Call for Nominations: UNDP Growth Stage Impact Ventures (GSIV) for SDGs Initiative 2020

Call for Nominations: UNDP Growth Stage Impact Ventures (GSIV) for SDGs Initiative 2020

Deadline: July 15, 2020

Nominations are open for the Growth Stage Impact Ventures (GSIV) for SDGs Initiative 2020. The UNDP, EPFL Tech4Impact, Orange, and SAP are collaborating on the second Growth Stage Impact Ventures (GSIV) for SDGs Initiative.

The objective is to identify and showcase mature impact ventures in emerging countries with a catalytic potential that can drive both large impact and yield.

The selected impact ventures will be invited to pitch during the SDG Finance Geneva Summit, which will occur in the first quarter of 2021. Ventures will receive a great amount of exposure before and during the event, and access to a wide network of decision-makers interested in learning more about their innovation and plans to scale up.

Thematic and Geographic Scope

While the proportion of people living in poverty has fallen steadily in recent decades, poverty remains widespread in numerous developing countries. Moreover, disparities in human development are significant within and between countries, as documented in the 2019 Human Development Report (HDR). The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic risks a global socio-economic crisis that will push millions of people back into poverty—threating vulnerable women, children, elderly people, and informal workers most. 

The 2020 GSIV Call for Nominations will therefore promote ventures that contribute to tackling inequalities and empowering poor and vulnerable people in developing countries in the following areas: Increasing Access to Quality Health Care, Increasing Access to Affordable and Clean Energy, and Reducing and Recovering Waste. 


Eligible ventures, which should be seeking partners (technical, financial, or other) to grow, must have:

  • An established business model and strong financial track record (based on number of clients, break-even, valuation, and turnover);
  • An innovative technology, business model, or process with a strong competitive advantage (Intellectual property, clear unique selling proposition, uniqueness factor);
  • Closed a Series A deal (valued at US$500,000 or more) or reached break-even through organic growth;
  • Had their accounts audited;
  • Retained a solid team with complementary competencies to run and grow a business;
  • An impact-driven model—meaning that the venture aims to generate a measurable, positive social or environmental impact, with impact measurement metrics and/or key performance indicators in place;
  • Mission driven enterprises (possibly within by-laws);
  • Contributed to or have the potential to contribute to the achievement of more than one SDG, in an integrated way;
  • Followed an inclusive business model with products and services that involve people at the bottom of the economic pyramid (BoP) — namely people with less than US$10 per day (in purchasing power measured in 2015 US dollars) or other excluded or vulnerable groups—as consumers, producers, suppliers, distributors, and employees;
  • Demonstrated that they are scalable at the regional, continental, or cross-sectoral level.

Selection Criteria

The selection process consists of four stages:

  • Initial screening to verify compliance with minimum eligibility criteria; 
  • Shortlisting of 24 impact ventures (8 per theme) based on the information provided by third-party nominators;  
  • Evaluation by a Technical Committee of the in-depth profiles of shortlisted ventures with the objective of narrowing down the list to a maximum of 12 recommended ventures (4 per theme). The Technical Committee comprises representatives from international organizations, large corporations, academia, investors and thematic experts;
  • Final selection of the 12 ventures by an Advisory Board composed of UN experts and academia. The Advisory Board can decide to recommend fewer ventures. 


The call for nominations is open until July 15, 2020 (11:59pm CET).

  • Nominations may be made by third parties (such as accelerators, impact funds, family offices, international organizations, or governments).
  • Each nominator may propose up to three (3) ventures in its pipeline that meet the eligibility criteria.
  • National entities belonging to the same larger corporation may each nominate.
  • Self-nomination by enterprises is not accepted.

Click here to nominate

For more information, visit Growth Stage Impact Ventures.