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Request for Applications Frequently Asked Questions

General questions

  • Climate adaptation solutions exist across industries, business models, and product offering types. Adaptation SMEs can be segmented into two broad categories: 

    Climate Adaptation Intelligence, which includes data, software and analytics tools that help users to identify and assess physical climate risks across sectors e.g., in water, agriculture, infrastructure, healthcare, energy, transportation. For example, agricultural analytics, flood modeling software, early warning systems, climate advisory services for physical climate risk assessment, weather forecasting, risk analytics, water management software, supply chain analytics, among others.

    Climate Adaptation Products and Services, which include physical products and services that help users address physical climate risks. For example, drip irrigation equipment, drought tolerant crop varieties, water efficiency solutions, water harvesting products, grid resiliency products, nature-based flood abatement measures, cold chain storage, parametric insurance, among others.

    Please refer to the ASAP Solutions Taxonomy for more detail as to what qualifies as a “climate adaptation solution.”

  • To support a geographically and sectorally-diversified base of climate adaptation start-ups and SMEs, Lightsmith is seeking to partner with accelerators to supplement their existing programs with bespoke content and toolkits designed specifically for Adaptation SMEs. ASAP is offering its expertise after developing and deploying the the first common definition for climate adaptation solutions provided by the private sector. We would like to partner with established accelerators that are working with climate-focused SMEs across emerging markets by co-creating curricula that mentor and support climate resilience-driven SMEs in their growth trajectories.

Eligibility questions

  • In order to qualify, accelerators must:

    1. Have previously launched and executed successful accelerator programs in at least one of ASAP’s three target regions: a) Africa, b) Asia, and/or c) Latin America and the Caribbean;
    2. Have a strong pipeline of high potential SME applicants across these regions;
    3. Have the existing staff, operational infrastructure, and systems necessary to run an accelerator program independent of ASAP partnership and funding; and
    4. Be able to provide in-kind or monetary co-financing for the execution of the accelerator program.

  • We are seeking to partner with existing accelerator programs with an established reputation in sectors that overlap with climate adaptation and resilience. Some sample sectors include: food and agriculture, risk analytics, climate technology, software, insurance, water, transportation, energy, infrastructure, or those that have the in-house capacity to expand programming towards climate resilience and ESG more broadly.

  • Absolutely not! As long as you either have an on the ground-presence or exposure to SMEs operating across a diverse set of sectors that qualify as climate adaptive, i.e. food and agriculture, risk analytics, climate technology, software, insurance, water, transportation, energy, infrastructure, we would love to hear from you. Additionally, having an operational presence across all the three regions would be preferred, but is by no means required. Having a track record of launching SME cohorts from at least one of the three regions is the minimum requirement for consideration.

Program Information questions

  • ASAP will provide partner Accelerators with a toolkit and guidance on its Adaptation Solutions Taxonomy, which will inform what kind of SMEs would qualify for the Accelerator program. What is required is an interest and ability to internalize and apply the ASAP Adaptation Solutions Taxonomy and to co-develop a call for applications and curriculum that is informed by the toolkit. The goal is to apply a climate adaptation-lens throughout the program, from framing the call for applications, to reviewing submissions and interviewing potential candidates, and mentoring the selected cohorts on growth strategies after the completion of the program. 

  • We would like to partner with experienced Accelerators, which are able to hit-the-ground running by applying existing expertise and program resources to structure, launch, recruit, and mentor 10 - 20 Adaptation SMEs. In terms of reach, we would expect a partner to receive between 200-400 high quality applications as part of the selection process.

  • Partner programs are expected to already be equipped with the resources necessary to provide general training, workshops, and networking opportunities, as would be expected from any basic accelerator program.
    In addition, the Accelerator is expected to have the in-house capacity to incorporate content co-designed with Lightsmith, independently equip Adaptation SMEs with the tools to measure climate resilience and ESG impacts and identify opportunities to deploy and scale their adaptation solutions across markets. Ideally, the selected Accelerator(s) will provide the cohort of adaption and resilience SMEs with access to local and global networks as they progress toward scaling innovations.

Application and Evaluation questions

  • We’d love to hear from you. In order to apply, please download the Request for Application Information package and Annex. Your submission should include three documents: a) a word or PDF document containing the information specified below; b) a budget spreadsheet; and c) a signed copy of the Transparency, Integrity, Environmental and Social Responsibility Annex.

    Your word or PDF document should contain the following sections:

    1. Introduce your organization: What motivates you to partner with us? Please describe your mission and provide some statistics on your track record.
    2. Capacity to apply climate frameworks:  Demonstrate your understanding of the ASAP Taxonomy. How have you identified high potential climate SMEs in the past? How would you integrate the ASAP Taxonomy in your search for climate adaptation SMEs?
    3. Your Approach and a Sample program: How would you frame a call for applications and structure the review process? Give us a sense of how you would consult with Lightsmith to co-create a curriculum and engage with participants post-completion;
    4. Selection Criteria & Impact Measurement: How have you approached your previous SME selection processes? How would you adjust your criteria to identify climate adaptation SMEs? What are your impact metrics?
    5. Geographic presence and experience: Where do you currently operate or have access to established networks of SMEs? Do you have the resources in place to hit the ground running?

    For a full breakdown of the application process please consult the RFA.

  • Applications will be assessed based on the following criteria:

    1. Clarity, scope and relevance of the overall application
    2. Accelerator experience
    3. Quality of sample program & climate focused experience/approach
    4. Regional and relevant sectoral coverage
    5. Outcomes of program
    6. Co-Financing and Budget

    Please see the RFA for more detail. Applications will be evaluated holistically and in-line with the requirements that fulfill ASAP’s obligations under the ASAP grant from the Global Environment Facility.

  • ASAP is seeking to select 1-4 accelerators – contingent upon ensuring regional coverage across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and the quality of the applications – through a competitive four stage selection process:

    1. Screening: Each application will initially be screened to verify eligibility requirements
    2. Selection Committee: applications will be judged in accordance with the outlined evaluation criteria. Up to 10 candidates will be recommended for the next stage
    3. Senior Expert Committee: applications will be judged in accordance with the outlined evaluation criteria. Up to 5 candidates will be recommended for the next stage
    4. Finalist interviews: ASAP will interview up to 5 finalist candidates to inform its final selection
    5. Selection: 1- 4 partners will be selected

    Final budget allocation and terms of the partnership remain at the discretion of ASAP.

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