Who we are

We are the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP) , a flagship initiative of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the Green Climate Fund (GCF) as well as bilaterally by donor countries.

Our world is facing unprecedented challenges related to climate change, water and food shortages. The global demand for energy and resources keeps increasing, especially in emerging markets and developing economies. Avoiding catastrophic environmental and social consequences requires significant reductions in GHG emissions by 2030. To address these challenges, we must work together to bring innovative low-carbon technologies and solutions to the market at scale and speed for climate action and development progress.

GCIP promotes clean technology innovation and entrepreneurship to address the drivers of environmental degradation and climate change, focusing on sustainable industrial and social development. Over the years since the GCIP inception in 2014, we have developed a unique transformative ecosystem approach to advancing cleantech innovation and unleashing the potential of cleantech entrepreneurship. We build skills, capacities and networks of start-ups and SMEs to develop early-stage innovations into market-ready and investable solutions while strengthening innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems in our partner countries.

What we do

Through a comprehensive solution of progressive business acceleration services, GCIP helps cleantech start-ups and SMEs transform their ideas into robust business models. At the same time, our business experts and mentors support SMEs along their acceleration journey, equipping them with the necessary tools to attract investments and enter markets nationally, regionally and globally.

It takes more than training and mentoring to nurture cleantech entrepreneurship. GCIP helps countries establish and strengthen such national innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems that create enabling conditions for cleantech industry development in the long run. GCIP designs capacity-building tools, policy recommendations and strategies to build institutional capacities of government agencies focused on SME development and innovation.

GCIP fosters knowledge creation and exchange to promote synergies within and across ecosystems. We work closely with national industry associations and share our expertise to help them expand membership, better communicate industry needs to policymakers, advocate for women’s engagement and strengthen their positions.

Why it matters

Start-ups and SMEs are engines for growth and innovation, especially in the cleantech sector. Early-stage innovators are not bound by the existing practices and offer unconventional solutions to the long-unresolved problems. Cleantech enterprises can therefore lead the transition toward sustainable low-carbon economies and create employment opportunities for women and young generations, thus reducing inequality and poverty.

Despite having this promising potential, entrepreneurs often find it difficult to commercialize their solutions. They encounter serious barriers to business and technology development, referred to collectively as “valleys of death” that they have to cross to ensure traction, growth and scale-up. By bringing its services and high-quality expertise in cleantech and business development, GCIP induces transformative change and increases the chances for start-ups and SMEs to bridge these “valleys of death”.

GCIP Impact

GCIP has well-established expertise and a reputation in cleantech and business development. Over the last eight years, GCIP has supported over 1,200 enterprises in 9 countries, shortening the gap between companies and the market, facilitating investment for innovators and enabling knowledge exchange. Our accelerators have produced investment-ready and scalable cleantech solutions, selected and mentored for economic viability, environmental sustainability, social and gender-specific impact.

Combining GCIP business accelerators with our ecosystem approach, normative role and support for women-led enterprises, we aim to achieve environmental, social and economic benefits, including job creation, poverty reduction and empowerment of women and youth. While other programmes with a similar scope focus on some of these components, GCIP combines them all in one well-functioning programme. This uniquely places GCIP among them in the context of cleantech innovation and entrepreneurship support.

In the coming years, we expect to empower even more cleantech enterprises in a wider network of partner countries. GCIP interventions can cumulatively mitigate at least 2,225,000t GHG emissions over the next ten years. We keep expanding our network of GCIP countries and are constantly exploring further partnership possibilities.