Innovation resources

Our Innovation Challenge offers GDC members and their partners the opportunity to bring exciting ideas to life, through the provision of grant funding and technical assistance from our innovation experts. The first cycle of projects (2019-2021) has now concluded; below are the how-to-guides and lessons learned from these pilots.

Find out about innovation in the GDC Read more about the innovation challenge


Photo credit: Bidhaa Sasa

Bidhaa Sasa:

An assessment tool to scale distribution models in new regions


This guide and the accompanying tool offer a framework, including downloadable templates, for LMDs considering scaling their operations into a new geography; and includes lessons learned from Bidhaa Sasa’s own experience of scaling into Uganda.
Additional resources:

LEAP tool worksheets

Top tips:

  • Run experiments, quickly and cheaply, to learn fast.
  • Invest in data collection and analysis tools on day one.
  • Train staff on lean approaches on day one, to embed the lean approach in the company culture early.
  • Engage with donors that are doing research in the same field, and who are familiar with learning through experimentation.


Contact details:

Get in touch with the Bidhaa Sasa team to learn more, at:

Watch the webinar

Photo credit: Bopinc


A training facility for the sale of solar-powered drip irrigation systems


This guide offers insights into marketing and selling drip systems without being an agri-tech expert, as well as advice on provision of bespoke after-sales support for smallholder farmers.
Additional resources:

Marketing collateral

Training material

Drip irrigation sales tool

Top tips:

  • Be strategic when onboarding sales agents and managers.
  • Simplify and explain drip irrigation to customers to enable them to appreciate what will work for them.
  • Take time to select the best supplier and clarify what is expected regarding roles and responsibilities.


Contact details:

Get in touch with the Mwezi team to learn more, at:

Watch their webinar

Photo credit: SolarAid


An energy microfinance cooperative: for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs


This guide offers insight into developing a microfinance cooperative to help solar entrepreneurs access working capital, as well as providing case study examples and templates of relevant policies and procedures for setting up a similar model.
Additional resources:

FEBCO standard operating procedures

Lending and investment policies

Case studies of agents taking loans from FEBCO

Top tips:

  • Understand the regulatory framework before committing.
  • Set clear objectives and devise a strategy to pitch to the potential members.
  • Mobilise committed members.
  • Follow instruction from the affiliated umbrella body.


Contact details:

Get in touch with the SolarAid team to learn more, at:

Watch their webinar

This project was funded with UK aid from the UK government, via the Transforming Energy Access programme.