Apply for USAID’s Digital Invest Program

 Deadline Date: April 15, 2024

 Donor Name: United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

 Grant Size: $100,000 to $500,000

USAID’s Digital Invest program is announcing a new call for concept notes for eligible companies and organizations seeking to catalyze investment in funds or infrastructure projects that expand and strengthen internet connectivity and digital financial services for underserved consumers and businesses in emerging markets.


  • The objectives of collaborations developed under this addendum are:
    • Objective 1: Support the sustainable growth and expansion of competitive internet service providers (ISPs) and related telecommunications infrastructure companies in emerging markets.
    • Objective 2: Support the sustainable growth and expansion of competitive and inclusive digital financial services in emerging markets.

Funding Information

  • USAID anticipates developing four public-private partnerships under the above objectives, each with up to $500,000 in USG grant capital, and an equal if not greater amount of private sector resource commitments.

Anticipated and/or Illustrative Outcomes and Results from Private Sector Collaboration

  • Objective 1:
    • Under Objective 1, USAID seeks to support new partners to significantly advance open, interoperable, reliable, inclusive, and secure networks in currently un- or under-connected areas by supporting partners advancing a competitive ISP ecosystem. Partnerships may include:
      • ISPs: Financing and assistance for ISPs developing critical infrastructure that benefits the broader ISP ecosystem in their market(s). This may include wholesale wireless access or international transit services, internet exchange points, or other such infrastructure that addresses key constraints in a particular market or set of markets that, if addressed, could unlock significant growth for the ISP sector in current un- or under-served communities.
      • Network Infrastructure & Equipment Providers: Funding for telecommunications infrastructure and equipment providers developing fiber, tower, data center, and other open access or wholesale network services that can support the deployment of affordable and inclusive connectivity services to underserved communities; or
      • Financing Partners: Support for the creation of investment funds or other financial vehicles or approaches that directly support or lower the cost of capital for competitive ISPs that seek to connect traditionally underserved communities, hard-to-reach areas, and/or community anchor institutions, including through debt or equity facilities, impact bonds, outcomes funds, or other structures designed to best support ISPs in developing country environments.
  • Objective 2:
    • Under Objective 2, USAID seeks to partner with private sector partners providing proven, innovative, and responsible solutions that promote secure and resilient financial inclusion and new income generation in emerging markets, with a focus on de-risking and scaling capital flows for the sector. Potential partners are expected to demonstrate and advocate for ethical business practices and industry standards advancing consumer protections, cybersecurity, and responsible innovation.
    • New partners across the digital finance sector may include:
      • Financing Partners: Private sector partners developing and advancing financial models and investment approaches that directly support or lower the cost of capital for competitive digital financial service providers that promote financial wellbeing for underserved consumer populations, including through debt or equity facilities, impact bonds, project finance facilities, or other structures designed to increase access to finance and address existing market challenges.
      • Service Providers for the Digital Finance Sector: Private sector partners providing financing, market acceleration services, digital infrastructure, critical technology or business model innovations, and other assistance to digital financial service providers promoting financial wellbeing and enabling improved income-generation opportunities for underserved consumers or businesses in emerging markets.

Geographic Scope

  • Proposed partnerships should focus on countries where USAID is currently present. While this call for concepts is global in scope, priority regions include Sub-Saharan Africa, Central, South, and Southeast Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.


  • Partner Characteristics:
    • Under this Addendum, USAID will prioritize innovative, cost-effective, market competitive concepts with high impact potential. USAID is seeking partners offering the following characteristics:
    • Deep and extensive access to an investor network relevant to the activity (e.g., large institutional investors and funds, impact investors)
    • Deep and extensive market expertise in the ICT industry, especially in the areas of digital infrastructure development, financial inclusion, and enabling market conditions for competitive and inclusive technology sectors in emerging markets
    • Strong track record of structured finance and transaction development in partnership with institutional investors, commercial investors, impact investors, and development finance institutions
  • Private Sector Partner Commitments:
    • Any partnerships selected for USAID funding under this addendum must leverage private sector resources (assets, expertise, capabilities, and resources) at a level that meets or exceeds the level of resources provided by USAID at a minimum 1:1 ratio (higher ratios encouraged where possible, based on type of partnership and potential market impact). Eligible parties will be required to demonstrate this resource commitment via a letter of intent (LOI) or equivalent as part of their concept note submission. Partnership concepts will be prioritized by their potential market-level impact, especially with regard to reaching underserved consumers, such as women, rural households, and small business owners in emerging markets.

For more information, visit USAID.

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