Renewable Energy Challenge Fund Uganda Clean Cooking Window

Renewable Energy Challenge Fund Uganda Clean Cooking Window

Deadline for EOI Submission Extended: 20th April 2017 (Thursday) 17:00 East Africa Time
March 20 , 2017
Kampala, Uganda - 


About the Renewable Energy Challenge Fund (RECF) Uganda

The goal of RECF is to increase access to renewable, efficient energy for domestic, productive and social uses among underserved poor households, especially in rural areas. 

By end of 2020, RECF aims to support 150,000 low-income customers transition to renewable energy.

The RECF is managed by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and funded by the Embassy of Sweden in Uganda.


How can modern cooking solutions become widespread across Uganda?

We are seeking ideas that can lead to a step-change in the adoption of clean cooking solutions in Uganda and have the potential to transform the market.

  • Is your company active in the clean cooking sector in Uganda?
  • Is your company currently working on an innovative business idea that can hit the ground running in September 2017, and start generating new sales by Q1 2018?
  • Is your company willing to invest its own money to make this idea happen but is in need of a co-investor to reduce its risk exposure?

If so, we are interested in hearing more about your idea.

RECF is looking for projects that combine the following characteristics:

  1. Additionality: not easily funded by commercial sources of finance; will resonate with the wider market and make a step change in the way modern energy products and services are offered and consumed by low-income people in Uganda;
  2. Sustainability: commercially-driven business ideas that companies are ready to co-invest in, with a view to graduate to more commercial investments;
  3. Inclusiveness: prioritizing business models with women and youth as active members of the value chain, as consumers, as well as owner/employers and employees/agents;

Key Characteristics of the Fund

Target market: Uganda – with a focus on under-served, low-income customers, especially in rural areas.

Clean cooking solutions: The RECF is technology neutral in that it will not favour any particular clean cooking technology above another. Acceptable solutions include:

  • Improved cookstoves (e.g. charcoal or wood stoves);
  • Fuels (e.g. briquettes, biomass pellets, LPG, biogas, ethanol);
  • Solutions for households, businesses, as well as institutional applications;
  • Or a combination of the above.

Type of funding: Cost-sharing grant, paid upon achievement of milestones.

Grant size:

  1. Small Grants: US$50,000-US$75,000 over a period of up to 2 years (2017-2019)
  2. Large Grants: Up to US$150,000 over a period of up to 3 years (2017-2020)
  3. Top-up grant: Once the initial funding agreement has come to an end, UNCDF may provide top-up grants of US$25,000 to US$50,000.

Type of entities that are eligible to apply:

  • The RECF targets exclusively for-profit private companies, including social enterprises, or consortia led by eligible private companies;
  • Other types of entities (e.g. NGOs, CBOs, etc.) can apply as part of a consortium led by an eligible private company (the Lead Applicant);
  • For-profit arms of non-for-profit organisations can also apply.

Number of proposals: Applicants can submit more than one EOI – One proposal per EOI form – but these must be for distinct business ideas.

Apply online

Deadline for EOI submission: 20th April 2017 (Monday), 17:00 East Africa Time

Link to Online EOI Form


Read through these documents before applying online: 

Information Session

If you have any queries or require assistance please e-mail UNCDF will accept inquiries related to the EOI until April 13th.

For more information, please contact