Publication - Access to Financing for Early-Stage Innovators in the Clean Energy-Agriculture Nexus

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Title
Access to Financing for Early-Stage Innovators in the Clean Energy-Agriculture Nexus
Publisher
Powering Agriculture
Author
Jeff Engell, Christina Tamer
Published in
March 2020
Abstract
Donor funding can support innovation and the development of new technologies to solve critical social and environmental problems. Many early-stage innovators (ESIs) find it challenging to raise additional capital once donor funding has been depleted. This inability to access funding is a key obstacle constraining their ability to scale and grow in the clean energy-agriculture nexus. This challenge can be further broken down into availability (is market capital available to ESIs in the agriculture and clean energy sectors?) and access (what is preventing ESIs from accessing this capital?).

This paper seeks to answer two questions: 1- What is preventing ESIs from accessing private capital and follow-up funding? 2- What kind of support would prepare companies to obtain capital?

A literature review and interviews with key stakeholders were used to examine the availability of financing beyond donor funding in the clean energy-agriculture nexus, with the specific goals of identifying the barriers ESIs face in securing funding and understanding the direct impact of those barriers on ESIs’ development. The paper concludes by providing recommendations on overcoming those barriers through future program design and technical assistance support.


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