EOI: Catalytic Loans and Guarantees for Clean Energy, Sustainable Agriculture & Forestry Solutions in the DRC
The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) makes public and private finance work for the poor. Unique to the UN system, UNCDF can deploy an investment continuum for its partners and provide not only grants but also additional financing instruments such as loans and guarantees to provide solutions for private sector companies that struggle in accessing finance to grow and unleash the potential for job creation and overall development. With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.
UNCDF, through its partnership with UNDP for the Central African Forestry Initiative’s Joint Program for the Sustainable Consumption and Partial Substitution of Wood Energy, currently has 12 investment partners in DRC through its Challenge Fund supporting business models promoting clean cooking solutions. UNCDF in DRC is now seeking to expand its portfolio of investment partners who are working with technologies or finance for clean energy, sustainable agriculture and forestry solutions that will address energy access and reduce deforestation while promoting income-generating activities in DRC.
This ‘call for expression of interest’ serves as a market scan to build the pipeline of potential clean energy, sustainable agriculture and forestry investments for UNCDF in DRC under its current strategy. It is focused on the additional financing instruments that UNCDF can deploy, e.g. loans and guarantees. By helping companies grow their businesses, achieve commercial sustainability, strengthen their balance sheets, and build credit history, UNCDF aims to unlock further private capital to companies that serve last mile communities, to scale up what works and to foster local economic development.
With this call for Expression of Interest (EOI), UNCDF is inviting applications from private sector enterprises registered in DRC that can demonstrate the catalytic impact of concessional debt for their working capital or growth needs, with measurable impact on limiting deforestation, including promoting and or financing clean energy access or productive use, sustainable agriculture and forestry solutions. Companies can support sustainable activities near deforestation hotspots or income-generating activities in savanna areas. Entities at various growth stages are welcome to apply. Financial institutions financing clean energy, sustainable agriculture or forestry solutions are also welcome to apply.
UNCDF has experience supporting companies from startup and early-stage levels on through growth and expansion stage levels, as well as financial institutions. The organization’s support is customized to the enterprises’ need through a mixture of technical assistance, grants, and increasingly, catalytic loans and guarantees. UNCDF will assess the potential for investment in two categories:
- Concessional lending and guarantees, on UNCDF’s own balance sheet – debt and guarantee investments in the range between USD 100,000 and USD 1,000,000, available in local currency. Debt is offered on concessional terms including interest rate, tenor and collateral requirements.
- Semi-commercial lending investments, through the BUILD fund – debt investments of between USD 250,000 and USD 2,500,000, available in local currency. UNCDF will refer applicants eligible for this type of investment to the BUILD fund.
Priority for this Expression of Interest will be given to applicants eligible for financing available under the BUILD fund (Semi-commercial lending– debt investments of between USD 250,000 and USD 2,500,000, available in local currency). However, UNCDF encourages applicants also interested in the financing instruments on its own balance sheet (Concessional lending and guarantees – debt and guarantee investments in the range between USD 100,000 and USD 1,000,000, available in local currency) to apply to join the pipeline of UNCDF investments, which can be deployed depending on funding availability.
Purpose of funding request could be for capital expenditures, working capital, project finance, expansion or other purpose as long as the request is focused on offering a clean energy, agriculture or forestry product or service, or could it utilize a clean energy, agriculture or forestry product or service to improve operational efficiency, organizational performance, biomass consumption reduction, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, deforestation, agro-processing, and customer outreach.
UNCDF will assess which type of investment, if any, is suitable based on applicants’ financial needs and risk/return profile. The quantity and size of investment(s) offered will depend on applicant profiles and available funding. Financing will preferably be issued in local currency, with hard currency considered on a case-by-case basis. Loans will be mixed with tailored TA as needed.
How to apply:
- Applications must be submitted online through the UNCDF APPLY platform.
- Inquiries regarding this EOI must be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line: EOI for Loans or Guarantees (depending on your request). All correspondence between the applicant and UNCDF must be in English or French.
Deadline: This is an open-ended call for expression of interest, with re-occurring quarterly deadlines. The first quarterly deadline for this EOI will be 11:59 PM EDT on 30 July 2022.
Complete applications must be submitted by 30 July 2022 for the first cycle of assessments.
Please note that applying in response to this call for EOI does not ensure funding.