Opportunities

June 2018

ClimateLaunchpad: The Green Business Ideas Competition

Deadline: June 2018 (different submission deadlines per country)

To enter the competition you submit an idea or innovation that can make environmental impact. We’ll help you fast track that idea into a business and bypass all possible pitfalls along the way. You’ll learn how to get your idea funded and launched.

In 2018 the competition is open to participants based in the 35+ countries listed on this page and the submission deadlines per country are listed here.


14th EEP Africa Call for Proposals

Deadline: June 28, 2018

The 14th EEP Africa Call for Proposals invites applications from early stage off-grid and on-grid clean energy projects in active development phase in Southern and East Africa. We are looking for projects with strong Concept Innovation, Development Impact and Business Model & Financial Sustainability.


The Unilever Young Entrepreneurs Awards

Deadline: June 29, 2018

If you’ve got an initiative, product or service already in action that’s tackling a sustainability problem, or you know someone else whose brilliant work deserves recognition, we want to hear from you. This year, the Awards will recognise initiatives in eight key areas. 


The Smart Communities Coalition Off-Grid Energy Challenge

Deadline: June 30, 2018

The Smart Communities Coalition Off-Grid Energy Challenge is a Power Africa initiative involving the United States African Development Foundation (USADF) and the Smart Communities Coalition (SCC), with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and is designed to increase access to energy provided by African-owned enterprises (including African refugee-owned enterprises) for residents and businesses within the following target refugee settlements in Kenya and Uganda and their host communities:

  • Kenya: Kakuma and Kalobeyei Refugee Settlements and/or Turkana West District ONLY
  • Uganda: Bidibidi, Kiryandongo, and Rwamwanja Refugee Settlementsand/or Yumbe, Kiryandongo, and Kamwenge Districts ONLY

The World Bank SDGs&Her

Deadline: June 30, 2018

SDGs&Her is an online competition for women entrepreneurs to showcase how they are supporting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through their business operations.

The top winners will be recognized in September, 2018 at an event on the margins of the 2018 UN General Assembly High-Level Week in New York.

July 2018

Google Impact Challenge Nigeria

Deadline: July 4, 2018

The Google Impact Challenge Nigeria is an open invitation to nonprofits, social enterprises and businesses in Nigeria to share their vision for innovative ways to make our community stronger and create social impact, with a specific focus on increasing economic opportunity. We call on the public to vote from among 12 selected finalists for the project they believe will have the greatest potential for impact in the community. Winning organizations receive grant funding and Google training to help turn their ideas into reality.


2nd EDF Pulse Africa competition

Deadline: July 9, 2018

Spurred on by the success of its first EDF Pulse Africa competition, which came to a close in December 2017, EDF is repeating the initiative with the very same goal: spotlighting and supporting African innovators who are contributing to the continent’s energy growth. Starting on the 23rd of May 2018, African start-ups will be able to submit projects in three categories: off-grid power generation, electricity uses & services and access to water through electrical power (farming and drinking water).


USAID Sustainable E-Waste Management and Battery Technologies for the Off-Grid Solar Sector

Deadline: July 15, 2018

In an effort to promote sustainable product design and the development of a robust solar electronic waste management infrastructure for solar home system distribution across sub-Saharan Africa, USAID is seeking an implementing partner to administer USAID grant award programming to engage and support off-grid solar home system companies and e-waste management companies seeking to develop the e-waste management ecosystem for the off-grid sector. This program will catalyze innovative technologies and business models around sustainable battery technology and recycling infrastrucuture for the off-grid solar industry.

Thius program will include a small grants and innovation prize component. with awards supprting companies or organizations working to improve end-of-life and sisposal of a solar home system.


XPRIZE -- Design Competition to Solve Challenges

Deadline: July 23, 2018 (submission of concept ideas)

XPRIZE is a nonprofit organization that focuses on designing and implementing innovative competition models to solve the world’s grandest challenges. The organization seeks design concepts that can help solve a global need in one of five Grand Challenge Areas: (1) Off-Grid Energy Access, (2) Feeding the Next Billion, (3) Lifting Farmers out of Poverty; (4) Natural Disaster Prediction; and (5) Saving Coral Reefs. The designers of the best concepts receive mentoring to further refine their concepts and develop them into a project pitch. Participants will be eligible to win prizes up to US$100k in value. The deadline for the submission of concept ideas is 23 July 2018.

August 2018

The Zayed Sustainability Prize

Deadline: August 9, 2018

The Zayed Sustainability Prize is a global award that honours the legacy of the UAE’s late founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nayhan, by rewarding the most innovative and visionary sustainability solutions of our time. In order to ensure that the best ideas from around the world are considered, we look to attract the very best applicants from six world regions, across five core categories: Health, Food, Energy, Water, and Global High Schools.


IEEE Empower a Billion Lives global competition

Deadline: August 31st (online round)

IEEE Empower a Billion Lives is a global competition aimed at fostering innovation to develop solutions to electricity access. Solutions are expected to be scalable, regionally relevant, holistic, and leverage 21st century technologies with exponentially declining prices.

December 2018

Unreasonable East Africa 2018 month programs

Deadline: December, 2018 (UEA2018A) / April, 2018 (UEA2018B)

We provide multidimensional support to entrepreneurs and their businesses across Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda. Our team and network of experts have either built their own businesses, or have specific experience and expertise in multiple areas related to building a successful business. This includes – but is not limited to! – strategic planning, raising investment, building efficient & effective operations, sales, marketing and team building.

We select and exclusive group of 10-15 businesses for each of our 10-month programs.

Rolling basis

US-India Clean Energy Finance Initiative Call for Applications

Deadline: rolling basis

USICEF aims to accelerate progress towards India’s renewable energy and energy access goals, by supporting early stage development of distributed solar power projects and helping to catalyze long-term financing. USICEF invites distributed solar power project developers who operate in the following categories in India to apply for support: Mini-Grid & Micro-Grid Power Generation, Market-Based Solutions, Renewable Energy Infrastructure Catalyzers.


PFAN Call for Proposals for Climate & Clean Energy Projects in Sub-Saharan Africa

Deadline: open-ended call for proposals without a deadline

PFAN has launched a call for proposals for climate and clean energy projects and businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa. Selected projects will receive coaching from experienced professionals and will be introduced to interested investors. Entrepreneurs looking to initiate or scale-up clean energy or other climate change-related projects and seeking an investment of up to $50 million are invited to apply.

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