By Daria Shumilova
Energy-efficient water heaters, affordable and sustainable housing, rice straw paper or insect-based protein - these examples have one thing in common: these cleantech innovations and the entrepreneurs behind them are part of the Global Cleantech Innovation Programme (GCIP) community, a programme funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
“GCIP was one of the best learning experiences I had earlier on as a social entrepreneur”, says Nabeel Siddiqui, CEO of ModulusTech and 2017 GCIP Pakistan national winner. ModulusTech is a cleantech enterprise pioneering affordable net-zero housing by using innovative flat-packed modular design, which allows for minimal transportation and setup times. “The mentorship, support and networking opportunities have been especially helpful and enabled us to maximize our impact in Pakistan”.
For Jaruwan Khammuang, a GCIP Thailand alumna, the programme has opened new partnerships and upscaling perspectives. Her company, Fang Thai, produces paper products from residue rice straw left after rice harvesting, both providing additional income and reducing pollution. “Participation in the GCIP accelerator was a great opportunity for us to network and get to know new people to collaborate with, with whom we then have continued our business”, says Khammuang. “UNIDO encouraged us to scale up for a greater impact in our community and beyond”.