What is the Biodiversity Finance Accelerator (BioFA) project about?

This Biodiversity Finance Accelerator (BioFA) project mobilises biodiversity investments and scales biodiversity-friendly entrepreneurship, thus contributing to a sustainable use, conservation and restoration of ecosystems.

BioFA empowers biodiversity-positive Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs) to consolidate their business model, develop financial plans and thus, become eligible for external financing. Biodiversity-positive enterprises have developed business models which from the outset are designed to conserve and restore ecosystems and thus create positive biodiversity impacts. Highly interactive capacity building programmes (Accelerator Programmes; Replicator Workshops) will strengthen the capacities of biodiversity MSMEs in both countries. These will be complemented by Biodiversity Roundtables and other exchange formats to encourage cross-sector collaboration and increase awareness among various stakeholders.

adelphi is implementing the project together with the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) based in Malawi and the Women's Entrepreneurship Access Center (WEAC) based in Zambia. The project is funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV).

How can I contact the Biodiversity Finance Accelerator team?

If you should have questions, comments or complaints regarding the programme, please reach out to us via e-mail or contact our in-country partners, LUANAR and WEAC, via phone/WhatsApp:

  • E-Mail: biofaatadelphi [dot] de (biofa[at]adelphi[dot]de)
  • Phone (Malawi): LUANAR +265 995 567 000;
  • Phone (Zambia): WEAC +260 97 7487714

Additionally the project funder has an Independent Complaint Mechanism, the IKI ICM. The mechanism is intended to enable people who suffer (potential) negative social and/or environmental consequences from IKI projects, or who wish to report the improper use of funds, to voice their complaints and seek redress. The complaints mechanism is based at Zukunft - Umwelt - Gesellschaft (ZUG) gGmbH, Federal Goverment's project management agency for the IKI funding programme and can be contacted under iki-complaintsatz-u-g [dot] org (subject: Complaint%20BioFA) (iki-complaints[at]z-u-g[dot]org)

What does the Accelerator programme comprise?

The BioFA acceleration programme was running between May and December 2022. During this time, three enterprise cohorts per country, comprising 5 selected biodiversity-positive enterprises each received tailored business advisory support. Each cohort participated in 3 three-days peer-learning workshops with a total of nine full workshop days. In between the workshops, enterprises received individual coaching on selected topics.

What are biodiversity-positive enterprises?

Biodiversity-positive enterprises or organisations provide innovative, market-driven solutions to the conservation, restoration and/or management of nature and ecosystems. If your business model has such effects on the environment, then you may apply for this programme.

Often, biodiversity-positive enterprises or organisations can be found in the following sectors (see list with examples below):

  • Invasive Species Management: Removal and commercialisation of invasive species, e.g. as organic livestock feed or human food product
  • Eco-tourism: Promotion of biodiversity-friendly touristic activities (e.g. forest safaris, fly-fishing) to raise awareness on nature conservation and preserve local fauna and flora
  • Sustainable agriculture: Application of biodiversity-friendly farming techniques (e.g. organic management, conservation buffers, agroforestry)
  • Re-/ Afforestation: Cultivation and sales of (indigenous) tree seedlings; carbon offsetting scheme through tree-planting activities
  • Provision of resource alternatives: Waste-to-energy products such as biomass briquettes that replace wood-based products like charcoal and contribute to halt deforestation
  • Biodiversity-based products: Commercial cultivation and processing of threatened indigenous (medicinal) plants, sustainable bee-keeping, non-timber forest products etc.

What is the Biodiversity Finance Accelerator's goal?

The Biodiversity Finance Accelerator helps in consolidating enterprises’ business models while fostering their financial readiness to attract funding.

SMEs’ largest barrier in their business development is the lack of financial resources. However, financial actors need to be assured that their investments are based on sound business fundamentals and comprehensive financial planning. The best way to showcase and proof that these criteria are met is by providing financial actors with a convincing business plan and a satisfactory financial assessment of current and future operations, which the programme can support enterprises with.

Is there direct financial support or match-making opportunities?

No. The Biodiversity Finance Accelerator focuses on enabling and fostering your financial readiness, which is the core prerequisite to attain financial support from financial actors. The programme, however, does not provide direct funding, but offers opportunities for selected enterprises to showcase their business model on a national and international level as well as to build new partnerships with potential supporters or financiers through targeted networking activities.

The Biodiversity Finance Accelerator has no direct match-making components foreseen. However, selected enterprises are invited to biodiversity breakfasts and cross-sectoral roundtables to showcase their business models, exchange experiences and build new partnerships – with a focus on access to external finance. In addition, the programme will participate in relevant national and international events where selected enterprises can present themselves.

Will there be a Biodiversity Finance Accelerator each year?

The Biodiversity Finance Accelerator programme is planned as a one-off activity. However, the BioFA project foresees further activities to promote biodiversity-positive enterprises and the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Malawi and Zambia, e.g. by offering a Replicator programme in 2023 to replicate successful biodiversity-positive business models. Please stay tuned and check our website for the latest information on upcoming activities.