The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have launched a call for applications for the first African Youth Adaptation Solutions (YouthADAPT) Challenge. The call for applications invites young entrepreneurs, innovators from micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and other youth-led enterprises in Africa to implement solutions for building resilience and adapting to the adverse impacts of climate change.
Young entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 35 are invited to respond to the call for the expression of interest and submit their business plan through the official submission portal.
The African Youth Adaptation Solutions Challenge is part of the ‘Empowering Youth through Jobs and Entrepreneurship’ pillar of the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program (AAAP), a strategic partnership between the GCA and AfDB to galvanize climate-resilient actions through a triple win approach to address the impacts of Covid-19, climate change and the economy.
The competition aims to leverage the resources, complementary expertise and networks of both organizations to support the ‘missing-middle’ of mid-sized companies in the areas of funding, thereby promoting sustainable climate adaptation and resilience practices on the African continent.
Announcing the challenge to a group of global leaders at the High-Level Dialogue: The Adaptation Acceleration Imperative for COP26 held in Rotterdam, Netherlands on Monday 6th September 2021, Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation said: “Our vision is to empower one million young people in Africa with the financing and skills they need to pursue jobs and careers in climate adaptation. With this new challenge we aim to unlock the business opportunities in adaptation action by innovative youth-owned enterprises and prepare a new generation of African youth for the transition towards green and climate-resilient development.”
Also speaking at the High-Level Dialogue, the African Development Bank’s President, Akinwumi Adesina affirmed AfDB’s commitment to invest in the youth. “The YouthADAPT Challenge will unleash the entrepreneurial drive and capacities of African youth to grow their businesses, address the continent’s pressing climate challenge and create decent jobs, building a more climate-resilient Africa”.
With a strong focus on youth and gender, winners of the YouthADAPT Challenge will be awarded business grants of up to $100,000 each and the opportunity to participate in a 12-month business accelerator program to help them scale their businesses. In addition, the winning youth-led enterprises will be provided with mentorship and support to expand partnerships, knowledge sharing and learning through a network of young entrepreneurs in climate adaptation.
Twenty youth-led enterprises will be shortlisted at the end of the application window on 6th October 2021 and invited to submit videos for a jury panel review ahead of the finals and an award ceremony at COP26 in Glasgow on November 8, 2021. At this event, ten winners will be selected, 50% of which will be women-led enterprises.