Calls for Innovations

Who is eligible for the calls of 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

I work for an NGO. Are we eligible for the calls of innovations?

NGOs are allowed to apply if they maintain their own budget, are responsible for generating revenue, and have, as the primary or a major part of their business model, an innovative product or service that addresses the nexus of water-food, energy-food, or water-energy-food.

How can I apply for the calls of innovations?

Please subscribe to the WE4F Newsletter to stay tuned. We will inform you when a call of innovation takes place and how the application process will look like.

How much financial support can I expect?

WE4F grant ranges will depend on each Regional Innovation Hub (RIH) Call for Innovations. Please stay tuned to the WE4F newsletter and our website for updates on the Call for Innovations details.

What is the technical support I can expect?

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.

Program Questions

What is WE4F?

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.

Will there be a Regional Innovation Hub in Southern and Central Africa?

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.

Will there be a Regional Innovation Hub in Latin America?

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.

Apart from the Calls for Innovations, are there other forms of partnership ?

Yes, we form partnerships with NGOs, research institutions and private companies, industry associations, and other donors. Please contact us for more information.

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. .