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Growing Innovation infoDev is a global innovation and entrepreneurship program in the World Bank Group

The infoDev


In response to the many hurdles faced by entrepreneurs in developing countries, infoDev works to improve sustainable, inclusive growth and shared prosperity by helping innovative, technologyenabled ventures succeed. infoDev serves its clients, donors, partners, and the wider development community by:


and pioneering on-theground approaches to supporting growth-oriented entrepreneurs in developing countries;

Influencing the global innovation and technology entrepreneurship agenda; Developing and implementing scalable programs specifically targeted to mobile, climate and agribusiness enterprises.

Promoting inclusive strategies that benefit marginalized groups, women, and people living in extreme poverty (i.e., users at the “Base of the Pyramid�, minorities, youth, and others).

Helping unique ideas become business realities Great ideas can be born anywhere, but they need the right environment to thrive. Entrepreneurs in the developing world often struggle to get the know-how, the know-who, and the funding to take their ideas to market and create sustainable jobs. With innovation and entrepreneurship as forces driving competitive economies, it becomes crucial to find successful ways to spark, support, and enable entrepreneurship. infoDev seeks to empower innovators to test, shape, finance, make, and distribute their products—influencing transformative solutions to local and global challenges. We support growth-oriented entrepreneurs in the fields of mobile innovation, climate technology, and agribusiness, while emphasizing access to finance solutions and women’s entrepreneurship. Through these activities, we can propel growth in local markets, while facilitating innovative methods to sustain and enhance livelihoods. The Mobile Innovation Program (MIP) supports growthoriented mobile apps businesses, by: a) Enabling entrepreneurship in the mobile industry, b) Building mobile innovation communities, and c) Researching the app economy of emerging markets. The Climate Technology Program (CTP) accelerates climate technology innovation and entrepreneurship in developing countries, aiming to transform climate change challenges into market opportunities. The Agribusiness Innovation Program (AIP) seeks to catalyze the green growth of a competitive agro-processing sector and, in turn, harness greater development gains in the form of inclusive and sustainable growth and job creation. The Access to Finance program helps high-growth startups gain access to the early-stage capital and mentorship necessary to launch businesses and thrive. The Entrepreneurship Program for Innovation in the Caribbean (EPIC), a seven-year program funded by the government of Canada, aims to help develop a robust ecosystem to promote inclusive development in the region. We promote the role of Women Entrepreneurs who establish companies, spur innovation, create jobs, and drive the charge toward gender equality in the developing world.

Creating spaces where people and ideas evolve together Innovation requires a place where good ideas can be discussed and plans can be scrutinized for risks and gaps.

Innovation Centers infoDev supports various communities of practice around the world to share knowledge, form peer networks, give support, and provide financing in the areas of Agribusiness, Climate Technology and Mobile Innovation: • infoDev supports nine mHubs and four mLabs that provide app developers with a suite of services and an array of business resources. • In addition to two operational Climate Innovation Centers (CICs) in Kenya and South Africa, the Caribbean CIC and the Ethiopia CIC launched in the first quarter of 2014. Business plans for four other centers in Africa and Asia were created and planned for implementation within two years. • Following consultations with hundreds of local stakeholders, infoDev completed in-depth business plans for Agribusiness Innovation Centers (AICs) in Ethiopia, Mozambique, Nepal, Senegal, and Tanzania. The implementation of the AICs will begin in 2014 with Nepal and Tanzania.

Multistakeholder Platforms Before we plan a Climate Innovation Center, an mLab, or an Agribusiness innovation hub, infoDev has to know who the relevant actors are, what they are doing, how they add value, and where the gaps lie; this analysis indicates the needs and demands of particular markets. Through a diversity of stakeholders, we stay on the cutting-edge of innovation and nurture a symbiotic learning relationship. Some partnership examples are DEMO Africa, The Caribbean Ideas Marketplace, and Lions@frica (a partnership with the U.S. State Department).

Networking One of infoDev’s key pillars is the establishment of innovation networks, fostering a platform from which ideas derive, partnerships are created, and financing and business opportunities are discovered. The East Africa Climate Innovation Network (EACIN), launched in April 2013 is designed to grow regional climate technology markets by facilitating access to partners, building relationships with country institutions, and promoting knowledge transfer and trade across regions. The Women Innovators Network Caribbean (WINC) and the Women Innovators Network in Africa (WINA), connect growth-oriented women entrepreneurs throughout the Caribbean and Africa respectively to scale their businesses through mentoring, training, and peer-to-peer learning.

Knowledge society Sustainable growth requires a healthy, open business environment. By publishing research products and building regional capacity, infoDev works to reshape markets and orient policy toward innovation and competition.

Building Capacity To ease the leap from framework to implementation, infoDev trains public officials, regulatory agencies, and business incubation leaders from Moldova to South Africa. Currently, there are more than 60 certified trainers around the world who have gone through infoDev’s Business Incubation Management Training Program, the first of its kind, which improves its curriculum with graduates’ experiences.

Research Products infoDev plays a key role in producing cutting-edge research that not only exhibits the dynamic nature of our work, but also adds value to the knowledge economy as a whole. For example, the Crowdfunding’s Potential for the Developing World report is an infoDev-led study, focused on the use of crowdfunding as a tool to surpass financing barriers in the developing world. In addition, the Diaspora Investing: The Business and Investment Interests of the Caribbean Diaspora report aims to help all stakeholders by recommending measures to improve transparency around investment opportunities and platforms for connecting potential investors with entrepreneurs in the Caribbean.



infoDev’s vision to transform markets, generate sustainable businesses, and empower lives in the developing world is made possible by the generous support of: Australia Canada Denmark Finland Germany Korea

Norway Sweden South Africa United Kingdom World Bank Group

infoDev’s map of

global networks

Current (2014)








For more information on infoDev’s work: @infoDev infoDevWBG

Profile for infoDev | World Bank Group

infoDev: Growing Innovation  

infoDev: Growing Innovation