Following a rigorous selection process, months of coaching and mentorship, weeks of pitch sessions and a final pitch to a jury of experts live from COP26 in Glasgow, the winner of the Climate Solutions Challenge has been selected.
Mandulis’ Peter Nyeko came out as the winner, announced by the DFCD consortium members at the end of the session which brought together 230+ attendees both at COP26 in Glasgow as online.
Specialized in transforming agricultural residues into cooking fuel and electricity, Mandulis Energy’s solution won over the jury of experts from SNV, FMO, WWF, and CMF thanks to a clear business case and proven results for rural communities in Uganda.
Peter Nyeko managing director of Mandulis Energy, began in Uganda where his company pioneered private sector led deployment of on-grid and off-grid renewable energy infrastructure. [link]
“It’s been an incredible experience being part of this challenge. And I want to thank especially my parents and my grandmother. I am quite emotional actually.”Peter Nyeko
While Mandulis Energy managing director, Peter Nyeko, managed to convince the “shark tank”-inspired panel, the two other entrepreneurs in the running also stood out: out of over 100+ applications, theirs were the ones to grab the jury’s attention based on the criteria of this challenge.
- Ispahani Agro, represented by entrepreneur Fawzia Yasmeen, supports farmers in Bangladesh by developing drought and salt resistant seeds and bio pesticides. [link]
- SoKoFresh, represented by entrepreneur Denis Karema, makes solar powered and mobile cold storages for small holder farmers in Kenya. [link]
The finalists participated via Zoom, as the results were being announced.
“It’s really amazing to see what these projects have achieved already. Our aim is to give support and push the entrepreneur and their business to the next level, scale-up and enable even more impact.”
Aart Mulder – Portfolio Manager Climate, Fund Manager Dutch Fund for Climate & Development
The companies, which have already secured funding from the consortium, were competing not just for an additional check, but to also benefit from the consortium’s climate venture capital expertise. Mandulis Energy, the winner, walks away with this valuable asset which will serve them in scaling to the next level.
For the consortium, this first experience is a success. With an imperative to scale climate finance to all relevant stakeholders including entrepreneurs, but also a lack of investable adaptation projects, the DFCD saw a gap to fill and add value, supporting these promising initiatives through the uncertain phase where mainstream investors looking for low risk and high returns rarely venture.
At COP 26, the programme demonstrates the importance of building pipelines of investable initiatives and unlocking private sector investment in adaptation and resilience solutions in regions which attract less private capital.
For more information on the Dutch Fund for Climate and Development and the winners of the Scalable Climate Solutions Challenge visit – https://thedfcd.com/challenge
To rewatch the DFCD Scalable Climate Solutions Challenge Final at COP26, visit https://youtu.be/6h6Co3GeCwg