Request for Proposals: Spark Fund III (RFP 14-4)
The Spark Fund seeks to provide investment-like growth capital and capacity development support to help enterprises reach commercial viability, scale, and ultimately unlock additional investments for future growth. The Spark Fund has already successfully awarded two previous rounds of venture grants in 2012 and 2013.
The Spark Fund targets the specific capital and capacity development needs of social enterprises that have passed proof-of-concept, are at the venture or growth stage, and are focused on the commercial up-scaling of their operations. As such, enterprises supported by Spark will be:
1) Market-based, commercially viable enterprises
2) Venture- or growth-stage enterprises that are generating income and are not yet mature enough to access growth capital from traditional investment sources
3) Scalable enterprises with the potential to make a significant contribution to the Alliance’s goal of enabling 100 million households to adopt clean and efficient cooking technologies and fuels by 2020
Objectives & Outcomes
The activities supported in this RFP are part of the Alliance’s strategy to increase investment to the clean cooking sector by supporting the development of existing, market-based enterprises, thereby creating a robust pipeline of commercially viable and scalable enterprises.
Under RFP 14-4, the Spark Fund will award grants and capacity development services to at least 6 qualifying enterprises via two distinct application categories - Spark 'Venture' and Spark 'Growth'. Spark Venture will provide selected earlier stage enterprises with up to US$300,000 each. Spark Growth will provide selected later, growth-stage enterprises with up to US$500,000 each. Funding will be disbursed in at least 3 tranches over the course of 12 months and upon successful completion of performance milestones, however, the applicant will have a 24-month grant term to complete the objectives of their growth plan. Regular reporting on activities and milestones will be required over the full 24 month period, in addition to a final results report 3 months after the end of the grant term.
The application process will be open from November 17th, 2014 to January 30th, 2015.
Applications are due by January 30th, 2015 at 6:00pm EST.