WE4F – 2021 Regional Call for Innovations is looking for mid- to late-stage enterprises, nonprofits with a for-profit program, and other organizations based in the Southern and Central Africa, who have innovative water-food, energy-food, and water-energy-food solutions. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements outlined below to participate in this call for innovation.
Addressing Global Trends and Challenges
Water, Energy and Food (WE4F) are essential for human well-being, poverty reduction, and sustainable development. Global projections indicate that the demand for freshwater, energy and food will increase significantly over the next decades due to pressure of population growth and mobility, economic development, international trade, urbanization, diversifying diets, technological changes and climate change.
First Regional Call for Innovation
This is our first Call under the WE4F Southern and Central Africa Regional Innovation Hub, and we are seeking Concept Notes from eligible organizations. Through this Call, we are seeking technological and business innovations that address the six thematic areas described above.
In this Call, applicants should adhere to the following criteria:
- Operate with a financially sustainable business model, either as a private company or a non-profit organization or academic institution that is responsible for the sustainably generating revenue.
- Address the water-energy-food nexus challenges.
- Have a well-defined plan for expansion.
- Build sustainability into the fabric of the intended expansion.
- Understand the local enabling environment for technology and business innovations.
- Promote user-centered design, not technology for the sake of technology.
- Demonstrate direct or strong indirect benefits for the poor.
- Show how their innovation’ benefits women or improves gender equality.
- Have a local presence and develop market-driven partnerships.
- Have strong financial systems and financial growth models/sustainability plans and ability to adapt these in different scenarios.
- Have a basic understanding of ESG issues and showcase a strong commitment to ESG integration into their business model.
- Have a gender balanced team which can scale up innovation in a sustainable manner.
Target Groups of the WE4F – 2021 Regional Call for Innovations
The WE4F Southern and Central Africa Regional Innovation Hub works with entrepreneurs and innovators through the following actors, who are defined as “organizations”:
- Private, for-profit companies whose major part of their business model and innovation addresses the water-energy-food nexus challenges.
- Non-profits, non-governmental organizations or universities who maintain their own budget, are able to generate revenue and are able to do this by commercializing an innovative product or service that addresses the water-energy-food nexus challenges.
- Other actors that are identified on a case-by-case basis by the Regional Innovation Hub who fit the criteria of WE4F and are crucial for the scaling of impacts.
Goal and focus areas – WE4F – 2021 Regional Call for Innovations
- Provide organizations with the technical assistance needed to sustainably scale solutions to meet the challenges in the WE4F nexus.
- Provide companies and organizations with the advisory services and connectivity they need to raise private capital for scaling, in line with their strategic goals.
- Promote climate and environmental resilience and biodiversity through the sustainable, holistic management of natural resources and ecosystems.
- Promote gender-smart, sustainable models through targeted and integrated technical assistance.
- Enable the supported organizations to increase food production through a more sustainable and efficient usage of water and/or energy.
- Enable the supported organizations to increase income for (Base of the Pyramid (BoP) demographics in both rural and urban areas.
Why participate WE4F – 2021 Regional Call for Innovations ?
For winners of this challenge, WE4F will feature their interventions, facilitate access to funding and networking opportunities, and provide technical assistance to support the proposed activity in achieving measurable results and impact.
WE4F will award Fixed Amount Awards (FAA) between $40,000 and $200,000 subject to the availability of funding. Each FAA will be funded based on milestones and an implementation plan that are mutually agreed upon. Grant-funded activities must be completed within one to three years. The applicants who are not successful for the grant award may still be considered for strategic technical assistance and investment facilitation supports that will help them scale.
Closes: January 4, 2022
Challenge winners will be announced by May 2022.