GACC MBA Greenlight Practicum Launches for the Pilot Innovation Fund


This October 2014, I-DEV led the launch of a new program designed to give graduate students practical experience in impact investing, by engaging them live impact investing deals around the world.

The MBA Greenlight Practicum was developed to strengthen the investment due diligence process for two challenge funds sponsored by the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC). These funds- the Pilot Innovation Fund and Spark Fund- will invest an estimated $5 million in 15 early and growth stage clean cooking companies around the world, who demonstrate high potential for long-term success.

The MBA Greenlight Practicum was designed in partnership with Ennovent, a leading India-based consultancy, and Middlebury College’s Graduate Institute for International Studies. The program not only provides valuable experience to MBAs interested in emerging markets investment, but allows for an additional feedback mechanism to GACC fund applicants in the form of a summary SWOT analysis, developed by the MBA “investment committee” teams and sent to all applicants. Each MBA team is supported by a Frontier Market Scout, an Impact Investing Mentor and a Technical Mentor, who provides valuable insights on emerging markets business and investment dynamics, and ensures quality oversight of the process.

The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is an initiative launched by Hillary Clinton and the U.S. State Department in 2010 to combat issues resulting from use of indoor fires, kerosene and other harmful cooking techniques that cause severe respiratory disease, in addition to other social and environmental problems. Over the last 8 months, I-DEV has worked closely with the GACC team to advise on streamlining the investment review process for its annual venture funds and generally recommending on investment strategy to maximize the catalytic development of the clean cooking and eco-fuels sector in emerging markets.

Previous Pilot Innovation and Spark Fund recipients have included Burn Manufacturing, EcoZoom, SimGas, SME Funds and more- All innovators in clean cooking products or services manufacturing, R&D, and/or distribution.

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