African climate startups invited to apply for Adaptation SME Accelerator Project


Applications have opened in Africa and Asia for the Adaptation SME Accelerator Project (ASAP), a programme for SMEs and startups that are scaling market-based and contextualised solutions to critical climate adaptation and resilience challenges.

Run by Village Capital and The Lightsmith Group, ASAP will accelerate 16 SMEs and startups that are scaling climate adaptation and resilience solutions in Africa and Asia.

A grant-funded initiative also 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.

“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.”

Adedana Ashebir, regional director for Africa and Middle East at Village Capital, said SMEs and startups provide the local, contextualised solutions for climate adaptation and resilience in developing countries.

“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,” she said.

Each of the 16 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 programme will be invited to join Abaca, Village Capital’s global online platform that helps entrepreneurs analyse and prepare their businesses for investment. The network also matches them with the right investors and resources.

Applications are open here until January 31, 2022.


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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