Funding & Investment – July 2016


Acumen Regional Fellows applications now open, Deadline August 1

The Application for the 2017 Class of Acumen India Fellows is now open. Each year, Acumen selects a handful of extraordinary individuals from around the world to join their Fellowships in East Africa, India and Pakistan. For more information and to apply, click here.



DfID Tender: Transforming Energy Access – Research Programme Delivery Consortium, Deadline August 3

This research and innovation program will deliver new technologies and robust evidence on the critical barriers hampering systemic change and scaling up energy access, working with Southern researchers and entrepreneurs, to drive locally relevant innovation and delivery.

The applied research and innovation under Transforming Energy Access (TEA) will seek to address the following challenges:

  1. What technologies and applications can most effectively accelerate the deployment and use of decentralized modern energy services, including through distributed generation, storage, smarter systems, and more efficient appliances?
  2. What are the main enabling mechanisms for delivering reliable decentralized modern energy services at scale, and how can business models and innovative financing address these market gaps?
  3. What clean energy partnerships can be forged to stimulate greater collaboration on research and development of clean energy solutions, and strengthen the market and evidence base for their deployment at scale?
  4. What are the skills and expertise required to accelerate the development and deployment of smarter decentralized energy systems, and what are the most effective approaches to building this capacity?

TEA will be structured around four themes:

  1. Stimulating Technology Innovation by UK Enterprises
  2. Accelerating Enterprise-led Innovation in Technologies and Business Models
  3. Supporting Clean Energy Partnerships
  4. Developing Local Skills and Expertise

The TEA Research Programme Delivery Consortium (RPDC) will conduct the scoping studies and will design and manage the agreed follow-on activities, as well as coordinating the overall reporting on the TEA work streams and research uptake. DFID invites all interested parties to submit expressions of interest by responding to the Pre-Qualifier Questionnaire from which selected tenderers will be invited to proposal and subsequent negotiation rounds. For more information, please see here.



Request for proposals for consultancy services for an energy market study on the productive use of energy for SMEs in Senegal, Deadline August 7

GVEP is implementing a program to support development and growth of energy-focused businesses in four countries in Africa, including Senegal. The objective is to strengthen the capacity of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to provide access to energy to rural communities as well as to support them in productive uses of energy.

Regarding productive uses of energy, the program will support three different initiatives:

  • Energy Opportunities for Women in Senegal (EOWS) project: The program will aim at increasing the effectiveness of women-led businesses through productive uses of energy generally in off-grid areas, including helping them acquire the necessary equipment and source of energy. This component is co-funded by ENERGIA.
  • Energy Productive Use Support projects: The program will support productive uses of energy in newly electrified villages in collaboration with ASER. It will offer technical and business assistance to PREMs (Projets Energétiques Multi-Sectoriels).
  • Technical Assistance to the Senegal National Biogas Programme (PNB): The program will support the national biogas program to deploy 10,000 units of biogas systems for rural households by providing business and technical assistance to selected biogas companies. Households receiving bio digesters are expected to develop related activities, for instance fish farming or gardening activities that could benefit from an increase access to energy.

The overall goal of this study will be to capitalize and enrich the current tools used by GVEP to provide support to businesses in the field of productive uses of energy.

The study is comprised of two inter-related components:

  • Component 1: Review and assess the economic viability of 40 selected projects led by women to be supported with productive uses of energy and develop a standard methodology/toolkit to be used for future projects.
  • Component 2: Develop 12 factsheets for productive uses of energy in newly electrified villages and 12 factsheets for off-grid areas.

Online Submission: and Include “STUDY ON PRODUCTIVE USE OF ENERGY FOR SMES IN SENEGAL” in the subject line.


Sweden opens first financing round of the Power Africa: Beyond the Grid Fund for Zambia, Deadline August 8

The Government of Sweden and the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) announced the opening of the €20 million Power Africa: Beyond the Grid Fund for Zambia, which aims to bring modern clean energy access to one million Zambians and jump-start the country’s burgeoning markets for energy services. The Fund will directly support private enterprises in the off-grid energy space through an innovative new results-based financing approach.

The Fund seeks to support business models able to provide modern, clean energy solutions to customers in rural villages, as well as those in the rapidly growing outskirts of metropolitan areas, known as peri-urban zones. The Fund is designed around a ground-breaking Social Impact Procurement approach, which offers opportunities for the private sector to contribute to developmental challenges while directly linking financial payment to on-the-ground results.

In this case, the Beyond the Grid Fund for Zambia will offer to purchase tens of thousands of new off-grid electricity connections from Energy Service Providers (ESPs) who can then use the contracts with the Fund to leverage even more capital and customers in Zambia. Firms are invited to bid for contracts for a range of Energy Subscription Services – from stand-alone household systems providing basic lighting to more comprehensive connections suitable for businesses and public facilities.

In order to maximize flexibility for participating companies, the Fund is offering two types of financing: a start-up and incubation component, aimed at allowing firms to establish operations and build a foundation for expansion in the country; and a scale-up component, aimed at growing the customer base so that ESPs can reach sustainable investment scale in Zambia.

The Fund is part of the Power Africa initiative, a partnership of more than 120 private sector companies, multilateral development banks, and the governments of the United States, Norway, the United Kingdom, Sweden, the European Union and several African countries which aims to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa. The Beyond the Grid Fund for Zambia is financed by the Government of Sweden through Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, and managed by REEEP, the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership.

Argentina tender for 6,500 off-grid photovoltaic systems, Deadline August 10

The Argentine government is promoting renewable energy in rural areas throughout the country by launching a tender for 6,500 off-grid solar systems. Proposals are invited for the supply and installation of photovoltaic equipment and internal installations in rural households of the provinces of Catamarca, Chaco, Entre Rios, La Pampa, Salta and Neuquen.

PACEsetter second funding round now open, Deadline August 12

The second funding round of the PACEsetter Fund is now open. The mission of the Fund is to accelerate the commercialization of innovative off-grid clean energy access solutions by providing early-stage grant funding that would allow businesses to develop and test innovative products, business models and systems. The Fund’s main purpose is to improve the viability of off-grid renewable energy businesses that sell small-scale (under 1MW) clean energy systems to individuals and communities without access to grid connected power or with limited/intermittent access (less than 8 hours per day).

Up to $2 million will be made available for this round, with grant sizes ranging from $50,000 to $300,000. The Fund provides early-stage grant funding to allow businesses to develop and test innovative products, business models and systems that increase clean energy access. For more details, please see here.

Foreign embassies that can be approached for grants

Foreign embassies under various development cooperation programs organize small grants funding for NGOs in many countries with funding programs that are usually small in scale but most flexible to implement. The group FundsforNGOs takes a quick look at top foreign embassies and their grant programs and how organizations can learn about identifying and applying for such funding opportunities. Access the guide here for further details.


 Third phase of EnDev Mozambique approved

The Energising Development (EnDev) program is a multi-donor partnership that promotes sustainable access to modern energy services for households, social institutions and small to medium-sized enterprises in developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The supported energy services meet the needs of the poor, i.e. they are long lasting, affordable, and appreciated by users. Currently, EnDev works in 26 developing countries, including Mozambique, while 59% of the funds are targeted at least developed countries. EnDev Mozambique is involved in grid densification, pico and micro hydro power plants (PHP and MHP, respectively), small PV systems and improved cookstoves. Funding for a third phase of EnDev has just been approved, with corresponding activities expected to start soon.


Ennovent seeks partnerships to impact low-income markets in Kenya and East Africa

Ennovent is seeking partners that work in sectors including Education, Healthcare, Agri-business, Finance, WASH, Energy amongst others and who are interested in collaborating on business opportunities in Kenya. Partners can be individuals and organizations including consultants, development agencies, foundations, investors and corporations. Benefits for partners will include the opportunity to collaborate with a diversified network, develop and implement innovation projects to address business opportunities, and build on knowledge and expertise on pertinent issues. If you are interested in partnering with Ennovent, please fill out this short form.