17th Call for Proposals: Funding Innovation – Making a Difference

Silvia Weninger

1) Objective

The CFC provides a range of financial and technical instruments in support of business activities contributing to commodity sector development in Developing Countries. Examples include agriculture, commodity value addition and trade, minerals and metals. Besides generating a viable financial return, eligible activities should also deliver a measurable social and environmental impact. CFC supports activities which promote the contribution of the commodity sector to achieving the SDGs in CFC member countries including the following aspects: (1) Social: Create employment (particularly for youth and women), provide sustained increase in household incomes, reduce poverty, and enhance food security. (2) Economic: Enhance production and productivity, achieve higher local value addition;
improve competitiveness of producers, producer organisations and small and medium sized industries, support the financial sector development. (3) Environmental: Enhance production taking into account the environment and its longterm possibilities for the same, or increased use of productive resources while maintaining or reducing the impact on the environment.

The CFC supports implementation of activities along the value chain that: (1) are innovative, scalable and replicable; (2) are financially sustainable; (3) have a potential measurable positive socio-economic and environmental impact on the stakeholders in commodity value chains as compared to the prevailing baseline situation; (4) develop stronger connections with existing markets or create new markets along the value chain; (5) increase financial or other services available for commodity producers and commoditybased businesses; (6) enhance knowledge generation and information dissemination; (7) build effective and cost-efficient collaboration between producers, industry, governments, civil society organisations and other stakeholders for commodity based development; and (8) enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of agricultural value chains inter alia including climate change and energy related sensitive components as appropriate. The proponents should identify and specify the SDGs to which the project will contribute, explaining how it will help to advance each selected Goal, including the following: SDG 1: No poverty; SDG 2: Zero hunger; SDG 5: Gender Equality; SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth; and SDG 10: Reduced inequalities.

The CFC is sentient to the particular vulnerabilities of the smallholders of the agricultural value chains in the face of COVID-19 pandemic. Problems facing vulnerable people in commodity value remain the focus of the CFC and the CFC is concerned that the economic livelihoods of smallholders are likely to be affected by the pandemic in multiple ways. To ensure best level of support to its target groups, the CFC project cycle is running without interruption, and all proposals are considered on schedule as indicated in the Call. The CFC is developing additional instruments of support to ensure that qualifying SMEs can maintain their operations despite the disruption caused by the pandemic.

2) Eligibility

Eligible to apply under this Call for Proposals are all legal public and private entities that: (1) operate in commodity value chains in CFC member countries or provide financial services to micro, small and medium sized businesses operating in these value chains, (2) have a proven relevant track record of sound commercial operations in the proposed activities over a period of at least 3 years, which can be documented by means of (audited) financial statements, and (3) share CFC’s values, including internationally recognized principles concerning human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption as reflected in the United Nations Global Compact.

3) Location

Actions can take place in least developed countries.

4) Budget

The amount of finance requested from CFC should not exceed 50% of the total amount required to execute the project. The balancing amount of co-financing is to be provided by the applicant and/or by other co-financiers.

5) Application

All interested parties are kindly invited to submit qualifying proposals no later than 15 October 2020.