South and Southeast Asia’s First Call for Innovations

Don’t Miss Out – Apply to the WE4F S/SE Asia Hub’s Open Call for Innovations!

With two weeks left in the WE4F’s first South and Southeast Asia Regional Innovation Hub’s call for innovations, now is the time to start your application! The WE4F S/SE Asia Hub invites private enterprises, nonprofits and other organizations that seek to scale their water-energy-food nexus solutions to apply for grants, technical assistance and investment facilitation support by Tuesday December 15 at 5 PM (17:00) GMT+7. Looking for more information on the call? Make sure to watch the S/SEA Q&A webinar. 


In response to the pressing water-energy-food nexus challenges faced in South Asia and Southeast Asia, the South and Southeast Asia Regional Innovation Hub (S/SEA RIH) is looking to identify a cohort of innovators with proven products and services that align with the program’s goals of positively impacting food security, gender equality, poverty reduction, and environmental sustainability. Following innovator selection, the S/SEA RIH will provide grants to certain innovators and tailored support to all innovators, including but not limited to product development and refinement, business plan and strategy development, operational capacity development, research, analysis and mapping of markets and value chains, navigating of regulatory frameworks, and investment advisory.


Through this competitive call for innovations, the S/SEA RIH aims to disburse approximately $4 million USD in award funding for a cohort of 25 innovators. Individual awards for innovators are expected to range from $25,000 USD to $500,000 USD, depending on the type of funding requested.


“With this first call for innovations, we are excited to offer leading organizations providing water-energy-food nexus solutions with a suite of services to help them scale operations and attract outside investors for further expansion – grants, technical assistance and investment facilitation are all part of our holistic approach,” shared Kelley Gasper, S/SEA ARIH Investment Facilitator. “For example, the Hub’s Brokering Unit will collaborate with innovators to facilitate debt or equity investments that finance continued growth and impact. Our services include deal origination, development of marketing materials and financial models deal structuring and negotiation and implementation of post-investment value creation plans.”

Who Can Apply

The WE4F program aims to support innovators with a proven track record of successful sales, intentions of expanding their businesses or organizations commercially via a for-profit business model, and acknowledgement of environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles including gender equality, environmental sustainability and base of pyramid impact (poor smallholder farmers). Therefore, the call for innovations encourages organizations that meet the following criteria to apply:

  • Have a financially sustainable business model (private companies and teams within non-profit or academic organizations that maintain their own budget and are responsible for revenue generation)
  • Address water-energy-food nexus challenges
  • Have a well-defined plan for expansion, with a focus on accessing outside investment
  • Understand the local enabling environment for technology and business innovations
  • Demonstrate direct or strong indirect benefits for base of pyramid end users
  • Show how their innovation benefits women
  • Have a basic understanding of ESG issues and showcase strong commitment to integration into business model and product or service offering

Innovators must operate in at least one of the following target countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam.

How to Apply

Interested applicants must submit a formal concept note no later than Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 5 PM (17:00) GMT+7 via the WE4F online application platform. Following the concept note stage, select applicants will be invited to the full application stage.

Questions and Support

Interested applicants may access a recording of the WE4F S/SE Asia Hub’s Q&A webinar here. Please direct any other questions to