Tips and tricks for Prospective Applicants to the MENA Call for Innovations

The Water and Energy for Food (WE4F) Grand Challenge’s MENA Call for Innovation targets mid-to late- stage organizations with a demonstrated track record in delivering innovative water and/or energy saving solutions to end-users in the agriculture and food value chains in the MENA region. We seek organizations from Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, The Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Tunisia, Iraq, Sudan, Lebanon or Yemen with the drive and potential to scale their operations help reach WE4F’s goal to support 750,000 smallholder farmers and end-users, with a focus on women and vulnerable communities in MENA, in adopting innovative energy or water-efficient solutions. 

Through this blog, we hope to provide you with insights on your fit for the WE4F program (and vice versa) as well as tips on how to best prepare for the upcoming second Regional Call.


Prepare your responses ahead of time: Your cohort is at an advantage, since two CFIs have launched by the MENA RIH prior to this CFI. While the Concept and Proposal phase questions will be adapted, we recommend that you review the program information, selection criteria, and questions from the first regional CFI, as well as the Iraq CFI.

The application platform, SMApply, allows for you to save your answers at different points. This means you can start the online SMApply application and edit your responses as you go.


Give yourself at least two weeks to complete the applications: The Concept Note and Full Proposal applications require thoughtful, thorough, and well backed-up answers. You will be expected to complement several questions with documentation and calculations to back-up your responses (e.g., action plans, business models, budgets, financial statements, etc.). While we found this process to be a very useful investment for the applicants, it is time consuming and requires multiple re-iterations to perfect. We estimate that the Concept Note application could take four to six hours and the Full Proposal to take 16 to 32 hours to complete. We also recommend that you factor in time for peer revision (e.g., of the C-suite, Managing Director and/or Business Development Executive).


Refer to existing publications, national statistical agencies, and other reputable bodies to quantify the problem you are solving, the market gap, and your social, environmental, and/or economic impact. Sample resources and references: 

WE4F Resources
Climate mitigation and adaptation
Energy, water, food, and agriculture market outlooks:

Attend our informational webinars and Q&A sessions and send your questions ahead of time! Register now! 

On October 14, the first session (4pm GMT+2) will be held in English with simultaneous French interpretation. The second session (5pm GMT+2) will be held in Arabic. The webinars on October 27 and November 4 will be held in English with simultaneous Arabic translation.

If you have any questions regarding the second regional Call for Innovations, kindly submit them by November 1 to Only questions received before this deadline can reliably be answered during the November 4 Q&A webinar. Please refer to the FAQs on our website before submitting any questions. 

We can’t wait to hear from you!