Million Lives Club: A Universal Application Pilot Celebrating High-Impact Development Innovations  

Global innovation Exchange

Million Lives Club (MLC) is a new initiative that celebrates development innovators and social entrepreneurs who are reaching new horizons of impact and improving the lives of those living on less than $5 a day. Applications for MLC opened on 5th June 2019 and will be accepted on a rolling basis through a collaboration with Global Innovation Exchange(GIE).

MLC aims to celebrate the achievements of these innovations and to create opportunities for them to attract the support they need to take their innovations to the next level of impact. Inspired by members of the International Development Innovation Alliance, the Million Lives Club (MLC) is comprised of three cohorts of innovators and social entrepreneurs who are improving the lives of those living on less than $5 a day:

The MLC application is hosted on a GIE Custom site powered by Global Innovation Exchange (GIE), a global development technology platform on a mission to help scale the most promising innovations. There are currently more than 11,000 innovations on GIE, nearly 50% of which have “Verified” funding or other support from an innovation ecosystem player.

GIE built an integration with MLC’s Application Intake Tool so social entrepreneurs are not wasting time on yet another application asking similar questions. In practice this means:

  1. For those innovations that are already on GIE, their MLC applications will autocomplete with responses to several questions using their information from GIE. They can customize these responses for their MLC application without impacting their public GIE innovation profile.
  2. For those innovations that are new to GIE, they will be able to create a GIE login and use that for the Application Intake Tool. After they submit their application, appropriate information from it can be used to create a profile for their innovation on GIE. For the next opportunity, they will be able to use their innovation profile for autocompletion.

This is an early iteration of GIE’s concept for Universal Application, leveraging GIE’s existing infrastructure to allow entrepreneurs to apply to multiple opportunities. The goal with this is to make it easier for good fit innovations and funding or other partners to find each other.

Benefits to partners include:

  1. Enlarge innovation pipelines by connecting to a global database and benefiting from the pipelines of all participating organizations.
  2. See innovation match data, reducing review time even as the number of applications increases.
  3. More easily track the progress of innovations beyond the phase of the partner’s support.
  4. Innovation programs, regardless of size, geography or focus area, can participate.

Benefits to social entrepreneurs/innovators include:

  1. Reduced burden to separately apply across multiple opportunities, saving time and resources that can instead go towards scaling their innovations.
  2. Exposure to new prospective partners and other opportunities through GIE.
  3. Help elevate (and track) not only the winning innovations but also those that were “discovered” by the partner through the application.

Why now? The demand for this from entrepreneurs has been here for a long time. Now, the foundational technology and database are in place with GIE. This Million Lives Club application process serves as a pilot to demonstrate both this demand and technology.