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Deadline is July 15th at 11:59 pm CET.

UNDP, EPFL Tech4Impact, Orange, and SAP are collaborating on the second Growth Stage Impact Ventures for SDGs (GSIV) selection process. The objective is to identify and showcase mature impact ventures in emerging countries with a catalytic potential that can drive both large impact and yield.

Who can nominate entrepreneurs?

  • Nominations may be made by third parties (such as accelerators, impact funds, family offices, international

  • organizations, or governments). Each nominator may propose up to three (3) ventures in its pipeline that

  • meet the eligibility criteria. National entities belonging to the same larger corporation may each nominate.

  • Self-nomination by enterprises is not accepted.

Who is eligible?

Eligible ventures, which should be seeking partners (technical, financial, or other) to grow, must have:

  • An established business model and strong financial track record (based on number of clients, break-even, valuation, and turnover);

  • An innovative technology, business model, or process with a strong competitive advantage (Intellectual property, clear unique selling proposition, uniqueness factor);

  • Closed a Series A deal (valued at US$500,000 or more) or reached break-even through organic growth;

  • Had their accounts audited;

  • Retained a solid team with complementary competencies to run and grow a business;

  • An impact-driven model—meaning that the venture aims to generate a measurable, positive social or environmental impact, with impact measurement metrics and/or key performance indicators in place;

  • Mission-driven enterprises (possibly within by-laws);

  • Contributed to or have the potential to contribute to the achievement of more than one SDG, in an integrated way;

  • Followed an inclusive business model with products and services that involve people at the bottom of the economic pyramid (BoP) — namely people with less than US$10 per day (in purchasing power measured in 2015 US dollars) or other excluded or vulnerable groups—as consumers, producers, suppliers, distributors, and employees;

  • Demonstrated that they are scalable at the regional, continental, or cross-sectoral level.

Only ventures headquartered in developing countries, with a workforce primarily based in developing countries and providing products and services to developing countries will be eligible for the selection. In this case, by “developing countries” they mean countries where GDP per capita is less than USD 12,000 a year according to World Bank data. The GSIV Initiative will strive to select winners from all regions and from least developed countries (LDCs).

Thematic and geographic scope

While the proportion of people living in poverty has fallen steadily in recent decades, poverty remains widespread in numerous developing countries. Moreover, disparities in human development are significant within and between countries, as documented in the 2019 Human Development Report (HDR). The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic risks a global socio-economic crisis that will push millions of people back into poverty—threatening vulnerable women, children, elderly people, and informal workers most.

The 2020 GSIV Call for Nominations will, therefore, promote ventures that contribute to tackling inequalities and empowering poor and vulnerable people in developing countries in the following areas: Increasing Access to Quality Health Care, Increasing Access to Affordable and Clean Energy, and Reducing and Recovering Waste.

Download the Call for Nominations 2020 with the full list of eligibility criteria here(also available in French and Spanish).

Selection and benefits

The selection process consists of four stages:

  1. Initial screening to verify compliance with minimum eligibility criteria;

  2. Shortlisting of 24 impact ventures (8 per theme) based on the information provided by third-party nominators;

  3. Evaluation by a Technical Committee of the in-depth profiles of shortlisted ventures with the objective of narrowing down the list to a maximum of 12 recommended ventures (4 per theme). The Technical Committee comprises representatives from international organizations, large corporations, academia, investors and thematic experts;

  4. Final selection of the 12 ventures by an Advisory Board composed of UN experts and academia. The Advisory Board can decide to recommend fewer ventures.

Selected impact ventures in (4) above, will be invited to pitch during the SDG Finance Geneva Summit 2021. They will receive broad exposure before and during the event, and access to a wide network of decision-makers interested in learning more about their innovations and plans to scale up. They will have access to a prepping program and benefit from a package of services provided by the SDG Finance Geneva Summit’s partners including a one-on-one introduction to decision-makers to scale up their products offering. Their travel costs will be covered (flight and per diem).

Third parties nominating ventures to the GSIV will be acknowledged on the event’s website and will be given one-person invitation to attend the SDG Finance Geneva Summit. Third parties whose nominees are among the 12 selected ventures will receive additional exposure during the event.



" Lighting the candle of others won’t blow yours out " - Al