Announcing The GSMA Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation Cohort

[This blog was last updated on 15 January 2023 since its first published date of 12 November 2022 to include Dayaxa in the list of our full cohort of start-ups selected under the Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation.]

At COP26 held in Glasgow in 2021, the GSMA, UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) announced the launch of The GSMA Innovation Fund for Climate Resilience and Adaptation. The objective of the Fund is to help accelerate the testing, adoption and scalability of digital innovations that enable the world’s most vulnerable populations to adapt to, anticipate and absorb the negative impacts of climate change.

We set out to invite applications that address the following questions:

  • How innovative digital technology (with a focus on mobile) can increase the capacity of low-income and vulnerable communities to adapt to, anticipate and/or absorb climate-related shocks or stresses;
  • What business models and partnerships are required for innovative digital solutions to be adopted sustainably and at scale;
  • What additional socio-economic, commercial and environmental/climate impact can be achieved by using digital solutions to build climate resilience and adaptation solutions; and
  • What role mobile operators and other technology companies can play in these business models and how they can make their role commercially sustainable.

This was our biggest round thus far in terms of the number of applications received (524 applications from 70 countries), with 90% of these from locally founded organisations, mostly based in Africa, followed by Asia. We’ve summarised some of the trends observed in this round of applications in our blog here.

One year on, on 12 November 2022, on the agriculture and adaptation day at COP 27, we are pleased to announce our new cohort of start-ups that have made it through a competitive selection process.

Aquarech | Kenya | Improving fish farmers’ productivity, enabling market access and creating an inclusive aquaculture value chain through use of mobile technology and IoT sensors.

Bakhabar Kissan | Pakistan  |  Strengthening agricultural productivity and planning for climate-vulnerable farming communities in Pakistan through a network of new weather stations to provide hyper-local weather information, as well as enabling farmer access to agricultural expertise through digital platforms.

BENAA | Egypt | Supporting water resource management using IoT to help convert waste water into irrigation water for small farms in rural Egypt.

CoAmana | Nigeria | Improving agricultural productivity and helping farmers to manage financial risks related to drought in Nigeria, through a digital marketplace for farmers to access markets, purchase drought-resistant seeds and access information on best practices and financial services.

Crop2Cash | Nigeria | Supporting farmers facing drought conditions in Nigeria to manage financial risks and adapt their farming practices through access to agri-insurance and climate smart farming content through a mobile app, as well as connecting farmers to high-yield, drought-resistant maize seeds via USSD. 

Dayaxa Somaliland | The company aims to make a positive impact by creating a regenerative model for positive social, ecological and economic change, by working with farmers to harvest sustainable produce, achieve fair pricing and improving day to day living standards of farmer communities.

GeoKrishi | Nepal | Helping smallholder farmers adapt to climate stressors and adopt climate smart agricultural practices, with digital learning content and advisory services.  

Lersha - Green Agro

Lersha | Ethiopia | One-stop digital service for smallholder farmers that provides advisory content on climate smart agriculture solutions, weather information, and facilitates access to agri-credit and agri-insurance.  

Hello Tractor | Nigeria | Improving planning and preparedness for farming communities facing unpredictable rainfall patterns in Nigeria, by using weather and historic tractor service demand data to model and optimise tractor service provision.

J-Palm | Liberia | Transforming the sustainability of wild palm oil through access to ecological information for local harvesters, as well as mobile blockchain technology for improved traceability.

Komunidad | Philippines | Upgrading communities’ capacity to respond to disasters with a Typhoon Early Warning System and weather analytics platform designed to help the local government plan and prepare for hazards more efficiently and accurately.

Simusolar  Tanzania | Supporting fishers in securing livelihoods, adapting to weather changes and sustaining fisheries management in Lake Victoria, Tanzania, through IoT-enabled productivity and activity tracking equipment.

Over the course of the grant, we will support these start-ups to strengthen climate resilience efforts across Africa and Asia. We will do this by helping them scale and realise their full potential through:

  • Facilitating partnerships with mobile operators and public sector organisations;
  • Providing technical assistance on how to reach and better serve climate vulnerable communities through digital innovations;
  • Providing tools, templates and specialist advisory support on how to evidence socio-economic and climate impact, as well as promote product improvement;
  • Supporting with scalability and sustainability planning; and
  • Offering opportunities to increase their visibility to potential investors and partners through profiling their innovative work in GSMA events and publications.

In catalysing these digital solutions, we hope to generate insights from innovative use-cases, partnerships and business models to improve the sustainability and scalability of digital climate resilience solutions.

In doing so, the GSMA seeks to support this cohort of innovators to realise their full potential and help improve the lives of people vulnerable to climate risks.

To learn more about the start-ups, take a look at The GSMA Innovation Fund portfolio here.

This initiative is currently funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), and is supported by the GSMA and its members.
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