The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves announced today the launch of the 4th annual Women’s Empowerment Fund, which is designed to empower women energy entrepreneurs who are increasing access to much-needed cookstoves and fuel within their communities. The WEF provides funding to organizations working to increase the participation of women in clean and efficient cookstoves and fuels businesses to demonstrate that there is a positive impact on business performance and social impact when women are engaged in the value chain.  

With support from the U.S. Department of State – the WEF will award up to four grants in the suggested range of U.S.$75,000-$150,000 each. The selected WEF projects will have a 12-month timeframe to meet concrete objectives and performance milestones. Applicants must utilize business models that strengthen women’s livelihood opportunities by bundling household energy products, including cookstoves and fuels. The Alliance encourages new partners to apply, particularly organizations that aim to incorporate clean cooking solutions into existing women’s empowerment and other development initiatives. The Alliance recognizes that one of the major challenges to scaling women’s empowerment is addressing the unpaid work burden that women face, leaving them with little free time to pursue income-generating activities. There is a clear link between unpaid work and cooking, and much unpaid work could be reduced or eliminated with access to more time-efficient and labor-saving technologies. Under the WEF, the Alliance and its partners will collect and analyze social impact data to better understand how access to clean and efficient household energy contributes to reductions in women’s unpaid work burden.

Past and current WEF grantees, including entrepreneurs based in Guatemala, Haiti, India, Kenya, Myanmar, Nigeria, Uganda, Vietnam, and Ghana, have supported more than 800 women entrepreneurs, and grantees have sold more than 250,000 clean energy products during their grant programs.

As a partner under the Women's Empowerment Fund, we have been able to access critical resources, experiences, and valued global networks. Women’s empowerment through clean energy and entrepreneurship therefore has become a strategic focus under the Remote Ethnic Minority Women Program at CARE International in Vietnam.” – Ms. Le Kim Dung, Country Director, CARE International in Vietnam

All applications must demonstrate how the gender best practices outlined in the Alliance’s Resource Guide on Scaling Adoption of Clean Cooking Solutions’ through Women’s Empowerment will be implemented throughout the project/business model. Strong applications will discuss the potential impact of the project on women’s social and economic well-being, including time use. Applicants should consult the Alliance’s Social Impact Measurement System and include any relevant socio-economic indicators that will be measured. The list of indicators is available as an attachment on the Alliance’s website here: www.cleancookstoves.org/socialimpact

 

Application Process & Deadlines

 

On March 15, 2017, the WEF competition will open for applications. The application process will be open until April 2, 2017. Applications must be submitted by email to gender@cleancookstoves.org.

Notable Requirements:

  • Applicants must be a registered partner of the Alliance.
  • All qualified organizations, regardless of location, are eligible to apply. Preference, however, will be given to proposed projects in Alliance focus countries.
  • Applicants are required to bundle two or more household energy products. The proposed intervention must be within the clean and/or efficient cooking value chain, and applications may also bundle additional non-cooking energy products.
  • Applicants are required to align impact indicators and measurement methodologies with the Alliance’s Social Impact Measurement System and must include indicators related to fuel procurement time use and cooking time. The full list of indicators can be downloaded here.
  • Strong preference will be given to applicants that have not previously received funding under the Women’s Empowerment Fund.
  • Preference will be given to organizations that are woman-owned, woman-led and/or -managed.
  • Preference will be given to applications that include technologies/fuels that have testing available using the requirements specified in the IWA.
  • Preference will be given to applications that leverage funding from other sources.

For any additional questions on application details, please refer to the WEF funding opportunity page or contact gender@cleancookstoves.org.