Gender-Responsive Climate Finance Window

By Convergence

COUNTRY

Online

Date & time

28 January 2022

-

28 January 2022

About this event

The Gender-Responsive Climate Finance Window will award early-stage grant funding for the design and launch of innovative blended finance vehicles focused on the intersection of climate change and gender equality in emerging markets globally. This Window is funded by the Government of Canada.

There has been a growing awareness of the climate-gender nexus over the past decade, but the field remains nascent. This Window aims to build the field by supporting a pipeline of climate-gender blended finance vehicles to reach bankability. Blended finance vehicles supported by the Window will be anchored by three key objectives:

The mobilization of private sector capital at scale to finance gender-responsive climate change mitigation and/or adaptation in emerging markets;
AND

The integration of gender equality into the design, implementation, and operations of vehicles, rather than as a “bolt-on feature” or “nice-to-have”;
AND

Strong alignment with Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 (Gender Equality), SDG 13 (Climate Action), and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals) at the minimum.

Types of Applications

Applicants can apply for feasibility study or proof-of-concept funding.

Feasibility study

  • Grants range between USD 40,000 to USD 190,000.
  • Funding to explore the feasibility of the vehicle. For example, a combination of the following activities would be eligible:
    • Assessing the investability/bankability of the transaction
    • Conducting market scoping
    • Conducting a gender analysis and stakeholder consultations
    • Designing the vehicle structure
  • Promising feasibility studies funded through this window may be considered for follow-on proof-of-concept funding.
  • Feasibility study proposals must at the minimum 1) include an initial vehicle structure and investment thesis, and 2) demonstrate early engagement with potential investors and relevant stakeholders.
  • Applicants must use Convergence’s feasibility study template, which is available in English and French.

Proof-of-concept

  • Grants range between USD 190,000 to USD 500,000.
  • If a feasibility study (or equivalent) has been completed, then funding would be provided to complete all design and structuring activities to launch the vehicle. For example, a combination of the following activities would be eligible:
    • Finalizing the capital structure and financial model
    • Fundraising and marketing activities with prospective investors
    • Final selection of implementing partners
    • Finalizing the legal structure and producing key documents needed to launch the vehicle
    • Development of a gender action plan (or equivalent) based on the gender analysis from prior feasibility work
  • Proof-of-concept proposals must 1) detail interest and ideally commitment to participate in the vehicle, from investors and relevant stakeholders, and 2) include a financial model.
  • Applicants must use Convergence’s proof-of-concept template, which is available in English and French.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for consideration, proposals must meet the following criteria:

Theme

  • The proposal must be for the design and launch of a blended finance vehicle.
    • See our grant portfolio for examples of vehicles supported by Convergence under past Design Funding windows.
  • Vehicles MUST target either climate change mitigation and/or adaptation, AND integrate a strong gender equality focus.

Geography Any emerging market(s), eligible to receive official development assistance (ODA) according to the OECD-DAC List of ODA Recipients.

Sector Any sector(s) and sub-sector(s) aligned with climate change mitigation, adaptation and gender equality. For example, potential sectors and sub-sectors could include the following:

  • Climate Change Mitigation:
    • Low-carbon transportation
    • Renewable energy generation (on-grid and off-grid)
    • Energy efficiency
    • Agriculture, forestry and land use
    • Natural resource management
    • Energy transmission, storage, and distribution
  • Climate Change Adaptation:
    • Sustainable/climate smart agriculture or aquaculture
    • Climate-related insurance and disaster resilience
    • Nature-based infrastructure
    • Ecosystem-based adaptation
    • Waste and wastewater management

Proposals are only accepted from organizations or consortiums of organizations.

  • For example, eligible organizations could include asset owners, asset managers, advisory firms, foundations, not-for-profit organizations, and corporations.
  • The lead organization must be able to provide 1) proof of incorporation, and 2) financial statements for the previous fiscal year.

Applicants are awarded funding in disbursements based on milestones, and are expected to meet reporting requirements, such as reporting on key challenges, learnings, and results on a regular basis. Learnings from the design stage will be synthesized into a public case study or learning brief and published to support market-wide learning.

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated on the following criteria:

Scalability and/or replicability

  • How much private capital does the vehicle aim to catalyze?
  • If the vehicle is successful, can other practitioners use a similar approach? Will the vehicle contribute to creating a pipeline of investable gender-responsive climate finance solutions in emerging markets?

Demonstration effect

  • Is the vehicle testing a never-before-tested design?
  • Is the vehicle replicating an existing approach in a new market?
  • Has the need for using blended finance been demonstrated?
  • Is the vehicle attracting partners such as institutional investors that have not participated in the blended finance space or invested in the climate-gender nexus before?

Climate change

  • How will climate mitigation or adaptation be incorporated into the vehicle’s design and operations?
  • What will be the climate impact of the vehicle?
  • What climate-related indicators will be used to measure progress and outcomes?

Gender equality

  • How will gender equality be incorporated into the vehicle’s design and operations?
  • What will be the gender impact of the vehicle?
  • What gender-related indicators will be used to measure progress and outcomes?

Other development impact

  • What other environmental, social, governmental (ESG) considerations will the vehicle incorporate into its design and implementation?

Additionality

  • Does the vehicle aim to deploy financial instruments that are under-supplied, and will therefore catalyze financing with a high degree of additionality?
  • Does the vehicle have strong potential to address a market failure in the short term, and catalyze broader market financing in the long term?

Stakeholder support

  • Does the vehicle have the support and buy-in of key stakeholders in the target region/country (e.g., government, prospective investors, partners)?

Likelihood to achieve financial close

  • Is the structure of the vehicle bankable/investable?
  • Is the vehicle likely to attract private investors and close within the short or medium term?
  • Have investors been actively involved in the design of the vehicle to date?

Application Process

Our application process has three distinct stages:

Stage 1: Application questionnaire, proposal submission, and initial shortlisting

Stage 2: Detailed due diligence to shortlist proposals for Funding Committee review

Stage 3: Compliance review and approval by Convergence’s Board of Directors

Further details are provided below.

Stage 1: Proposal Submission and Shortlisting

  • Applicants are required to submit a proposal to the Gender-Responsive Climate Finance Design Funding Window using either the feasibility study or proof-of-concept template. Convergence reviews proposals according to eligibility and evaluation criteria and shortlists the most promising proposals.

Stage 2: Due Diligence & Funding Committee

  • If shortlisted, applicants will be asked to respond to due diligence questions from Convergence, and if required, provide additional information. Based on
  • the proposals and supplementary information provided, Convergence selects the strongest proposals to present to Convergence’s Funding Committee. The Funding Committee, composed of independent experts, assesses shortlisted proposals and recommends proposals for funding.

Stage 3: Compliance & Board Approval

  • Following a recommendation from the Funding Committee, selected applicants will undergo a compliance review. Following this review, proposals are presented to Convergence’s Board of Directors for final approval.

Application Submission Instructions

Please read through the following steps carefully before submitting an application:

Step 1: Before drafting an application, fill out the design funding questionnaire on our website.

Step 2: Following submission of a questionnaire, email design.funding@convergence.finance to schedule a brief call with the Convergence team to ensure alignment of objectives and mission. If available, please attach a concept note or presentation to the email.

Step 3: After speaking to the Convergence team, applicants are encouraged to send a draft proposal to design.funding@convergence.finance at least 2 weeks before the application submission deadline. Feedback will be provided within 7 business days. Draft proposals must use the standard feasibility study or proof-of-concept template provided, unique to each Design Funding Window.

Step 4: Submit the final proposal by following the link provided to you via email.

Please note that Convergence will only consider one application per organization per round. Convergence is unable to provide detailed feedback on applications that are not shortlisted for funding.

Application Submission Deadlines

Applications to this Window will be considered on a rolling basis. The upcoming application deadline is below.

  • January 28, 2022
  • June 30, 2022

Please visit this page to confirm subsequent deadlines for the rest of 2022.

Please refer to the Factsheet and the below for more information.

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We see social investment as a continuum that encompasses everything from philanthropy and venture philanthropy to impact investing, CSR and sustainable investment. We call this the “Continuum of Capital”.

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