Credit: Images of Empowerment
Opportunity Alert
Improving Outcomes for Women-led Clean Energy Enterprises Through Applied Research
Call for interest

Clean energy entrepreneurship presents significant challenges for women, including limited access to funding, limited networking, lack of access to partnerships, challenging cultural norms, limited workplace flexibility, and lack of mentorship and training. While these barriers are common across different sectors, their impact on women entrepreneurs is particularly pronounced in the renewable sector due to the sector’s heavy reliance on technology and its male-dominated nature.

With support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), ANDE has launched a new initiative which will fund actionable research that aims to build the evidence base on these barriers and potential solutions. The project will fund six research projects on women in the clean energy sector, each eligible for a grant of up to USD 60,000.

If you missed our Open House on January 30, 2024, please find the slide decks and recording. You can find FAQs here.

Should you need more information, please contact SangEun Kim at sangeun.kim@aspeninstitute.org

RESEARCH TOPIC

ANDE is seeking applied research to uncover ways to support women entrepreneurs, employees, and consumers in the clean energy sector better. The research questions that ANDE is interested in, but not limited to, include:

  • What practices can entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs) adopt to make their programs more gender inclusive for women entrepreneurs and employees in clean energy (e.g., women mentors, childcare) and encourage founders to employ more women and pay equal wages?
  • What are the examples of successful gender-lens investments and business support services in the clean energy sector, and can the examples be applied to other ecosystem actors?
  • Which types of ESOs (e.g., sector-specific vs. sector-agnostic ESOs) support women entrepreneurs more effectively and promote workforce gender equality in the clean energy sector?
  • What are interventions that can be implemented and scaled to reduce the gender bias of investors and employers in the renewable energy sector?
  • What are effective ways ESOs help women entrepreneurs navigate gender bias regarding access to markets in renewable energy?
  • What are the examples of businesses that scaled and served women consumers in renewable energy and what are their success factors (e.g., how did they develop their service/product, how did they identify and reach out to their consumer base?)
  • Do women business owners champion the rights and serve the needs of women employees and consumers better than their counterpart men?

ELIGIBILITY

The lead organizations or individuals must be based in either Latin America and the Caribbean or Sub-Saharan Africa while the Global North organizations can participate as a collaborator.

The research project should propose to conduct research in Latin America and the Caribbean or Sub-Saharan Africa.

The funding can only be used for non-profit organizations. If your organization is based in a country where there are no legal entities, such as non-profits, you are eligible to apply for this grant as long as your organization functions as a non-profit. If your organization has a nonprofit and a for-profit side, you are eligible as long as the funding goes 100% to the non-profit side.

For those who do not have potential collaborators from the LAC or SSA regions in their existing network,  ANDE is hosting matchmaking workshops for LAC and SSA participants with an option to attend in person or virtually. The matchmaking workshop will provide an avenue to find the right match and expand your network.

This opportunity is open to both ANDE members and non-members.

For more information about eligibility, please read FAQs here.

TIMELINE

  1. January 30 – Open House to introduce the project, open call for proposals, and answer questions about the Call for Proposals and Matchmaking Workshops.
  2. Feb – Submit the interest form for a Matchmaking Workshop.
  3. Feb/March – Invitation to a Matchmaking Workshop sent out.
  4. March/April – Matchmaking Workshops in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.
  5. May 31 – Deadline for Proposal Submissions.
  6. June – Winners Announced.
  7. July – Grants are issued and projects begin.
  8. Q1 2026 – Projects complete.

MATCHMAKING WORKSHOPS

To facilitate collaborations between local practitioners and researchers, ANDE will facilitate in-person and virtual matchmaking workshops for each region, to support researchers and practitioners in co-developing proposals for the fund.

The aim of these workshops is to help researchers and practitioners in the local area identify common interests and decide on the most effective ways to collaborate in order to generate new evidence-based research projects. Although the hope is that successful proposals will arise from the connections made during the workshop, the call for proposals will also be open to researcher-practitioner partnerships that have formed organically outside of the matchmaking process.

APPLY FOR THE GRANT

The research proposal MUST be submitted jointly by at least one practitioner and researcher. Proposals submitted by a single organization/individual will not qualify for the grant.

Proposals should include the following components and will be evaluated on their clarity, detailedness, and comprehensiveness of covering the following elements as well as feasibility and ethical approval.

  • Purpose statement (i.e., goal of the research)
  • Research contribution based on the review of extant studies and industry needs
  • Methodology (should include research design, target participants, data collection methods, and procedures)
  • Data analysis plan
  • Possible risks to research
  • Research setting
  • Timeline
  • Roles of practitioner and researcher

The page limit is 10 pages, excluding bibliography. The budget and curriculum vitae of lead researchers are to be submitted in separate files. The deadline for this application is May 31, 2024.

In partnership with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC)