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Apply: Startups to Receive $100,000 in the 2022 Nigeria Off-Grid Energy Challenge

The Challenge has awarded funds to 37 companies to date, totaling $3.7 million in blended finance

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USADF, All On launch 2022 Nigeria Off-Grid Energy Challenge
USADF, All On launch 2022 Nigeria Off-Grid Energy Challenge

The United States African Development Foundation (USADF) and All On today announced the official opening of the 2022 Nigeria Off-Grid Energy Challenge, which will provide up to $100,000 in blended finance to each selected enterprise.

The Rockefeller Foundation, anchor partner of the recently launched Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet, is also providing support to the All On Hub for the 2022 Nigeria Off-Grid Energy Challenge.

We remain extremely encouraged that the Challenge is able to fund another cohort of strong winners in spite of a continued challenging Covid environment,” said Wiebe Boer, CEO, All On. “Eight of the 13 winning enterprises in 2021 included women in leadership roles, and we hope to see this number grow this year.”

The annual Challenge is a multi-year partnership that identifies and helps scale innovative off-grid solutions to “power up” unserved and underserved areas in Nigeria. The Challenge is delivered through a five-year partnership between USADF, a founding member of the U.S.-led Power Africa Initiative and an independent U.S. Government agency established by Congress to support and invest in African-owned and led enterprises, and All On, a Nigerian impact investing company seeded by Shell that invests in off-grid energy solution providers in Nigeria.

Entering the final year of the recently expanded five-year partnership, the parties will jointly provide funding to 100 percent African-owned and operated small and medium enterprises that improve energy access through off-grid energy solutions spanning solar, wind, hydro, biomass, and gas technologies.

The Challenge has awarded funds to 37 companies to date, totaling $3.7 million in blended finance. Since inception, the Challenge has impacted an estimated 16,000 people, including 4,000 smallholder farmers, through clean energy.

Insufficient energy access has stifled economic activity, private investment, and job creation in Nigeria, all of which is needed to lift more than 100 million people out of poverty there and set them on a path to prosperity through improved livelihoods,” said Travis Adkins, USADF president and CEO.

We’re proud that this force multiplier partnership serves as a model for supporting African enterprises in finding innovative and cost-effective ways to deliver clean energy to underserved and marginalized communities across Nigeria while combating climate change, consistent with the Paris Agreement and sustainable development goals.”

A key difference in the 2022 Nigeria Off-Grid Energy Challenge will be a focus on the intersection of agriculture and clean energy, an even more targeted focus on productive use applications than in previous years.

We are extremely proud of the continued success of the collaboration between The Rockefeller Foundation, the newly launched Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet (GEAPP), and the All On Hub,” said Joseph Nganga, managing director of GEAPP in Africa. “The Hub has been instrumental in nurturing Nigerian enterprises that are making a difference in communities throughout Nigeria, and this Challenge is an excellent opportunity to accelerate our shared mission to nurture green businesses and jobs in the communities that are most in need.”

Benefits

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The 2022 Challenge is intended to identify a range of enterprises with solutions that will solve pain points and challenges that ultimately improve livelihoods and local economies in Nigeria.

  • The Challenge will provide up to $100,000 per successful enterprise
  • The application window is open until March 18, 2022

The collaboration is between USADF, All On, and The Rockefeller Foundation.

Up to $50,000 will be provided in the form of convertible debt from All On along with up to $50,000 in grant capital provided by USADF and the Rockefeller Foundation through the All On Hub for each selected company. 

Winners of the Challenge will be selected based on their demonstrated abilities to increase sustainable energy access, specifically off-grid solutions, and extend the delivery of electrification to unserved as well as underserved communities throughout Nigeria.

Eligibility

  • Eligible enterprises may be developers of their own technology and/or acquiring and implementing technologies developed elsewhere
  • All applicants must be legally registered in Nigeria, be 100 percent African-owned and operated, and demonstrate the capacity to track and manage project resources
  • Enterprises must operate in good standing with the local governments in their areas of operation

How to apply

Apply for the 2022 edition of Nigeria Off-Grid Energy Challenge before the deadline on Friday, March 18, 2022.

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