How the Alliance is Increasing Investment in the Clean Cooking Sector

by: Jennifer Tweddell by: Stevie Valdez July 22, 2013

NOTE: Investment application deadline is Sunday, July 21, 2013 11:59pm EDT. See details below.

An essential part of the strategy to create a thriving global market for clean cooking solutions is attracting more finance and investment to the sector, which is why increasing investment is one of the six global value propositions identified in the Alliance’s strategic business plan.

In order to reach its goal of 100 million homes adopting clean cooking solutions by 2020, the Alliance is looking to generate a billion dollars in investment in the sector by 2020.

The Alliance is engaging investors to broker as many deals as possible. We’ve been diligently working to inform investors about opportunities in the sector, and attending events like the African Venture Capital Association Conference, the Sankalp Unconvention Summit and Carbon Expo.

In addition to brokering investment, the Alliance has launched two funds to invest in clean cooking enterprises and address the gap between startup and scale: the Pilot Innovation Fund to test innovative technologies and business models, and the Spark Fund to scale successful business models in the sector. The Alliance is preparing to release the second rounds of these funds, making changes based on feedback from our partners and lessons learned. While the changes are still in the works, the Alliance is planning to alter the structure of the Spark Fund to ensure that financing is available to enterprises that are beyond the proof of concept phase but not yet big enough to effectively absorb $500,000 over one year.

Many of our partners have very strong businesses, but need help with strategic planning and implementing systems to allow them to manage the scaling process. The Alliance is currently developing a range of capacity building interventions tailored to enterprises at different stages of development and across the value chain.

As part of the Alliance’s ongoing efforts to build capacity and broker investment and as announced on July 8, the Alliance will provide up to 12 enterprises with tailored support to refine their investor pitch and an opportunity to compete for direct access and substantive discussions with investors. Enterprises currently working in the clean cooking sector and seeking $100,000 to $5 million USD in outside debt or equity investment are invited to complete the simple 3 page application form. Applications must be submitted by July 21, 2013 11:59 pm EDT.

In addition, watch for the following additional opportunities in the coming months:

  • Webinar: Marketing to the Base of the Pyramid, Tuesday, July 30th, 7:00-9:00 am EDT
    Based on their recently released report, Hystra will share the 10 key lessons learned on how entrepreneurs can design an appropriate value proposition, create effective marketing strategies, organize an efficient sales force, and define the right level of overhead.
  • Webinar: Get Ready for Spark,  3rd week of August
    The Alliance will share information on some new components to the Spark Fund and discuss how to identify capacity gaps and address them with grant funds.
  • Spark Fund and Pilot Innovation Fund - Round 2 are set to be released in the fall of 2013. We encourage you to begin updating your business and growth plans in advance of the release.


Achieving the Alliance’s ‘100 by 20’ goal will require public and private investment from parties globally. Providing access to capacity development and investment resources at all levels of the value chain and stages of enterprise growth is an essential part of the Alliance strategy to create a thriving global market for clean cookstoves and fuels. We will continue to announce funds and initiatives that provide greater access to finance and investment in the clean cooking sector. We encourage you to join the Entrepreneurs & Investors community for updates and to engage with entrepreneurs and investors in the clean cooking sector. You can also check the Alliance’s funding opportunities and news web pages for more information as it’s released.