Agritech and Jersey Overseas Aid funding call

Posted: 01/03/2019

Branching Out, the partnership between Jersey Overseas Aid and Comic Relief, has launched a new fund to support Digital Financial Services (DFS) interventions in agriculture. The call for applications seeks to develop unconventional credit and capital resourcing for farmers in either Sierra Leone, Rwanda or Zambia. Potential project themes could include: index-based agricultural insurance using mobile money, or credit-scoring dairy farmers using their digitised milk-collection records.


This call is open to NGOs, private sector partnerships with NGOs, FinTechs and other start-ups. Any collaboration across these categories is encouraged. These grants will be looking to identify specific problems that can be addressed through a digital financial services or technology application over a 12 to 18-month period. There will be two sizes of grant: £250k, and £100k, accessible through a two-stage process. The first stage will be concept note and the second stage, if selected, will be a full Comic Relief application.


For more information please see the full notice below or contact Richard Loat [email protected]

Branching Out: Financial Inclusion at the Margins – Call for Proposals

Partnership Summary

Branching Out is a four-year partnership between Jersey Overseas Aid and Comic Relief aimed at accelerating Financial Inclusion in Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Zambia in order to lift people and communities out of poverty. The partnership has three focus areas: projects which bring financial services to those at the bottom of the pyramid, technical assistance to strengthen the regulatory and legal environment, and grants to accelerate the adoption and utility of Digital Financial Services.

To date the partnership has invested nearly £6m in organisations in its target countries that are driving forward an enabling environment which makes financial inclusion more viable, mainstream, and efficient.


This call for applications is directed at organisations which have identified key barriers to financial inclusion for bottom-of-the-pyramid individuals and communities whose livelihood derive from agriculture, as well as solutions and interventions which could address those bottlenecks. This could include, but is not limited to the following:

  • Interventions that use farmer data to improve access to loans and credit
  • Solutions which improve farmer access to insurance
  • Digitisation of payment systems throughout supply chains
  • Development of digital savings solutions and products for farmers

This call is interested in the intersection between agriculture and digital technology/data as a means of delivering sustainable financial services to last-mile farmers and their communities.

Organisation Eligibility Criteria

This call for applications is open to a range of organisations. We will accept applications from:

  • Non-Governmental Organisations
  • Start-ups or FinTech organisations
  • Financial Service Providers
  • Mobile Network Operators
  • Innovation Hubs, Labs, Incubators
  • Academic Institutions
  • Consortia of the above

We are open to, and actively encourage, partnership between organisations applying for funding. We will accept applications from organisations based in any country; it is preferred that organisations have an existing footprint in the target countries, but solutions that are looking to move into target countries as new markets will be considered. Organisations will be required to demonstrate two years of financial accounts.


Funding Parameters

This call for applications will be making the following grants:

  • 3 x £250,000 grants
  • 7 x £100,000 grants

Grant applications will be accepted for interventions being delivered over 12-18 months. Work should take place in a single country. If multi-country proposals are submitted the justification for this should be explicit.

Submission Criteria and Key Dates

Organisations interested in applying for funding can do so by first registering on Comic Relief’s Grant Management System at and then sending your username to Branching Out Programme Manager, Richard Loat ([email protected]). If you already have a registered account on Comic Relief’s Grant Management System, please just send your existing username over and you will be given access to the appropriate application form.


Feb 15th – March 26th                                       Application Window Open

Mar 28th – April 10th                                        Assessments

May 30th                                                             Grants Announced


If you have any questions, please contact:

Richard Loat – Comic Relief

Programme Manager – Branching Out: Financial Inclusion at the Margins

E: [email protected]

Edward Lewis – Jersey Overseas Aid

Programme Officer

E: [email protected]

Applications are due no later than 16:00 GMT March 26th 2019

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