23 November 2021
15:30 UK / 10:30 EST
Disability LIVE Series: The Opportunity of a Billion - Assistive Technology Investment
The Opportunity of a Billion - a Disability LIVE event series which will showcase current AT pioneers and explore the future role of assistive technology (AT) in the impact investing landscape.
There are 1.2 billion disabled people on the planet and 90% do not have access to the assistive technology (AT) they need. That’s 900 million people globally with an unmet need, unable to reach their full potential. This staggering figure is due to DOUBLE by 2050 to over 2 billion people as the worlds population ages.
GDI Hub believes that in order to address this untapped market potential, key barriers such as access to, and affordability of assistive products needs to be addressed - this is particularly true in the global south where 80% of disabled people are located. These barriers often stem from the sector's inability to support the scaling of homegrown innovations, stopping AT reaching local populations at an affordable cost. The lack of AT products reaching in-need populations can often lead to further exclusion, compounding stigma and reducing demand.
The AT Impact Fund (ATIF), mobilised by £2M from the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office through the AT2030 programme, and led by GDI Hub, has spent the last 16 months testing 'what works' to increase access to AT through investment. ATIF, through addressing the critical needs of the most promising AT entrepreneurs, has gathered evidence that shows that enabling low- and middle-income AT start-ups to bridge the 'valley of death' and increase their chances to scale, is possible and potentially profitable, should the right investors come forward.
The ATIF partnership of AT experts, academics and venture builders alongside catalytic grant capital, has successfully supported 5 initial pioneering AT ventures in Africa. The impact funds current success has without doubt, demonstrated the value of investment in meeting the needs of low and middle income markets.
On 23rd November we heard from the world’s first ever impact fund investing in innovators and pioneers in AT , which will bring together these promising AT ventures alongside the minds behind the AT Impact Fund from Brink and GDI Hub. This Disability LIVE session demonstrated the huge progress ventures have made in entering new markets, exploring never-used-before financing models and pioneering business models.
The panel discussed the role of investment is in AT through an exclusive look at GDI Hub and ATIFs research and wider learnings on how the unique combination of technical assistance and capital investment could change the world of impact investing and open the door to the market of over a billion people.
Transcript will be updated shortly...