As climate change accelerates globally, governments and businesses are addressing the challenge via mitigation (reducing the release of greenhouse gases) and adaptation (adjusting to the expected new normal by reducing our vulnerability to sea level rise, extreme weather, and food insecurity) The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) estimates that the cost of adapting to climate change in developing countries alone could rise to $140 to $300 billion per year by 2030, and between $280 and $500 billion per year by 2050. However, less than 5% of climate finance is currently spent on climate adaptation and resilience efforts.
SMEs and startups help play a role in mitigating climate challenges given that they employ nearly 45% of the population and generate nearly 33% of GDP in developing countries. Despite the fact that SMEs and startups are key sources of innovation for adaptation, they struggle to secure financing and lack the operational capacity to scale climate resilience and adaptation solutions.
Village Capital, under the Adaptation SME Accelerator Project (ASAP), an initiative supported by the Lightsmith Group, in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank, the Global Environment Facility, and Conservation International, will accelerate 16 SMEs and startups in Africa and Asia that are scaling market-based and contextualized solutions to critical climate adaptation and resilience challenges. The African region includes North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. The Asian region includes the Middle East, South & South East Asia, and Asia Pacific.