The African Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF) (www.AECFafrica.org) today launched a US $ 1.2 million innovation fund to unlock the potential of renewable energy and create new business opportunities.
Businesses and entrepreneurs in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique and Zimbabwe can apply for funding. The fund aims to strengthen market readiness for emerging innovations, as well as provide financial, technical and networking support to evolve existing prototypes that have proven their worth.
Solutions that reduce the negative impacts associated with the use of traditional cooking options at household and institutional levels, build resilience to climate change among communities, and support productive uses such as water pumping services, food processing, cooling and refrigeration are examples that the Fund seeks to support. By applying, companies and entrepreneurs will need to demonstrate how the proposed innovations will transform the livelihoods of low-income households through job creation and livelihood diversification.
As part of the Sustainable Development Goals, the world has set itself an ambitious goal of ensuring universal access to reliable and sustainable energy by the end of the decade. But with half of the African continent without access to electricity and two-thirds without access to clean cooking solutions, additional investments are needed to spur innovation and accelerate the adoption of modern energy.
The Innovation Fund builds on the AECF’s REACT (Renewable Energy and Climate Technology Adaptation) initiative, which was launched to help the private sector develop and scale its clean energy technologies to rural communities. from Africa. The Fund will invest in technologies that meet market needs and accelerate the development of existing solutions to better serve African communities and not technologies at the prototype stage.
AECF Executive Director Victoria Sabula said:
“The Innovation Fund is essential to strengthen large-scale transformation in local communities. Investing in affordable and accessible renewable energy solutions can create jobs, grow economies and create more sustainable livelihoods. Through this fund, we hope to discover new ways to use renewable technologies – whether domestic, community or commercial – to generate income and create jobs, ”she said.
The deadline for submitting applications is April 29, 2021.
For more information, visit: www.AECFafrica.org