Global Directory and Accelerator Initiative launched to support private sector solutions that boost climate adaptation and resilience


Adaptation SME Accelerator Project (ASAP) launches a public SME Directory and Accelerator Partnership Program to identify, map, and mentor private companies providing solutions that support climate adaptation and resilience


NEW YORK, NEW YORK, 22 April 2021 – The Lightsmith Group (“Lightsmith”) today launched the ASAP SME Directory and Accelerator Partnership Program. The unveiling was announced at a Finance for Adaptation Solutions & Technologies Roundtable event titled “Accelerating Investment in the Race to Resilience”. The virtual session was attended by over 100 public and private sector stakeholders and co-convened by Lightsmith, the Global Adaptation and Resilience Investment working group, the Race to Resilience, and The Resilience Shift.

The ASAP SME Directory (“the Directory”) serves as a public platform to underpin the creation of an ecosystem of existing small and medium sized enterprises (“SMEs”) providing solutions and services which enhance climate adaptation and resilience. The Directory contains over 100 emerging market companies, with an additional 200 under review, and employs the previously published Adaptation Solutions Taxonomy to systematically classify SMEs providing existing technologies, products, and services that support adaptation to climate change (“Adaptation SMEs”). Leveraging the methodology of the first common definition for climate adaptation solutions provided by the private sector, the Directory raises the profile of Adaptation SMEs across Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. The Directory provides a key building block for investors and governments to channel climate financing directly to local enterprises supporting adaptation and resilience.

“The ASAP SME Directory provides concrete examples of technologies, products, and services that are already building climate adaptation and resilience in countries around the world across diverse sectors, from food and agriculture, to analytics and risk modeling. The Directory creates a self-sustaining network where small and medium sized companies can submit their information and join a global network of climate resilience solutions”, said Lightsmith Managing Director Jay Koh.

ASAP recognizes the important role that mentorship, technical assistance, and access to networks play in supporting SMEs. The Accelerator Partnership Program complements the operationalization of the Directory by enlisting existing organizations in building a supportive ecosystem for Adaptation SMEs. The initiative leverages partnerships with innovation labs to equip cohorts of SMEs with tailored support to overcome capacity constraints and scale across markets.

ASAP announced today that it is accepting proposals in response to its published Request for Applications (RFA). The release launches its search for experienced accelerators with established SME networks across Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. ASAP will guide selected partners in applying the Adaptations Solution Taxonomy to identify, map, and mentor SMEs, while also providing access to networks of technical experts and investors.

Through its Accelerator Partnership Program, ASAP will serve as a knowledge partner to selected organizations. The program enables experienced accelerators to apply a climate adaptation and resilience lens to existing operations, co-create customized curricula, and facilitate access to climate-focused investor networks.

“Climate adaptation and resilience are critical areas of investment as the world recovers from COVID-19. The GEF supports ASAP’s systemic approach to enabling small and medium sized enterprises in developing countries – particularly in the most vulnerable – in their efforts to increase climate resilience. Such adaptation investment will be a key driver of a safer and more sustainable future,” said Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility.


ASAP is a public initiative that seeks to build an ecosystem for early-stage companies in emerging markets that have the technologies, products, and services that can be used to build resilience to the physical impacts of climate change. The project includes the identification of Adaptation SMEs, the development of a comprehensive taxonomy, regional conferences and networking opportunities, and partnerships with existing accelerators. The project is led by the Lightsmith Group, with support from the Global Environment Facility, Conservation International, and the Inter-American Development Bank. For inquiries, please reach out to:

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:

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established 30 years ago on the eve of the Rio Earth Summit to tackle our planet’s most pressing environmental problems. Since then, it has provided more than $21 billion in grants and mobilized an additional $114 billion in co-financing for more than 5,000 projects in 170 countries. 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.

Conservation International works to protect the critical benefits that nature provides to people. Through science, partnerships, and fieldwork, Conservation International is driving innovation and investments in nature-based solutions to the climate crisis, supporting protections for critical habitats, and fostering economic development that is grounded in the conservation of nature. We work in 30 countries around the world, empowering societies at all levels to create a cleaner, healthier and more sustainable planet. Follow Conservation International’s work on ConservationNewsFacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube.

Since 1959, the Inter-American Development Bank has provided financial and technical support to countries in Latin America and the Caribbean working to reduce poverty and inequality, improve health and education, and advance infrastructure. Its aim is to achieve development in a sustainable, climate-friendly way. The IADB provides loans, grants, and technical assistance with a current focus on three development challenges – social inclusion and equality, productivity and innovation, and economic integration – and three cross-cutting issues – gender equality and diversity, climate change and environmental sustainability, and institutional capacity and the rule of law.

IDB Lab is the innovation laboratory of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, the leading source of development finance and know-how for improving lives in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The purpose of IDB Lab is to drive innovation for inclusion in the region, mobilizing financing, knowledge, and connections to test early-stage private sector solutions with the potential to transform the lives of vulnerable populations affected by economic, social, and environmental conditions. Since 1993 IDB Lab has approved more than US$ 2 billion in projects deployed across 26 LAC countries. IDB Lab together with the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), jointly supported the ASAP Taxonomy under Proadapt, an IDB managed program.

Serena Shi
Senior Associate
The Lightsmith Group

Laura MacInnis
Senior Communications Officer
Global Environment Facility

Jessica Brown
Media Relations Specialist
Conservation International

Luben Petkoff
Brand and Communication Strategist
Inter-American Development Bank


Start typing and press Enter to search