Citi Foundation announces Recipients of inaugural Global Innovation Challenge

Thursday, 12 October 2023 12:55

Citi Foundation announces Recipients of inaugural Global Innovation Challenge

Businesscafe - Citi Foundation announced the grant recipients of its first-ever Global Innovation Challenge.

A new model to identify and provide philanthropic support to community organizations that are developing innovative solutions to social and economic challenges faced by low-income communities around the world.

In Sri Lanka, the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP) has been successfully awarded the Citi Foundation grant of USD 500,000.

The funding will support small-scale women farmers in Sri Lanka by introducing tech-based farming, access to inclusive financing products and services.

The project entails teaching of environmentally friendly agricultural techniques that will improve productivity and community resilience over the next two years.

The 50 recipient organizations including UNDP Sri Lanka will support programming across four priority areas : food access, availability, affordability, and community resilience. Innovations range from launching apps that will connect food supply and demand to piloting new technology and sustainable farming practices to setting up urban gardens and more.

Over the course of two years, grantees will have access to a learning community facilitated by, a non-profit design studio.

Through a digital platform and a set of curated experiences, grantees will have the opportunity to collaborate, share lessons learned and exchange best practices.

Citi Country Officer for Sri Lanka Ravin Basnayake, stated:

"At Citi, we have been aiming towards enabling growth and progress of our clients and the community we are a part of.

This has been a priority since our inception in Sri Lanka over four decades ago.”

He further added,

“We are pleased for the opportunity given to leverage on Citi Foundation's philanthropic capital to support the critical need to modernise and encourage sustainable agricultural practices addressing the food security issues in the country.”

Commenting on the grant provided to UNDP Sri Lanka, Resident Representative of UNDP Sri Lanka Azusa Kubota said,

“Given that Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector has borne the brunt of the socio-economic crisis, this project provides immediate recovery support through the diversification of livelihoods and the introduction of entrepreneurship programmes, especially targeting women-led MSMEs, to secure sustainable income.

Citi has been a longstanding partner of UNDP’s efforts both regionally and locally and we look forward to complementing the efforts of the Government of Sri Lanka and other development partners, to reinforce the country’s trajectory towards food security, by way of strengthening micro and home-based industries and livelihoods of women.


Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world.

We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant communities.

The Citi Foundation's "More than Philanthropy" approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation.

For more information, visit

About Citi Foundation’s Inaugural Global Innovation Challenge

In February 2023, the Citi Foundation issued a global RFP, the first in its history.

Over 1,000 submissions from organizations working in more than 80 countries were submitted.

The Citi Foundation’s Global Innovation Challenge on food security complements Citi’s strong track record in the space – from working with clients to develop digital payment solutions to extending financing to organizations that help smallholder farmers increase productivity.

For more information on the Global Innovation Challenge and a complete list of grant recipients, please visit  

Last modified on Thursday, 12 October 2023 13:27