Mexico City, Mexico & New York, NY (March 8th, 2022) — Applications opened today for a new environmental accelerator focused on spotlighting climate innovation in Latin America and the Caribbean – ASAP, or the Adaptation SME Accelerator Project.
Applications close on April 8th, 2022; full eligibility requirements and application can be found here.
The accelerator, run by Village Capital and The Lightsmith Group (“Lightsmith”), is focused on supporting startups and small and medium-sized enterprises that are scaling market-based and contextualized solutions to critical climate adaptation and resilience challenges.
ASAP is a grant-funded initiative led by Lightsmith and supported by the Global Environment Facility’s Special Climate Change Fund; Conservation International; and the Inter-American Development Bank. The initiative aims to build an ecosystem of small- to medium-sized companies in emerging markets to support technologies, products, and services that build resilience to the impacts of climate change. A sister program is currently underway in Asia and Africa.
During the accelerator, the eight companies will work 1-1 with industry experts, investors, and ecosystem partners to develop the networks and tools they need to scale their impact. That includes access to Abaca, Village Capital’s global online platform that helps entrepreneurs diagnose their progress and prepare for investment. Leaders from each organization spoke about the project:
Jay Koh, Managing Director of the Lightsmith Group:
“Accelerating climate adaptation solutions in developing countries is the ultimate step in the ASAP strategy. By identifying SMEs in Latin America and the Caribbean through the Adaptation Solutions Taxonomy and connecting them to resources of a world-class accelerator, we can help adaptation entrepreneurs scale up solutions to the growing impacts of climate change, especially in the places that are most vulnerable.”
Daniel Cossio, Regional Director, Latin America and the Caribbean, at Village Capital:
“Over nearly a decade, we have worked with so many entrepreneurs providing local, contextualized solutions around climate adaptation and resilience. We’re excited to expand our work to help companies build and operational capacity to scale their solutions. Through ASAP, companies at the intersection of impact, inclusion, and investability will have a chance to bring their ideas from vision to scale.”
Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility:
“Developing countries’ climate adaptation needs are large and diverse, and the private sector has an important role to play in filling the gap. In Latin America and the Caribbean, small and medium-sized enterprises have immense potential to develop local climate adaptation solutions for rising climate risks. The dedicated climate resilience accelerator under ASAP, a project supported by the GEF’s Special Climate Change Fund, will connect SMEs with investors and financial markets that can help them develop and grow innovative and impactful climate resilience products and services.”
About the Partners
About The Lightsmith Group
The Lightsmith Group is an investment firm pursuing superior returns by investing in companies that address critical societal needs. Lightsmith invests in growth-stage companies providing technology-enabled business services and solutions in the areas of energy, water, food and agriculture, and climate resilience. Lightsmith won the Global Innovation Lab for Climate Finance competition in 2016 for its concept for the first climate adaptation and resilience private investment strategy and received the Lab’s formal endorsement in September 2017. For more information on The Lightsmith Group, please see: www.lightsmithgp.com. Lightsmith also oversees the Adaptation SME Accelerator Project (ASAP), an initiative supported by the Global Environment Facility, Conservation International, and the Inter-American Development Bank. For more information about ASAP, please see: www.climateasap.org.
About Village Capital
Village Capital helps entrepreneurs bring big ideas from vision to scale. Our mission is to reinvent the system to back the entrepreneurs of the future. Our vision is a future where business creates equity and long-term prosperity. Since 2009, we have supported more than 1,400 early-stage entrepreneurs through our investment readiness programs. Our affiliated fund, VilCap Investments, has invested in more than 110 program graduates.
About Conservation International
Conservation International protects nature for the benefit of humanity. Through science, policy, fieldwork and finance, we spotlight and secure the most important places in nature for the climate, for biodiversity and for people. With offices in 30 countries and projects in more than 100 countries, Conservation International partners with governments, companies, civil society, Indigenous peoples and local communities to help people and nature thrive together. Go to Conservation.org for more, and follow our work on Conservation News, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram and YouTube.
About the Global Environment Facility
The Global Environment Facility was established 30 years ago to tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since then, it has provided more than $21.7 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $119 billion in co-financing for more than 5,000 projects and programs. The GEF is the largest multilateral trust fund focused on enabling developing countries to invest in nature and supports the implementation of major international environmental conventions including on biodiversity, climate change, chemicals, and desertification. It brings together 184 member governments in addition to civil society, international organizations, and private sector partners. For more information please see: www.thegef.org
The GEF-managed Special Climate Change Fund has two decades of experience helping vulnerable countries adapt to a changing climate, focusing on bankable, innovative solutions that can be scaled. Since 2001, the SCCF has invested more than $360 million in adaptation measures that have benefited more than 7 million people and increased private sector engagement in climate resilience products and services. Through the SCCF, donor governments have supported the training of more than 200,000 people, expanded access to climate information services, and provided flexible solutions to enable developing countries including small island states to adapt to a fast-changing climate.