WCS Global Initiatives (beta)

Selection Process

The Conservation Enterprise Development Fund offers feasibility study and business planning support, technical assistance, seed grants and support in obtaining patient capital loans to conservation-friendly enterprises.

Questions? Please contact CEDF at cedf@wcs.org.


Enterprise Eligibility

Applicants must meet the the following minimum requirements: 

  • Enterprise has a goal of generating biodiversity benefits
  • Enterprise generates (or has the potential to generate) community-wide benefits
  • Enterprise demonstrates ability to be financially self-sustaining within at least five to ten years


Application and Award Process

1.  Applicants submit Expression of Interest to CEDF.
2. CEDF staff reply to all Expressions of Interest submissions and provide relevant application form based on enterprise development stage to each eligible enterprise and enterprise concept applicant.
3.  Eligible applicants submit application to the CEDF Review Committee for consideration.  
4. CEDF Review Committee shares submissions with the CEDF Advisory Committee and receives their feedback. 
5. CEDF Review Committee awards funding and/or technical assistance support to most promising enterprises and concepts based on their expected needs and the available funding and in-kind support. 
Please note that awardees receiving support in accessing external loans will then need to meet lender criteria before receiving financing.
6.  CEDF staff, WCS field staff and CEDF recipient(s) sign agreement for grant/in-kind support and monitoring award.


Evaluation Criteria

CEDF evaluates potential investments based on the following criteria, divided into five broad categories:

Environmental and social impact

  • Explicit mission to support conservation
  • Fit with WCS conservation strategy
  • Mechanisms to ensure conservation outcomes
  • Past/current impact on biodiversity and other conservation outcomes (especially, impact on WCS priority species)
  • Past/current impact on community development
  • Potential for scaling/future impact
  • Sophistication of monitoring and evaluation

Business model

  • Value proposition of the product or service offered to consumers
  • Points of differentiation relative to competition
  • Partnerships/certifications
  • Engagement with local community
  • Potential for achieving meaningful scale
  • Degree of tension between financial goals and environmental/social goals 
  • Strength of management team

Market dynamics

  • Market size
  • Industry attractiveness (i.e., supplier power, buyer power, barriers to entry, competition, and substitutes)
  • Degree of economic and political risk

Financial performance

  • Current and projected revenue, profitability, and cash flow
  • Sophistication of record-keeping
  • Realism of assumptions

Proposed investment

  • Proposed use of loan (if applicable)
  • Expected impact on environmental/social outcomes
  • Expected impact on financial performance
  • Ability to put additional capital to work
  • Ability to repay loan (if applicable)
  • Alternative financing options

Application Forms

Expressions of Interest (EOI) are currently ONLY being accepted for loan support.
APPLY NOW
Prerequisite: Approved EOI
The application period for 2014 support is now closed.
APPLY NOW
Prerequisite: Approved EOI
Applications are being accepted an ongoing basis while funding is available.
APPLY NOW
Prerequisite: Approved EOI
The application period for 2014 support is now closed.
APPLY NOW

Who is CEDF?

CEDF Team

Meet our core management team.

CEDF Review Committee

The CEDF Review Committee is composed of core CEDF staff as well as other WCS livelihoods and financial management experts with experience working with enterprises in developing countries.

CEDF Advisory Committee

The CEDF Advisory Committee consists of a cross section of WCS’s leadership, corporate partners, CEDF philanthropic supporters, and partner impact investing funds. The Advisory Committee will provide input into the selection process as well as serve as a resource for ongoing support to awarded enterprises.