The African Enterprise Challenge Fund has launched a US$1.2M Innovation Fund to help entrepreneurs take advantage of renewable energy’s potential.
Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe businesses and entrepreneurs will apply for funding.
The fund aims to improve new technologies’ business readiness as well as provide financial, technological, and networking support for scaling up validated prototypes.
The Fund aims to support strategies that reduce the negative effects of conventional cooking choices at the household and institutional levels, improve neighborhood climate change resilience, and support effective uses such as water pumping, agro-processing, cooling, and refrigeration services.
Businesses and entrepreneurs must explain how their proposed technologies can boost the lives of low-income households by generating jobs and livelihoods when applying.
The world has set an ambitious goal of providing equitable access to renewable energy by the end of the decade, as part of the Sustainable Development Goals.
However, with half of Africa without electricity and two-thirds without access to clean cooking solutions, further investment is required to spur innovation and accelerate the adoption of modern energy.
The Innovation Fund builds on the AECF’s Renewable Energy and Adaptation to Climate Technologies (REACT) initiative, which was launched to help the private sector grow and expand clean energy technologies in rural Africa.
The Fund will invest in market-ready technology as well as accelerating the advancement of existing solutions to better serve African populations, rather than in prototypes.
Victoria Sabula, the AECF’s Chief Executive Officer, stated:
“The Innovation Fund is critical to accelerating large-scale change in local communities. Investing in renewable energy technologies that are both affordable and available will help to create jobs, develop economies, and build more sustainable livelihoods. We hope to discover new ways for renewable energy – whether domestic, cooperative, or commercial – to generate income and build employment through the fund,” she said.
The deadline for submissions is April 29, 2021.
Visit AECFafrica.org for more information.