Improving Outcomes for Women-led Clean Energy Enterprises Through Applied Research

Clean energy entrepreneurship presents significant challenges for women, including limited access to funding, limited networking, lack of access to partnerships, challenging cultural norms, limited workplace flexibility, and lack of mentorship and training. While these barriers are common across different sectors, their impact on women entrepreneurs is particularly pronounced in the renewable sector due to the sector’s heavy reliance on technology and its male-dominated nature.

With support from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), ANDE has launched a new initiative which will fund actionable research that aims to build the evidence base on these barriers and potential solutions. The project will fund six research projects on women in the clean energy sector, each eligible for a grant of up to USD 60,000.

Join our Open House on January 30, 2024 by registering here. Read the FAQs here.

Should you need more information, please contact SangEun Kim at


The research questions that ANDE is interested in, but not limited to, include:

  • What practices can entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs) adopt to make their programs more gender inclusive for women entrepreneurs and employees in clean energy (e.g., women mentors, childcare) and encourage founders to employ more women and pay equal wages?
  • What are the examples of successful gender-lens investments and business support services in the clean energy sector, and can the examples be applied to other ecosystem actors?
  • Which types of ESOs (e.g., sector-specific vs. sector-agnostic ESOs) support women entrepreneurs more effectively and promote workforce gender equality in the clean energy sector?
  • What are interventions that can be implemented and scaled to reduce the gender bias of investors and employers in the renewable energy sector?
  • What are effective ways ESOs help women entrepreneurs navigate gender bias regarding access to markets in renewable energy?
  • What are the examples of businesses that scaled and served women consumers in renewable energy and what are their success factors (e.g., how did they develop their service/product, how did they identify and reach out to their consumer base?)
  • Do women business owners champion the rights and serve the needs of women employees and consumers better than their counterpart men?


The participating organizations or individuals must be based in either Latin America and the Caribbean or Sub-Saharan Africa and propose to conduct research in the regions.

The funding can only be used for non-profit organizations. If your organization is based in a country where there are no legal entities, such as non-profits, you are eligible to apply for this grant as long as your organization functions as a non-profit. If your organization has a nonprofit and a for-profit side, you are eligible as long as the funding goes 100% to the non-profit side.

You do NOT need to have practitioner or researcher collaborators in advance. We strongly encourage you to participate in ANDE’s in-person matchmaking workshop. For those who do not have collaborators in mind, the matchmaking workshop will provide an avenue to find the right match. ANDE will extend invitations to potential practitioner and researcher matches to the workshop based on your expressed interest, and matches are to develop a full proposal during the two-day workshop, should their interests align.

This opportunity is open to both ANDE members and non-members.


  1. January 30 – Open House to introduce the project, open call for proposals, and answer questions about the Call for Proposals and Matchmaking Workshops.
  2. January – Submit the interest form for a Matchmaking Workshop.
  3. Feb/March – Invitation to a Matchmaking Workshop sent out.
  4. March/April – Matchmaking Workshop in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  5. March/April – Matchmaking Workshop in Latin America.
  6. May 31 – Deadline for Proposal Submissions.
  7. June – Winners Announced.
  8. July – Grants are issued and projects begin.
  9. Q1 2026 – Projects complete.


To facilitate collaborations between local practitioners and researchers, ANDE will facilitate two matchmaking workshops, one in Sub-Saharan Africa and one in Latin America, to support researchers and practitioners in co-developing proposals for the fund.

The aim of these workshops is to help researchers and practitioners in the local area identify common interests and decide on the most effective ways to collaborate in order to generate new evidence-based research projects. Although the hope is that successful proposals will arise from the connections made during the workshop, the call for proposals will also be open to researcher-practitioner partnerships that have formed organically outside of the matchmaking process.


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