Q. What is Connect to Grow ? Connect to Grow is a programme that has been designed to support inclusive enterprises to build mutually beneficial and commercially viable partnerships which promote the spread of proven innovation from India to South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, to improve people’s health and agriculture prospects. Connect matches enterprises in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa which already have a market and are looking to grow by innovating, with enterprises in India who have a proven innovation and want to expand into new markets. The match-making takes place once enterprises have registered on the Connect marketplace.

Read more about the programme here.


Q. What support is offered to enterprises? A range of support is accessible to suitable enterprises that register on the Connect marketplace:

  • An online marketplace with access to a wide range of suitable and trusted potential partners.
  • Travel grants to allow potential partners to meet.
  • Tailored advice, guidance and support in brokering a range of different partnership arrangements (be it a licensing agreement, franchise, joint venture or other).
  • Technical assistance and grant funding towards the cost of implementing a pilot venture.
  • Advice, guidance and support to raise money to scale up successful pilot ventures.
  • Opportunity to link with a range of private or public sector intermediaries who may boost the partnership’s prospects.
  • Opportunities for wider promotion and marketing.

Q. How is support offered to enterprises? Enterprises that sign up and complete their profile details on the Connect marketplace will be reviewed by the programme team and, if suitable, will be matched with enterprises that could be potential partners. The team will facilitate communication between potential partners and will guide them along the partnership process.


Q. Who funds Connect to Grow? Connect to Grow is funded by the UK’s Department for International Development.


Q. Who manages the programme? The programme is managed by IMC Worldwide. Key implementing partners include Innovation Alchemy and Ashley Insight. The Practitioner Hub for Inclusive Business is the knowledge and website partner for the programme.

Q. Which types of enterprise can register for Connect? Enterprises that register for Connect can be for-profit, not-for-profit, hybrid and NGO models. While enterprises do not necessarily need to be commercially viable, the partnership project that they set up through Connect will have to be. Enterprises will need to demonstrate that they are sufficiently entrepreneurial, ambitious and proactive to creative a commercially viable partnership venture.


Q. Which sectors are applicable for the Connect to Grow? As the partnership ventures set up through Connect must have potential to contribute towards improving the health, nutrition or agricultural productivity of poor people in South Asia and Africa, the programme will largely focus on enterprises directly operating in the Health and Agri-food sectors. However, enterprises from any sector are eligible as long as the partnership venture satisfies the aforementioned criteria.


Q. Which countries are applicable? Connect will help facilitate partnerships between enterprises in India and those in a number of countries in South Asia and Africa. A full list of the applicable countries in South Asia and Africa is available here. Indian enterprises need to have their headquarters in India while South Asian/African enterprises need to have their headquarters in one of the countries in the list but can operate in other countries as well.

PLEASE NOTE: The registration for Connect to Grow is now closed. The programme has reached the full quota of businesses it can support and is, therefore, no longer accepting new enterprises on the programme. If you would still like to browse our enterprise marketplace and connect with registered enterprises, then click here

Q. How do I register my enterprise for the Connect to Grow programme? Please sign up and complete the registration form on the Connect marketplace. Please make sure you fill in at least all mandatory fields (those marked with a *) and click the Submit button at the end of the form.


Q. How do I make sure the Connect team has my details? You need to ensure that you click the Submit button at the end of the registration form. Please ensure you provide the correct contact details in your form so that the Connect team can follow up on your registration.


Q. Can I add more information to my profile at a later date? Yes. Once you click the Submit button, your details will be saved and you will be able to log back in to the marketplace at any time to amend or add more information. Please remember that every time you make a change or addition you will need to click the Submit button.


Q. What happens once I have registered? Once you have submitted your registration information, your details will go into the Connect database where the programme team will review the information. A member of the team will contact you soon to go through your registration and discuss next steps.


Q. Can I contact potential partners directly through the marketplace? You can. If you are interested in speaking directly to any of the enterprises whose profiles you see on the marketplace, all you need to do is click on the ‘Connect with this enterprise’ button in their profiles and send them a message. They will receive your message and email address, and will reply directly to your email if they are interested in connecting. Please note, any connections you make directly are independent of the Connect to Grow programme. However, if there is partnership potential after the initial connection, Connect may be able to provide support so do keep in touch with any developments!

Q. What sort of partnerships does Connect help facilitate? Connect will support all partnerships that plan to add value in some way in the African or South Asian country. This could mean that some manufacturing takes place or a service is delivered in such a way that new jobs are created. The partnership could be a franchise, or governed by a Memorandum of Understanding, or a technology licensing arrangement or a Joint Venture.


Q. How are partners matched? Partners are matched first on the basis of the need identified by the African or South Asian business and the potential of an Indian innovation to address that need, secondly on the type of market sought by the Indian enterprise and the extent to which the African or South Asian enterprise is in that market and then thirdly on the basis of the skill and resource needs of the African or South Asian business and the ability of the Indian enterprise to fulfil those needs


Q. How will partnerships be selected for the travel grant? Once an enterprise has registered, we will appoint a partnership manager. The partnership manager will work with the enterprise to refine their ideas, to select a potential partner and to initiate a discussion. As soon as it appears that there is a need to meet, the partnership manager will make a recommendation that a travel grant be awarded.


Q. How will partnerships be selected for further grant funding? Once enterprises have met, and had a chance to explore what they might do together and how, they will be able to start preparing a pilot venture plan and a partnership agreement, with advice and guidance from the partnership manager and if necessary external advisers. As soon as the plan is complete, it can be submitted, with a short application form, to seek a grant towards the costs of implementing a pilot venture and to secure further technical assistance.


Q. What sort of technical assistance will the programme provide partnerships? Technical assistance could cover any area of the business activity. It will not generally provide people to do things for the business but rather to offer advice and support. It could for example cover the need for ensuring that the business meets the regulatory requirements, or preparing and implementing a marketing plan, or legal advice in relation to finalizing the partnership agreement


Q. How much funding will successful partnerships receive? A travel grant will be up to $2,500. A grant for a pilot venture will be up to $50,000. In both cases, the less that is sought and the higher the contribution from the venture, the greater the likelihood that we will be able to provide support. Technical assistance could be worth several thousand dollars more.

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