Investment Strategy & Fund Management for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves
The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves (GACC) is an initiative launched by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and and managed under the United Nations Foundation. This public-private initiative seeks to save lives, empower women, and protect the environment by creating a thriving global marketplace for clean and efficient cooking solutions- ranging from clean cookstoves to eco-fuels. The GACC had three venture grant facilities: the Pilot Innovation Fund (PIF), Spark Growth Fund and the Women’s Empowerment Fund (WEF), through which funding is awarded globally to high-potential clean cooking enterprises. Approaching its 5-year anniversary, GACC was interested to analyze its approach and ensure that its funding was making the maximum target impact.
GACC engaged I-DEV to advise on investment strategy and process improvement for its funds. I-DEV began by conducting a 360-degree review of existing processes and past investments, which included interviews with key stakeholders and previous funding recipients, as well as analysis of the application process and criteria. Based on findings and experience working with early stage enterprises, I-DEV made recommendations on process improvement. This resulted in the re-structure of GACC funds to include 4 facilities- each which addressed key sector strengthening priorities: early stage capacity building support for local enterprises, investment in cutting-edge business and product innovations, growth stage investment for companies that will next attract traditional emerging markets investors, and investment in business initiatives that integrate women into the clean cooking value chain.
In addition to new funds criteria, which the GACC has subsequently implemented, I-DEV also designed and continues to support an improved challenge fund application and review process. This includes the MBA Greenlight Practicum, a program that trains MBAs to review and select high-potential enterprises by pairing them with sector mentors and appropriate training. This program engages 13 leading graduate programs around the world. For more information on this program, visit: http://www.miis.edu/about/newsroom/stories/node/38599