Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Innovation Competition – Financial Services for Refugees

What is the Competition?

The Innovation Competition is a call for proposals from financial services and payments services providers intent on extending their services to refugees and host communities in Uganda. Research has highlighted the opportunities for FSPs to reach this large and underserved market with transactional, savings, insurance, credit, remittance and other products. However, many providers either do not know how to access this market or lack the financial capacity (in the short term) to extend their services.

This competition seeks to address these challenges by providing a mix of Technical Assistance and Grants to up to three (3) providers over 24 months.

This competition is organised by FSD Uganda (FSDU) in collaboration with FSD Africa (FSDA). The interventions are expected to result in the pilot/scaleup of financial services in refugee settlements and/or host communities of the applicant institution’s choice within Uganda.

What is in it for you?

Grantees will receive the following support:

  1. Business case and product refinement, through consultant-led Technical Assistance
  2. Go-to-market strategy development, through consultant-led Technical Assistance
  3. Grants to support go-to-market activities for pilot/scaleup of financial services in refugee settlements and host communities.

Applicants may request for one or more of the above and should clearly state the required support in the online application form. The maximum grant per institution will be GBP 250,000 on a co-funded basis.

How to apply

Apply for the competition by filling in the online form found at . The deadline for applications is 1800hrs (East Africa) on Monday 26th November 2018.


Please send any questions to with the subject line “Question – FI4Refugees Innovation Competition” by close of business on 14th November 2018.

Selection of grantees

Stage 1: Online Application

FSDU, FSDA and select partners will evaluate submissions based on eligibility, feasibility, relevance and impact. Notifications to shortlisted institutions will be made by 4th December 2018.

Stage 2: Due diligence by FSDU/FSDA

Additional checks will be carried out to determine the shortlisted applicants’ operational and financial capability to execute the proposal successfully. FSDU/FSDA may contract a trusted third party to carry out the due diligence.

Stage 3: Contracting

FSDU and FSDA will award the grants to qualifying institutions following the due diligence.

Support with the Application

FSDU and FSDA will host a 45-minute webinar to respond to questions – starting with the questions sent by email – at 1500hrs (East Africa) on Friday 16th November 2018. To attend this webinar, send a request to with the subject line “Webinar – FI4Refugees Innovation Competition” by close of business on 14th November 2018.

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