The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), with its unique mandate to support inclusive and sustainable industrial development, has partnered with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to address the most pressing global environmental challenges of our time. Through fostering innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems, UNIDO and GEF seek to promote affordable and scalable solutions enabling our partner countries to leapfrog to cleaner, more resilient economies.
The GCIP promotes an innovation ecosystem by identifying and nurturing cleantech innovators and entrepreneurs; by building capacity within national institutions and partner organizations for the sustainable implementation of the cleantech ecosystem and accelerator approach; and by supporting and working with national policy makers to strengthen the supportive policy framework for SMEs and entrepreneurs.
A key component of the GCIP is the annual competition-based Accelerator, which identifies the most promising innovators and entrepreneurs across a country. A selected number of startups in a GCIP country participate in a rigorous, competitive national acceleration programme that trains, mentors, promotes, and connects them to potential investors, customers and partners. As the best cleantech companies progress, they are continuously developed and assessed.
The Accelerator consists of an Official Launch, Investor Connect, National Academy, Business Clinic, and Mock Judging. In addition, the selected startups are continuously mentored and trained and access to capital and showcasing opportunities are facilitated on a regular basis in order to enhance their business skills and to connect them to potential business partners, financiers and investors.
Starting with the pilot in South Africa in 2011, the GCIP has been implemented in a total of eight countries including, Armenia, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Thailand and Turkey, with the most recent launch in Morocco in 2016.