Published on July 14th, 2016 | by Jake Richardson3
$38+ Million Committed By USAID To Global Entrepreneurs & Energy
July 14th, 2016 by Jake Richardson
USAID recently committed more than $38 million to support global entrepreneurs, with investments to be made in key areas. One is called Scaling Off-Grid Energy: A Grand Challenge for Development. The goal of the platform is to grow the off-grid energy market in order to provide clean, affordable electricity to 20 million Sub-Saharan African households.
Early-stage companies working to help millions of Africans gain this access and make useful, low-cost products will receive support. Innovation of new products and services will also be encouraged, along with energy efficiency, digital financial services and energy storage. Scaling Off-Grid Energy will receive an investment of $36 million, and the UK Department for International Development and the Shell Foundation are partners in the efforts.
“President Obama’s leadership in convening Global Entrepreneurship Summits over the past seven years has elevated the importance of entrepreneurship to building more economically prosperous, secure, and globally connected communities around the world,” explained USAID Administrator Gayle E. Smith.
USAID will engage in various collaborations to support entrepreneurs. More than 360 public-private partnerships were utilized by USAID in 2015 to leverage about $5.9 billion from private sector and other partners. In 2015, USAID also committed $41 million for off-grid renewable energy in India.
The second investment is up to $2.5 million in funding and mentoring for entrepreneurs who are working to create proven cool storage options for food in order to prevent waste. Feed the Future Partnering Innovation is already working in 14 countries around the world to enhance agricultural productivity. Some of the products for smallholder farmers which have been made available through the program so far are:
- Improved seed
- Traceability software
- Biological controls
- Improved poultry breeds
- Grain storage silos and bags
- Drip irrigation kits
Another endeavor is a Geeks on a Plane (GOAP) trip to Africa which will take place in March 2017, as a result of a partnership between USAID and 500 Startups, a startup incubator. Leaders from Silicon Valley will meet with African entrepreneurs in Accra, Lagos, Cape Town, and Johannesburg, to discuss potential partnerships and investments. USAID is also partnering with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the South Korean and Australian governments on a global marketplace for entrepreneurs and investors, called the Global Innovation Exchange.
Image Credit: Public Domain
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