Applications for the 2024 Global Inclusive Growth Spark Grants have not yet opened. Please stay tuned for more information. 

 


 

 

As part of the Aspen Partnership for Inclusive Economy, the Global Inclusive Growth Spark Grants support AGLN Fellows around the world who are leading critical initiatives to reimagine more inclusive economic futures for all.  Supported by Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, The Grants provide seed, catalytic funding to spark further development and impact. The fund will name up to four grant recipients, with award amounts totaling $60,000. Individual grants will range from $10,000- $50,000. Hear the Center's pledge to the AGLN community from the 2022 Resnick Aspen Action Forum to support this work.
 

Eligibility and Criteria

 

Spark Grants support innovative organizations with cutting-edge approaches to advance sustainable and equitable economic growth and financial inclusion around the world. The Fund aims to support early to mid-stage organizations for which a spark grant of this size could be valuable and leveraged. 

To qualify, applicants must be Fellows of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and serve in an active leadership role in the initiative they are putting forward. The organization must be a registered legal organization that is able to receive funds, and can hold any legal structure. 
 
Initiatives should focus on following issue areas:
 
Title
Financial Security and Resiliency

Promoting financial security and resiliency of small business

Title
Economic Mobility of Workers

Supporting the economic mobility of workers, specifically through reimagining public and private benefit

Title
Data for Good

Leveraging the power of data for good 

Title
Place-based economic solutions

Reinvigorating neighborhoods to build economically prosperous communities


Across all four focus areas, we seek solutions that aim to dismantle entrenched inequities (affecting underrepresented and marginalized communities) within and through the existing financial system. We are also particularly interested in applicants that incorporate a climate resiliency, recovery, and/or readiness lens to their proposals. Consider how your initiative can/is contribute(ing) to mitigation of climate change and address environmental challenges. You may want to consider the carbon mitigation impact of your initiative, the passthrough impact on climate (e.g., use of your solution enables better access to choices/opportunities that have a smaller environment footprint), and/or the resiliency it would enable. Across all four focus areas, we seek solutions that aim to dismantle entrenched inequities (affecting underrepresented and marginalized communities) within and through the existing financial system.

Spark Grants encourages applications from initiatives that:
  • Uplift collaborative efforts among Fellows of the Aspen Global Leadership Network
  • Are the Leadership Venture of and/or inspired by their AGLN Fellowship
  • Serve disproportionately marginalized communities

 

Application Guidelines and Selection Process 


Applications will be evaluated on each of the following:
 
Title
Innovation

What is the challenge or opportunity addressed, and how is this a disruptive new solution?

 

Title
Impact

What has been the impact to date, and what is the potential to have large-scale impact in the future? 

 

Title
Inclusion

How is the solution centered in advancing equity and inclusion?  

 

Title
Stage of Growth

Is the initiative at a stage of growth where Spark Grants can make a difference? 

 

All Grantees will be named and awarded after a thorough due diligence process. Shortlisted applicants may be contacted for additional information. 

Still have more questions? Please contact alexis.ettinger@aspeninstitute.org for guidance.
 

Not sure if you should apply? Learn about past recipients and their work:

   
Spark Grant recipients are working to build powerful solutions that advance long-term economic recovery and rebuild efforts in the wake of a global crisis. They are tackling issues fundamental to inclusive growth, including promoting financial security and resiliency of small businesses and workers, building economically prosperous communities through place-based ecosystems, and dismantling entrenched inequities within the existing financial system.
 
Read more about the creative solutions of the 2020, 2021, and 2022 recipients.
 
 

All Past Awardees

Africa Leadership Initiative - West Africa
Co-Founder, The Convention on Business Integrity

Civil Society Fellowship
CEO, Ready Finance

Finance Leaders Fellowship
Co-Founder, 7Qubes, Prospera

Henry Crown Fellowship Program
Chief Executive Officer, Forward Impact

Central America Leadership Initiative
Principal Consultant, Corrina Grace

Finance Leaders Fellowship
Founder, Alitheia Capital Limited

Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership
Treasurer, City of St. Louis, Missouri

Africa Leadership Initiative - East Africa
Co-Founder, LittleFish International, Inc

Kamalnayan Bajaj Fellowship
Founder and Managing Director, Impulse Social Enterprises

Health Innovators Fellowship
CEO & Co-Founder, Under One Roof

Impact Story: 2020 Recipients, National Black Bank Fund and Foundation


Watch this video to learn more about the work of Ashley Bell (Civil Society Fellowship, a partnership of ADL and the Aspen Institute Fellow), Tishaura Jones (Rodel Fellow), and others on the National Black Fund and Foundation (NBBF), organizations that support the dwindling number of Black-owned banks in the United States and recipients of the inaugural Spark Grants in 2020.

In 2021, NBBF made history by bringing together more than half of the Black-owned banks in the country to lead in a major financing deal with the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks. Big deals like this get banks the capital they need to better serve their communities, which can ultimately lead to closing the racial wealth gap. This deal also serves as a model for what other businesses can do to take action on this issue.  


Listen to the LIMINAL podcast for a deeper dive on the initiative and hear from other collaborators; Yolanda Daniel (Finance Leaders Fellow) and Lauren McCann (Civil Society Fellowship, a partnership of ADL and the Aspen Institute Fellow).



 
 
About the Global Inclusive Growth Partnership
Launched in October 2019 with an inaugural summit, the Global Inclusive Growth Partnership (GIGP) combines the expertise and networks of both the Aspen Institute and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth to address systemic issues across a range of topics including financial security, the future of workers and portable benefits, growing micro and small businesses, and commercially-sustainable social impact. Through research, synthesis, and convenings, GIGP aims to catalyze new partnerships and shine a spotlight on innovative, data-driven, and scalable solutions to build a more inclusive and resilient economy for all.