USAID has a new funding opportunity under the Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge for Development. This new round of funding is an opportunity designed to increase private-sector investment in the household solar market.
Under this funding window, USAID will support innovative technology solutions and business models across the household solar value chain in sub-Saharan Africa. The funding comes with one condition, funding will go to early-growth stage companies that can show a 2:1 private investor match.
USAID will provide funding up to $4 million, with estimated grant awards ranging from $500,000 to $1.5 million.
To be eligible applicants must demonstrate a financial commitment from a private investor (equity or debt) that is at least twice the funding requested from USAID. For example, under an award, if an investor commits $1 million in funding, USAID could award $500,000. Preference will be given to higher ratios of demonstrated investor commitment to proposed USAID funding.
Applicants should be developing and scaling innovative solutions that will have broad reach across the sub-Saharan household solar market with the potential for high market impact. It should be noted however, that companies distributing pico-solar products, such as lanterns, are not eligible. It should also be noted that enterprises should be early stage or early-growth stage, with an existing track record in one or more African markets.
Concept papers will be accepted on a rolling basis between February and April 30.