Since 2017, the Innovations Against Poverty (IAP) challenge fund has been challenging the private sector to develop products, services and business models that can contribute to poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability. The mandate of the fund has been to identify and support innovative inclusive businesses that benefit people living in poverty and generate commercial returns to become self-sustaining.
The fund has focused on the agri-food, energy, WASH and IT sectors in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Uganda and Zambia. IAP is funded by Sida, the Swedish International Development Agency, and managed by SNV Netherlands Development Organisation in partnership with Inclusive Business Sweden and Bopinc.
Through a highly competitive application process, a small handful of highly innovative, impactful and scalable businesses have been selected to join the fund, which has offered non-repayable grant funding of up to €200,000 per business, as well as technical assistance during implementation. The financial and non-financial support provided over the last 3 years has enabled a number of these businesses to become investment ready, and now some of these are seeking investments in the form of debt or equity in order to scale their businesses and their impact.
These businesses currently looking for further investment include:
ChapChap Africa Limited – a Ugandan fintech company looking to unlock access to gainful employment, trade, affordable credit facilities, and low-cost financial services.
WANA Energy Solutions – provides cooking energy from LPG which is clean, affordable, reliable and thermally efficient for rural and peri-urban customers across Uganda.
Live Clean Initiatives – enabling and improving fee-paying public toilets in peri-urban Zambia.
Winsol Green Power Engineering plc – a locally owned Ethiopian business that started with assembling solar chargers and is now venturing into supplying quality solar-home-system solutions.
Tulip Addis Water Filter – an Ethiopian business supplying water filters to the vast number of low-income people without access to clean drinking water.
Okra Solar – a Cambodian company working in multiple markets that has developed the first of its kind microgrid technology that enables energy utilities to get electricity out to remote off-grid rural communities.
Yellow Star – a Ugandan agribusiness processing soybeans, millet, rice, peanuts among others, sourced from contracted smallholder farmers in Northern Uganda.
These businesses, and others, are currently seeking investment to scale, providing a fantastic opportunity to invest in de-risked, highly impactful, scalable, and sustainable business models. Should an investor be interested in investing in businesses in the portfolio, please contact IAP’s Investment Matchmaking Manager – Mike Debelak – at firstname.lastname@example.org
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