Amazon and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) have joined forces with 2X Global and other founding members of the Climate Gender Equity Fund (CGEF) to unveil the inaugural group of women-led organisations in Africa. These organisations have been chosen to receive grants from CGEF, which aims to promote gender equality in climate finance and drive gender-equitable actions for the environment. The chosen trio of institutions comprises of a Nigerian hub which is propelling the growth of innovative climate technologies under female leadership; a South African accelerator offering its aid specifically to female pioneers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); and a Kenyan incubator dedicated to nurturing women entrepreneurs who are passionately striving towards sustainable agricultural solutions.
Furthermore, ever since CGEF was initiated in November 2022, its initial participants such as USAID, Amazon, Reckitt, Visa Foundation, and The UPS Foundation have collectively pledged a total of $20 million to the fund. During the COP28 climate change conference, USAID declared an extra $5 million contribution. Over the upcoming years, this funding will be utilized to provide further financial assistance to enterprises, investment entities, accelerators, incubators, and local organisations that endorse climate solutions led by women and benefitting women. USAID Chief Climate Officer Gillian Caldwell expressed immense excitement as she unveiled the group of women-led organisations that have been selected to receive grants from the Climate Gender Equity Fund.
Supporting climate initiatives spearheaded by women.
These grants aim to promote gender-equitable climate action on a global scale. Caldwell emphasized the integral role played by CGEFs founding members—Amazon, Visa Foundation, Reckitt, and The UPS Foundation—in making this achievement possible through their ongoing partnership. USAID and its collaborators make a significant commitment to empowering women, not solely out of moral duty but also due to its strategic advantages. Collaboratively, the CGEF exemplify the vital significance of providing support to women and girls who stand at the forefront of climate change, enabling them to access climate funds. It is anticipated that individuals who share this perspective will unite with existing partners in contributing to the Climate Gender Equity Fund.
Kara Hurst, Amazon’s Vice President of Worldwide Sustainability, stressed the imperative of supporting climate initiatives spearheaded by women and ensuring their unfettered access to financial resources, networks, and technical assistance in order to effectively tackle climate change on a massive scale. Amazon’s dedication to sustainability remains steadfast, as shown by its active participation in the Climate Gender Equity Fund as a founding member. It takes immense pride in its contribution towards empowering and nurturing women climate entrepreneurs in Africa through investment, mentorship, and support. It is a crucial part of its ongoing mission to be an environmentally responsible company.
Clean Tech Hub in Nigeria conducts capacity building training sessions.
Startups founded by women in Africa encounter significant obstacles, particularly in the realm of climate solutions. Africa: The Big Deal, a hub that analyzes data on venture capital and private equity, unveiled its findings for 2021, revealing that female single founders and female-only founding teams received less than 1% of the total funding raised by startups in Africa. Men, on the other hand, raised a staggering figure of 2 billion, which amounts to a substantial amount compared to what their female counterparts managed to gather. Moreover, the African continent is anticipated to face a substantial effect from climate change, with women and children bearing the brunt of it.
This clearly indicates the urgent demand for solutions tailored specifically to local needs. Clean Tech Hub in Nigeria conducts capacity building training sessions on circular economy with the active involvement of women to address the issue of plastic pollution. CGEF aims to enhance opportunities for women in Africa to expedite and commercialize their climate solutions through its initial grant allocation. Subsequent grant rounds and proposal calls by the fund will maintain a concentrated emphasis on entities rooted in, or dedicated to developing solutions for, emerging economies.
Fdn aims to create a lasting positive influence on the environment.
The Visa Foundation holds a strong belief in the pivotal role of women in driving innovation. By directing its investments towards climate-smart enterprises, it aims to create a long-lasting positive influence on the environment within communities, all while fostering an inclusive economic growth, expressed Graham Macmillan, President of the Visa Foundation. In pursuit of this objective, the Visa Foundation takes great pride in its status as a founding member of the Climate Gender Equity Fund. It wholeheartedly dedicates itself to supporting women-led fund managers and fostering gender diversity in businesses across the world.