Invest Salone – a UK government-funded programme for private sector development – has opened a new round of funding from its PROSPER Salone initiative. PROSPER Salone is a grant-matching facility aimed at driving investment with positive social and environmental impact in Sierra Leone.
PROSPER Salone provides funding through two mechanisms: its General window and its Climate window. For the latter, investors must demonstrate that their proposed activities support action to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change in Sierra Leone.
International and domestic investors with innovative ideas and business models are invited to apply for matching grants of between £50,000 and £350,000 by submitting a concept note for their proposed activities. These applications will be assessed on a rolling basis and no later than mid-February 2024 for the current round of PROSPER Salone evaluations.
PROSPER Salone aims to help investors reduce the risks of doing business. Funded activities could include scoping trips, feasibility studies, pipeline development, due diligence appraisals and viability assessments.
“Sierra Leone holds so much potential for investors, but there are also significant barriers – financial, legal and regulatory – which lead to transaction costs being higher than average”, said Pooja Melwani, Consultant at Invest Salone. “This is where PROSPER Salone comes in. Through this funding initiative, we aim to buy down investor risk and make investment in Sierra Leonean companies more attractive.”
Since its launch in February 2021, PROSPER Salone grantees have mobilised investments worth more than £13 million into seven Sierra Leonean companies and supported six firms in becoming more productive and investment ready. These grantees include the international investment firm Acumen, Cordaid Investment Management, Truestone Impact Investment and Solon Capital Partners.
“With support from PROSPER Salone, Acumen has designed and hosted an investment-readiness bootcamp for 13 early-stage companies”, said Lindsay Camacho, Government Partnerships Manager at Acumen. “And we have facilitated investments and capacity-building grants into two inclusive businesses – directly catalysing over £5 million of capital into Sierra Leonean companies.”
Through its Climate window, PROSPER Salone targets investors aiming to fund companies that:
- Adapt and build resilience to the effects of climate change
- Pursue low-carbon development
- Support the sustainable management of natural resources
- Increase access to clean energy
- Reduce deforestation
- Publish climate-related disclosures
- Engage in carbon capture or carbon off-setting initiatives.
All investors seeking funding from either the General or the Climate window must provide matching funds (in-kind or cash) that are at least 20–30% of the total cost of the supported activity. Concept notes can be submitted by individual investors or partnerships, including with non-governmental and community organisations. To access more information on the application procedure, check eligibility and to apply, please visit: https://investsalone.com/prosper-salone/