The first edition is focused on the African region, aiming to promote innovation and discover local solutions, with the over-arching objective of capacity building. The SolarX Grand Challenge will address a three-fold benefit for the African region:

  • Promotion of the solar energy sector
  • Thinning of the gap of the energy crisis in Africa
  • Promotion of a strong startup ecosystem in Africa

This Call for Proposal aims to provide support to two specific areas for last-mile distribution actors for solar home systems:

  1. Competency Build-up: Grants (in EUR or USD) for sales agent training, customer finance/MFI partnerships, and overall technical assistance for organizational growth.
  2. Working capital Recoverable grants (in EUR or USD) as inventory capital and project financing, with a grace period of 6 months and a maximum tenor of 24 months. No interest is incurred.

The focus of this challenge is not limited to providing equitable basic sanitation and hygiene facilities but to also creating a sustainable ecosystem that ensures, year after year, continuous development and increasing awareness.

The Zayed Sustainability Prize recognises nonprofit organisations (NPOs), small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and high schools for their impactful, innovative and inspiring sustainable solutions across the categories of Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools.

BGFA5 aims to incentivise private companies, so called Energy Service Providers (ESPs), to scale up innovative sustainable businesses and thereby accelerate access to affordable and clean off-grid energy for customers living in underserved areas in Uganda. The indicative individual contract size is expected to be between EUR 1 and EUR 4 million.

An annual budget of 1.8 million euros will enable a dozen awardees to benefit from:

  • Grant-based funding of up to 150K€ for Start-ups and up to 500K€ for Utilities, including technical assistance
  • A bootcamp to foster new ideas and synergies
  • Increased visibility through social media campaigns

The GSMA invites applications from start-ups, small and medium enterprises and social enterprises leveraging digital technology to deliver climate resilience and adaptation solutions to and with low-income and vulnerable populations. Geographies of interest include Africa, South and Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands, the Caribbean, Bolivia, Colombia and Guatemala, Albania and Moldova.

BRILHO’s objective is to improve and increase energy access for people and businesses, leverage the private sector’s innovation and investment capacity, resulting in market growth of clean cooking solutions; solar home systems; and mini-grids.

Open end

Do you have a mature product or business idea and/or a first prototype for the decentralised renewable energy sector in sub-Saharan Africa?

Startup|Energy’s main value add over is the strong focus on long-term support through continuous, high-quality coaching and building and maintaining a thriving sub-Saharan startup community that will support you over a long period of time.

Restart Catalyst is an investment initiative that will invest in early stage enterprises in East Africa that work on impact-led solutions for a sustainable & inclusive climateresilient future for all.

OPEN will invest up to $100,000 in women-led businesses within the energy sector in Africa, growing their business by providing access to funds and expertise to maximise their impact and profitability.
We are looking for  women-led businesses in the Energy sector with an annual turnover of more than 25,000USD per year and with at least 3 employees.

Working in partnership with Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs), UECCC has put in place a loan programme that enables households and commercial enterprises acquire solar systems on credit.
The objective of the programme is to address the affordability barrier posed by the initial upfront cost of acquiring solar systems.

IMEU’s overall objective is to develop sustainable, inclusive markets for appropriate energy efficient (EE) products and services for households, businesses, and institutions in agriculture and the built environment, to enhance livelihoods and increase resilience and competitiveness of businesses in Uganda.

The thematic scope of the project focuses on the prioritised agricultural value chains of tea, maize, sunflower and soya bean and the built environment targeting industrial, public, and commercial buildings across 11 districts and three cities in the country.

The Trade and Development Bank (TDB) presents a financing opportunity for SMEs across Africa.

The World Bank Board of Directors approved a ground-breaking USD 425 million Regional Infrastructure Finance Facility (RIFF) project by the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA). The project comprises: a Scale-Up Facility (SUF) credit line of USD 400 million for TDB to finance long-term private sector infrastructure projects, particularly in the area of renewable energy, a USD 15 million concessional technical assistance credit to support the latter, as well as a USD 10 million technical assistance grant for the COMESA Secretariat, geared at supporting the infrastructure finance enabling environment, in particular for the region’s off-grid energy market.

We invest equity, convertible debt, and debt in early and growth-stage businesses that provide climate-smart solutions, and demonstrate sustainable competitive advantage, good management, and ethical business practices in agribusiness, commercial forestry, renewable energy, water, and waste management.
We seek to maximize inclusive impact through commercially sustainable SMEs.
For Early Stage Businesses, we provide US$ 50,000 – US$ 200,000 in debt, convertible debt, and /or equity, business growth support for max. 7 years tenure.
For Growth Stage Businesses, we provide US$ 100,000 – US$ 1 million in debt, convertible debt and /or equity, business growth support for max. 7 years tenure.

The SIMA Angaza Distributor Finance Fund (DFF) invests in distribution companies providing affordable access to life-changing products in emerging markets. The Fund’s data-driven approach allows it to reach traditionally overlooked last-mile distributors that specialize in reaching hard-to-serve consumers.

Please note that to be eligible for consideration for DFF, your organization must have at least 1,000 accounts on the Angaza platform or have a clear path to get there in 12 months.

The EnAccess Foundation is looking to fund innovations or solutions that enhance the impact of #energyaccess. Funding is available for #opensource projects that have the potential to create shared solutions for problems that are commonly faced across the energy access sector.

We welcome project proposals focussing on developing Open source softwares and hardware solutions to expedite energy access. Proposals can be submitted under 2 different categories- Innovation Pilot and Moonshot Concepts

Spark+ Africa Fund is a $70 million impact investment fund that invests in scalable, next-generation companies offering clean, modern distributed energy solutions for cooking to the mass market in sub-Saharan Africa.
It is a true “triple bottom line” impact fund, financing profitable and scalable companies tapping into a massive total addressable market for cooking energy solutions and enabling millions of African families to stay safe and healthy and save time and money.

The Energy Access Relief Fund (EARF) has been designed to provide up to 3.5-year tenure, subordinated,unsecured, and low-cost subsidized loans to companies companies that had viable business models prior to COVID and that are facing liquidity challenges due to COVID-19. The fund intends to focus on the smaller to mid- sized energy access companies that are addressing the needs of the bottom of the pyramid consumers and expects to make about 100-110 loans. While the fund will seek to be as inclusive as possible, its primary focus is expected to be on loans of less than $1M, within a range of $50K to $2.5M.

DEG provides funding of 500,000 to 749,000 EUR, which constitutes a maximum of 50% of the total investment volume. Private sponsors must contribute a substantial share of equity (at least 25% of total investment volume). DEG’s funds must be repaid in the event of success of the company (depending on pre-defined financial criteria such revenue or profit).

Innovations that have already been tested in a specific environment and / or on a limited scale but are not yet utilized by our target group. Limited funding for testing and verifying innovative ideas (proof-of-concept).

The Global Innovation Fund is supporting the development of innovative approaches to solving challenges for people living at the last mile in any sector in any developing country and any type of organisation may apply. This includes social enterprises, for-profit companies, non-profit organisations, government agencies, international organisations, and research institutions in any country.

SCAF provides financial support on a cost-sharing and co-financing basis via private equity funds, venture capital funds and project development companies through its three Support Lines. SCAF does not support individual projects on a one-off basis.

If you are an African founder of a tech enabled startup that is solving a significant African development challenge please apply here. If you have little or no revenues, we will refer you to our Angel Fund for $10k to $100k funding consideration. If you have meaningful revenues with high growth potential, we may invest $50k-$250k.

DIV supports groundbreaking ideas to transform lives and maximize USAID’s impact per dollar.

Innovative solutions come in many forms – whether a product, technology, service, or application of a creative business and delivery model. DIV is an open door to USAID – anyone, anywhere can apply at any time. USAID provide flexible, tiered grant funding to test new ideas, take strategic risks, build evidence of what works, and advance the best solutions. We look for solutions that demonstrate rigorous evidence of impact, cost-effectiveness, and a viable pathway to scale and sustainability.

OMDF or the Off-Grid Market Development Fund provides financing to companies and institutions involved in the distribution of solar products (pico-solar products and solar home system kits) with the mission of accelerating access to sustainable electricity in Madagascar.