Innovation Launchpad

Slide 1

Last mile distributors are proven innovators, yet, innovating at the last mile can be risky and costly. The GDC Innovation Launchpad is our initiative to help GDC members adapt and adopt innovations that have already been tried and tested by others.

Slide 1

What is the GDC Innovation Launchpad?   

The GDC Innovation Launchpad aims to help GDC members adapt and adopt innovations that have already been proven elsewhere by ‘trailblazers’; that is, forward-thinking, high-performing last mile distributors (LMDs) that have already tried and tested these innovations in their own companies.


How does the GDC Innovation Launchpad work?  

A small group of GDC members (“innovation adopters”) will meet with trailblazers, both virtually and in-person, to learn more about their experiences and lessons learned. Innovation adopters will receive technical assistance and grant funding to help pilot the innovation in their own company; while innovation trailblazers will receive grant funding and support from the GDC team to share their knowledge and insights with the cohort of innovation adopters. The GDC team will also share key learnings more broadly with the wider GDC membership and interested LMD sector stakeholders.

Which business innovations will the GDC Innovation Launchpad focus on?

Based on GDC member preferences that were collected in October 2023, in combination with a feasibility assessment, the first cohort of the GDC Innovation Launchpad (March 2024 – Jan 2025) will focus specifically on e-commerce and last mile repair services. The topics for the second cohort (March 2025 – Jan 2026) will be confirmed later in 2024.


How can last mile distributors and their sales agents improve the customer experience and their sales performance using mobile e-commerce applications?

Last-mile repair services 

How can last mile distributors extend product lifetime for their customers by offering repair-as-a-service through their staff or informal repair technicians?

How and when can last mile distributors (LMDs) get involved?

We are looking for two different kinds of LMDs to get involved: 1) innovation trailblazers: companies that are already working on e-commerce and last mile repair services that are keen to share their learnings with others; and 2) innovation adopters: companies that are keen to explore and adopt said innovations.

Note: You don’t need to be a GDC member to apply to become a GDC innovation trailblazer.
Photo credit: GDC
Photo credit: GDC

Why become a GDC innovation trailblazer?  

  • Share your learnings with GDC members to scale a particular innovation across new markets.
  • Develop your network and mentoring skills, with support from the GDC team.
  • Be showcased by the GDC as an industry leader in last mile distribution, including e.g., at GDC events, on social media, and in GDC publications.
  • Receive up to £7,500 to contribute to the costs of your time and expenses for hosting a small group of GDC members at your premises.

Who can become a GDC innovation trailblazer? You must be:

  • Operating as an LMD in low-income Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia or Latin America markets.
  • Working on the innovation for at least one year, and able to demonstrate results and impact.
  • Willing to share business insights relevant to the innovation with a small group of other LMDs and able to dedicate sufficient time to this.
  • Happy to welcome innovation adopters for a two-day visit, to demonstrate the innovation, in September 2024.

Apply now to become a GDC innovation trailblazer!   

Are you an experienced last mile distributor in either e-commerce or last-mile repair services? Apply now to become a GDC innovation trailblazer and mentor, to support GDC members to adapt and adopt one of these business innovations in their own company.  

Apply now

If you are interested in becoming a GDC innovation adopter, please keep your eye out for the separate application form coming your way in May 2024.