Out of 237 nominations received through the Call for Nominations launched on May 26, UNDP with its partners EPFL, Orange, and SAP selected a short list of 28 ventures from 16 countries working to transform access to health, energy, and waste management in developing countries.
Geneva, October 9, 2020 – UNDP, École Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (the EPFL), Orange and SAP have selected the top 13% most innovative and investment-ready ventures that are transforming access to health, energy and waste management in developing countries.
For the second year in a row, the Growth Stage Impact Ventures (GSIV) for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiative aims at identifying and showcasing midcap impact ventures in developing countries with the catalytic potential to drive both large impact and yield sustainable profit.
“Through our partnership with EPFL, SAP, and Orange, and with the support from a myriad of actors from the private sector, the UN and the broader development community, we were able to set up a pipeline of 237 companies with solid business models and impact track records from across the world. The top 28 shortlisted companies demonstrate that there is a strong business case for the SDGs. We’re looking forward to connecting them to Swiss investors and institutional partners to increase their scale and impact.”, noted Sarah Bel, UNDP SDG Finance Geneva Summit manager.
The 2020 Call for Nominations only accepted 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 nominated by third parties (accelerators, impact funds, family offices, international organizations, etc.) and with headquarters, primary workforce and service provision or product market in developing countries were eligible for the selection.
Here are the 28 ventures selected for this round:
OneWattSolar - GosolarAfrica (Nigeria), Iluméxico (Mexico),
GARV toilets (India), Saahas Waste Management (India), Coliba (
More information about the companies available here.
The shortlisted enterprises will be reviewed by technical experts, investors and UN officials to select the top 12 finalists (to be announced in January). The 12 finalists will be invited to pitch their products and services at the SDG Finance Geneva Summit 2021, scheduled to take place in May 2021 and will get support to access strategic partners to scale up their ventures.
For the 2020 edition, 148 third-party nominators submitted 237 ventures from 65 developing countries for consideration, a large increase both in terms of nominations and number of nominators demonstrating that the concept gained confidence among investors and development players. 58% of the ventures reported over half a million dollars annual revenue. Full early analysis available here.
Out of the 28 shortlisted companies, 50% are women-led and 75% employ between 11 and 100 people (18% have more than 100 employees). Two of the nominees are from Least Developed Countries.
The GSIV selection takes place within the framework of the UNDP SDG Finance Geneva Summit. The broader objective of the summit is to promote SDG aligned investments, showcasing emerging market examples of businesses that do well by doing good. By bringing together the unique ecosystem of development professionals, investors, development finance institutions, academia, and entrepreneurs, UNDP aims to catalyze a shift of capital from mainstream finance to impact investing with a focus on addressing the SDGs.