Oxfam will launch a Superstar Impact SME competition in 6 countries including Egypt, Pakistan, Nigeria, Somaliland, Uganda, and Vietnam. In each country, winners will be awarded grant funding and technical support from our local partners to implement the project and be featured in a short movie to promote their business idea. Oxfam will provide a total of EUR 25k per country for grants and technical support. With this competition, we want to support impact-driven SMEs that have the ambition to increase their environmental impact either by:
- Introducing environmentally-friendly practices into their existing business model, for example increasing the use of renewable energy, reducing water-use, introducing recycled materials, reducing waste, innovate a product to extend its lifetime, or introducing farming practices that halt the loss of biodiversity and land degradation.
- Scaling-up an environmental-friendly product, service, technology, or production process,for example, expanding a solar energy service to a new area or adding production capacity for a recyclable or organic product. If you have a circular business model, scaling this will also fit this competition.
Through the competition, Oxfam aims to learn what it takes to create and scale-up an environmentally-friendly business and see some great examples of impact-driven business, the Green Superstars!
To apply, your company needs to meet the following minimum requirements**:
- Previous participant in either i) Oxfam’s SME Development project in Uganda or Vietnam; ii) the Work in Progress! project for Egypt, Nigeria, or Somalia (Somaliland)***; iii) Empower Youth for Work project in Pakistan.
- Registered commercial company in Egypt, Pakistan, Nigeria, Somaliland, Uganda, or Vietnam.
- Meet the requirements of an ‘impact-driven company’: namely: i) the business has ‘impact’ as their mission or key driver; ii) the business resolves a societal issue, not through charity, but through their business model; iii) the entrepreneur has a ‘social heart’, clear motivation and vision on impact.
- The proposed project focuses on increasing environmental impact by introducing environmental-friendly practices into the existing business model or scaling-up an environmental-friendly product, service, technology, or production process.
- The company is not in any way involved in activities such as arms, tobacco, alcohol, and gambling industries, registered in so-called tax-havens, or involved in environmental or human rights abuses or corruption.
- Grant funding should be matched at least 50% with an own contribution of the applicant (cash and/or in-kind).
- The proposed project can be implemented in the period of April to August 2021.
Competition process and planning
This competition is by invitation only for businesses that participated in Oxfam’s projects in Egypt, Pakistan, Nigeria, Somaliland, Uganda, or Vietnam.
Step 1: Application
Candidates can apply by completing the application form. The application is only complete, in combination with a venture profile on VC4A. If you don’t have a venture profile yet, you will be asked to create this in the first step when clicking on the “Apply” button at the top of the page.
Please download the budget template below, as you will be asked to upload this in your application form. The deadline for applications is the 15th of February end of the day.
Step 2: Selection
A local jury scores all applications and invites the best applicants to pitch their company and proposal. Winners will be announced before the 29th of March, after which grant contracts will be processed.
Step 3: Implementation
Projects will be implemented from April until August 2021.
Assessment criteria (applicant is scored on this)
- Social/environmental impact (35%): The Impact SME has a clear vision and strategy for social and/or environmental impact. It has good potential to grow and scale the impact. This is also shown in numbers (staff data and social indicators). Impact on women and youth, in particular, is an added value.. Environmental impact is important, clearly essential.
- Feasibility and relevance of proposal (25%):The proposed project is described clearly and is relevant in increasing the environmental impact of the Impact SME. It is viable and feasible to implement the project in a short time-frame. The budget and own contribution are realistic.
- Strength of team/entrepreneur (25%): The team has the qualifications and experience to manage and implement the project successfully. Motivation and ideas are clearly communicated. The team has unquestionable integrity. Having a significant number of women and youth on the team is a plus.
- Growth potential of the business (15%):The Impact SME addresses a clear market need with a unique product or service. It demonstrates innovation. There are a clear business model and a realistic growth strategy. The financial figures (historic and projections) show good performance and potential.