Seed Capital Assistance Facility (SCAF)

Climate Objective
Sectors and Themes
Type of Support Provider
Type of Recipient
Private sector
Fund Size

USD 34 million

Trustee or Administrator
Frankfurt School Impact Finance
Contact Information
East Asia and Pacific
Europe and Central Asia
Middle East and North Africa
North America
Sub-Saharan Africa

The Seed Capital Assistance Facility (SCAF) is a multi-donor trust fund managed by UNEP and backed by the German Federal Environment Ministry together with the British Department for International Development (DFID). It makes finance available during the development phase of projects being carried out in developing countries and emerging economies that are aimed at promoting the use of climate-friendly technologies (e.g. renewable energies, energy efficiency). The objective of these activities is to stimulate private investment. The assistance available ranges from financial support with feasibility studies and business plans in the pre-investment phase to co-financing of authorization procedures and technical and legal due diligence checks in the late phase of project development. This approach enables the financial barriers typically associated with the project development phase to be overcome. Currently, the geographical focus is on Asia and Africa.

SCAF’s vision is to increase the availability of investment for early-stage development of low-carbon projects in developing countries, contributing to low-carbon sustainable development, economic growth, poverty reduction and climate change mitigation. SCAF addresses this financing gap by providing financial support on a cost-sharing and co-financing basis to low-carbon projects via private equity (PE) funds, venture capital (VC) funds and project development companies (DevCos). After a successful initial Phase I, Phase II started in 2014 and will run until 2026, supported by contributions from the UK Department for International Development and the German BMU.

Support Provider

UK Aid and the German BMU

Purpose of Support
Project and program implementation
Co-Financing Requirements

SL0 is limited to USD 500,000. SL1&2 are limited to a maximum of USD 2,500,000 (with a 30%/70% split).

Financial Instruments Offered
Contingent grants
Monitoring and Reporting Procedures

Reporting on overall partner progress, compliance with SCAF's goals and targets and proof of usage of SCAF funds for eligible activities on a quarterly basis.

Organizational and Decision Making Structure

SCAF is managed in a joint effort between UNEP and Frankfurt School.

Eligibility Criteria

Target region: Southeast Asia and/or Sub-Saharan Africa (Least Developed Countries, Other Low-Income Countries and Lower-Middle Income Countries and Territories as per The Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list of Official Development Assistance (ODA) recipients which can be accessed here) (no single country strategy)

Sectors supported: Renewable Energy Generation, Energy and Resource Efficiency, Renewable Energy and Energy/Resource Efficiency Supply Chains. 

  • More than 70% of investments in eligible countries and sectors
  • Novel strategy, business model or geography
  • Potential for replication and scalability in order to be commercially viable
  • Sufficient ESG-safeguards in place (company ESMS, ESIA according to IFC standards on project level, etc.)
  • SCAF funding must be matched 50% by the recipient
Eligible countries

The Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list of Official Development Assistance (ODA) recipients

Eligible Countries and Geographic Regions
East Asia and Pacific
Europe and Central Asia
Latin America and Caribbean
Middle East and North Africa
North America
Sub-Saharan Africa
Information on how to
  • Engage: Any party may express an interest in obtaining support at any point throughout the operational phase of SCAF. Interested entities are invited to submit a proposal once the Agent has conducted a preliminary check of the eligibility for SCAF II support. Additional guidance for project proposals can be found on the SCAF website. There are no specific deadlines or cut-off dates other than when the available budgets are fully committed. Once an approval in principle has been issued, the potential SCAF partner proceeds to the due-diligence stage.
  • Due Diligence: Upon approval of submitted proposals, each interested potential partner has to undergo the SCAF II due diligence procedure as a condition precedent for formal contractual engagement. For the due diligence, the SCAF partner will follow a standardized process, similar to the one adopted by DFIs. After final approval, the SCAF Agent will start contract negotiations.
  • Report on Progress: Once contracted, the SCAF partners have to report on their progress through the following means:
    • Quarterly progress reports with financial information
    • Regular conference calls with the management of SCAF partners
    • Annual meetings which serve as a platform for the exchange of experiences
    • Audited financial statements and confirmation letter for SCAF-financed expenses from auditor

      See here