Business Innovation Facility

The BIF helps the development and uptake of inclusive business models by companies in developing countries.

BIF is currently working in 3 countries - Malawi, Myanmar and Nigeria - and other selected DFID priority countries.


DFID funded the pilot phase of BIF (2010 to 2013) supporting business innovation to promote inclusive development in low-income countries. The project supported profitable core business activity that delivered a high development impact; creating jobs, integrating local farmers and entrepreneurs in international supply chains and providing quality and affordable services to low-income consumers.

The second phase of BIF (2014 to 2019) is building on the successes of the pilot and is seeking to improve the lives of the poor in 3 countries (Burma, Malawi and Nigeria). BIF is exploring which products and services poor people use to earn a living e.g. growing pigeon peas in Malawi. BIF identifies the barriers which prevent the poor from participating fully in these markets eg poor quality seeds and is working with companies to help solve these problems.

BIF is also seeking to work with Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) to develop new or progress existing inclusive business (IB) initiatives. This BIF window can provide technical assistance and/or grants to MNEs to develop and deliver value generating IB innovations, initiatives or activities that have the potential to be replicated and scaled up without long-term dependence on subsidy from donors.

How to apply

Details of eligibility and how to apply are available on the Business Innovation Facility website

Background information on the fund

BIF works to identify and address constraints in selected markets, providing technical assistance (and some grant funding) to businesses, and others who play a role in these markets, such as local governments or non-governmental organisations. The project provides support to develop and replicate innovative business models that make markets more inclusive, resulting in greater opportunities, better access and improved growth for the poor and disadvantaged people who engage in them.

BIF is also seeking to work with Multinational Enterprises to identify new markets where the companies’ activities might create greater opportunities for poor people in DFID priority countries.

Published 14 October 2015