December 7, 2021
Applications Open for SMEs from Africa & Asia
Washington, DC & New York, NY (December 7, 2021) — The Lightsmith Group (“Lightsmith”) and Village Capital announced today that applications have opened in Africa and Asia for the Adaptation SME Accelerator Project (ASAP), a program for SMEs and startups that are scaling market-based and contextualized solutions to critical climate adaptation and resilience challenges.
“Accelerating the growth of selected climate adaptation solutions companies in developing countries is the key final step in the ASAP strategy,” said Jay Koh, Managing Director of the Lightsmith Group. “By connecting SMEs identified through the Adaptation Solutions Taxonomy to resources of a world-class accelerator, we can demonstrate how these companies can scale up their solutions to the growing impacts of climate change, especially in the places that are most vulnerable.”
“SMEs and startups provide the local, contextualized solutions for climate adaptation and resilience in developing countries,” said Adedana Ashebir, Regional Director, Africa and Middle East at Village Capital, “Despite this fact, many struggle to secure financing and lack the operational capacity to scale their solutions. Through ASAP, companies at the intersection of impact, inclusion, and investability will have a chance to bring their ideas from vision to scale.”
ASAP is a grant-funded initiative led by The Lightsmith Group and supported by the Global Environment Facility’s Special Climate Change Fund, Conservation International, and the Inter-American Development Bank that seeks to build an ecosystem for small- to medium-sized companies in emerging markets that have technologies, products, and services that can be used to build resilience to the impacts of climate change.
“Developing countries’ climate adaptation needs are immense and diverse, and the private sector has an important role to play in filling the gap. In Asia and Africa, one of the biggest barriers to investment in climate resilience is the lack of financing available for small and medium-sized enterprises and their locally developed adaptation solutions,” said Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, CEO and Chairperson of the GEF. “The dedicated climate resilience accelerator under ASAP, a project supported by the Special Climate Change Fund, will help connect small businesses with investors and financing sources that can help them develop and grow innovative and impactful climate resilience products and services.”
Each of the sixteen companies selected for the accelerator will have the opportunity to work closely with industry experts, investors, and ecosystem partners to develop the networks they need to scale their impact.
All startups in the program will be invited to join Abaca, Village Capital’s global online platform that helps entrepreneurs analyze and prepare their businesses for investment. The network also matches them with the right investors and resources.
Applications close on January 31, 2022. Full details and eligibility criteria can be found at this link.
For more information, reach out to Rustin Finkler at Village Capital (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Brian Parham at Lightsmith (email@example.com).
About Village Capital
Village Capital helps entrepreneurs bring big ideas from vision to scale. Our mission is to reinvent the system to back the entrepreneurs of the future. Our vision is a future where business creates equity and long-term prosperity. Since 2009, we have supported more than 1,000 early-stage entrepreneurs through our investment readiness programs. Our affiliated fund, VilCap Investments, has invested in more than 110 program graduates.
About The Lightsmith Group
The Lightsmith Group is an investment firm pursuing superior returns by investing in companies that address critical societal needs. Lightsmith invests in growth-stage companies providing technology-enabled business services and solutions in the areas of energy, water, food and agriculture, and climate resilience. Lightsmith won the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance competition in 2016 for its concept for the first climate adaptation and resilience private investment strategy and received the Lab’s formal endorsement in September 2017. For more information on The Lightsmith Group, please see: www.lightsmithgp.com. Lightsmith also oversees the Adaptation SME Accelerator Project (ASAP), an initiative supported by the Global Environment Facility, Conservation International, and the Inter-American Development Bank. For more information about ASAP, please see: www.climateasap.org.
About Conservation International
Conservation International works to protect the critical benefits that nature provides to people. Through science, partnerships and fieldwork, Conservaton International is driving innovation and investments in nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, supporting protections for critical habitats, and fostering economic development that is grounded in the conservation of nature. Conservation International works in 30 countries around the world, empowering societies at all levels to create a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable planet. Follow Conservation International’s work on Conservation News, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
About The Global Environment Facility
The Global Environment Facility was established 30 years ago to tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since then, it has provided more than $21.5 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $117 billion in co-financing for more than 5,000 projects and programs. The GEF is the largest multilateral trust fund focused on enabling developing countries to invest in nature and supports the implementation of major international environmental conventions including on biodiversity, climate change, chemicals, and desertification. It brings together 184 member governments in addition to civil society, international organizations, and private sector partners. For more information please see: www.thegef.org
About the Special Climate Change Fund
The GEF-managed Special Climate Change Fund has two decades of experience helping vulnerable countries adapt to a changing climate, focusing on bankable, innovative solutions that can be scaled. Since 2001, the SCCF has invested more than $360 million in adaptation measures that have benefited more than 7 million people and increased private sector engagement in climate resilience products and services. Through the SCCF, donor governments have supported the training of more than 200,000 people, expanded access to climate information services, and provided flexible solutions to enable developing countries including small island states to adapt to a fast-changing climate.