Call for Expression of Interest (EOI): CleanStart Energy Access Challenge
  • September 02, 2015

The UNCDF CleanStart Energy Access Challenge supports financial institutions and other enterprises serving low-income people that want to pay for high-quality, affordable clean energy. We are looking for commercially-driven business ideas that can achieve breakthroughs in consumer financing and/or energy value chain financing (e.g. for distributors, manufacturers). These ideas should be innovative either by being a new financial product, service or approach in the market, or by being a tested model that can quickly be scaled up in a new sector or geographic area.

The Challenge

More innovation is needed to meet the demands of low-income customers that want to pay for better energy. The clean energy sector is picking up pace through a combination of growing awareness, improvements in equipment performance, reductions in cost and specific innovations.  Nevertheless, the scale that is needed to meet development targets cannot arrive soon enough from steady expansion of existing models. Just as microfinance represents a rethinking of financial services, the clean energy sector also requires continuous fresh thinking and risk taking to drive scale. 

How can the process of innovation be supported?

The CleanStart Energy Access Challenge will support proven entrepreneurs and management teams to keep innovation firmly on their current agenda while they also build out their businesses for future growth.  It will support those innovations that will have a ripple effect in the whole market and inspire others to adopt winning strategies.


Target market: Uganda
Grant size: $100,000 to $250,000 per organization over two years (2016-2017)
Rapid disbursement before end of 2015
User-friendly application process with real time assistance available

Eligibility criteria

Financial institutions and other enterprises registered as businesses
Minimum 1 year in operation with statutory account(s)
Business ideas that directly or indirectly result in a wider range of energy financing solutions in Uganda
Business idea is implementable in 2016 - 2017

Submission requirement

·         Complete the EOI Form (word file)

·         Up to 3 separate EOIs per applicant; 1 form per business idea

·         All EOIs must be typed and no more than a total of 6 pages per idea

·         Send applications by email to: 

·         Email title: CleanStart Energy Access Challenge [company name]

Deadline for submission: Monday, 21 September, 2015. 17:00 EAT

Documents [3]: 1] EOI General Infor mation 2] EOI Form 3] EOI FAQ

For more information on the CleanStart Programme visit