This article provides a framework, with supporting examples, for addressing finance for smallholder investment for innovation. Smallholder households function in interconnected ‘systems’ radiating outwards from the household unit: livelihoods, agricultural market systems, community and society, and infrastructure and policy. An inclusive livelihoods model analyses what would need to be true for uptake of innovations by women, men, and youth, and what financial and non-financial products are needed. ‘Customer centric’ integrated value chain financing solutions are tailored to smallholder market segments along eight pathways for growth. A roadmap for facilitating innovation and change using priority pathways, yet grounded in proven financial and development principles, is recommended. Tools and approaches include: value chain facilitation and capacity development – aggregation, market linkages, and private–public partnerships; financial tools – transaction-based financing, flexible products, and risk mitigators; and innovations in service delivery – digital and ICT applications.