GVEP runs business plan contests from time to time to award financial and technical help to innovative enterprises and projects in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. We've run these energy contests and challenges in partnership with various institutions and organisations such as IDB, GIZ, the Korean fund, and the BiD Network.
In February 2012, the second round of the IDEAS Energy Innovation Contest was launched. Sponsored largely by UK Aid, with the support of the IDB and the South Korean Government, this round of the competition focussed on innovative projects and ideas promoting renewable energy, energy efficiency and access to energy in the Caribbean. We received 189 applications from 15 eligible countries. The jury chose 8 winners who will receive awards totalling nearly £1 million. UK Aid has chosen GVEP as its implementing partner for IDEAS. GVEP and the other contest sponsors also committed to working closely with each winner to provide technical advice, access to other experts and institutions, and introductions to funders and investors.
IDEAS was first launched in February 2009, with funding from the Netherlands Directorate-General of Development Cooperation (DGIS), Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ), and the Korean Government. We received over 1,000 business proposals from 28 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. We chose 26 winners, who each received a two-year development grant of up to $200,000. GVEP’s support allowed a number of grant recipients to turn their ideas into commercially viable energy businesses.
GVEP were contracted by the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) to provide advice to renewable energy businesses participating in the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF), a $150 million fund. The Renewable Energy and Adaptation to Climate Technology (REACT) is one of AECF’s investment competitions. It is open to five countries of the East African Community. GVEP teamed up with AECF to provide technical assistance to applicants of REACT’s second application window. GVEP supported businesses in both phases of the competition providing concept notes advisory as well as coaching on the development of business plans.
In June 2012, BiD Network launched the Fast 5 Challenge to identify five fast-growing established businesses in emerging markets in order to introduce them to ready-to-invest financiers. The competition is supported by 7 investment partners, among which is GVEP investing via its Prometheus Fund. A total of 268 applications were received and the five winners were announced in September.
In 2009 GVEP teamed up with Dutch NGO the BiD Network to launch a competition for business energy ideas aimed at delivering access to clean energy to people in East Africa.
The winners were eligible to receive coaching on the development of their business idea, and the best of the business plans received a mix of grant support and investment.
Barclays Bank and social investor Sir Ronald Grierson provided funds which were used to support the winning businesses.