This instrument seeks to launch and scale an impact fund and accelerator to support pre-seed climate adaptation startups that improve the resilience of vulnerable communities in Africa. The fund will support local and women entrepreneurs to catalyze a stronger ecosystem of climate adaptation innovations.

The Problem

Africa is the most vulnerable continent under all climate scenarios and environmental disasters will increase demand for resilience solutions. Temperature rise, unpredictable rainfall, floods, and droughts will impact over 60% of Africa’s population engaged in smallholder, rain-fed agriculture lowering farm productivity with dire implications for livelihoods, food insecurity, health, and nutrition.

Innovative resilience solutions are essential to improve seed varieties, irrigation, organic agrochemicals, advisory services, and logistics. Similarly, innovations in fisheries management will be required to counter climate impact on fishing and aquaculture yields. By 2030, an estimated 100 million Africans will be exposed to rising sea levels, infrastructure deficit, and growing informal settlements that lack appropriate flooding protection. These risks call for a wide range of innovations to build the adaptive capacity of vulnerable populations.

The Solution

The Catalyst Climate Resilience Fund has two main objectives: 1) growing the number of climate adaptation and resilience solutions reaching underserved and climate-vulnerable communities, and 2) de-risk these innovative solutions to unlock private capital while expanding the industry’s knowledge of viable models that work for underserved communities.

The proponents, Catalyst Fund and BFA Global, seek to enhance the climate resilience of vulnerable communities in emerging markets, meaning their ability to anticipate, manage, and adapt to climate change’s impacts. The fund accelerates solutions that build climate resilience in three verticals: climate-smart financial services, essential services, and livelihoods.

“The fund’s mission is to build the resilience of climate-vulnerable communities in Africa by investing in and supporting early-stage entrepreneurs building tech-enabled adaptation and resilience solutions. We believe the Lab is the best partner and platform to develop innovative financing vehicles dedicated to building climate resilience across emerging markets.”

Maelis Carraro, Managing Partner, Catalyst Fund

Target Impact

The impact is increased resilience of at least 20 million individuals by 2030 (considering each startup could reach 500k users on average). Outcomes include USD 100 million in co-financing mobilized from other investors and the ability of vulnerable communities to cope with climate shocks through an increase in insurance coverage to deal with disasters, better access to safe water, and crop yield improvements, among others.  The model has the potential to be applied elsewhere, including Latin America and Asia.