Innovation Launchpad

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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.

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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 (June 2024 – Jan 2025) will focus specifically on e-commerce and last mile repair services. The topics for the second cohort (April – November 2025) will be confirmed at a later date.


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 LMDs to get involved as GDC Innovation Adopters – these are companies that are keen to explore and adopt said innovations.

Note: You need to be a GDC member to apply to become a GDC Innovation Adopter. Applications are now closed, subscribe to our newsletter for updates on the next cohort. 
Photo credit: GDC
Photo credit: GDC

Why become a GDC Innovation Adopter?  You will:

  • Participate in an intensive, in-person workshop with your fellow Innovation Adopters, led by the GDC Innovation Trailblazer (Frontier Markets or SolarAid), to learn more about their experiences and lessons learned.
  • Receive 7 months of virtual mentoring support – both as a group and one-to-one – from the relevant trailblazer and GDC team, to help you think through how to adopt e-commerce or last-mile repairs in your own company.
  • Receive technical assistance and GBP 15k of grant funding from the GDC, to help pilot the innovation in your own company.
  • Have your work profiled across the GDC’s communications channels and showcased to key stakeholders via e.g., publications and webinars.

Who can become a GDC Innovation Adopter? You must:

  • Be confirmed GDC member (we shall verify this) and comfortable in an English-speaking working and learning environment.
  • Have worked in the last mile distribution sector for at least one year.
  • Require the GDC funding and advisory support to pilot either e-commerce or last mile repair service activities in your company.
  • Understand and accept that the learnings from your pilot will be open-sourced, to benefit the wider sector and enable other GDC members to replicate your approach.
  • Be able to commit to the full length of the programme, from June 2024 to January 2025.

How to become a GDC Innovation Adopter…   

Apply now to become a GDC innovation adopter and receive technical assistance and grant funding to help launch either an e-commerce solution or last-mile repair service in your company. Please subscribe to our newsletter to get updates on the next cohort.