WE4F Releases 2022 Annual Report
Jun 12 2023
Overall, 2023 was a successful year for WE4F. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA), South and Southeast Asia (S/SEA), and Southern and Central Africa (S/CA) Regional Innovation Hubs (RIHs) onboarded 34 innovators, bringing • the total to 81 supported organizations. Of these 81 organizations, 39 are women-led and/or -owned organizations and 73 are enterprises.
Though ongoing effects of COVID-19, natural disasters, political instabilities, and the effects of climate change challenged the innovators and RIHs, WE4F is proud to report that the program, through its RIHs and their supported innovators, has made significant progress. Of WE4F’s 10 key performance indicators, the program is on track to exceed, or has already exceeded, 9 of them.
Innovators supported by WE4F have impacted more than 920,000 smallholder farmers, of which 354,000 (38%) are women – exceeding WE4F’s target of 30% women. Innovators across all RIHs have also done incredibly well in supporting base of the pyramid (BOP) end-users, with 90% of all program end-users across the 3 RIHs belonging to the BOP demographic. More than 400,000 end-users increased their incomes by growing more food, while using less water and energy. About 160,000 of the end-users experiencing an increase in incomes are women.
In order to help these innovators continue scaling and impacting end-users, the RIHs provided innovators with grants, TA, and investment facilitation. Overall, innovators received 137 TA instances. These TAs covered business development, marketing, sales, product design, human resources (HR), and investment readiness. As part of WE4F’s key focus on women, BOP end-users, and protection of the environment and biodiversity, there have been 11 TAs on gender integration, 12 TAs on BOP impact, and 2 TAs on environmental sustainability. Additional environmental TA was provided by USAID’s Bureau Environment Officer on environmental compliance documents.
Both on their own and with the help of the RIH investment teams, innovators have mobilized more than $36 million from external sources, all of which is climate financing. This has exceeded the Life of Program (LOP) target by $2 million. Additionally, support from the hubs helped innovators generate over $47 million in gross sales.
Investment is not the only target where innovators are exceeding. So far, WE4F-supported innovations have helped smallholder farmers and other end-users produce more than 3.5 million tons of food while saving 751 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy and 5.89 billion liters of water. The results for energy saved exceeded WE4F’s target by almost 80 million kWh. For water saved, innovators helped reduce water consumption by over two times the WE4F target. • As part of efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change, innovators have helped end-users save 585,000 tons of CO2e. The reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is due to innovators’ technologies, business models, and agricultural practices. Of the 81 innovators, 43% contribute only to climate mitigation, 8% contribute only to climate adaptation, and the remaining 47% contribute to both climate mitigation and adaptation. Not only are innovators committed to reducing natural resource usage and the effects of climate change, they are also concerned with the effects of their innovations and how end-users are using them. Of the 81 innovations, 57% are monitoring water usage, 4% are working to enhance biodiversity, and 22% are engaged in both water and biodiversity efforts.
Poorly designed policies can negatively affect innovators’ ability to scale their innovations as well as end-users’ ability to access the innovations. To help innovators overcome these barriers and expand their operations, each RIH works to improve the policy and regulatory environments in which WE4F innovators operate. Last year’s key successes came from the S/CA RIH helping innovators overcome trade barriers related to the exportation and importation of their products.