Call for Proposals

CAP Financial Innovation Challenge

Through the CAP Financial Innovation Challenge, UNDP will crowdsource Innovative Financial Aggregation Structures and Models for small-scale, low-carbon energy assets in developing countries. Successful applicants will be awarded up to US$ 40,000 to develop the proposed innovations.


Please note that the application period has closed on 9 September 2022. UNDP won't take into consideration applications sent after that date.


What is the objective of the CAP Financial Innovation Challenge?


  • Foster the development of Innovative Financial Aggregation Structures and Models that can help increase the availability and reduce the cost of financing for low-carbon energy in developing countries. And, in doing so, help close the investment gap to achieve universal energy access. 

  • Facilitate the transfer of know-how and innovative solutions that can help overcome development challenges in developing countries and contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, notably SDG 7 on clean, affordable energy for all and SDG 13 on climate action.


What do the winners get?

  • Receive an award of up to US$40,000 to develop a Feasibility Study (over a period of 4 months) for an Innovative Financial Aggregation Structure or Model.
  • UNDP will promote the selected Innovative Financial Aggregation Structures or Models within UNDP and to a broader audience across its network.
  • Possibility to access the UNDP global presence (+170 countries) and networks to help support the selected solutions to scale-up and replicate to new countries.
  • Promising solutions could later be considered for further engagement as part of UNDP’s Sustainable Energy Hub or other UNDP initiatives.



Who can participate?

A wide range of entities can apply as long as they can demonstrate their capacity to develop novel aggregative approaches to financing low-carbon energy and meet the eligibility criteria (see below). This includes:


Eligibility Criteria 

Entities wishing to apply to the CAP Financial Innovation Challenge need to meet the following Eligibility Criteria. The Eligibility Criteria will be assessed as Meet / Fail. Only Applications that meet all the Eligibility Criteria will be considered. Please see the Guidelines for Applicants for more details.



Eligible Entity: Governmental agencies, development banks, private sector entities, CSO/NGOs and academia are eligible to apply. Individuals are not eligible.  Associations, consortia, or joint venture applications are eligible. 


Expertise and Capacity to Implement the Project: All Applicants must demonstrate their expertise and capacity to implement their proposed Project, and will need to demonstrate adequate financial, material, human and other non-financial resources to implement the proposed project within the set timeframe. At a minimum, Applicants will need to have at least 2 years of experience in the relevant sector. 


Geographic Focus: The Project must be implemented in one or many developing countries in East Africa – The CAP Financial Aggregation Challenge aims to support at least one project in Uganda and one project in Rwanda. The proposed Project must demonstrate the potential to lead to future financial aggregation transactions, climate and energy access related outcomes and impact in developing countries in East Africa and/or specifically in Uganda/Rwanda. 


Proposed Innovation: The proposed Project must involve an Innovative Financial Aggregation Structure or Model (mechanisms, instruments, processes, tools, business, and financing models) that can help increase access to and lower the cost of financing for small-scale, low-carbon energy assets in developing countries. 


Focus on Impact : All innovations must be inclusive in nature, benefit the target beneficiaries, and contribute to the achievement of the SDGs, in particular SDG 7 on clean and affordable energy and SDG 13 on climate action, rather than solely benefitting the participating Entity. 


Gender: Innovations should also include a special focus on ensuring gender equity. Applicants must ensure that gender perspectives and attention to the goal of gender equality are central to all facets of the proposed innovation. 


Award Amount & Budget: The Applicant must apply for an Award of up to $40,000 and submit a duly completed budget with the provided template. 


Applicants cannot be on the UNDP Vendor Sanctions List


What kind of innovations?

Innovative Financial Aggregation Structures and Models (mechanisms, instruments, processes, tools, business, and financing models) for small-scale, low-carbon energy assets in developing countries. 

  • First-of-a-kind solutions that have not yet been attempted anywhere before;
  • Or existing and proven approaches adapted to a new market/sector, geography, or context.

The CAP Financial Innovation Challenge is open to solutions involving financial aggregation at different levels (i.e., bundling individual assets, projects, or companies) and to other innovative aggregative models (e.g., innovative carbon credit solutions, renewable energy certificates, innovative models for receivables financing, digital aggregation platforms, etc.). The CAP Financial Innovation Challenge’s focus is on debt aggregation transactions. This excludes equity aggregation transactions (e.g., yieldcos).



What is the technology focus?

The CAP Financial Innovation Challenge will focus on innovations that support the deployment of distributed, small-scale low carbon energy assets in developing countries. This includes a wide range of technologies:

Target countries

The proposed innovative financial aggregation structures or models must be developed in view of being deployed in one or multiple developing countries in East Africa, which includes: Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe. However, proposals may be submitted by applicants from any country. The CAP Financial Innovation Challenge will support up to 5 projects including at least one project in Uganda and one project in Rwanda. 


How do I submit an idea?
Register below, download the application package and send your application by 9 September 2022. Please note that registering does not constitute an application, to submit an application follow steps 2 and 3 below.

    Register here, and follow steps 2 and 3 below to submit an application.


    * indicates required

    Read the guidelines carefully and follow the instruction to complete and submit the application form, annexes 1 and 2 and the required attachments before the deadline, which is on 9 September 2022.

    Once completed, submit your signed Application Form, Annexes 1 and 2 and all supporting documents via email to Please include “CAP FIC” and the name of the Applicant in the Subject line. Attachments should be no bigger than 10MB.

    The deadline for submissions of applications is extended to 9 September 2022, at 12:00 PM EAT.  

    You can also find this call for proposals on the UNDP Procurement Notices and the United Nations Global Marketplace webpages.


    Do you have questions?

    We have hosted an online information session on the CAP Financial Innovation Challenge on Tuesday, 9th Aug 2022. Please find below the presentation done during this information session, as well as an FAQ done based on the questions received during this information session.

    The CAP is implemented by UNDP and funded by the Global Environment Facility