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This programme is focused on enhancing both emerging cleantech startups in each country and the local entrepreneurial ecosystem and policy framework. A competition-based approach is used to identify the most promising entrepreneurs across a country, whilst a local acceleration programme supports, promotes and “de-risks” the participating companies and connects them to potential investors, customers and partners. As the best cleantech startups progress through the Cleantech Platform, they are continuously trained, mentored and assessed. The very best startups from each country are brought together for the finals of the Global Competition in Silicon Valley, California, where they can both compete for the Global Prize and connect with potential partners, customers and investors from around the world.

Each country will leverage $1 to 2m in funding from the Global Environment Facility matched by $2m to $6m+ in co-financing (including in-kind) from in-country public and private sector partners. The programme in each country is led by a local executing partner, supported by local stakeholders and advisors. An integral part of this programme is the development of the institutional capacity of local implementing partners, which are typically government agencies focused on SME development, clean technology and innovation. Furthermore, this programme seeks to reinforce, strengthen and connect existing in-country initiatives rather than duplicate existing activities. The Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for SMEs will unite stakeholders to find, fund and foster entrepreneurs with solutions to address today’s most urgent energy, environmental and economic challenges.

In most countries, the initial GEF funding will be for 3 years with the intention of holding 2 to 3 cycles of the annual Cleantech Platform. Some countries will have national programmes from the start; other countries will start regionally and expand as experience grows. At the end of each 3 year country programme, the aim is for each national cleantech platform to be fully up and running with sustainable support from the public sector and particularly private sector co-sponsors.


Participating Country Status Report | Spring 2014

After a successful pilot in South Africa in 2011, a growing list of countries is now engaged in the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for SMEs. After the successful programme in South Africa, additional programmes in Malaysia, Armenia, India, Turkey and Pakistan have received funding. Under the GEF-5 cycle (July 2010 – June 2014) an additional two countries, namely Thailand and Russia, have requested UNIDO’s assistance to launch Cleantech Programmes, and several further countries have already expressed a desire to launch similar programmes under the GEF-6 replenishment cycle (July 2014 – June 2018). The diversity of applicants in size and region will allow a strong foundation for regional collaboration, South-South technology transfer, and expansion. We expect all GEF countries to benefit directly and indirectly from this support for entrepreneurship and innovation of environmentally sound technologies.

Fostering Clean Technology Innovation in South Africa >
Accelerating Clean Technology Ventures in Malaysia >

Promoting Clean Energy Technology Innovations and Entrepreneurship in India >
Nurturing Emerging Cleantech Entrepreneurs in Armenia >
Promoting Cleantech Innovations by SMEs in Turkey>
Fostering Commercially Viable Clean Technology Startups in Pakistan >