Sahara Foundation, the corporate citizenship vehicle of Sahara Group, has launched the second phase of the Sahara Impact Fund (SIF) and the Governance Unusual Programme to support social innovators effort to create solutions towards increased access to clean energy and sustainable environments.
Sahara Group said the project reinforces its commitment to bringing energy to life responsibly by connecting social innovators with opportunities to enhance their contributions toward eradicating energy poverty and enhancing environmental sustainability.
The SIF, the Group said, was a strategic partnership involving Sahara Foundation, Ford Foundation, LEAP Africa and Impact Investors Foundation.
“The Sahara Impact Fund will provide seed funding of $5,000 each for successful finalists, including incremental funding access based on impact, reach and sustainability matrices targeted at supporting young social entrepreneurs in Africa,” the Group said in a statement.
Also, the Fellows would have mentoring sessions with business leaders at Sahara Group and other private sector partners, to scale up clean energy and sustainable environment innovations.
The inaugural phase of the SIF produced Fellows from a number of countries in the West African sub-region, including Cameroon, Nigeria, Rwanda and Malawi, who are spearheading transformative solutions through their businesses.
The Co- founder- Ashdam Solar, Damilola Asaleye, said: “The learnings from the Sahara Impact Fund fellowship have become a daily guide for my organization to achieve our strategic plans of providing access to clean and affordable energy for all in Nigeria.
“In addition to the seed capital, which was a great boost to my business, I have also built professional networks with like-minded passionate entrepreneurs from all over Africa,” the Founder, Wastezon, Rwanda, Ghislain Irakoze, said.
The Director, Sahara Foundation, Pearl Uzokwe, said the Sahara Impact Fund and Governance Unusual programme would reinforce ongoing conversations around increasing entrepreneurial capacity and inspiring a paradigm shift in governance through individual responsibility.
“We are delighted to lead and join the quest of ensuring that no one is left behind when it comes to energy access and shore up expertise and capacity towards providing global solutions for environmental sustainability. We urge social innovators across Africa to apply to be part of this movement today,” she said.
Uzokwe said applications for the SIF are open from May9, 2022 to May 30, 2022.
She said full details of the application process are available across the Sahara Group social media platforms @iamsaharafdn and the Ujana Hub at www.ujanahub.com, while enquiries could be be sent to [email protected].
The maiden edition of the programme was in 2021, in which the ten social innovator fellows were exposed to blended capacity building sessions in the form of workshops, webinars, immersion sessions, facility tours, cohort meetings, mentoring sessions, one-on-one strategy & finance sessions and Fire chat sessions.
Since inception, Sahara Foundation has implemented various projects across its locations in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, impacting the lives of over 2,000,000 beneficiaries, with youth accounting for over 50 percent of the beneficiaries.