UNDP shortlists 28 Growth Stage Impact Ventures for the SDGs
Out of 237 nominations received through the Call for Nominations launched on May 26, UNDP with its partners EPFL, Orange, and SAP selected a shortlist of 28 ventures from 16 countries working to transform access to health, energy, and waste management in developing countries.
Geneva, October 9, 2020 – UNDP, École Polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (the EPFL), Orange, and SAP have selected the top 13% most innovative and investment-ready ventures that are transforming access to health, energy, and waste management in developing countries.
“Through our partnership with EPFL, SAP and Orange, and with the support from a myriad of actors from the private sector, the UN and the broader development community, we were able to set up a pipeline of 237 companies with solid business models and impact track records from across the world. The top 28 shortlisted companies demonstrate that there is a strong business case for the SDGs. We’re looking forward to connecting them to Swiss investors and institutional partners to increase their scale and impact.”, noted Sarah Bel, UNDP SDG Finance Geneva Summit manager.
The 2020 Call for Nominations only accepted Post Series A impact ventures providing products and services which reduce inequalities (with particular attention to gender inequalities) by providing solutions that empower people at the bottom of the pyramid to access to quality health, affordable and clean energy, and by reducing and recovering waste. Only ventures nominated by third parties (accelerators, impact funds, family offices, international organizations, etc.) and with headquarters, primary workforce and service provision or product market in developing countries were eligible for the selection.
More information about the companies available here.
The shortlisted enterprises will be reviewed by technical experts, investors, and UN officials to select the top 12 finalists (to be announced in January). The 12 finalists will be invited to pitch their products and services at the SDG Finance Geneva Summit 2021, scheduled to take place in May 2021, and will get support to access strategic partners to scale up their ventures.
For the 2020 edition, 148 third-party nominators submitted 237 ventures from 65 developing countries for consideration, a large increase both in terms of nominations and number of nominators demonstrating that the concept gained confidence among investors and development players. 58% of the ventures reported over half a million dollars annual revenue. Full early analysis available here. Out of the 28 shortlisted companies, 50% are women-led and 75% employ between 11 and 100 people (18% have more than 100 employees). Two of the nominees are from Least Developed Countries.
The GSIV selection takes place within the framework of the UNDP SDG Finance Geneva Summit. The broader objective of the summit is to promote SDG aligned investments, showcasing emerging market examples of businesses that do well by doing good. By bringing together the unique ecosystem of development professionals, investors, development finance institutions, academia and entrepreneurs, UNDP aims to catalyze a shift of capital from mainstream finance to impact investing with a focus on addressing the SDGs.
UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality, and climate change. Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.
The EPFL is one of Europe's most vibrant and cosmopolitan science and technology institutions, located in Lausanne on the shores of Lake Geneva. Tech4Impact is the EPFL’s sustainable impact initiative and the key instrument for enhancing the University’s social and environmental impact in research, innovation and entrepreneurship.
SAP is the world’s largest provider of enterprise application software, serving more than 437,000 customers in more than 180 countries. SAP’s purpose it to help the world run better and improve people’s lives. With courage, perseverance, and breakthrough technology, SAP customers are tackling some of the world's biggest challenges.
The SAP Next-Genprogram is a purpose driven innovation university and community for the SAP ecosystem enabling companies, partners and universities to connect and innovate with purpose linked to the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).
Orange is one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators with sales of 41 billion euros in 2018 and 149,000 employees worldwide at 31 March 2019, including 90,000 employees in France. The Group has a total customer base of 264 million customers worldwide at 31 March 2019, including 204 million mobile customers and 20 million fixed broadband customers. The Group is present in 27 countries. Orange is also a leading provider of global IT and telecommunication services to multinational companies, under the brand Orange Business Services. In March 2015, the Group presented its new strategic plan “Essentials2020” which places customer experience at the heart of its strategy with the aim of allowing them to benefit fully from the digital universe and the power of its new generation networks.
Orange is listed on Euronext Paris (symbol ORA) and on the New York Stock Exchange (symbol ORAN). Orange and any other Orange product or service names included in this material are trademarks of Orange or Orange Brand Services Limited.