Washington, D.C. (December 5, 2012) – The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves announced today more than $2 million in funds to support entrepreneurs and innovation in the clean cooking sector.
The creation of the Spark Fund and the Pilot Innovation Fund are part of the Alliance’s strategic plan to increase the level of resources, grants, and investment in the sector on par with comparable global development challenges. Each day, almost 3 billion people burn solid fuels for cooking. Two million deaths result annually due to the harmful smoke emitted from burning fuels such as wood and coal – the fifth largest health risk in developing countries.
“For decades, a lack of funding and financing for the clean cooking sector has prevented manufacturers, distributors, and other actors from scaling up to address the safe and clean cooking needs of millions of people,” said Radha Muthiah, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves. “Driving investor and donor funds to the sector, especially those that prioritize entrepreneurship and creativity, is an integral part of the Alliance’s strategy to catalyze markets worldwide.”
Through the Spark Fund, the Alliance will support scalable enterprises that pursue innovative approaches, enabling them to enhance their capacity, scale and outreach, sustainability, and ability to leverage resources. The Spark Fund, with an initial outlay of $2 million, is designed to: drive disruptive change to business as usual; allow successful applicants to attract additional capital to fully scale their enterprises; and generate innovative platforms and operations that can be slated for investment in future rounds of the Fund and that will educate impact investors on the potential that exists in the sector.
The Pilot Innovation Fund, capitalized with an initial $225,000, is part of the Alliance’s strategy to jumpstart innovative approaches to strengthening supply and enhancing demand along the sector’s value chain. These funds will provide seed capital to explore innovations that can be brought to scale. The Fund will be open to Alliance partners already in operation, as well as those organizations that best demonstrate how they intend to make clean cooking programs a part of their work.
Funding for the Spark Fund and the Pilot Innovation Fund is made possible by the following Alliance donor partners: The governments of Canada, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, and Royal Dutch Shell plc.
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About the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves:
The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is a public-private partnership led by the United Nations Foundation to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and protect the environment by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions. The Alliance’s 100 by ‘20 goal calls for 100 million households to adopt clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels by 2020. The Alliance is working with its public, private and non-profit partners to help overcome the market barriers that currently impede the production, deployment, and use of clean cookstoves in developing countries. For more information, please visit www.cleancookstoves.org.