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If Your Business Is Reducing Inequality, Apply For UNDPs Funding Program

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), École Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Orange and SAP launch the second edition of the Growth Stage Impact Ventures (GSIV) for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiative; aimed at identifying and showcasing mature impact ventures in emerging countries with the catalytic potential to drive both large impacts and yield sustainable profit.

The top 12 nominated entrepreneurs will be invited to pitch their products and solutions at the SDG Finance Geneva 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.

The 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. 

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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 GSIV have the potential to bring about rapid and positive change at scale, targeting in particular the bottom of the pyramid,

Julia Binder, Project Leader of EPFL Tech4Impact.

UNDP calls 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 July 15th.

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.

Each venture will be invited to attend a a preparatory workshop and to participate in the SDG Finance Geneva Summit, where they will have the opportunity to pitch to potential partners including investors, large corporates and international organizations.

The GSIV selection takes place within the framework of the 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.


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