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UNDP invites 12 entrepreneurs from developing countries to pitch at SDG Finance Geneva Summit

UNDP invites 12 entrepreneurs from developing countries to pitch at SDG Finance Geneva Summit

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) this week invited 12 entrepreneurs from developing countries to pitch at the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Finance Geneva Summit (SGSGeneva).

The top 12 nominated entrepreneurs will be able to pitch their products and solutions at the Summit, scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2021 during the Building Bridges Week and will get support to access strategic partners to scale up their venture.

According to a statement UNDP is calling for third parties (accelerators, impact funds, family offices, international organizations, etc.) to nominate from their own pipelines, up to 3 entrepreneurs which meet the eligibility criteria. Self nomination is not be accepted. The call will remain open till 15 July.

The call is for growth stage impact ventures for SDGs aimed at identifying and showcasing mature impact ventures in emerging countries with the catalytic potential to drive both large impact and yield sustainable profit.

The UNDP said 2020 the Call for Nominations only accepts Post Series A impact ventures providing products and services which reduce inequalities (with particular attention to gender inequalities) by providing solutions that empower people at the bottom of the pyramid to access to quality health, affordable and clean energy, and by reducing and recovering waste. Only ventures with headquarters, primary workforce and service provision or product market in developing countries can be eligible for the selection.

“We are delighted to support UNDP in its focus on impact ventures that address the SDGs. Contrary to the multitude of awards and competitions targeting early stage start-ups, companies invited to Growth Stage Impact Ventures have the potential to bring about rapid and positive change at scale, targeting in particular the bottom of the pyramid,” said Julia Binder, Project Leader of Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) Tech4Impact.

A first screening of nominees will be carried out by EPFL to shortlist the top 20 enterprises. Finalists will then be reviewed by technical experts, investors and UN officials to select the top 12 finalists, who will attend the SDG Finance Geneva Summit, in 2021.

In 2019, 76 third-parties submitted 119 proposals from 40 developing countries. Eighty-five percent of the nominated ventures had raised at least half a million dollars at the time of nomination, and closed their Series A. All 12 finalists were mid-sized, with an average of up to 50 employees, annual revenue of over US$3 million, and with a cumulative impact on more than 15 million lives through their products and services.

This second edition is made possible through partnership with EPFL Tech4Impact, Orange, and Software Company, SAP.


About The Author

Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys