Sahara Group boosts SDGs with launch of Sahara Impact Fund

Sahara Foundation, the corporate citizenship vehicle of energy conglomerate, Sahara Group, has launched the Sahara Impact Fund (SIF) and the Governance Unusual Programme to facilitate the generation of ideas and solutions towards increasing access to clean energy, mobilizing partnerships to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and inspiring a good governance paradigm shift.

Sahara Foundation will drive the programme using the Sahara extrapreneurship model with an underlying ethos of “creating enabling environment for entrepreneurs”. The fund’s capacity is set at over $100,000 with opportunity for incremental access by beneficiaries based on impact, reach and sustainability matrices targeted at supporting young social entrepreneurs in Africa with seed funding as well as providing access to mentoring from Sahara Group and other private sector partners, to scale up clean energy and sustainable environment innovations.

The Programme is a strategic partnership involving Sahara Foundation, Ford Foundation, LEAP Africa and Impact Investors Foundation leveraging on strengths of the various partners.

Sahara Foundation has implemented various projects across its locations in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, impacting the lives of over 2,000,000 beneficiaries, with youth accounting for over 50% of the beneficiaries.

According to Pearl Uzokwe, Director, Governance and Sustainability, Sahara Group, ”The Sahara Impact Fund and Governance Unusual programme will reinforce ongoing conversations on boosting entrepreneurial capacity and how individual responsibility can inspire a paradigm shift that will culminate in the “whole” gravitating towards “doing the right thing” – without equivocation. Sahara Group is delighted to promote a robust movement for self-governance – one that challenges everyone to be the measure for “doing the right thing” against all odds.”

Uzokwe said applications for the SIF are open from 29th September 2020 to 15th October 2020. “Full details of the application process are available across our social media platforms @shaharapcsr and the Ujana Hub at www.ujanahub.com. Enquiries can also be sent to sahara.foundation@sahara-group.com,” she added.

The Fellowship is a leadership quest that starts from changing people’s mindset and birthing a new creed that ultimately stamps out the dominance of “business as usual” standards across the globe. The design of the project requires Fellows of the Impact Fund to participate in the Governance Unusual Programme with exposure to leadership training for social impact entrepreneurs targeting maximum impact and scalability.

Country Director, Ford Foundation, Mr. Innocent Chukwuma said the innovative programme comes at a moment when the world needs a critical vehicle that can support young people to creatively connect good ideas with good leadership examples. “I hope that the programme will inspire the beneficiaries to take individual responsibility towards promoting sustainable development in their various areas of interest,” he added.

According to Ndidi Nwuneli, Founder LEAP Africa ” LEAP is delighted to serve as a technical partner for this important initiative because of its focus on supporting young Africans working to provide clean and affordable energy solutions and to promote a sustainable environment through the Social Innovators Programme and Awards. We strongly believe that this partnership will not only promote the achievement of the SDGs but also propel greater innovation across Africa”.

As part of Sahara Foundation’s effort to directly impact youth across the continent through the ‘extrapreneurship’ model, a dedicated e- channel known as the Ujana Hub has been created. The hub www.ujanahub.com is a technology powered convergence of youth and young adults to inspire innovation. The hub is designed to attract innovative youth, entrepreneurial projects and connect them to the global village of opportunities including social investors.

Sahara Group remains committed to supporting and inspiring innovative ideas /initiatives by creating fit for purpose opportunities in emerging markets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Sahara Group as we know is an organization established on the foundation of creativity, innovation amongst valiant values. With a huge influence and a desire to inspire the youth we desired platform where the youth can be inspired to create and follow this path daring the impossible and achieving results that would benefit/ impact the nation and create wealth in a sustainable way.

The Sahara Impact Fund capacity is set at over $100,000 with opportunity for incremental access by beneficiaries based on impact, reach and sustainability matrices targeted at supporting young social entrepreneurs in Africa with seed funding as well as providing access to mentoring from Sahara Group and other private sector partners, to scale up clean energy and sustainable environment innovations.
The Sahara Impact Fund (“SIF”) aims to encourage and support the generation of ideas and solutions which will increase access to clean energy, promote sustainable environments and mobilize catalytic support for tangible partnerships towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in a manner that results in measurable social impact.

The primary purpose of this initiative is to encourage and support the generation of ideas and solutions which will increase access to clean energy, promote sustainable environments and mobilize catalytic support for tangible partnerships towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in a manner that results in measurable social impact.

The Programme is a strategic partnership between Sahara Foundation, Ford Foundation, LEAP Africa and Impact Investors Foundation leveraging on strengths of the various partners.

SIF is open to nonprofits, social enterprises and entrepreneurs in Africa preferably Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d‘Ivoire, Kenya, Guinea, South Sudan, Tanzania, Cameroun and Zambia.

• Nonprofits or social enterprises or businesses must be registered with their relevant regulatory and government agencies as funding will not be given for that purpose or to individuals in their personal capacity.

• Organization must have been in existence for at least one year

• All submitted social solutions must be at the growth stage, must have been implemented and have direct beneficiaries. Evidence of claim through pictures, news releases, etc. must be documented and shared during the application.

• Only technology driven innovative solutions with measurable community impact will be considered. Submissions must show evidence or claim through provision of web links and other online presence.

• Innovations must show sustainability and scalability.

• Organizations must submit social solutions within the Foundation’s key focus areas of Clean and Affordable Energy and Sustainable Environment both with an Entrepreneurship focus.

The project is open to young Africans (male and female) between the ages of 18 and 40.

Submission of applications window is between 24th of September 2020 and 15th of October 2020.

Sahara Group through its corporate responsibility vehicle, Sahara Foundation has pledged to continually impact youth across the continent through the extrapreneurship framework. Hence, the Foundation is committed to providing as many credible and sustainable platforms/ initiatives to achieve this goal.

Yes, Sahara Group would be giving out grants and other in-kind support to fellow selected for the programme.

A novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than existing solutions and for which the value created accrues primarily to society as a whole rather than to private individuals. The innovation may be through various expressions- a process (i.e. using a new approach), a product, or a service.

The requirements for a social innovation are that your solution adopts a new approach than was existing, is practical and effective in solving the problem, meets a social need, and empowers (i.e. enhances society’s capacity to act collectively.

No. Your innovation does not have to be a product. It may also be a process innovation (using a new approach) or a service.

We encourage that technology is embedded in some shape or form to enhance/ amplify operational activities.

During the course of the Fellowship, Fellows will be exposed to:

- Sustainability training/ workshop
- Mentoring and coaching by seasoned professionals
- Webinars, online learning and advisory support
- Access to access additional funding from the annual Impact Investors Forum deal summit.
- Alumni meet-ups and networking access to global opportunities and fellowships.

Successful candidates will be shortlisted and contacted with a congratulatory message from the Sahara Impact Fund team and will be provided further information on their induction process

To get further information about this initiative, kindly send an email to sahara.foundation@sahara-group.com

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