Climate Innovation Fund: Call for applications

Building climate change resilience in Bangladesh  

The British Asian Trust, in partnership with SAJIDA Foundation, is delighted to announce our new Climate Innovation Fund. Our ambitious Fund seeks to support local solutions which address the ongoing threats of climate change in Bangladesh to establish and scale. With an initial commitment of USD 1 million the fund aims to mobilise further funding and partnerships in this sector.  

The Fund will identify and support Bangladesh based innovations working to enhance climate resilience and adaptation in any of the areas of agriculture, food security, water security, and livelihoods 

Bangladesh and climate change 

Bangladesh’s unique geography, high poverty and population density make it extremely vulnerable to climate change, as a country Bangladesh ranks seventh among the most affected countries on the Global Climate Risk Index. Climate changes are a serious threat to the lives and livelihoods of poor communities, especially women and children. The United Nations predict 13.3 million people could become internal migrants in the next 30 years.  

Adverse effects of climate change such as temperature rises, land erosion, frequency of floods, volatility of rainfall and other extreme weather are already leading to the loss of agricultural land and degrading water and soil health. As the effects of climate change continue to materialise rural and poor communities will be even more vulnerable to loss of livelihood, food insecurity and water scarcity. 

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The Climate Innovation Fund 

While Bangladesh is increasingly taking a leadership role on climate action globally, there is an urgent need to invest in locally led climate innovations which help communities build their resilience in the coming years.  

Despite overwhelming evidence on the high rate of return on investment in climate-resilience, insights suggest there is inadequate investment in innovation in this sector in the country. According to the World Bank Bangladesh will need at least $12.5 billion (approximately 3% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product in the medium-term for climate action. 

This challenge presented us with the opportunity to create a Fund which brings together global resources and local knowledge to support Bangladesh to build greater resilience to climate change and drive innovation and scalability which could be applied globally. 

Through grants and other support, the Fund will provide opportunities for the most impactful and promising solutions in climate resilience to establish and scale. 

The Climate Innovation Fund aims to stimulate and drive innovation in climate resilience by:  

  • identifying some of the most promising and innovative approaches to climate resilience in Bangladesh and supporting these solutions to establish and scale 
  • building a strong and credible pipeline of initiatives and facilitating support from other agencies and investors 
  • building opportunities for development and networking to facilitate learning  

 

Eligibility Criteria

From the applicant pool, the most promising innovations will be identified and supported. These could include: 

  • Enterprises and other organisations that have tested innovations and are working towards financial sustainability but require funding and support to enhance their business models. These could include private limited companies, social enterprises, sole proprietorship entities, or NGOs. 
  • Individuals that have well-defined innovations, are dedicated to developing and testing their ideas, and are determined to achieve financial sustainability. 

For further clarity on eligibility criteria, please refer to the Application Guidelines document.  

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Applications received will be assessed and selected for one of two distinct pathways of support: 

  • Venture building (grants between $15,000- $50,000): For early-stage innovations that would benefit from in-depth mentoring and advisory support as well as funding 
  • Growth funding (grants up to $80,000): For more mature innovations that would benefit from larger funding and business development support 

All successful applicants will be provided with a combination of: 

  • access to grants and funding opportunities 
  • mentoring and advice from industry leaders 
  • access to networks and resources  
  • business development support to set up the business, improve performance and access markets. 

Before applying, please read the Application Guidelines document.  

To apply, please use the Application Form, emailing this to cif@sajida.org 

Applications for the first cohort have now closed, but we are still reviewing applications on a rolling basis. 

Proposals will be assessed by the British Asian Trust and Sajida Foundation, final decisions will be made by a panel of experts making up our Selection Committee. Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted and invited to complete a more detailed proposal. SAJIDA Foundation will conduct due diligence on and visits to shortlisted applicants as part of the review process.  

If you are unable to use or access the application form, please email cif@sajida.org for help with an alternative format. 

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Download documents

“We cannot stand by and bear witness to the impact of climate change on Bangladesh and do nothing. Bangladeshi people are proud and resilient, but they cannot and should not have to tackle the devastating impacts of climate change alone.  This is not just a Bangladesh issue – it is a global issue.” 

“The British Asian Trust’s new Climate Innovation Fund is set to help break the circuit for many, building on local knowledge and using innovation to look at ways we can help make people more resilient to the ever-worsening floods, cyclones, and tidal surges through different farming approaches and boosting food security in local communities. 

“I am pleased to be both investing in and directly supporting this Fund, which I am confident will help change the lives of so many.” 

Shayan F Rahman  
Chair of the British Asian Trust Bangladesh Advisory Council and Director of BEXIMCO Group 

Climate Innovation Fund and TRANSFORM Unilever partner for climate change

In July this year we successfully launched the Climate Innovation Fund in Bangladesh in partnership with SAJIDA Foundation. We are thrilled to announce an exciting new development in this programme. To drive innovation in climate change at scale in Bangladesh we have partnered with Unilever’s TRANSFORM programme. 

This new partnership, the TRANSFORM Climate Challenge, is between the Climate Innovation Fund, led by the British Asian Trust and SAJIDA Foundation, and TRANSFORM, an impact accelerator led by Unilever, the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and Ernst & Young (EY). 

 

Our work together is driven by a shared commitment to address climate change in Bangladesh and foster local innovation and entrepreneurship. This partnership, building on our ongoing work, will provide more opportunities for climate innovators in Bangladesh to receive support and funding to translate their innovation into action.  

This focused call for applications will identify and support innovation working on climate resilience, with a special focus on addressing plastic circularity challenges by encouraging recycling and reusing of plastics and rejecting single use plastics. Through the TRANSFORM Climate Challenge, organisations will have access to essential resources and funding to establish and scale their innovations, contributing significantly to addressing climate change challenges and enabling a sustainable future.  

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