OCIF Management Applications have opened on the website of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency.
The Orange Corners Innovation Fund (OCIF) has been initiated with the aim to improve access to finance for early-stage startups that are enrolled in the Orange Corners incubation- and acceleration programmes. The fund enables these companies to scale and develop innovative solutions to local challenges that contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). Now, after a successful short-term pilot phase, we are looking for fund managers.
The Netherlands wants to contribute to the acceleration of sustainable (economic) development in developing countries as well as in The Netherlands. Therefore The Netherlands stimulates innovation in the private sector, in particular amongst start-ups and SMEs. These businesses often have the innovative power to develop targeted solutions for local or global challenges.
It is often impossible for entrepreneurs in developing countries to attract the capital required for the pre-commercial phase of an innovative process, as they are considered a too high risk investment for the traditional financial institutions. Therefore, companies must be supported to bridge the so-called pioneer gap in order to subsequently be able to grow and innovate. The OCIF fills this gap by offering Orange Corners entrepreneurs access to early stage funding to develop their idea into a product/proposition that can enter the market.
The OCIF is an addition to the existing Orange Corners incubation-/acceleration program, which gives young entrepreneurs access to training, networks and facilities to start or scale their business. It provides subsidies for activities of fund managers in order to realise the following goals:
1. Encourage entrepreneurs in the target locations to translate local challenges to innovative solutions and turn them into feasible business plans.
2. Offer economic perspective to (young) entrepreneurs.
3. Contributing in the medium to long term to the development of the private sector and the business climate in the target locations.
4. Combatting (youth) unemployment and promoting economic growth by stimulating and facilitating start-ups with innovative and disruptive ideas through early phase financing and capacity building.
Who can apply?
A local company or local non-governmental organisation with experience in managing an investment may be eligible for funding under OCIF. The entity must have legal personality and hold a legal accreditation for the provision of interest-bearing loans, issued by the relevant financial authority in the target location.
Want to know more? Head over to the Netherlands Enterprise Agency’s website