning and insights from the field, aggregate capital from donors to invest in organizations’ ability to drive gender-lens solutions, and creates pilot experiments to find novel business models that can address two core challenges for last-‐mile organizations.
We believe those challenges are: how to invest in a gender-lens model at scale, and how to finance growth women entrepreneurs.
By harnessing the power of disruptive ideas and ensuring accountability in implementation, we believe that sharing learnings and failures will help unearth the most innovative models and solutions to our common challenges in the clean energy sector. These experiments will lead to successful, replicable, and scalable solutions to help social entrepreneurs improve their business models to scale access to clean energy.
Frontier Innovations Foundation (FIF) aspires to fund, facilitate and feature 15 experiments that will generate groundbreaking failures and replicable solutions in the next 5 years.
risk taking and useful failures will drive breakthroughs
Transparency and vulnerability will make the energy sector community stronger
Technology should support the community - not the other way around
Success looks like: retiring the foundation when its objectives have been achieved
A peer network and technology platform for organizations, to encourage strategic information sharing, collaborative problem solving and a collective voice
Empowerment of women, who are not full economic participants;
Education of the end customer about the health and financial benefits of SDG-centric solutions
Product innovation that puts the end customer at the center of the design process, and encourages distribution companies to be more influential in the design process.
Access to credit in the form of supply chain financing, to pool and make capital available to those who need to stock products that creates affordable, low risk access for their customers;
Supporting alternative payment mechanisms, such as blended capital, patient capital, to lower the financial barriers of accessing novel solutions..
Experience shows us that running a business to do last mile distribution in emerging markets is not just difficult – it’s also not well understood. Those who are running their distribution companies simply do not have the time to design ideal scenarios -- much less to radically experiment and take risks on unproven concepts. But the constraints are also structural; capital that is raised is directed towards building the capabilities and core competencies of the business.
As a result, we believe grants are a critical vehicle through which to design experiments, test new business models and create breakthrough failures that will generate learnings for the entire clean energy community. In so doing, we believe we can accelerate the growth of the sector by unearthing the hidden innovations that will drive us all forward.