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Village Capital and The Lightsmith Group to accelerate SMEs across Africa and Asia

By Edlyn Cardoza

December 10, 2021

  • Adaptation SME Accelerator Project
  • Adaptation Solutions Taxonomy
  • Africa

Village Capital, The Lightsmith Group, Africa, AsiaVillage Capital and The Lightsmith Group recently announced that applications have opened in Africa and Asia for the Adaptation SME Accelerator Project (ASAP), a program for SMEs and startups 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.

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