GCIP-SA now part of TIA
The Global Cleantech Innovation Programme for SMMEs and Start-ups in South Africa (GCIP-SA) was integrated into the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) on 1 January 2018. This marks an important new chapter in the history of the programme, after four years as a highly successful donor-funded project.
The GCIP-SA is part of a global initiative aimed at promoting clean technology innovation and supporting entrepreneurs in growing their SMMEs and start-ups into viable, investment-ready businesses. Launched in South Africa in 2014, the programme was jointly implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and TIA, with funding by the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The main knowledge partner of the global programme is the USA-based Cleantech Open.
Over the past four years, the GCIP-SA has worked with entrepreneurial teams from across the country, with more than 100 cleantech entrepreneurs directly supported through its industry-leading Business Accelerator process.
TIA CEO Barlow Manilal says TIA is delighted to have the programme under its wing. “Successful innovations, innovators and entrepreneurs create industries, jobs and contribute to better living conditions, a sustainable environment and economic growth,” explains Manilal. “We look forward to our continued collaboration with UNIDO and the broader GCIP-SA stakeholder base.”
2017 GCIP-SA winner Bandile Dlabantu and runners-up Sara Andreotti and Euodia Naanyane-Bouwer recently joined top GCIP entrepreneurs from around the world in Los Angeles to participate in the GCIP Global Week and Cleantech Open Global Forum, as part of their prize package. Naanyane-Bouwer received a special category commendation for social impact at the Global Forum, for the reusable, biodegradable Gracious Nubian sanitary pads, while all three entrepreneurs had the opportunity to pitch their innovations to potential partners and investors.
They strongly encourage other cleantech entrepreneurs to apply for the 2018 GCIP-SA competition and business accelerator. “The GCIP experience was the best opportunity I ever had to learn how to bring our product to the market,” says Andreotti. This is echoed by Naanyane-Bouwer: “At first very few people saw the potential or impact of our product, but as soon as Gracious Nubian became a GCIP-SA semi-finalist, doors started to open.”
Dlabantu concludes: “Through the GCIP-SA, we had the opportunity to meet with entrepreneurs from across the world, to better understand foreign markets and to make connections for new business opportunities in South Africa and abroad.”
Applications now open
TIA invites entrepreneurs with innovative clean technology solutions to apply online for its 2018 GCIP-SA Competition and Business Accelerator. Applications close at midnight on 2 May 2018.
Water efficiency Energy efficiency Renewable energy Waste beneficiation (including e-waste) Green buildings Green transportation Environmental protection (land, sea, air)
What to expect
Assistance to turn smart cleantech innovations into investment-ready businesses through:
- An industry-leading mentoring and training programme
- Ongoing expert mentoring
- Showcasing opportunities (locally and internationally)
- Access to potential investors, partners and customers
The winner will also receive a cash prize and a fully paid trip to the Cleantech Open Global Forum in California.
Rules and eligibility criteria: http://southafrica.cleantechopen.org/rules-eligibility/
Enquiries: [email protected], 012 472 2760