Suva, Fiji - The Government of Fiji in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Pacific Office in Fiji will stage a prize-giving ceremony recognizing the innovative recipients of the Drua Innovation Small Grant Scheme (DISGS).
Supported by the Government of Luxembourg, the scheme offers small grants of up to FJ$75,000 to support statutory organizations, private businesses, cooperatives, civil society organizations, non-government organizations and community based organizations, who have developed highly promising blue economy projects that are aligned to national development priorities and have a compelling business case to support either a pilot phase or a scale up phase. It is separate to the Fiji Sovereign Blue Bond but is expected to create a pipeline of projects that could then be supported by the Blue Bond.
Grants will be awarded based on specific performance indicators and the merit of proposals received. This scheme targeted proposals that demonstrated strong potential to be scaled-up and those that will deliver tangible socio-economic and environmental benefits.
This prize-giving event will also celebrate women-led businesses that are taking the lead on innovative, resilient solutions - with 45 percent of DISGS innovators being women.
Projects selected through the grant scheme will be given tailored support from the Drua Incubator of the Government of Fiji, UNDP’s Inclusive Growth team, the Accelerator Lab in the Pacific, and established partners from the private sector.
Apart from providing technical assistance, the grant scheme will also provide performance-based impact grants to respective project proponents and help attract private sector investor such as venture capitalists and angel investors. Each project will be required to work with the Drua Incubator to establish robust impact indicators. The grant scheme will evaluate projects relative to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with particular reference to SDG 14 - Life Below Water - targets.
As noted at the launch of event, UNDP’s Inclusive Growth Programme Deputy Team Leader Patrick Tuimalealiifano said, “Innovative initiatives such as the Drua Small Grant Scheme will unlock new development financing to diversify the economy and develop resilience towards the impact of climate change.”
The prize-giving event will take place on 15 February.