BACKGROUND

Over the past 20 years, Sport for Development projects have flourished all around the world. However, whilst the use of sport as a tool for social change is often seen as a relatively new innovation in itself and is only partially understood by the wider development sector, many funders still place emphasis on proven interventions that follow a number of similar models, thus not allowing for creative and innovative solutions to the most challenging issues that our world faces.

THE INNOVATION FUND

To address this issue and drive ongoing invention and improvement, The SOL Foundation and Laureus Sport for Good partnered in 2018 to create Sport for Development’s first ‘Innovation Fund’ – designed to identify the most innovative work in the sector and allow it to flourish. The Innovation Fund is designed to support truly innovative work and solutions at a stage before traditional funders would be able to justify involvement – i.e. before impact of the given initiative has been proven.

The most innovative work in the sector will be able to utilise this funding to prove their innovative ideas and secure larger-scale or continuous funding from more traditional sources. In the first year of funding, this included interventions as diverse as eSports, running and yoga in USA, coaching for LGBTQI+ rights in St.Lucia, fighting screen addiction in France, and dance with street children with intellectual disabilities in Kenya.
 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE INNOVATIVE?

 

Innovative ideas should be different from past endeavours and uncover new territories and new ways of thinking about Sport for Development, thus challenging the traditional ways of doing development. Employing well known ways of working in unknown settings is not seen as innovation.
Innovation involves a high amount of risk and uncertainty. The SOL Foundation, Laureus Sport for Good and our partners are willing to accept that many investments in truly innovative ideas are not going to result in significant or immediate steps forward for the Sport for Development sector. Nevertheless, innovation is important if we want to influence and improve the sector.
The Innovation Fund’s second round was open for applications between:
Friday 31st May - Friday 28th June 
5pm GMT.
(APPLICATION PROCESS IS NOW CLOSED)
Laureus Sport for Good supports more than 160 sports-based community programmes in over 40 countries, helping to address the many social challenges facing children and young people around the world.
InnovationFundLogo3