Catalysing Climate Resilience

BFA Global and FSD Africa create pioneering $3.3m fintech venture launcher for climate resilience in Africa

Led by the Digital Economy Pillar and in collaboration with the Risk & Resilience Pillar, FSD Africa and FSDAi will blend grant and investment capital to anchor an ambitious and unique programme in Africa focused on seeding and accelerating climate resilience solutions and nurturing the growth of an emerging and critically important sector. Building on the experience of FSD Africa’s long-standing and trusted partner, BFA Global, the Catalysing Climate Resilience programme (CCR), will launch 100 ventures and accelerate 80 start-ups over four years (starting with 60 and 40 in Africa respectively) crowding in 10-20x investment capital from other investors and building a stronger innovation ecosystem for climate resilience, first in Africa and then globally.

The programme is aligned with FSD Africa’s strategic vision of building a sustainable future for Africa. It recognises the critical need to build resilience among Africa’s low-income populations who are already highly vulnerable and are predicted to suffer the greatest impacts of climate change, further compounding their vulnerability. Finance is vital to tackling vulnerability and fintech innovation can help overcome demand-side barriers to build out new climate resilience solutions. But in Africa it is stifled by a weak supporting ecosystem, reflected in low early-stage investment.

CCR will operate at the nexus of this challenge by originating, investing in and growing a pipeline of climate resilience ventures on the one hand, while helping to influence and expand the pool of investment into climate resilience on the other. BFA Global has already developed a pipeline of 100+ startups that can contribute to climate resilience by helping households and small businesses protect from risks, adapt their livelihoods and assets, and build long term resilience. Existing opportunities include insurtech models (e.g. home and assets disaster insurance, weather-index crop insurance), climate-smart livelihoods (e.g. subscription-based cold chain facilities for fishers and farmers; pay as you go cooling for urban slum dwellers, agricultural marketplaces enabling investment in the transition to climate-smart agriculture), and carbon finance (e.g. carbon credit marketplaces for smallholders and reforesters) which captures climate opportunities for vulnerable communities. It is important to highlight that these examples are illustrative of the current fintech related frontier. CCR’s ambition is to actively push out this frontier by seeding ideation at the nexus between real sectors, climate change and fintech.