Calls for Innovations
In accordance with the lessons learned from its predecessors, SWFF and PAEGC, WE4F has a strong focus on market-based solutions in the water-energy-food nexus. Our aim is to support mid-late-stage organisations/innovators that have a financially sustainable business model or can showcase a potential self-sustaining business model in the very near future. WE4F prefers companies with a strong focus on gender integration at all levels of their business model. Please also refer to “About WE4F” to learn which countries are eligible
We support innovators on a wide range of topics such as business modelling & development, investment readiness, product refinement, ESG integration (especially focused on gender, BoP, and environmental sustainability), marketing & communication, partnerships, and other enabling environment support for innovator to scale in their markets of operation. Our support is tailor-made for innovators and may be delivered virtually or in-person depending on the need and applicability. WE4F, through the RIHs also provides access to key experts with whom the innovators can engage and seek advice.
One of the key challenges faced by innovators in scaling up impact is financing. Will WE4F consider providing guarantees to innovators to enable them to raise additional financing?
WE4F will help innovators access financing through the RIH Brokering Units or qualified experts. The Brokering Units will help innovators develop investor relationships, find investment opportunities, and explore other methods of financing.
If I work directly on energy or water but not directly on agriculture (my solution is still applicable for agriculture), can I still apply?
No. All applicants must be directly aligned with the WE4F themes.
Water and Energy for Food Grand Challenge for Development (WE4F) is an initiative focused on scaling innovations that impact water-food, energy-food, or water-energy-food to increase food production while minimizing resource use; the program also aims to impact poverty reduction, gender equality, the environment, climate change, and biodiversity.
Currently, the Southern and Central Africa region is not covered in the WE4F Regional Innovation Hubs. The current RIHs are located in East Africa, Middle East and North Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and West Africa. A landscape study for Southern and Central Africa has recently been conducted and results are being analysed to see if the initiative should expand to this part of the world. These activities will be managed by USAID.
As of right now, Latin America is not included in the WE4F RIHs. Over the next four years, the program may change to include other regions and more partners. At that point, WE4F’s involvement in Latin America may potentially change. Currently, the WE4F RIHs are located in East Africa, Middle East and North Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and West Africa.
What is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the businesses supported by WE4F? How has the WE4F programme reacted to the new challenges associated with it?
WE4F recognizes that the COVID-related challenges are not just affecting one population – it affects farmers, innovators, investors, and many other partners that our program works with. WE4F’s COVID-19 response framework breaks down into three categories: a reflection of our capabilities and the potential impact of COVID-19 on our innovators; the retooling of our resources to provide related technical assistance and interim grants; and re-deploying our resources through calls for applications for interim grants, deployment of liquid capital/financing, and working with other donors/programs to multiply the impact of our efforts. .