Innovative Grant Fund


Business Membership Organizations (BMOs) in Ethiopia are relatively young and have substantial room for development, which presents both challenges and opportunities that should be properly addressed in order to develop a sector which in turn will contribute to the development of the SME sector and business environment in general.

The majority of BMOs face serious challenges, which are due both to the overall economic situation and environment in Ethiopia, and to weaknesses of the BMOs and their sector. To this end, Initiative Africa is announcing a small grants program called Innovative Grant Fund (IGF) to provide services to the respective businesses and/or represent their interests through lobbying and other means. IA will award grants to BMOs working to remedy the existing challenges and weaknesses in promoting entrepreneurs’ business interest and supporting development of business environment overall.

Innovative Grants Fund (IGF) signed applicants
Innovative Grants Fund (IGF) award workshop

2nd round Peer Review meeting for the IGF
Call for Proposal Document
Call Information Brochure
Online Application Form Requirements
Other Documents and Templates


1. Can Individuals, Private Businesses, NGOs or CSOs apply for the call?

Yes, all NGOs, CSOs working to promote entrepreneurship and business inclusive chambers of commerce can apply  

IA’s basic eligibility requirements are that the applicant must:


  • Be registered with
  • Have the last 2 years audit reports of the organization
  • Have the last 2 board meetings reports


Please check the Eligibility Section of the call for more information

2. Can region-based BMOs/Chambers/Associations apply for IGF?

Yes. Region based BMOs/Chambers/Associations can apply under this call.

3. Should we send the proposal in person?

The proposal for the IGF call can only be submitted through the Online Application Form-APPLY IGF on our website as of June 10, 2020. Personal Submission of Application Proposal is Not Valid. You can use the Online Application Form Requirements to prepare for your proposal and submit it once you have finalized your responses.

4. What kind of proposals am I allowed to submit?

The IGF was created in the spirit of service to the business community. It will support new innovative projects, presentations, activities, events or campaigns that promote business growth and well-being in Ethiopia. The Goal of IGF is to Contribute for the enhancement of chambers of commerce and business membership associations’ capacity through selected demand-driven services and through advocacy aimed at creating a better business environment. The proposal to be submitted of course can base on the needs but they should also align/fall under one or more of the objectives of the Summary Results Frame work. See the IGF Summary Results Framework.

5. When is the deadline for the proposal submission? When will successful applicants get notified on the award?

The deadline for the submission of proposal as indicated in the call for proposal is 31 July, 2020. Any proposal submitted beyond this time period will not be considered for the evaluation.

An indicative timetable for communicating the results of the evaluation is included in the call for proposals. Selection results are normally notified within 2 months from the submission deadline. Depending on the number of applications received, it may take longer or shorter to finalize the selection and inform applicants. We inform applicants of the results with a letter (sent by e-mail).

6. What are the funding priorities? Why is the IGF Results Framework?

The quality of eligible proposals will be assessed based on the award criteria and their weighting established in the relevant section of the call for proposals. The minimum overall score required to pass will depend on the budget available for the call for proposals. If many proposals are received under the period, only those ranked highest within the limits of the available budget will be proposed for funding.

The IGF Results Framework is the strategy that the project implements to achieve the objectives of the IGF through enhancing capacity of chambers of commerce and business membership associations. Every application proposal to be submitted under the IGF 2020 first round call should fall on one or more of the objectives under the IGF Summary Results Framework.

7. Does this call support a single or multi-year funding request? Can an organization apply more than one proposal for the call?

The IGF round one call can support projects ranging from 1-2 years. The project period depends on the number of activities to be implemented under the project and their respective time-frame. Applicants can only get funded for one proposal.

8. How often are IGF calls for proposals published?

The IGF application call is open twice each calendar year (starting with January 1 and ending with December 31); once in July and once in February.

9. Is it possible to have a telephone/ an email conversation to receive clarification on the call for proposals or to receive advice on our application?

Both ways are possible. But for the sake of a more clarified answers, it’s advised to communicate using the email addresses provided on the Call Document. The answers for the questions raised will also be published on the next updated FAQs section to avail for all potential applicants.

10. What is the minimum/maximum grant amount to an applicant? Is co-financing or grant contribution mandatory on this call?

Grants amount depend on the project. Grant amount should not exceed ETB 2million. (Exception can be made on the quality of the proposal, availability of funds and its potential impact). The grant amount to receive depends on: The organization’s ability to manage an outlined need (i.e. grant amount can range up to 100 percent of the average LAST two-year budget), the length of the project period. The Number of quality proposal received by the IGF.

No, Co-financing or grant contribution is not mandatory on this call. The applicant can propose it on its project but it will not affect or contribute to get the grant award.

11. Can applicants submit additional material to their proposal after the deadline for submission?

A proposal cannot be modified or additional information cannot be provided after the deadline for submission, in view of transparency and equal treatment to all applicants. The only exception to this is if IA requests any additional information in order to correct clerical errors or to clarify certain aspects during the evaluation procedure. This, however, does not allow applicants to modify their originally submitted proposal. The evaluation will be based exclusively on the information received by the submission deadline.

12. In which language can the application be completed? Where can I find the templates to be used to submit the proposal?

You can submit your proposal in English Language only. Proposal submitted in any other languages will be rejected automatically. Information on templates and steps to follow to submit a proposal are detailed in the call for proposals-Application Process We invite all potential applicants to read that section carefully. For calls launched through IGF, all applications must be submitted electronically via the Online Application Form – APPLY IGF (accessible via the IGF Grant page in the Initiative Africa website). The submission process is explained in the Call Document published on the website.

In addition, all the required templates can be accessed from the IGF GRANT section on the Initiative Africa Website

13. Can a proposal be submitted in coalition?

Yes, submission of proposal as a consortium or coalition is allowed under this round of the IGF call.

14. Can we be asked to modify the proposal once it has been selected for funding?

Once a proposal is selected for funding, the grant preparation phase will start. During this phase, Initiative Africa may ask for an adjustment of a proposal. Adjustments are limited in scope and aim at fine-tuning a proposal or modifying some (technical or financial) parts of the proposal. The suggested modifications will never affect proposed objectives or core aspects of the proposal.

15. Is there any rule that an applicant should follow preparing the budget of the project?

The Budget should be prepared and submitted as per the format attached on the online application form-APPLY IGF. Applicants should follow the 20/80 rule (i.e. from the proposed budget 20% of it should be administrative cost and 80% of it should be program cost) when preparing their budget.

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