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Under the Scaling Off-Grid Energy Grand Challenge for Development, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is announcing a new funding opportunity designed to increase private-sector investment in the household solar market.  Under this funding window, USAID will support innovative technology solutions and business models across the household solar value chain in sub-Saharan Africa. USAID may provide up to $4 million in matching funds, with estimated grant awards ranging from $500,000 to $1,500,000. Concept papers will be accepted on a rolling basis between February 2017 and April 30, 2017.


2:1 private investor match

Applicants must demonstrate a financial commitment from a private investor (equity or debt) that is at least twice the funding requested from USAID. For example, under an award, if an investor commits $1 million in funding, USAID could award $500,000. Preference will be given to higher ratios of demonstrated investor commitment to proposed USAID funding.

Innovation and market impact

Applicants should be developing and scaling innovative solutions that will have broad reach across the sub-Saharan household solar market with the potential for high market impact. Note: Companies distributing pico-solar products such as lanterns are not eligible under this announcement.

Company growth stage

Enterprises should be early stage or early-growth stage, with an existing track record in one or more African markets.

Geographic focus

Applicant should be operating in one or more markets across sub-Saharan Africa.

Submitting a Concept Note

Step One: Interested applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Scaling Off-Grid Energy team at prior to submitting a concept note, describing their household solar market solution and interested investors.

Step Two: A select group will be invited to discuss and co-develop their ideas with the Scaling Off-Grid Energy team.

Step Three: Upon developing a proposed alliance with USAID and investors, applicants may submit a concept note using the form below.

Questions on this funding opportunity? Please watch the webinar below. Also, contact Molly Doyle at with any additional questions. For more information on USAID's Global Development Alliance and the funding window, please see the Annual Program Statement and Scaling Off-Grid Energy Addendum.

If you encounter technical difficulties in filling out the form above, please download this document and e-mail it to