Historical Programs and Impact
Through its grant and technical assistance programs, the Alliance has supported a wide range of enterprises with a variety of technologies, business models, regions of focus, and stages of development. These programs have provided initial seed funding and other support to some of the more successful and innovative companies in the clean cooking sector today:
- The Spark+ Investment Readiness Program provided pilot grants to businesses to improve their investment-readiness.
- The Spark Fund was launched in 2012 and aimed to support early-stage companies in attracting capital. Between 2012 and 2017, the Fund disbursed $4.6 million in grants to 15 enterprises.
- The Pilot Innovation Fund supported the development or refining of business models or products. In total, the fund awarded 16 grants worth just over $1.3 million, with 11 grants supporting business model innovation and five supporting technological innovation.
- The Boost Program, co-developed with the Miller Center at Santa Clara University, provided entrepreneurs with a primer on business planning and financial management. Over the past five years, the Alliance delivered the program to over 100 entrepreneurs in Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Bangladesh, China, and Nigeria.
- The Catalytic Small Grants Program built on the Boost Program by supporting selected, early-stage companies in Nigeria, Ghana, Bangladesh, Kenya, and Uganda with grants for capital expenditures and operating costs, as well as capacity-building support from specialized advisory services providers.
- The Women’s Empowerment Fund provided funding and capacity building to develop gender-informed business models and scale women’s inclusion throughout the cookstoves and fuels value chain. To date, the fund has supported organizations in Bangladesh, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Kenya, Myanmar, Nigeria, Uganda, Vietnam, and Ghana.
- The Capacity Building Facility provided matching funds to companies that had secured equity or debt from qualified investors.
- The Fuels Capacity Building Program supported companies with fuel-based business models, developing tools such as supply curves, business model canvases, economic and lifecycle modeling, and optimization strategies.
- The Clean Cooking Working Capital Fund was launched with Deutsche Bank’s Community Global Social Finance Group to deploy affordable loans to companies unable to access traditional commercial debt. In 2018, the Alliance and Accenture published a report exploring the learnings from the fund and recommendations for future financing vehicles.
- A matchmaking platform allowed investors and businesses to identify one another based on investor preferences and company characteristics.
- A mentoring program connected entrepreneurs with employees from Shell and other organizations, linking more than 25 companies with mentors since 2015.
- A carbon finance information portal offered resources to carbon asset developers and tracked projects available to potential offset buyers.
See here for a comprehensive listing of the enterprises the Alliance has supported from 2011 through 2019, prior to the launch of the Cooking Industry Catalyst.