The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Union (EU) have unveiled the 17 finalists of the Growth Stage Impact Ventures (GSIV) program. Launched in Nigeria, this program aims to identify and support enterprises that have achieved commercial success while actively contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Among the 17 finalists are notable ventures such as HelpMum, MoneyAfrica, Doe, Kitovu, Pricepally, Pachamama Foods, Tomato Jos, Crib MD, DrugStoc, Planet3R, Reswaye, Eja-ice, KoolBoks, Sosai, Bankly, DOT, and Hervest.
These selected finalists will receive comprehensive support to enhance their readiness for investment, both before and after receiving funding. They will also receive training on UNDP’s SDG Impact Standards to help them integrate sustainability into their business strategies.
Additionally, they will gain exposure to potential financing opportunities from Development Finance Institutions, UN Agencies (including UNCDF), and domestic and international investors.
Dr. Abiodun Adereni, the founder and CEO of HelpMum, expressed excitement about being selected as a finalist, stating, “We are extremely thrilled to have been accepted into the UNDP-EU GSIV Programme. We eagerly anticipate how this great opportunity will help us scale our impact at HelpMum Africa.”
Out of 131 nominated companies across diverse sectors, including Food and Agriculture, Renewable Resources, Infrastructure, Technology and Communication, Health Care, Services, and Consumer Goods, these 17 enterprises stood out as exceptional finalists.
Most of these ventures reported that at least 75% of their employees are based in Nigeria, contributing significantly to local employment, social development, and poverty reduction. Some also have additional offices in countries like the United Kingdom, Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa.
Digging Deeper into the UNDP-EU Growth Stage Impact Ventures Program
The UNDP-EU Growth Stage Impact Ventures Program addresses the SDG financing gap in developing countries, which surged by 56% following the COVID-19 pandemic, reaching USD 3.9 trillion in 2020 according to the OECD (2022). In Africa, achieving the SDGs is estimated to cost USD 1.3 trillion annually, with a projected increase to $19.5 trillion due to population growth (UNECA, 2020).
Remarkably, filling this financing gap would require less than 1% of global private financing assets, highlighting the potential to accelerate progress towards the SDGs.
The GSIV program, developed by UNDP, identifies enterprises from developing countries that have successfully developed products and services contributing to the SDGs while achieving commercial success. These ventures demonstrate a tangible impact, a strong product-market fit, and a revenue-generating, self-sustainable model to attract both local and international capital.
This program aligns with the findings of the Nigeria SDG Investor Map, a market intelligence tool designed to assist private investors in identifying Investment Opportunity Areas (IOAs) and business models that align with and advance the SDGs.
Launched in January 2023, the initiative is in collaboration with the UNDP Africa Sustainable Finance Hub (ASFH), UNCDF, FC4S Lagos, and UNDP Nigeria. It strategically addresses Nigeria’s national development priorities by identifying seven priority sectors where private capital can drive significant positive change.
One of the program’s highlights is the opportunity for these finalists to engage with investors and key ecosystem players during the 6th Annual Convening on Impact Investing.
This event, held in collaboration with the Impact Investors Foundation (IIF), is scheduled to take place on October 31st and November 1st, 2023, at the prestigious Lagos Oriental Hotel in Lagos, Nigeria.
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