When it comes to funding for social innovators, there always seems to be a certain amount of difficulty encountered by the innovators themselves. It is for this reason that the Sahara Foundation, an environmentally conscious powerhouse unit of the energy and infrastructure conglomerate, Sahara Group, launched the initiative of the Sahara Impact Fund (SIF) to be able to assist these innovators who are set on making positive changes to the environment that we live in and make it a more habitable place.
The Foundation has recently just concluded the second wave of this project, after experiencing huge success in the first and in a bid to accelerate attainment of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with the aim of attracting and reaching out to more participants in numerous countries across the African continent. The project sees the Sahara Foundation collaborate in partnership with the Ford Foundation, LEAP Africa and Impact Investment Foundation to bring a great and wonderful opportunity to social innovators across 10 African countries to help take the process of producing clean energy on a grand scale. For this second wave of the Sahara Impact Funds (SIF), there was a total of one hundred and ninety-six (196) applicants spanning across seventeen (17) African countries. A total of twenty-one (21) of these applicants were selected for the training and mentoring process.
As an organisation set out to make huge changes in the world society through constant promotion of clean energy production and creation of various methods for sustainable environments, the criteria for applying to this program circled largely around ideas that align very much with this goal in mind. Application process for this program took into consideration the organisations possessing social solutions that aligns with the Sahara Foundation’s key focus areas of clean and affordable. Organisations from Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, South Sudan, Cameroon, Gambia, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia were screened during this application. Furthermore, applicants were required to be registered with their relevant regulatory and government agencies in their respective countries and must have been in existence for not less than one year.
All submitted social solutions must be at the growth stage, must have been implemented and have direct beneficiaries. Evidence of claim through pictures, news releases, etc. must be documented and shared during the application and only innovative solutions with measurable community impact will be considered. Submissions were also required, as a must, to show evidence or claim through provision of web links and other online presence.
The program is one of great intensity which is also very highly competitive and spans across a three-month duration. During this program, the applicants were put through a period of training and exposure to business ideas and models with which they could use to navigate adequately to the shores of success.
We are pleased to announce our SIF 2022 Cohort from Tanzania, Nigeria, South Sudan, Kenya, Zambia, Cameroon, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Malawi, and The Gambia.
By projection, there is an estimation of creating positive impacts, both directly and indirectly, for a further one thousand people or more through the empowerment of these astounding and innovative individuals thereby drawing the Sahara Foundation even closer to its set-out goal.